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9 September 2010 Visit to “Maasvlakte 2” during 7th “Hydrographic Survey Category “B” course

For the Coastal Zone Management module of the “Hydrographic Survey Category “B” we were pleased with the opportunity to visit “Maasvlakte 2”, at present the “Biggest” dredging project in the world.
After an introduction by Mr. Erwin Landman – Head of Survey of more than 30 surveyors, he explained the various steps of the project which is carried out at the contractor office “PUMA”.
He also explained the various survey methods for dredging, slope protection and survey equipment being used during the project.  Special attention was given for the rock slope protection measurements in order to decide which system was most the suitable to be used from the crane.  Various environmental studies were executed which can be seen at the “Future Land” exposition centre, which is taking place during and after the completion of the project. 
After some safety instructions we were able to visit a high speed survey vessel which was mounted with a special protected multi-beam system. After some survey test runs we were able to visit the cutter dredger in the field and was given a tour by the skipper around the dredger. All students were impressed with the project and all the information provided.

23 August 2010 Start of 7th Hydrographic Survey Category "B" in Rotterdam

We are pleased to welcome this new group; their first lesson was started by Mr. Aad van Dam. The Group:

- a student from Kuwait, the first from the Middle East, working for the Institute for Scientific Research whose representatives visited our facilities earlier this year.

- Finish Maritime Authority "Meri Taito" who wishes to support their new mapping division with certified survey personnel

- Strukton who is getting more involved with civil engineering projects

- RWS Noordzee; and

- Global Marine, customers who are well known to our organisation.

We will also welcome students from various customers who will attend part time during the course. Skilltrade and STC are pleased with the interest of international students and companies from various parts of the world, as well as our regular customers who have already booked for the next course which will be held in January 2011.

April 2010 - Diploma celebration at STC Hydrographic Survey Category “B”

Four candidates have filled their logging periods after they passed their exams in 2008. The first candidate was Jos Torreman, presently working for RWS Noordzee as Party Chief, was very pleased with his diploma. He was congratulated by Martin Feldman and Marco van der Sluis personally, who have confirmed that their department of Hydrographic Survey and ICT will be sending new candidates for courses in the future with STC & Skilltrade. The second candidate Tjebbe Westerbeek, Hydrographic Surveyor with the Port of Rotterdam was accompanied by his wife and told us about his present position as Chief Surveyor for Maasvlakte II, which is presently the biggest dredging project in the world. The last two candidates were from Global Marine Systems Limited, Andrew Brown and Michael Jenkins will receive their diplomas by mail since they were absent due to their present workload in a busy offshore windmill industry. Before the celebration Maarten-Jan Theijs explained the purpose of the event and expressed our thanks for the cooperation of STC and all partners who have supported this curriculum. Roeland Jansen, director of STC BV, expressed in his speech the cooperation with Skilltrade and the importance of hydrography in our international shipping industry.

Skilltrade at OI10 in London 9 – 11th of March Offshore Arabia in Dubai 29th – 31st of March

Skilltrade will be present at OI10 at the Dutch Pavilion number G600 and sharing the booth with STC ( Shipping Transport College). Maarten-Jan Theijs and Johan Stam will be present the whole week. Maarten-Jan Theijs will participate in the debate scheduled for Tuesday, start 16.00 hrs. The topic of the debate is “Implementation of the new technology is restricted by the conservative surveyor” The intention of the debate is to present and hear both sides of the arguments and discuss the pro’s and con’s ( see website http://www.oceanlogyinternational.com/page.cfm/Action=Seminars/CategoryID=4 ). The stand is organized by the “Dutch Ocean Group” as all oceanographic developments are shared between members. Every day we will have a happy hour at 17.00 hrs and remember we will be serving Dutch Coffee.

The Offshore Arabia exhibition in Dubai concentrates on “Offshore and Ports” and we welcome guests from this region at stand 604 . The Dutch delegation from 12 different companies will be present and is also being organized by the “Dutch Ocean Group” www.dutchoceangroup.nl

Visit to World Forum Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi

The renewable energy resources receive more and more interest. The summit was very interesting and provided an impression about the latest developments in this field. The Dutch pavilion was well situated in the ADNEC exhibition hall and attracted numerous visitors from the region.

The developments in renewable energy resources mostly take place onshore for wind and solar energy. Various different products were presented during the show by experts in their field. The presentation about the development of “Masdar City” www.masdar.ae was very impressive and we recommend visiting their website as new technology like “Geothermal” is used for their new town developments .

During the show we met with Mr Mohammed Al-Rumaihi of the Saudi Port Authorities who confirmed his interest to send candidates to the Skilltrade & STC 7th Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course in August. We also received an interest of the “Ministry of Defence” from their Hydrographic Survey section. The Survey section expressed their intention to register 2 candidates for our next Hydrographic Survey Course. WFES is a yearly event and is growing faster and faster with a global interest concentrated mainly for the energy sector. these new town developments.

15th January 2010 – Cultural Communications – Rotterdam

Skilltrade and STC created a course in Cultural Communications to provide a better understanding of working in an international environment. Especially for the Oil and Gas & Dredging Industry this makes available a new course, taught by somehow with experience in these fields and an insight in the non technical parts of work. One of the goals of the course is to make the participants more aware of and appreciate their own and foreign cultures by means of discussions, examples and exercises. The course provides an insight in the five dimensions of “Hofstede”. The course also covers different types and ways of communicating, negotiating and conflicts. The course is very interactive,Special subjects are created to provide an insight in the Dutch, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, Ukraine, Philippine culture. Having successfully run the Cultural Communications courses in 2007, 2008 and 2009 Skilltrade received confirmation of two more such courses in April 2010.

5th January 2010 – SAIPEM courses – San Donato Milanese

In 2009 Skilltrade provided two courses, specifically designed to SAIPEM requirements, for groups of engineers, barge personnel and superintendents. For Skilltrade it was a challenge to make this course such that it offered a good balance between theory and practice intertwined with real work examples, video footage and exercises. SAIPEM confirmed that it would run another two of such courses in 2010.

9th and 10th of December 2009: Introduction Hydrography course in Great Yarmouth

A two day Introduction Hydrography course was provided in the Fastolff Business Centre, a nice location with a hospitable atmosphere in the centre of Great Yarmouth. The main topics of this course are geodesy, surface and underwater positioning, bathymetric measurements, tide, side scan sonar, sub bottom profiling, processing and reporting. Attendants from Eastport UK, Gardline Geosurvey, IMCA and Deep Ocean made up a nice group with various levels of knowledge and experience in nautical charting, hydrographic data processing, engineering, cartography and management. Besides the material provided by the Skilltrade instructor, the attendants had numerous questions and cases based upon their own experience. All this resulted in good understanding of the different fields and processes regarding hydrographic surveys, and that each of these fields have their own characteristics; two lively and interesting days in Great Yarmouth.

13th November - 2009 at STC, Rotterdam Celebration of the first “Diploma Hydrographic Survey Category “B” award

From our First Hydrographic Survey course Nils Jungblut received his diploma and Nils is the very first person. His course mates could not attend for various reasons, most of them were away on a job. Nils works for for “Van Oord” and returned home from a project in Azerbaijan just the day before. Three of his class mates will receive their diploma in the post and one of them we eagerly await the completion of his training record book. The employers were pleased with official award of the diploma for their personnel. After the completion of the logbook and the theoretical exams this diploma is the first one that Skilltrade and STC awarded. STC BV director Edwin Schepers and STC BV Course Coordinator and Marketing Manager Gert Jan Wiegman and Michiel Koper (head of van Oord Hydrographic Department) were present to illustrate the importance of this event.

Nils is still in contact with his class mates who are all working around the world. Nils, who has a background in land survey expressed that after the course he had a much better understanding of his task as a hydrographic surveyor. All present were pleased with Nils' results and that the course ran for the 6th time together with the practical approach of the Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course.

The first "International Diploma" is a registered diploma and we are all pleased with this result. Initial development of the course started in 2000 as the dutch and international market showed a shortage of hydrographic surveyors at that time! Despite the downturn in the economy, hydrography remains a positive future. Mr Edwin Schepers expressed during the closing ceremony also his thanks to all who are not present and contributed to the result of this celebbration of the first Hydrographic Survey "B" in Rotterdam. He wished Nils Jungblut and the 6th Category B group all success in their hydrographic survey career.

13th November - 2009. Certificate celebration 6th Hydrographic Survey Category “B”

For this event STC arranged the special “Ruysdael” room as the 6th Category B class received their Certificate for the theoretical part of the Hydrographic Survey Category “B” education. After 12 weeks study and practical tasks all students were in a good mood to receive their award. During several speeches it all came clear that this young group worked very well together, this was also noticed during the final practical task during the last week. Impressive reports were delivered by the two working groups with outstanding results. Abdulaziz A. Mzee of the Mombassa Port authorities in Kenya received a special recognition award for his motivation and effort that was well noticed by the evaluation board. Anders Svensson of MMT AB received the special prize for best student, a “Delft Blue” beer pull. Mr. Jelle Roders presented all the certificates with a personal speech expressing the positive spirit of this class during the 12 weeks..

20th October - 3rd “ECDIS Conference Singapore

During the 3rd ECDIS congress in Singapore Skilltrade was presented with a stand. The congress was well attended by over 300 international delegates who were all interested in the latest developments on ECDIS. The theme for the congress was: Are you ready for 2012 mandatory Carriage of ECDIS?

Hydrography plays an important role in this development as ECDIS charts needs to be certified by competent Hydrographic Surveyors. Some hydrographic survey departments required more information about our upcoming Category B courses in 2010 which still has some vacancies. We were pleased to support this well organized congress, by MPA and the UK Hydrographic Office, with our services and course information.

Some IAB members showed an interest to our presentation of the first Hydrographic Survey Category “B” course in 2007. On the picture is Mr. Ron Furness of IIC technologies, Mr. Christian Andreasen (RADM, NOAA ret) of National Geospatial-Intellegence Agency and Mr. Jasbir Randhawa of the “Australian Hydrographic Service who were pleased to see the classes in action and noticed the sample of their reports.

22nd September 2009 – Workshop Multibeam – Reson

Reson is one of the world leaders in underwater acoustics technology. Therefore it was a pleasure to get invited to their office in Rotterdam. Nico van Woerkom and Ellen Stuifberegn started with a presentation about how the Reson Multibeam and Singlebeam echosonders generally operates. This was followed by an overview of the PDS survey software suite used for acquiring and subsequent processing of the multibeam data as well as dredge guidance on various different platforms. Reson also presented an impressive high resolution multibeam data set over a site were several wrecks were intentionally sunk in Casablanca. After the presentations the class also got some hands-on experience of the Reson Multibeam test basin in its local set up, showing the differences in gain settings, amplitude changes and various other settings of the equipment. The class also got a change to ask questions about the Reson systems and the in-depth explanations was much appreciated. The visit was rounded of with snacks and beers and a time for various informal discussion with the Reson personal at the office. On behalf of the 6th Class International - Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course We would like to thank Reson for this interesting visit.

