Wikipedia defines a skunkworks project as….
‘a project developed by a small and loosely structured group of people who research and develop a project primarily for the sake of radical innovation.’
The term originated in the aviation industry with the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks.
The team here, Malin Skunks, are a small salt water version of the originals and undertake concentrated, well planned internal “investigations” on ideas that appear, on the face of it, to have a reasonable prospect of longer term success.
In doing so the team identify ideas that may have potential – and rule out those that do not.
In short, it is a team enabled to move beyond improvement and innovation to inventiveness; it is a focus on inventiveness, the space to think beyond boundaries that disrupts the market, revolutionises practises and creates new technologies.
Our mission is to further knowledge and practises within the marine and ocean engineering sector through the investigation of novel ideas, to measurable impact on an industry wide scale.
Given the focus on inventiveness and loonshots, our scope of work by its nature is unrestricted – however a selection of projects the team undertakes may include:
- Generation of 3D models and animations to support concept development
- Production of prototypes via 3D printing technology and model making
- Design of novel structures
- Investigate the use of new or alternative materials
- Design of mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems
- Design and implementation of control systems
- Development of new business tools and processes that have the potential to radically alter and improve how we and others work
- Develop and leverage Intellectual Property
While these projects are predominantly internal, we do on occasion undertake studies for clients. Part of our mission is the sharing of knowledge and ideas with the wider marine community. Ideas that while they may not be right for us to pursue, may form the basis of a solution for others and so we will share thoughts, ideas and new processes in case they spark something with others.
Our team consists of a group of experienced, yet diversely skilled individuals, spanning different technical, non-technical, sectoral and professional backgrounds. Skills displayed include CAD and 3D modelling, engineering, marketing and a firm grasp of the importance of economics and market research.
Chief Technical Officer
Jim is the Chief Technical Officer for the Malin Group and leads the Malin Skunks team. He is an experienced degree qualified mechanical engineer with more than 40 years’ experience across a range of industries and sectors including consultancy, automotive, food manufacturing, power generation and maritime with a focus on new product development and introduction. Jim joined the Malin Group in 2016 as Chief Technical Officer for Ballast Water Containers and has since worked on a wide range of design and manufacturing projects for our commercial and defence clients.
3D CAD/Modelling Engineer
Fergus is responsible for the 3D CAD modelling and visualisation within the Skunks team. His previous experience is working in the product design industry where he worked predominantly in the FMCG market. He graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a master’s degree in product engineering design in 2015. Since then Fergus has worked for multiple design firms where he has delivered on a variety of projects developing and creating associated materials for intellectual property and international patents.