15th September 2009 - Workshop “Coastal Zone Management Maasvlakte 2” - a Van Oord en Boskalis JV

The head of survey of the “Maasvlakte 2” project Erwin Landman explained the currently biggest ongoing dredging project of the world. This project requires a lot of sand to be moved, like 210 Million cubic meter for reclamation, 30 million cubic meter of sand to be removed from existing areas and on top of this 4 million ton of rock will be used to protect the 2.000 hectare new land. The Maasvlakte 2 extension is needed for the Port of Rotterdam to allow it to expand for container storage, oil storage and new refineries, coal storage, new energy coal plant and be ready for the future. Currently 7 Trailer dredgers are working to built the outside dike before the winter comes in. The project Survey launch is working day and night to provide the latest information for various project teams.

The class was taken directly to the dredging site and visited the “Cutter dredger” Zuiderklip. For most of the class this was their first experience onboard a dredging vessel. The class was split up to allow to take part in an actual survey in the project survey launch. Onboard Erwin explained the various types of equipment and the need of survey (depth) updates for the dredger. On board the dredging supervisor and Martien Coolegem explained the operation and the need of accurate information and positioning. At the office Erwin explained the survey systems and new techniques were explained to measure the slopes during the erection of the breakwaters. All were very impressed by this intensive dredging operation and the need of accurate and fast data information. The workshop was closed with a visit to “Future Land” were they show the history of various designs of “Maasvlakte 2” as engineering has to deal with many detailed environmental issues.

14th September 2009 - Workshop Periplus Archeomare ; Archaeology & Hydrography

WBart van Mierlo explained the back ground of Periplus and the latest European legislative requirements before allowing the start of a project either onshore or offshore. Periplus Consultancy has been involved with various projects either at sea or inland waters. Bart explained the need for various partners to support such detailed operation with divers, archeologists, dredging operation and the surveyors. His presentation was supported with multi-beam data and the technique of side scan sonar and sub-bottom profiling. Last week a discovery was made of a large 17th century vessel after initial parts of this vessel were recovered during dredging operations.


The investigation with hydrographers, divers and a marine archeologist resulted in the recovery of the 18 meters long vessel the “Watership”. The vessel was a two vessel or tug and used to safely bring the large sea-going vessels into the ancient port of Amsterdam. After the presentation the class visited the site were the actual vessel was located for further personal investigation. Mr. Waldus (Underwater Archeologist) explained that the oak wood of the vessel came from 16th century Germany. Upon recovery 7.5 tons of ballast material was found which put the vessel deeper into the bottom. A very interesting afternoon, showing yet another part of Hydrographic Surveying. We thank Periplus very much for providing us with the opportunity today at such a short notice.

14th September 2009 - Worshop Meteo Consult - Wageningen

Weather, as always, is an all important part of Hydrographic survey planning and we were pleased with this workshop with “Meteo Consult”. Today we received more explanations about weather, weather fronts and interpretations of weather charts and his time we had even more practical tests built in to workshop. Our host Mr. Jan Groot Bramel provided in detail a background of wind directions, waves and tides. Jan also explained the various customers of Meteo Consult for instance rig towage from Korea to the Gulf of Mexico. These predictions need to be accurate however and bearing in mind the uncertainties over a longer time period. The class enjoyed a tour of the building and ended up in the television room for their personal weather man /woman experience.

8th September 2009 – Workshop Harbour Surveys – Port of Rotterdam

Our first workshop of the Hydrographic Survey Course was organised by the Port of Rotterdam in the Nautical Service Centrum in the Botlek. After an excellent lunch Jeroen van Reenen, Chief Surveyor of the Port of Rotterdam (PoR), explained what exactly the Survey department of the Port of Rotterdam does. We got an overview of the various vessels and equipment used and received a detailed explanation of what was the importance and the aims of the Surveys in the PoR. Especially the explanation for the density measurements surveys in the Port shed some new light on this type of surveys for a lot of the students. Equipment used for density measurement surveys, like the DensiTune is manufactured by Stema Surveys. Later we sailed with the vessel “Surveyor 2” together with the Captain and the Surveyor, Martin. Who we both like to thank for their explanations, time and support. Sailing onboard the Surveyor 2, provided our students with real time experience with bottom track measurements with an ADCP and the working together of various survey systems interfaced to the Qinsy survey software from QPS.

24th August 2009 - start 6th Class International - Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course.

We are pleased to announce that our 6th Class International has started this week and welcome our first candidates from the African continent. Also candidates from three new companies are participating in the course thereby extended the worldwide basis for the course. We welcome back participants from companies like VanOord and Global Marine for the 6th and 5th time. You might wonder what the mix of different nationalities and experiences brings, for this we can honestly say that the mix of people is always highly appreciated in any feedback and evaluation we receive from the course participants. It is the added bonus of working together and learning from each other. We wish the candidates from Sweden, Kenya, Holland, UK and Malawi an enjoyable and successful course.

June 2009 – Introduction Hydrography – Aberdeen.

Already our second introduction Hydrography course in Aberdeen this year. Participants from various companies like Besix (Belgium), NIOZ (Holland), Ixsea, Kongsberg, Sonsub, Seatronics and Brown & Root joined our 2d course in Altens, Aberdeen. A large group of 10people with backgrounds and work experiences in fleet maintenance, survey engineering, software engineering, draftsman, rental department, Route engineering, ROV pilot, Project Management and trainings manager. It was an interesting couple of days whereby an insight in the Hydrographic Survey Industry was provided tailored around a pipeline project, providing a sound basis for exchange of information and discussions. Many thanks to both Seatronics and IXSEA in providing equipment to the course: Side Scan Sonar, Compatt, USBL Beacons, Flowerpot, CTD and SV probes and the IXSEA Phins inertial Navigation system.

May 2009 – First Skilltrade course in the USA – Tesla Offshore - Prairieville.

Skilltrade and QPS jointly organised a course for Tesla Offshore LLC in Prairieville, Louisiana. After our initial visit earlier this year Tesla Offshore asked us to train 6 of their surveyors for one whole week. QPS and Skilltrade set up a joint course to cover the basics of Hydrography, Hydrographic Introduction, Survey Equipment, some mathematics, Multibeam Echosounding and QPS software. A great group with interesting young surveyors with various backgrounds. All of them provided great input for discussions and questions and after some examples, calculations and exercises it was much clearer where to pay extra attention to and where not. On the last two days of the course QPS set up their software to show and train the surveyors on some processing and Qloud

4 April 2009 - Ceremony Certificate 5th Hydrographic Survey “B“ Course, Rotterdam.

The “Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course group celebrating their diploma’s at the end of the 5th Category B course. With outstanding results the group received their certificates in style at STC. All applicants were pleased with the remarks the personnel remarks they received from the course coordinators Gert Jan Wiegman of STC and Maarten-Jan Theijs of Skilltrade. Special attention was for Bert Bonhof and Jimmy Pawirodinomo . After participating in the course in November 2007, Bert needed to get more experience under his belt and so he did. This year he returned to the course to sit some of his exams again and he passed them this achieving the required results. Jimmy came all the way from Suriname to participate in this year’s course. Jimmy has a fine attitude and really tried to master it all, but, like Bert two years ago, Jimmy lacks practical experience. Jimmy received a book for his positive attitude and willingness in trying to stay, put with the contents of the course and his determination to get more experience and sit some of his exams again in 2010. Two Swedish candidates will join the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Netherlands Navy for their practical period at their Hydrographic Survey Department and all others went home. At present we have 7 confirmed candidates for the 6th CAT B course which will starts on August 24th 2009 and even for the 7th CAT B course we are already receiving requests for more information.

1 & 2 April 2009 - Oceans exhibition, Southampton.

We are pleased to present Mr. Gordon Johnson, Chairman of the IAB Board, our Hydrographic Survey Category B course certificate in “Delft’s Blue” tiles. All framed in which will find a place at his office.He was very surprised to see his autograph this way.We also present to him the latest issue of the “GPS Handbook for professional GPS users”.The Dutch Ocean group was pleased with his visit.

Also Williams Heaps was happy to receive a GPS Handbook.He confirmed his interested in our Category “B” course in Rotterdam as more of his survey staff requires to receive internationally recognized training such as “Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course. William also met other members of the Dutch Ocean Group as he knows them already for many years.

The two Skilltrade presentations during Oceans were well attended by students and members of various Hydrographic survey companies and survey divisions. The international interest was well expressed a full classes which had an impression of Skilltrade service and courses. The most popular question was : Where are you based or where can I find more information about the next course in my region? Skilltrade is a training centre and often referred to as “a School without a roof”. We are flexible with respect to location of the training and the number of participants. Johan Stam presentation was attended by more than 150 students. The presentation provided more in depth information about our Hydrographic survey industry. It also showed the various linkages with other industries and the prospects for students with related educations

March 2009 – Introduction Hydrography Course – DPS office Aberdeen.

We were please to organized our first course in Aberdeen this year together with DPS. With the help of DPS and specifically Georgina the course facilities were excellent and the input of equipment was very useful. The presence of equipment together with data examples, animations, pictures and survey charts actually allowed us to put most of the items raised into perspective. The course participants all had an engineering background with one to twelve months offshore experience. The most important thing for them was to be able to put it all into perspective. Being able to put equipment against the kind of data that comes out of it leading up to a final survey chart. The importance of Basic subjects like Geodesy, Offsets, Calibrations and Tides was highlighted and were necessary further discussed. The DPS workshop provided an excellent opportunity to the various types of survey equipment used in the offshore Oil and Gas Industry

Celebration of the Recognition of our Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course - 14th November - at STC, Rotterdam

Maarten-Jan Theijs opened the reception with a presentation about the history of Skilltrade and its design and set of the various survey modules according to the M5 guidelines working towards the current Hydrographic Survey Course. At the same time, in the background a slide show ran showing the people who have been involved since the start : Robert van der Velde, Huibert Jan Lekkerkerk, Cor Beemster and our students from the previous four Hydrographic Survey courses. All supplemented with the support of and the visists to the various companies who host the workshops and site visits for our Hydrography course. His presentation ended with a personal word for each student who obtained his IHO Category B Hydrographic Survey diploma.

The diploma's were presented to Steve Smith and Will Griffiths of Global Marine, Aone Dikkerboom and Ranon Salvador of van Oord Dredging, Dennis Schreuders of Rijkwaterstaat and Sagidolla Mardenov of AGIP KCO, Kazachstan.

STC's director Albert Bos and Johan Stam of Skilltrade outlined the latest developments in training and education and confirmed their interest in this practical approach especially with various companies who provide their support in the format of field exposure, workshops and guest lectures. At the end we presented a copy of the certificate in "Delft's Blue" tiles to all who supported the curriculum of the Category B recognition and to all the companies who provided their field support.

We appreciate all who supported our curriculum and celebrated the event with other special guests at STC's simulation centre. Visitors were informed about STC latest developments in DP I and DP II simulators. Arie Goedknegt showed his simulation underwater technology ROV courses and Survey Engineer courses which started on the 17th November 2008 in Rotterdam for Gardline Surveys Ltd and Acergy Ltd.

10th March 2009 – Hydrographic Service of the Royal Netherlands Navy – The Hague.

The Hydrographic Service of the Royal Netherlands Navy organsied an excellent afternoon workshop on their premises in The Hague. The afternoon started with a presentation by Jan Schaap (Head Production) about the production of the charts, being it paper or electronic charts and the data flow of all the information required before getting to a final product. Leendert Dorst (Head Geodesy and Tides) followed with a discussion and presentation about a joint project between Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, in which one of our students was actually involved in the initiation phase.

Leendert also explained the work that is ongoing for the charts to base them all on LAT instead of MLLWS. He concluded with an overall interest in the UNCLOS treaty and the determination and delimination of the Maritime boundaries and the determination of the original baseline. KLTZ Jan Appelman (Head Planning, Operations and Metoc) concluded the day discussing what is actually involved with the general planning of the operations and joint working forces, He also shed some light on the typical military aspects and applications of Survey.

26th February 2009 – Data Processing & ROTV – Noordhoek Offshore BV.

Paul van Waalwijk van Doorn organised another excellent workshop about Data Processing and ROTV. In Zierikzee, where Noordhoek Offshore BV is based. Paul presented and discussed the importance of quality control, data quality, data continuity, processing experience and data integrity.In the workshop real project examples were used and discussed, highlighting the fact that the overall data integration is only possible if each and every component is properly checked, calibrated, interfaced and QC’d. At the end of the day Paul provided a tour in the workshop facilities showing Noordhoek’s ROTV, test basin, diving equipment and other equipment.

19th February 2009 – Project Planning – DEEP BV .

This workshop for the Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course is every time organized in Amsterdam. Gert-Jan Siepel discusses some of the typical DEEP projects and survey equipment involved. After about ½ hour the overall group split in for smaller groups to work on an assignment about project planning. First the students are required to ascertain if the information provided by the client is actually sufficient to base their quotation on. Questions like: is all information available, what kind of accuracy is required, what is the purpose of the survey, what are the expected survey methods to be used raise its head and are discussed in the smaller groups. After a general group discussion, Q&A and answers the groups now use the up to date information as a starting point to base their quotations on. Further discussions follow about Planning, preparations, Weather, mobilizations etc. The workshops concludes with a discussion about the different quotations .

10th February 2009 – Multibeam Echosounder workshop – Reson.

Ellen Stuifbergen and Nico van Woerkom explained the various principles of Single- and Multi-beam systems. By using both theories and real data examples from the RESON systems they explained the students the similarities and the differences of the two measurement techniques. Detail samples of data were shown to provide more insight into why, where and how the information acquired from single- or multibeam systems is used. By using the PDS2000 s/w Ellen explained the important issues in both data acquisition and processing of multibeam data. With the use of a recently completed project where RESON supplied all hydrographic equipment the students were shown what a complete and complex single-/ multibeam/ multipurpose survey spread should comprise and the possible problems / challenges one may face during installation. The workshop ended with a tour through the RESON workshop with water testing units and after that the students discussed their survey backgrounds and exchanged their experiences whilst enjoying RESON’s complimentary drinks and snacks ( Bitterballs ).

10th February 20009 – Hypack Exhibition in Hoofddorp (NL) – Nautikaris

This show was organized by Nautikaris BV who represent “HYpack” software. Pat Sanders showed the audience in 3 days the latest developments of their software packages. A special training dvd was provided for our CAT B students. The exhibition was well attended with 60 delegates of the Faroe Island, Denmark, Romania, Poland, Greece and various Belgium -and Dutch operators. A short presentation by Johan Stam explained our training services more in depth after he was specially introduced by Rob Karis, Director of Nautikaris BV.

3th February 2009 – Delfland Dredging and reclamation area along the Dutch Coast – VanOord & Boskalis.

The Cat B class visited the site which is located to the west of Rotterdam. The project is an example of “Design & Construct” and involves an enlargement of the coastline. The joint venture partners Boskalis & Van Oord explained during the introduction of the project the survey procedures and chosen survey method. The insurvey was measured by “Fly Map” as they explained the set up of their profiles over a length of 15 kilometres. Two survey vessels were visited which are equipped with a single beam and the other with a multi-beam system. We all had a good discussion about the use of equipment as the survey needs to be executed in the open sea with a strong variation of tides. Also the reclamation area was visited as the bulldozers are using VSR ( Virtual Reference Solution ) “QPoS” system to push the sand at the right location and height. A great day to cover “Coastal Zone Module” for all the students.

2nd February 2009 – Meteorology – MeteoConsult

Meteo Consult hosted the Hydrographic survey Category “B” class for the morning workshop about Meteorology, weather forecasting, routing and planning. The group showed a great interest in various presentations and aspects of prediction short and long term weather forecasts. A practical exercise about wind direction and speed concluded the workshop.

2nd February 2009 – Subbottom Profiling – Stema Surveys BV.

For the first time the Cat B class have paid a visit to Stema Survey. They are specialized in the combining Hydrographic techniques with subbottom profiling and bottom characterisation. Stema operates and develops equipment for these purposes : Rheo Tune in-situ density and yield-strength probe and the Silas high resolution seismic data-acquisition and processing system see their website www.stema-survey.com. The presentation focussed on assessing the thickness of fluid mud for nautical purposes. A combination of stationary in-situ probing ( Rheo Tune ) and free sailing survey provides a cost efficient method for nautical depth management in area’s with high siltation rates. The students experienced the operational system at their visit to Port of Rotterdam last week, where it is in use on a regular basis in combination with their MBES survey vessels. The 1200 gr/l depth layer could be addressed nearly real-time and sediment characteristics mapped. The nautical depth assessment was explained and shown on examples of various surveys by their Geophysicist. Finally some examples of the Silas system were shown. The combination with echosounders, profilers, boomers or sparkers creates a wide band of deployment, ranginging from object detection, geotechnical site investigation to siltation monitoring. In a visit to the workshops the working method of the Rheo Tune was demonstrated. A representatives of the “Hydrographic Department of Suriname” confirmed that they were also using the Silas system in their delta areas.

Acergy & Skilltrade – Graduate Training Course – Survey Theory and Software – Rotterdam, Holland.

Today 5 graduates from Acergy, a seabed-to-surface engineering and construction contractor for the offshore oil and gas industry, completed their Survey Theory and Software Course. The bespoke Course, provided by Skilltrade and EIVA, is part of the extensive Acergy graduate Training Program with which Acergy attracts more and more people from within and from outside the industry. The 5 graduates completed a 3-week program in which they covered the very basics of survey and electronics, detailed survey theory, online EIVA software and the ins and outs of Survey, ROV and Pipeline operations.

12th January 2009 - start 5th Class International - Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course

Class size is kept small in order to provide students with the maximum amount of personal attention, both in the classroom and in the field. Studenst come from a variety of backgrounds from both the private and public sectors from countries within the E.U. and abroad.

September Deepwater Asia Pacific presentation in Guanzghou, China.

By invitation Johan Stam presented a paper on “New techniques in Training” to the attendants of the conference, as simulation is becoming more and more the issue for training. Johan explained the IHO programme in detail along with more practical training with latest technologies, cooperation with various suppliers and market developments. Particular attention was given to Skilltrade’s ROV course as the oil industry is moving fast into deeper waters. China will have the first deepwater drilling program starting in 2009 and results are very positive about gas field development. The presentation was well-received by the international audience, many of which were leading Chinese companies. We hope that our training programme will also soon gain recognition in this part of the world.

24 September Reson workshop Single& Multi-beam techniques

Ellen Stuifbergen and Natasja Verboom explained the various principles of Single- and Multi-beam systems. By using both theory and real data examples from the RESON systems they explained the students the similarities and the differences of the two measurement techniques. Detail samples of data were shown to provide more insight into why, where and how the information acquired from single- or multibeam systems is used. By using the PDS2000 s/w Ellen explained important issues in both data acquisition and processing of multibeam data. With the use of a recently completed project where RESON supplied all hydrographic equipment the students were shown what a complete and complex single-/ multibeam/ multipurpose survey spread should comprise and the possible problems / challenges one may face during installation. The workshop ended with a tour through the RESON workshop and after that the students discussed their survey backgrounds and exchanged their experiences whilst enjoying RESON’s complimentary drinks and snacks.


16 September To Ketelmeer – dredging practical exercise

This dredging project includes hydrographic survey operations for backhaw and cutter dredger operations which have to dredge with high accuracy in layers of polluted soil. In the morning Chief Surveyor Michel Preng of Boskalis explained what the Surveyors task was for this project. He explained the importance of dredging operations, soil investigations, set up of survey systems, volume calculations, tides, dump areas, safety and reporting. In the afternoon the group was split in two for data collection on board the survey vessel and we were invited to visit the cutter dredger. In the office we had a good discussion about various processing techniques. This project is coming to an end by the end of this year and we appreciate Boskalis and van Oord for their hospitality.

15 September To MeteoConsult – Practical Exercise

This day we visited Meteo Consult in Wageningen. A very interesting day with explanation about the weather forecast for the offshore industry and in particular vessel operations; tying with nautical science subject. Predictions for long term planning with waves & wind directions depending on your location of vessel operations. The day ended with a tour off the Meteo Consult premises - see www.weer.nl

9th September 2008 - Port & Harbour surveys - Port of Rotterdam

Today we visited the Port of Rotterdam. On the picture on the left you see Jeroen van Reenen together with the current group of students onboard the Surveyor 2. It was the first day away from the STC lecture building, finally getting some hands on experience and more practical information outside the classroom. Jeroen and Willem gave an excellent presentation about the requirements of Hydrographic Survey in a Port like Rotterdam. Inside was provided in the techniques used for the various types of surveys and interfacing with the Port dredging operations. To conclude the afternoon the students sailed with the Surveyor 2 to do some really Multibeam survey work. In the picture in the middle you see a Multibeam coverage screen shot as provided by the QPS software.

25th August 2008 - start 4th Class International - Hydrographic Survey Category `B` Course

Early July we were very proud to issue our press release in which we informed the world that the Skilltrade-STC Category `B` course in Practical Hydrography was no officially recognised by the IHO-FIG-ICA, set up according to the FIG/IHO/ICA standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors, 9th edition (2007).

And today the fourth course in Practical Hydrography started with participants from the following companies - VanOord, Rijkswaterstaat, AGIP KOCH, GTEC, UTEC and Global Marine.Some company already registration their personnel already for the 4th or 3rd time. Today the students started with the Basic subjects covering the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Meteorology and Oceanology by the following lecturers - Piet Pols, Jaap Mooij and Mr van Dam.


Press release 15 july 2008. Both Skilltrade B.V. and STC B.V. are proud to mention that their jointly launched Hydrographic surveying Course Category B – is recognized by IHO–FIG-ICA International Advisory Board.

NETHERLANDS 15 JULY 2008 : Skilltrade BV, established in 2000, specializes in hydrographic training and programs for the hydrographic survey, dredging and offshore construction industries.

STC B.V. is a full subsidiary of the STC-Group and offers standardized and tailor-made courses as well as consultancy and applied research on a wide range of subjects. The staff consists of 500 people with extensive international experience in the shipping, logistics or port related industry.

Skilltrade and STC B.V. jointly launched this new Hydrographic Surveying Course.

The comprehensive “Category B Course in Practical Hydrography” curriculum was submitted to all 10 members of the IHO-FIG-ICA International Advisory Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors ( IAB) in April 2008 for review. Skilltrade and STC B.V. jointly received notification of recognition for the submitted course curriculum. The letter of the Chairman Mr Gordon J. Johnston stated : The Board reviewed the course material supplied and the subsequent clarifications and information provided and is pleased to confirm recognition of the “Category B Course in practical Hydorgraphy”.

The course curriculum consists of four Competence Modules: Module 1 is a single week Basic Safety Course; Module 2 consists of a 3 week full-time course “Basic Subjects”, designed to bring candidates up to speed where necessary in core areas such as mathematics, statistics, physics, nautical science and ICT (Information and Communication Technology); Module 3 consists of a 9 week full-time course “Essential Subjects” designed to provide students with all the professional competencies required for the hydrographic surveyor, as defined by ‘IHO-FIG-ICA Class B’ standards, such as bathymetry, water levels and flow, positioning, hydrographic practice, hydrographic data management, environmental science and legal aspects; Module 4 concludes the course curriculum with 4 weeks of on-site training, either with the student’s employer or with one of the Skilltrade partner survey companies.

All lectures are developed and taught by specialized field professionals. In addition to classroom instruction there are guest lectures & workshops from various collaborating survey companies & survey departments by way of presentations, site visits and equipment support for practical training in preparation of the survey project and final report.

The first course was already well attended as were the second and third courses. Most students passed their final examinations to the full satisfaction of the examiners and are now working toward diploma status which will be granted after two years of practical field experience. The 3 week Basic Course is taught in cooperation with STC B.V. based in Rotterdam, using their state-of-the-art maritime education facilities. Staff from the STC maritime education program mans the vessel used for the survey project at the end of the curriculum.

A committee consisting of both members from the STC B.V. as well as those qualified to assess hydrographic competency based on their experience in the industry, evaluate the entry-level competency for the course curriculum. Students may receive exemption or may be required to complete additional courses in order to qualify for entry to the course.

A full IHO-FIG-ICA diploma can only be achieved after completing and submitting logbooks detailing the students practical experience over a period of 24 months approximately depending their previous background.

The next “Category B Course in Practical Hydrography” courses will start on the 25th of August 2008 with another following on the 12th of January 2009.

Both Skilltrade and STC B.V. are pleased with the ‘Class B’ recognition status as it is their combined mission to open the door to those seeking to obtain certified practical training in the field of hydrographic surveying.

Skilltrade and STC B.V. take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the development and critical evaluation of the course. The recognition of the course curriculum by the high standards of the International Hydrographic Organization is an outstanding example of productive cooperation between education and industry.

11th and 12th June 2008 - Introduction Hydrography course - Aberdeen

We were very pleased with all the participants for the course which we organised at the ASSET premises, Minto Avenue, Altens in Aberdeen. Excellent facilities topped up with the equipment support from SEATRONICS in Aberdeen, nothing beats the real stuff. By being able to show equipment while explaining it and its usage it adds value to the understanding of the subject. Participants came from companies like Acergy, Andrews surveys, GEMS, NCS Surveys, Seatronics, Shell, Sonsub, Seatronics and Trident Offshore. The variety of backgrounds from the participants, ranging from GIS analyst, engineer, online surveyor, HR recruitment to navigation engineer plus the varied years of experience was a good basis for discussions and point of view.

Skilltrade and GlobalEnglish Agreement – 12th May 2008

We are pleased to provide a link on the website to GlobalEnglish.

GlobalEnglish is the leader in on-demand assessment, learning, and support for business English communication. We teach people business English so companies can do global business. For more information, please visit http://www.globalenglish.com

We are pleased to recommend GlobalEnglish which is also an excellent tool for those looking to improve their English competency prior to attending the IHO “B” Course.

21 April 2008 ROV course Grade II in Mexico

In cooperation with Fidena ( education division of “Secretaria de communicaciones y transportes for ports and merchant marine) we will run the ROV Grade II course in Ciudad del Carmen. The course will take place at the new “DP Centre” of Fidena and runs for 3 weeks. Applicants can be registered through info@skilltrade.nl

4th April 2008 Presentation certificates 3rd Class International

Today is the final day of the 3rd class international from the IHO “B” course to present the certificates to the candidates. Maarten-Jan Theijs evaluated all students and complemented them personally about the results of their practical tasks in the last week. The two teams showed a good cooperation and achieved a satisfying result in their final report. A special gift was handed over to Ibrahim Mohamed of the Nile River Authorities of Egypt for his general efforts and for Ben Brookes and Jeff Oblina of Van Oord who achieved the highest average marks. The director of STC BV complimented all students with their eforts before the ceremony. We also emphasize that the STC organisation did a good job by supporting the planning perfectly as no time was lost during the whole course. We thank the teachers for all of their dedication and all the companies who supported the class with their practical exercises, workshops and hospitality. All students were relieved as can be seen on their faces of Ben Brookes, Mohamed Abdelwahab Abdelrazek Elshewaikh, Ibrahim Mohamed Abdelmagid Gad, Tarek Salaheldin Aly Halowa, Bert Kulk, Jeff Oblina, Wim Roelse and Gareth Owen Roberts. On the same picture Maarten-Jan Theijs, Edwin Schepers, STC teacher Jaap Mooij and our new STC course coordinator and marketing manager Gert Jan Wiegman. We look forward to start our 4th Class International on the 25th of August for the Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Course. Registration has already started.

15 – 17 March Oceanlogy 2008

Picture of STC BV ; Edwin Schepers & Albert Bos and Skilltrade BV; Maarten-Jan Theijs & Johan Stam managers as they both were proud to present their latest developments on the IHO “B” course. Skilltrade shared their stand with the “Dutch Ocean Group” as we present the industry our cooperation of various Dutch companies ( see www.dutchoceangroup.nl) We had a great international interest and we welcomed many new people of various directions of our industry in Ports, Oil & Gas, Dredging and Hydrographic Survey related managers. The last day we had some interesting contacts with various students who seems very interested in our curriculum and practical approach.

March 2008. Skilltrade at OI08 and GetEnergy exhibitions

Skilltrade will exhibit during "Oceanlogy 2008" at the "Dutch Ocean Group" stand 850 and will provide latest information on "New Courses" in Australia, Mexico, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. For more information please visit our website. Skilltrade will exhibit with Tritanium at "GetEnergy" in London 26 to 28th of March. The "Learning Area" is for "HR Managers" and is the only Global Education and Training event for upstream oil and gas. See www.getenergyevent.com/getenergy_2008_london/London_2008_programme

14th of March 2008

After a successful ROV Grade II course all applicants received a Skilltrade certificate in Abu Dhabi. We thank “Global Training Safety Centre” for all their support and we were pleased to run for the first time the ROV course in the Middle East. The next course is scheduled for May 24th also in Abu Dhabi which have still some open places. We are pleased with the interest of various operators in this region.

26th & 27th February 2008 – Introduction Hydrography course - Noordhoek Offshore

This Quarter Noordhoek Offshore will host the two-day “Introduction to Hydrography” course. Noordhoek Offshore recently equipped their new vessel with Panther ROV’s. Skilltrade will also run ROV courses in January and February for Noordhoek Offshore BV.

24th February - First ROV Course Grade II in Abu Dhabi

We are pleased to start the first ROV Grade II Course in Abu Dhabi. The course has started at GTSC "Safety Centre" in Abu Dhabi who host our course as supported the maritime aspects of the curriculum. The course is scheduled for 3 weeks. In the planning we have booked in May the second course which is now open to register. We are pleased with the various positive responses during the present course and bookings for the next ROV course in May.

5th February 2008 - Workshop “Tasks of a Dredging Surveyor" - Boskalis, Ketelmeer project

Boskalis hostest the IHO B group for a full day. The introduction started by Mr. Michel Preng about the task of a “Dredging Hydrographic Surveyor”.Mr. Preng explained the dredging project in detail as the accuracy for dredging and survey is within 5 centimetres. Dredging material was investigated to be polluted and needs to be dredged carefully by a “Special Cutterdredger” with assistance of a “Back Hoe”.
Dredging material is stored a special created storage.The group was split up in two as one collected the data and the other processed the previous data of that morning. All various steps was explained on board the survey vessel and in the processing room. We thank Boskalis to host the group and support during our visit.

4th February 2008- "Weather Routing” - Meteo Consult

Weather Routing explanation at “Meteo Consult” in Wageningen. Weather information was explained during a full day. The IHO B class started to learn basic information about weather, current directions, waves and how the data is explained to the client.
At the North Sea data could be changing rapidly and various clients are using “Meteo Consult” data for rigmoves and other survey operations.We also had a presentation about saving fuel as “Meteo Consult” assist their clients with their “SPOS” software ( www.meteogroup.com ).At the end of all sessions we had a tour through the building as they support various radio and television stations also with weather information.

1st February 2008 - Exercise Practical Measurements

Practical exercise along guay side of STC building in Rotterdam. Explanation of tides and velocity measurements.
After the measurements all data was executed in the class-room and compared as the group was split up in two tasks.

29th January 2008 - Port & Harbour surveys - Port of Rotterdam

Today we visited the Port of Rotterdam. At the left you see the current group of students. Some registered already as early as June last year, whereas others registered only in November, when their colleagues completed the previous course. We are pleased for all students to be in Holland with the course running in Rotterdam, the biggest port of the world. We are now in the 3rd week of the course, after completing the Basic subjects of Mathematic and Nautical Science, we are now getting more and more into the hydrographic side of things. Today we started with a general introduction to Hydrography in which we, amongst others, explained the various topics to be covered and some of the industries hydrographic surveyors work in. Saipem provided an excellent DVD about the Bluestream project in which hydrographic Survey for a pipelay project was explained. The DVD also showed the S7000 in its full capacity, which we later saw in the harbour.
The Port of Rotterdam provided the students with an excellent afternoon about Survey in Ports, Multibeam and many many other things. We visited the dredging desk from which the Port of Rotterdam keeps track of its dredgers, survey areas and amount of dredged material. The students were really impressed with the amount of technology used, the general Multibeam work, the tidal effects 30km down form the sea and the explanations form one of our previous students. On top of all of this the students were split into two groups. Each group sailed with one of the Port of Rotterdam's survey vessels and performed a small Multibeam survey

24th Januari - ROV Grade II course at Noordhoek Offshore BV

The following reference was received from Noordhoek Offshore BV: "Mr. Arie Goedknegt from Skilltrade B.V. has provided the course ROV Pilot/Technician Grade II in the period from the 14th January until the first of February.

Our employees are very satisfied with the structure and the contents of the training. Even our most experienced ROV pilots were enthusiastic and told that they have learned a lot of this training. That means that this training is from a very good level.

Our company will use the experience of Skilltrade B.V. in the future."

Courses for Allseas

ROV IMCA "Grade II" course

We are pleased to announce that the first group of ten selected, Filipino ROV Pilots have successfully completed the Grade II course for Allseas. The training was provided by Skilltrade at the Maritime Academy of Asian Pacific (MAAP) in the Philippines where Skilltrade was permitted use of their facilities including classrooms, computers and accommodation for the students. The Filipino subsea personnel, on long term contract to Allseas, are recruited by Multiplan / MRA. Multiplan / MRA are the co-coordinators for all logistics such as :recruitment, safety training and pre-employment medical before students start the ROV course. The course contents follow the IMCA guidelines. All students are logged in by Skilltrade into Skills XP (for future internal references), allowing us to follow-up their competence levels. Skilltrades' flexibility, market driven initiative and international network have resulted in a first major and internationally recognized increase in young and competent subsea personnel.

Survey Engineer IMCA "Grade II" course

Allseas also requested Skilltrade to train a selection of Filipino subsea personnel for a Survey Engineer course also according to "IMCA " guidelines. The course was run in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with equipment purchased by Allseas for their Survey vessels. STC ( Shipping Transport College) provided the practical Electronic Workshop and Maritime modules, while Skilltrade provided all other modules. Additional support was provided by Seatronics, Aberdeen for Acoustics , Veripos for GPS equipment and Reson BV for the "Multibeam” equipment. Skilltrade was able to provide a comprehensive course which was completed in three weeks. The lessons in the first two weeks were divided into morning (theory)- and afternoon ( practical) sessions dealing with all user related aspects of the equipment to be utilized. The third week was used to mobilize a vessel for practical tests and measurements. Allseas have scheduled all trainees to join their vessels soon.

14th January 2008 – Start 3rd class international - IHO class “B” Course

The third IHO course will start on January 14th at STC in Rotterdam. Participating survey departments include Rijkswaterstaat, van Oord Dredging, Global Marine Systems Ltd and the River Transport Authority of Egypt. We are pleased that Meteo Consult has agreed to present a one-day lecture on February 4th 2008. The topic of the lecture will complement the ‘Weather Routing’ and ‘Planning Your Projects Offshore’ sections of the curriculum. For more information see www.meteoconsult.nl Port of Rotterdam, Boskalis, Reson, DEEP and VanOord have agreed to run practical training and workshops for the next courses. They will host the new group on a dredging project south of Rotterdam (Hollands Diep) during which various survey techniques will be demonstrated.

13th December 2007 - Evaluation of the IHO B Course in Utrecht.

On December 13th Skilltrade teaching staff spent the day evaluating the IHO B courses. Students of both courses were asked to evaluate all aspects of the curriculum including course content and teaching staff. Although the student evaluations were positive there is always room for improvement. All comments and recommendations were discussed and assessed and the curriculum adjusted where relevant. Everyone involved is excited about the improvements to the program and look forward to the new season in 2008. Thanks go to our hosts TNO for providing an excellent venue for the day.

16th November 2007 – 2nd class international - Hydrographic Surveyor Course completed

All students were pleased that the Second Course was completed and that they could relax. The practical week and some re-exams have taken most of the students energy however most of them were pleased with the result. The “Final Report” of the practical survey was well documented and all students really did an excellent job. The Course Coordinator, Maarten Jan Theijs, made a speech for each student and a special attention for Andrew of Global Marine System Ltd. Andrew was awarded with the best list of results with he thank all teachers and other delegates of STC and Skilltrade.

7th November 2007 - VanOord workshop

An excellent day for future hydrographic surveyors as this opportunity, a visit to the survey workshop of one the world's biggest dredging companies, was provided to us. Survey equipment identification and selection is one part of the surveyor's job, and what else is involved with proper equipment preparation's maintenance and tracking became clear to the students today. Systems, databases, scanner, warehouse lay-out and correct paperwork also forms part of the job. Today showed how important it is to set up and test your survey equipment before it is send to the job. The students exercise was to set up, interface and test a survey system. An exercise to interface equipment & configure computers, think about drivers, settings and cabling for equipment like, DGPS, LRK, Echosounder, Gyro, Computers and Tidal recorder.


22nd October 2007 - workshop Hydrographic Service of the Royal Netherlands Navy

Today's workshop about navigation, military aspects of hydrographic surveying, tides, geodesy and UNCLOS maritime boundaries. The day started with a description by the Hydrographic Services of the tasks and responsibilities of its various departments: Planning, Geodesy & Tides, Technical & Developments & Production. Not only did we observe the actual plotting of navigational charts but we were also provided with a test demonstration of a new product called "Digiplot". Another presentation was about the production of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC’s), which are produced in compliance with the S-57 format of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) and meet all SOLAS requirements.

Next “Introduction to Hydrography “Course in Den Helder at Bluestream office

This quarter we are pleased that Bluestream is hosting the “Introduction to Hydrography” Course on 22 & 23 November in Den Helder. Mr. Michel Hebert and Gerrit-Jan Kranenburg of Bluestream have expressed an interest in this course as well as ROV Sensor and Project Management Courses in the first quarter of 2008. We welcome new attendees who are active direct or indirectly in the Hydrography industry. Please contact Johan Stam for more information.

19th October 2007 - GPS hands-on

After all the theory of the last weeks it was time for the students to do some practical work themselves. Geometius BV (www.geometius.nl) kindly lent us five GIS / Mapping type dGPS receivers (GeoXT and GeoXH) as well as an accompanying instructor; Marcel Jansen. The first hours were spent in the classroom where Marcel taught the students the basics of the receiver and software. Then the class went outside where, in groups of two, they were assigned a number of practical exercises.


From the assignments the students learnt the do's and don'ts of GPS surveying onshore. For example they learnt what the effect of shading the horizon has on the quality of the GPS position. In the afternoon the students prepared a project entailing the creation of a data dictionary, the actual data collection of part of the Rotterdam harbour and the processing of the data

11th October 2007- workshop Data processing & ROTV - Noordhoek Offshore

After today's exams about tides, water levels, currents and waves plus legal aspects we drove to Zierikzee in the south west of Holland to visit Noordhoek Offshore. Paul van Waalwijk van Doorn had arranged two workshops for the day: "data processing" and "ROTV". After a general presentation, from David, about the company the students split into two groups for the workshops. The frist group went to the workshop where they saw Noordhoek's new ROTV. Proper explanations about the ROTV set-up, interfacing and the equipment involved plus possible installed survey sensors proved the survey capabilities of the ROTV. Later on, in the test basin, we observed two divers involve din training exercises. The processing workshop discussed the various software packages used from Qinsy to VisualSoft, each with its own applications. Most interesting part was first about the processing of all individual sensors and subsequently bringing all the data together. Comparing and interpreting bathy, SSS and video information, thus comparing similar data sets from the different survey sensors.

October 2007 - new lecturers

This course we have the pleasure of introducing a couple of new lecturers, each with their own field of expertise. First and foremost we are very pleased with the addition of Mr van Dam to our team. Other new lecturers are Ben de Ridder (www.cybenny.nl) who lectures on ICT and Sicco Kamminga (www.qmetrix.nl) who lecturers on currents and waves. For those outside the Netherlands, who are not familiar with his name, Mr van Dam was the initiator, course leader and hydrographic survey subject lecturer of the Hydrography Survey class " A" course in Amsterdam, for which he was responsible from 1982 onwards. The practical joke amongst the Dutch surveyors was that he actually trained and instructed all Ducth Hydrographic Surveyors up to his own retirement a couple of years ago. Mr van Dam currently lecturers the subject of the Tides ad he subscribes to the practical methods of our particular hydrographic survey course.

26th September 2007 - workshop Multibeam - Reson

Being in the 4th week of the course we visited Reson in their Rotterdam offices. Starting with the history of multibeam survey equipment the students found out that only since the late eighties / early nineties multibeam echo sounders became available to the survey industry. Reson multibeam applications range from a kind of underwater radar to identify and track moving targets to marine research and hydrographic survey applications. Multibeams available can take depth measurements from 0.5m to 12kilometers, the applications of the newly introduced Reson7000 series were disclosed and the students were introduced to acoustic noise, range settings, filtering and other sensors required for a proper multibeam survey. An interesting discussion followed after Reson presented a project that had been awarded to them in which they had to supply every piece of equipment. This ranged from GPS, computers, sound velocity meters, Pitch&Roll sensors, echo sounders, survey room lay-out, interfacing to PDS2000 survey software etc etc Thus once more creating awareness to the students of what is actually all involved for a proper survey set up. Last but not least we saw data from the new 7125 MBES and equipment in the workshop.

19th September 2007 - workshop Survey and Harbours/Ports - Port of Rotterdam

Nothing beats the hands on experience and the Port of Rotterdam invited us for a workshop about the hydrographic survey responsibilities of the hydrographic department of the Port of Rotterdam PoR). We were welcomed with a presentation about the various tasks of this survey department, like actual water level measurements, tidal information, currents, wave heights, density and salinity measurements. What followed were two workshops about the PoR activities and its dredging desk & an actual multibeam survey. Most impressive were the two brand new survey vessels the PoR took delivery of in April and June this year. The way the survey room was set up was well thought over and the QPS survey software exposed the students to yet again another way of collecting and presenting data. During the survey we sailed past AllSeas new pipe lay vessel the "Audacia", allowing us a close up look of its design and stinger.

18th September 2007 - workshop dredging - VanOord - project in IJmuiden

How can you get students interested in surveying and the dredging Industry? VanOord just did that by organising a workshop on an actual project site. The students were welcomed by the project surveyor and the VanOord survey Manager in IJmuiden. After a comprehensive introduction about VanOord, its projects, its fleet of dredgers and the works of a surveyor in the dredging industry the first coffee break was a combined with some practical comprehension of RTK DGPS. After the break a complete explanation followed of the IJmuiden project and the works of the hydrographic surveyor from planning, collecting data, processing to charting and providing the dredger with the required information in time. Lunch was followed by a trip to the cutter dredger, "AEGIR", where the students were welcomed by the captain and her crew. The group was split in two and one half of the students received a tour and explanation of the cutter dredger by the captain while the other half went onboard the survey launch for a TS-dip and a multibeam survey with the project surveyor. In the afternoon the students could see first-hand how the cutter dredger operates and how the mud/sand is transported by pipeline towards the barges. While sailing back to the project office, passing the Pontra Maris and the HAM601, the day was concluded with explanation of the projects these vessels are involved in.

3rd September 2007 - start 2nd class International - Hydrographic Surveyor Class "B" course

The second Hydrographic Surveyor Class "B" course has started at the STC in Rotterdam. We are pleased to ammounce that 10 students have registered from the following countries: The Netherlands, Engeland, Kazachstan, India and Trinidad & Tobogo. The students did start with Module-2, that covers all basic comptencies like Mathematics, Physics, ICT and Nautical Science. On the 24th September the students will continue with Module-3, which covers all the essential subjects as laid out by the IHO. In their 3rd week the students will have their first exams and also particpate in fieldwork involving a dredging project about multibeam survey, landsurvey and visit and operational dredger.

30th & 31st August 2007 - Introduction Hydrography Course

For the fourth time this year an introduction Hydrography course was organised at the STC in Rotterdam. Almost ten candidates participated from the following companies: Atlis BV, Loodswezen, Reson BV, SeaBed BV andSeaway Heavy Lifting. The candidates work as engineer, managing director, pilot, database expert, support engineer, marketing manager, operations manager or proposal manager. This plus the variety of backgrounds of the participants resulted in a sound two days of presentations, discussions, hydrohraphic understanding together with sharing of opinions, knowledge and experiences.

22nd June 2007 - Dutch Ocean Group visit by Singapore delegation

On 15 June 2007 Professor Tan Soon Keat and Dr. Xiao Zhangmin from Nayang Technological University and Miss Lee Yuashan and Mr. Ng Yi Han from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore visited the Rijkswaterstaat Multi Purpose Vessel ARCA. They were welcomed by Dr. Cees Laban and Mr. Frans van Dongen, chairman and secretary of the Dutch Ocean Group. Mr. Geert Mosterdijk demonstrated the SeaDarQ Oil Spill Detection System. Mr Johan Stam discussed the training and education services provided by Skilltrade Training

20th June 2007 - 1day Bathymetry course

GeoGraf organised a week long course for RXT personnel and requested Skilltrade to provide the input for the last day. Earlier this year, in March, GeoGraf organised the first such a course and Skilltrade also provided the contents for the 1-day Bathymetry. As a result of the first course GeoGraf and Skilltrade discussed what was provided, how it was presented, what was expected and what was required in more depth. This resulted in the material for the 2nd such a course. In order to go forward GeoGraf and Skilltrade see this as a natural progression of what is required and it is Skilltrade's experience that, most of the time, after two courses all requirements will be part of the course.

16th June 2007 - MS Research Golf Tournament

Skilltrade supports the MS Research Foundation and on this day Skilltrade made a donation to the foundation and participated in the 2007 Voorschoten Golf Open.
8 team members tackled the course which was set up in the beautifull town of Voorschoten in Holland. Greens were laid out on the existing golf course, parks, farmland and around some of the ponds in Voorschoten. Many lost balls, some rainy weather and an excellent organisation and good cause contributed to a entertaining day.

26th - 30th March 2007 - Practical Survey Project

For the practical survey project the students were handed the task to perform a survey with a survey launch in the Rotterdam harbour right opposite the STC college. In the middle of the -nieuwe maas- a site, 500 by 300m, had to be surveyed and charted. Equipment was provided by DEEP, Reson and VanOord.

The students had to plan, mobilise, install, interface, calibrate all equipment, cabling, sensors and computers from scratch. After calibrations and checks the vessel was accepted by the client and the survey commenced, thus requiring good survey, nautical, communications and helmsman skills from all the students.

After demobilising the survey launch and returning all equipment to its respective suppliers the students processed the data using Qinsy software and produced a comprehensive project report containing: Survey specifications, project preparation, safety and regulation, equipment, mobilisation, calibrations, data collection, survey plan and control, data acquisition, processing with daily logs, survey set up, appendixes plus charts and volume calculations.

The project brought together all theoretical and practical knowledge gained in the previous 11 weeks. It was a real test to see how it all came together as setting up and interfacing in real time is something completely different from discussing it in a lecture. The students did an excellent job. The students input, communications and organisation is something they can be proud of. Without doubt we will contract again the 1st class international (survey company: SeaWatcher) for such a survey project

27th & 28th March 2007 - Ocean Business Southampton

The exhibition provided a good platform for the latest developments in our Hydrography Survey industry. With over 160 stands , presentations, demonstrations of equipment and well organized social parties we were pleased to explain our company and training objectives. Maarten-Jan Theijs teaches in an afternoon over 16 interested people from different parts of the world.Johan Stam presented a lecture about the different Skilltrade survey modules and the Class B Hydrographic Survey course which has been submitted to the IHO and should be recognized in June by the IHO / FIG /ICA committee in Hamburg. The hydrographic survey course is a practical course and contains 9 or 11 or 12 weeks of education depending on the students background and experience. With a great interest in our practical Class -B- IHO hydrographic survey course program, various survey modules and stand we were pleased to have attended the Oceans Offshore Business 2007 show

14th March 2007 - Visit to the Dutch Navy - Hydrographic Department

After a word of welcome from Dutch Navy Commander Captain de Haan of the Royal Dutch Navy Hydrographic Service were given a presentation on their activities in Dutch and Caribbean waters. Mr. Jan Schaap talked about the organisation of the Hydrographic Department and Mr. Marco Kwanten explained in detail the tides and boundaries. Mr. J. Appelman told us about their two new survey vessels and their tasks for the year. He explained what you can do with a Class B diploma and available trainee places. A tour along the various departments provided a very interesting overview of their tasks, responsibilities and new developments. A perfect combination of translating knowledge into practical training.

9th March 2007 - TNO

On the 14th Feb, Reson arranged a lecture from & visit to their company in Rotterdam. Many thanks for making this possible goes to Ellen Stuifbergen, Nico van Woerkom and Bas Moerman. Reson started with a presentation about the company, their products, product development and some projects. A lecture followed about multibeam echosounders, the usage of software, configuration of survey sensors and some equipment of the Reson product range were on display. Digital terrain models (DTM) of multibeam echousounder data was shown, edited and displayed with the help of Reson's software package, PDS2000. It was interesting to hear and understand the reasons behind the use of the back scatter of a Side Scan Sonar or a Multibeam. Dr Van Heteren explained a lot about sand wave migration, sediment composition, sediment transport, seabed mobility and the impact the weather can have on the data that is collected. Dr Laban concluded the day by lecturing about the various sampling techniques and the importance of knowing at which depth or in which sediment type you will take your sample and so choosing your equipment.

6th March 2007 - DEEP

A visit to Amsterdam, which started by arriving at DEEPS office in the North of Amsterdam. Gert-Jan Siepel, Willem Knoops en Dieuwertje Smallenburg made this all possible. We started the afternoon with a tour of the company and a presentation about DEEP and the variety of projects the company is involved in around the world. Diewertje and Willem had compiled a case study about an actual project. This required the students to put all their knowledge together and put on some differents hats for organising, technical equipment specifications, ascertain requirements and planning. The case study was well received and allowed the students to look from different perspective at a complete hydrography project.

14th February 2007 - Reson

On the 14th Feb, Reson arranged a lecture from & visit to their company in Rotterdam. Many thanks for making this possible goes to Ellen Stuifbergen, Nico van Woerkom and Bas Moerman. Reson started with a presentation about the company, their products, product development and some projects. A lecture followed about multibeam echosounders, the usage of software, configuration of survey sensors and some equipment of the Reson product range were on display. Digital terrain models (DTM) of multibeam echousounder data was shown, edited and displayed with the help of Reson's software package, PDS2000.

7th February 2007 - Port of Rotterdam

A visit to the Port of Rotterdam, responsible for the waterways of the entire Rotterdam harbour was made possible with the help of Arie Noordijk, Herman Meijer, Jeroen van Reenen and Willem Snoek. A full explanation about the organisation, port maintenance, dredging, disposal, surveying, data processing, charting, tides, currents and waves. The lecture wasa followed by some actual survey work and data collecting onboard one of the survey vessels. The Port of Rotterdam measures in waterdepths ranging from 6-34m and takes out about 20M cubic meters of mud. The frequency of surveys of particular areas in the Port of Rotterdam ranges from once every 3weeks to only once a year. Thr Port of Rotterdam has set up its own GPS RTK reference system. We ended with an interesting question about depth and density and how it is measured.

6th February 2007 - AllSeas

We would like to thank AllSeas and in particular Dick Hendriks, Rein de Vries, Captain: Carlo Floor and Remon Geeven for our visit to the anchor lay barge the Tog Mor. We started with an introduction to AllSeas and the type of work, projects and surveys the company is involved with. A more detailed explanation of hydrographic surveys, equipment and software followed. After more discussions on the bridge about the survey work area and anchor lay pattern we received an in depth tour of the Tog Mor by the Captain. He showed showed us the ins and outs and peculiars of a anchor lay-barge. Finishing off the morning with an excellent lunch.

22nd January 2007 - IHO Class B course has started at STC, Rotterdam

IHO Class B course has started at STC, Rotterdam After the 2-3 week nautical module, encompassing all basic competencies of the hydrographic surveyor course we will start 5th of February with the -Hydrographic Survey- curriculum. (Module-3) We are pleased to welcome 9 applicants.

November 2006 - Hydro Antwerp

Steve Ritchie is impressed with the "Handbook Offshore Surveying" of Skilltrade and take a good look.

October 2006 - 5-day Offshore Construction Surveyor course (SK-OFF)

Some companies prefer to run a survey module with a particular subject. We have trained the Saipem AGIP KCO, Kazachstan survey team for the Skilltrade module Offshore Construction Surveyor- at the STC premises in Rotterdam. All applicants received the -Skilltrade handbook personally-.

Start Hydrographic Survey Category “B”. Still some vacancies left !!!

We are please since January 2007 that we run the 10th CAT B course. With 10 applicants we are pleased to see
previous clients coming back such as Global Marine System Ltd, van Oord, RWS Limburg and the Swedish Administration
Also the first candidate from Sakhalin Energy, Russia. For the first four weeks we welcome Brian Smith of Ireland ,
who worked before as Skipper on various hydrographic survey projects.  We are pleased with the interest and
we do have still two places available for late decision makers.

28 & 29 August - Aberdeen - 2day Introduction Hydrographyy course

10 days to go before we start with our next Introduction Hydrography Course in Aberdeen. The Olympics are over, the summer holidays are almost over and it is back to work. An interesting Course to allow you to better undertsand the work offshore, understand the basics involved with Hydrography and appreciate the work of a Hydrographic Surveyor (online and offline).

We still have some places left, send your interest to info@skilltrade.nl

After the course the picture below will suddenly make much more sense


10th & 11th Class International

3 days to go before we start with our 11th Hydrographic Survey Category "B" course. wbIMG 3088

(On the right, one of our students visiting the International Court of Justice in The Hague). We have had people from many different countries on our course but this is once more going to be a special one. 12 people from 10 different countries a diverse cultural mix of nationalities, backgrounds and experiences. We wish them all the best, good travels and welcome them on Monday

Below our students from the 10th Class, who completed all their exams in April, went back to work and have started filling out their logbooks. We wish them all the best and we trust they will keep up the good work and spirit.

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Introduction Hydrography Course in The Netherlands


10 December we had the pleasure of welcoming 6 participants at our office for the two day course Introduction Hydrography. Participants from various companies: Boskalis, Primo Marine, MG3 Belgium BVBA, Koninklijke Marine and BAM. The next Introduction Hydrography will be held in Aberdeen on 13-14 January 2015.

Skilltrade end of year evaluation

During the end of year evaluation with our instructors we introduced our Submission to the IHO for continued recognition as IHO/FIG/ICA Class B Hydrographic Survey course for the next 6 years. The future course will take 6 months in total and consist of three separate blocks. The first block is a 13 weeks e-learning program and must be completed before start of the second block of in-classroom lectures. The second block is a 13-week interactive course in Ijmuiden encompasses all the supervised theoretical and practical aspects of hydrographic surveying. The third block is a traineeship / practical experience. During this period the students are supervised by their own peers and are required to send in regular logbooks. All attendees agreed that students will benefit from our e-learning approach. Students will be better prepared. We will also have a better understanding of their level due our control and support during the 13 weeks e-learning program.

All 2014 students noted our positive support and interesting curriculum. This feedback was well received by our instructors.

We discussed the registration for the upcoming classes, 16th and 17th class. We hope that the last open seats will be filled soon, as a full class is good everybody.

Skilltrade invited all attendees for dinner to continue the discussions.

We wish you a happy holiday season and much success in 2015.


Introduction Hydrography Courses (2-days)

Over the past months we have organised many Introduction Hydrography Courses. A lot of interest from companies and people in Holland and Great Britain allowed us to organise these 2-day courses in Rotterdam & Aberdeen and even some company specific ones.

We were pleasantly surprised with the interest and especially the vivid participation form all. People with a background in Environmental, Acoustics, Dredging, Electronics, Fishing, Sailing, Landsurvey, Mechanical Engineering, the Forces, Geography, Mapping, software development, Sales, Marketing, Physics, Archaeology and Civil Engineering participate din teh course. It shows that the course applies to a wide variety of interest and allows all to gain the baisc knowledge and information of all that is involved with Hydrographic Survey. Making them aware of the work of a Hydrographic surveyor and appreciate it.

Companies that registered for the course include: Fugro, Niebeek Engineering, Visser Smit Hanab, NIOZ, RESON, RaS, Seatronics, Intermoor, Sonsub, NCS, Oceanfix, Subsea7, SAIPEM, Ashtead, DAMEN, GeoCon, Structon and MacArtney.

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Starting 22 August 2011 - Hydrographic Survey “B” Course – 9th Class International – Rotterdam

We still have some vacancies for this course commencing on 22 August 2011 at STC in Rotterdam.

Apart from new clients we are now attracting individuals who are interested in working in our hydrographic survey industry. They all realize that with a stronger back ground they are more vulnerable to the maritime and offshore industry. We still have some vacancies for 2 applicants even at this short notice to have a full group during the workshops visits and practical tasks. Visit our website or contacted us by info@skilltrade.nl

End of 15th Cat B course ceremony

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After some very busy weeks we were pleased to celebrate the end of the 15th CAT B class. After the practical days, processing and reporting all students were relieved to hand over their final report for evaluation. A tradition with cake and speeches, certificate and/or results for each student. Former Cat B student Michiel Hut had completed his logbook. We are proud of this achievement and he received his IHO Diploma from Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk. Each class ends in a pleasant atmosphere; the students have gotten to know each other. This class has mastered teamwork especially.2014112820141128 2

8th February 2011 - the Hydrographic Survey Course visited RESON BV

During this day we got a presentation with the work and products of Reson and an insight into the work done by the Netherland office. The presentation of course consisted of the Reson range of Multibeam Echo Sounders but also of their other products. We were presented with a good general description of MBES and the surrounding equipment. The Netherland office is responsible for the development of the software PDS2000 which integrates Multibeam with all the sensors needed and possibly a few more. The most fashionable feature in the survey business at the moment seems to be integration of laser scanning with MBES bathymetry. We were shown and explained very nice examples of these features integrated in PDS2000. After the presentation we had a trip through the service department where Reson B.V. still do a lot of work on positioning systems and on old Side Scan Systems. Additional information: Reson has about 130 employees whereof 27 works in the Netherlands.

On-the-job training in Uruguay


In Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, 4 ANP (Administration National Puerto) hydrographic surveyors, 4 dredge controllers and their chef received a 5 day. Theory and practical hydrographic subjects were taught by our trainer, Axel de Meijer. The training resulted in advanced knowledge and skills together with a fully calibrated Survey vessel. The training was organized by IHC to obtain a higher level of dredge an dredge maintenance level.

1 February 2011 - Aberdeen visit

We travelled to Aberdeen to hand deliver the first sets of the 2nd release of our Handbook of Offshore Surveying (Vol-1, vol-2 and Vol-3) to Nautronix, CDL, MDL and Seatronics. All of these companies did contribute to our Handbook in one way or the other.
We thank them all for their support and suggest to visit : www.skilltradebookstore.nl to order your own copy.

Introduction Hydrography Course in The Netherlands

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28 October we welcomed 10 participants at our office in Voorschoten, The Netherlands, for the two day course Introduction Hydrography. An interesting group from various companies: F.L. Liebregts BV, Teledyne Reson, Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment), QPS and Royal Netherlands Navy.

The next Introduction Hydrography will be held 9 and 10 December 2014 in The Netherlands. In January 2015 there will be another Introduction course in Aberdeen, UK.

28 January 2011 - Skilltrade: Hydrographic Survey Course – Rotterdam

Today our students had to put into practice some of their skills required for positioning, tides, planning and working together. They were provided with a sextant, tripod, leveller, paper, tide gauges and various other bits and pieces of equipment. Two groups were formed and each group had to plan their combined exercise of installing a tide gauge, deriving positions and getting familiar with new equipment. Most students had used some of the available equipment before, others had had no exposure to land survey equipment or a sextant at all. All in all a long day with some sunshine, lots of wind and a challenging exercise.

Visit representative United Arab Emirates embassy

We were honoured with the visit of Mr. Mohamed Alnuaimi, deputy military attaché in Germany and The Netherlands for the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. He met all students from the United Arab Emirates and we showed him around at our Maritime College.

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We also attended the present 15th class during ICT networking session. Finally we visited the accommodation where the UAE families are residing. The visit provided him more background information about our Hydrographic Survey Category B course and our environment.

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Handbooks of Offshore Surveying in 3 Volumes

If you are interested in reference and background material regarding Hydrographic Survey, basic knowledge on Geodesy, Tides, Underwater Acoustics and Positioning or just want to find out more about the industry, equipment used and how it all works together.

These are the books you should buy. Over 3000 copies sold to companies, individuals from all around the world around the world. Used in approximately 20 different educational instutes lecturing in Hydrography, Civil Engineering, Dredging, Geophysics, Landsurvey

Hydrographic Surveyors, Geophysicists, Survey Engineers, ROV pilots, Geodesists, Captains, Project Managers, Geologists and Land Surveyors have written this Three Volume Handbook. All examples detailed in the Handbook are derived from situations encountered in their years offshore and onshore around the world. WE also like to thank the various companies for their input.

The 3 Volumes comprise of:

Volume I Projects, Preparation & Processing
Volume II Positioning & Tides
Volume III Acquisition Sensors

For more information of the contents and sales, please visit our bookstore: www.skilltradebookstore.nl

Workshops 15th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

After the Basic Subjects we are rolling into the Hydrographic Survey lectures and workshops.

The Port of Rotterdam workshop was well received. First went on board the survey vessel. Followed by a detailed presentation by Mr Jeroen van Reenen (Asset Manager Hydro-Meteo), about the survey installation, processing on board and coordination of their survey department.

Beschrijving: foto POR

The first practise was to establish a “Tide Gauge” close the Maritime Nova College institute.

The class was split up in two groups with each having a different task like levelling a known point across.


At Stema Survey we were welcomed by Mark Pronk and Koen Werner.

The students learned more about floating mud and as what do you measure as seabed.

Test shown the floating mud in practise and their Silas systems.

18 January 2011 - Introduction Hydrography Course – Rotterdam

xiv.On these two days Jelle Roders provided our Intro Hydro course for a group of participants from mainly Visser & Smit Hanab. Participants from one or two other companies joined the course and provided an excellent basis for the various discussions during these two days. The course topics range from general topics like Projects, Preparations & Processing to Positioning, geodesy, tides and GPS. Multibeam and Side Scan Sonar.

15th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

8 September was the first lecture day in Ijmuiden for the 15th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course. We are pleased to welcome again some regular clients such as Nigerian Port Authority and Van Oord. We also welcomed students of new clients like UK Great Yarmouth Port Company, UAE Royal Marine Services, Military Survey Department of the G.H.Q. of Armed Force and the Department of Transport. Again an interesting group of students. We trust they will finish this course with good results. This group started under the supervision of course coordinator Guus Verhagen.
Registration is open for the 16th course starting 19 January 2015, we already received some interest and intend to close registration end of October. 

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16 January 2011 - Visit to the Middle East

Our travels to the Middle East started with visiting the Port of Dammam. We were welcomed by the Chief Hydrographer and enjoyed an interesting tour through the harbour. This was especially interesting for Johan, as he was involved with the construction of the south breakwater in the seventies. Our travels continued with an interesting discussing with Saudi Aramco in Ras Tanura further travels in Saudi Arabia and a final visit to the Hydrographic Survey Department of Bahrain.

Geodesy e-earning module also released and open for registration

We are pleased to confirm the availability of our second e-learning module Geodesy. For more information, please visit http://www.skilltrade.nl/e-learning.

The module, completed in cooperation with the university of Wyoming, is set up with 10 different subjects. We offer a studyguide, queries and support on the provided material via email. Every module comprises questions and tasks that are to be carried out by the student. The results will be analysed and  will be communicated with the student.

This e-learning module will become a part of our curriculum for the Hydrographic Survey Category B course in 2015. Prior to the 12 weeks course in IJmuiden, students will be offered five e-learning courses. Next to Geodesy students will receive the following e-learning modules: Mathematics, Physics, Bathymetry and Global Satellite Navigation Systems (currently under development).

Should you need more information, feel free to contact us info@skilltrade.nl

11 January 2011 - Cultural Communications – Rotterdam

For the 4th year we take part in the course STC has set up for VanOord.

We provide a 2day course on Cultures and Communications to the international dredging crew for VanOord.

The course is set up to provide the participants with background information on the various ways and manners of communications plus some insight into the similarities and differences of the various nationalities onboard.

Introduction Hydrography Courses in UK and Nigeria

3 and 4 September we have held the 2-day Introduction course in Aberdeen. Skilltrade instructor Axel de Meijer had the pleasure of training staff of Sonardyne, Subsea 7, NCS, Forum, Nautech and Specialist Subsea Services Ltd. 

Beschrijving: intro 2

That same day started another introduction course, this one at the Geoinformatics Laboratory of National Inland Waterways Authority, in Lokoja, Nigeria. We are pleasantly surprised with the interest for our Introduction Course in Nigeria. Former Cat B student, now Skilltrade instructor, Charles Ugwuadu welcomed 10 participants to our first Introduction Hydrography in Nigeria. Should you wish to contact Charles, please send an e-mail info@skilltrade.nl.


10 January 2011 - start Hydrographic Survey Course – 8th Class International - Rotterdam

Today we started with the 8th Class of our Hydrographic Survey Category “B” course.
We noticed, with our full class, that companies and survey divisions have put training back on the top of their list and finding qualified personnel is an issue. We welcome our participants form Global Marine Systems, RWS North and first time participants from Geo Plus and Boskalis and Osiris Projects UK with two candidates with an “Oceanographic” back ground. Last but not least the “Swedish Maritime Administration” with four candidates who already had four very successful candidates in 2009. Braveheart Shipping decided to send two candidates for the first four weeks of “Basics” as they need them to return to their projects at the Maasvlakte 2.

Progress for 15th Hydrographic Survey Category B class – starting 8th of September 2014

We are pleased with the interest for the next 12 week course. Students will receive access to our e-learning platform, module Bathymetry, Mathematics and Physics.This will allow the students to prepare themselves better. Currently this is voluntary, however we feel it might benefit the 15th Cat B student.The  e-learning modules received a great interest of our clients, also from various international education institutes.

It is Skilltrade's intention to keep the curriculum 12 weeks, this way a foreign student is able to participate with 'short stay visa'.

This time we will welcome for the first time students from UAE, Saudi Arabia and Dubai Municipality. Currently we have at present 2 places left. Registration is also open for the 16th course starting January 2015.

CARIS conference, June 2014

We were pleased to attend the CARIS conference in Brest, France. CARIS hosted its 15th international user group conference, one of Europe's main centres of marine science and technology. The event was well organized, very interesting to hear the various speakers and over 160 international visitors. Our stand was well visited and various contacts were established. New contacts for our Hydrographic Survey Category 'B' Course and our new e-learning modules. In addition, we had the opportunity to introduce our Handbook of Offshore Surveying to this new audience.


On the picture Peter Schwarzberg, Caris Marine Solution Manager, and Johan Stam

April 2014 14th CAT B class: Hydrographic Survey Project

The 14th class was divided into two groups who worked out the instruction for the Hydrographic Survey project (3 days per team). A new location in Ijmuiden was found between the breakwaters, just behind the main sea entrance of Port of Amsterdam. The land-survey was executed in an earlier stage of the program so the vessel was located along the measured quay side. After the vessel was installed with equipment, the calibration was executed behind the sluices of Ijmuiden. Under supervision both teams did a perfect job and were positive to put finally their theoretical lesson in practise. The next day each team surveyed the required area and worked out all the data at their own class room at Maritime Nova College.

New: E-learning

From now on you can register for our new e-learning courses. We offer the following courses:
•    Bathymetry
•    Geodesy
For more information, please visit http://www.skilltrade.nl/e-learning.

Statements heard and noticed during Oceanlogy 2014

We noticed that more training managers have been visited our stand for an update in our courses and considering an upgrade for their personnel. We also welcomed more interest of HR Managers. We were also pleased to have previous CAT B students on our stand.

Our "E – Learning" module as the explanation in our set up was also well received as we support the applicant with his / her email questions as the option for tele-conference meetings and to close the module with an exam.

The introduction of Survey Engineer course was also well received and first course is scheduled in April 7 and second on 28th of April 2014.

We were also pleased with the interest for our 15th Hydrographic Survey Category B course starting in September 2014 and 16th CAT B class in January 2015.

More information about our planning – please visit our website or contact us at info@skilltrade.nl

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Visit of Bayanat discussing services of the Dutch Ocean Group


ex CAT B students of the Swedish Administration enjoy our Dutch lunch

Skilltrade at Oceanology International at Dutch Ocean Group Pavilion

In a few weeks, we are ready to welcome you at our booth at the world's largest exhibition for marine science and technology, OI14 from 11-13 March in ExCel, London. You will find our booth at the Dutch Ocean Group Pavilion. We are pleased to introduce our new products for e-learning. Our first module "Bathymetry" is ready to be launched. Further we can give you more information about our Hydrographic Survey Category B course at our new location in Ijmuiden and about our latest development for a 2 weeks Survey Engineer course for Hydrographic Surveyors in The Netherlands.

We look forward to seeing you at OI14 in London!

February 2014 Hydrographic Commission Conference

February 2014 Hydrographic Commission Conference 9 – 11 February Abu Dhabi

We are pleased to be invited to attend and speak at the ERSAHC 1 meeting. The meeting was well attended by various hydrographic departments in this region. We were pleased to present our Hydrographic Survey Category B program, which is presently running the 14th class. Bayanat and Port of Basra expressed their interest. At this meeting we also introduced the set-up of our upcoming e-learning modules. The event provided us more inside information of the development in this region. During that week we also attended the THS – UK Middle East  Hydrographic Society  meeting about IHO activities as presented by Mr. David Wyatt.

February 2014

February 2014 Hydrographic Commission Conference 9 – 11 February Abu Dhabi

We are pleased to be invited to attend and speak at the ERSAHC 1 meeting. The meeting was well attended by various hydrographic departments in this region. We were pleased to present our Hydrographic Survey Category B program, which is presently running the 14th class. Bayanat and Port of Basra expressed their interest. At this meeting we also introduced the set-up of our upcoming e-learning modules. The event provided us more inside information of the development in this region. During that week we also attended the THS – UK Middle East  Hydrographic Society  meeting about IHO activities as presented by Mr. David Wyatt.

31 January 2014

Introduction Hydrography Aberdeen

Our instructor Axel de Meijer was pleased to see the attendance of Seatronics ( 4 candidates), Kongsberg ( 2 candidates), one candidate of Nautech Services and one of Utec Surveys. Most candidates have an engineer’s background. Axel was pleased about the various open discussions.

Quote candidate of Nautech Services:“Hydrography Surveyors! Some of these boys ex army, young veterans, served in Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc. Great team!  it was a pleasure to spent two days in training with them.”
Please follow our website “planning” for the next courses.

31 january 2014

13 december 2013

The ceremony at the end of the 13th Hydrographic Survey Category B course had a nice closing by Ali Hadi, one of the Iraqi students. He thanked STC, Skilltrade and all teachers for their support. “The students of Port of Basra have learned much more than they expected, as they have visited various companies and institutes to obtain a much better idea about Hydrography. Personally I have enjoyed the practical project very much and again we all appreciated the patience and support of all involved in the 13th CAT B Course.” Nice words of a student in his speech during the certificate ceremony.

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The group showed their certificate and certificates of attendance.
Johan thanks Captain Mohammed

The coordinator Captain Mohammed Al-Anbagi emphasizes in his speech the importance of hydrography. He thanked all who have supported the first group of Iraqi members of their survey department. Skilltrade presented to Captain Mohammed a letter of appreciation as he has supported the group with his assistance during their stay in Rotterdam.

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Nico Bier, 13th CAT B Course coordinator, explained on the 12th of December 2014 the procedures and guide lines of the logbook. After 2 years of logging their experiences then the student will obtain the IHO “Hydrographic Survey Category “B” Diploma.  Nico Bier will coordinate all correspondence regarding this logbook. According to IMCA then the Hydrographic Surveyor is also qualified as Grade I Surveyor according to the IMCA competence scheme. Their employer will issue their own logbook for future upgrades. 

November 8, 2013

As part of the Hydrographic Survey Category B Course we visited a dredging project of van Oord in Rotterdam. The Van Oord Project Surveyor Bart Offringa explained in his presentation, that the Amazone haven has to be widened because of the growing size of the Container vessels. Therefore the old quay wall had to be demolished and removed, while a new quay wall was constructed further inland.
After the presentation we walked over the new quay wall to look at a wide variety of dredging equipment and we visited the multibeam survey vessel, while we made a tour through the harbour.

13th class amazone haven

October 2013 Start of 13th Hydrographic Survey Category B

The 13th class has started 23 September at STC in Rotterdam with again some new relations. For the first time we welcome a delegation of 6 students of the Port authorities of Basra, Iraq. We are also pleased to welcome students from the Nigerian Port Authorities, Nigerian Federal Civil Service and a representative Horizon Surveys. Due to some re-exams some previous students have joined and will join the present class. We trust they will finish this course with good results.


On this picture is our Mathematics and Tides teacher Mr Van Dam, the STC coordinator Mr Gert-Jan Wiegman, and Skilltrade coordinator Mr Nico Bier.

August 2013: course Morphology & Hydrodynamics, Processing and Reporting

Two week course Morphology & Hydrodynamics, Processing and Reporting. This course is lectured for Nigerian Port Authority and coordinated by Cees Laban, Marine Sampling Holland and Skilltrade BV. In cooperation with Dutch Ocean Group we lectured several subjects to highlight the theoretical and practical aspects to the six applicants. We would like to thank the cooperation of Port of Amsterdam, Deltares, Nautikaris, Nortek BV, Wiertsema & Partners, Radak, Maris, Jelle Roders and Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk from Skilltrade BV.

13th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course starting 23rd of September

STC and Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey Category B course is open to registration for the 23rd class. The start date is on Monday 9th of September at Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam. We already received an international interest of new clients which are presently busy to obtain their visa. We are pleased to welcome again some regular customers such as Nigerian Port Authority. There are still vacancies for last minute decision makers. For more information please reply to info@skilltrade.nl. It is possible to attend some subjects on a daily bases however this needs to be confirmed an advance – contact jstam@skilltrade.nl.

21 March 2013: visit Hydrographic Bureau in The Hague

cat b 12 th class at royal hydr serviceOn behalf of the Hydrographer of the navy (Captain Peter Kortenoeven), Lieutenant Commander  Theo Hamburger of the Royal Netherlands Navy Hydrographic service welcomed the “Cat B 12th class” at the Hydrographic Bureau in Den Haag in the Netherlands.

After a short introduction movie, covering the Hydrographic service, we were  presented with various presentations covering Hydrographic re-survey schedules, Military Surveys in Senegal and Somalia , Survey Data Production in relation to Electronic Nautical Charts and the subject Maritime Boundaries & Limits. The last subject was well discussed as this is one of the next exams.

We thank Lieutenant Willem van der Plas for the whole coordination of this interesting afternoon.

January 2013 Start of "12th Hydrographic Survey Category "B

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The 12th class has started at STC in Rotterdam with again some new relations.We welcome Peter Durkin of Port of London and Danny Swain from USA as new comers. Eduardo Santos of Q Sea BV will attend the course for the 4 weeks  "Basics"as he wanted to improve his background as processor. We are pleased to welcome also Tjerk Bouma from van Oord, Christian Larsson & Robert Rosendahl and Markus Friding from the Swedish Maritime Authority and Jarkko Moberg of Meritaito from Finland.  It is an interesting group with all a different background. 

A special word of thanks is for Mr. Aad van Dam who is lecturing for the last time this class in Mathematics and Tides and welcome also Mr Fred Kuiperij of STC who is taking over his task for Mathematics. 

For the next 13th Hydrographic Survey Category "B" registration is open starting 9th of September. 

September 2012 - Practical & World Port Days

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Today our first pratical day outside taking measurements with sextants and levelling coincided with the World Port Days.  With the exerices the students had to tackle the problem of positioning themselves using sextants and various known points together with setting up a tidal location and levlling from a known benchmark. All in all an exercise challenging their reading and working together on this truly beautiful day with lots of sunshine.

The World Port Days, a 3-day annual event organised by the Port of Rotterdam. A large variety of port companies gave a glimpse behind the scenes of their daily operations. In the city centre along the river Maas and quaysides you could find a wide range of companies, vessels, activities and industrial material. Apart from this the World Port Days offered the opportunity to visit different companies by boat, bus or train. The excursions are truly one of a kind; usually you’ll never be given the chance to visit the Port’s industrial areas like this.

Some students and lecturers took time to joing the days and visited the vessel and enjoyed the events, music and food.

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11th Class International - Hydrographic Survey Category "B" Course

wb-IMG 4201We have started our 11th Class International and we welcome our students to the city of Rotterdam and especially our STC lecture building at the Lloydstraat. For some it was harder to get here than others, but you are all here. Talking about travelling and the challenges faced by some, they have travelled far with origins ranging from Mozambique to Latvia and Nigeria to Australia.

The first three weeks with subjects like Mathematics, Physics and Nautical Science were hard, as it is always difficult to get back to school, not having to work 12hrs a day on some kind of project somewhere in the world. Taking all your time to study and getting to know each other. The first exam was last week and now studying hard for the next two exams

Here you all are, just arrived with the water taxi next to the Hotel New York at the Wilhelminakade. Hotel New York used to be the main office of the Holland America Line (HAL). The place where passengers embarked on their journey to the United States

Many thanks to the Port of Rotterdam, especially Jereon van Reenen, for hosting our first workshop, Jeroen provided us with some valuable information and knowledge about Hydrography and Ports, density measurements, MBES surveys and of course planning, coverage and overlap. We all enjoyed it very much, especially the sailing with the Port's vessel "Surveyor 1"

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