Julie Dehne graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2006. During her undergraduate studies, she developed an appreciation for technical innovation and design while interning for a professional IndyCar racing team. She was recruited by Shell and joined the VIV suppression small business group as a project manager for deepwater offshore equipment. She was promoted to the role of account executive in 2009 after demonstrating a passion for combining both customer satisfaction and engineering excellence. Julie later served as a Deals Advisor for the Americas region at Shell, supporting the advancement of multi-million dollar projects in the US, Canada, and Mexico. In 2010, Julie joined VIV Solutions as the company’s Business Development Manager where she oversaw customer relations, tender requests, and sales & marketing activities. She was promoted to the role of Director in early 2017 with the added responsibilities of championing strategic corporate objectives, leading digital marketing efforts, implementing a detailed vendor management system, and piloting a new corporate compliance program. Julie holds over a dozen patents and continues to demonstrate enthusiasm for applying both technical and commercial expertise to each new endeavor.
1. What is your role at VIV Solutions?
I currently serve as the organization’s Director of Business Development. Most of my energy is focused on sales and marketing activities (particularly in the digital realm) but I also enjoy working alongside my technical colleagues to develop new products and solutions for our clients.
2. How did you become interested in VIV research?
I actually joined Shell right out of college with limited knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Within a few months, I was sent offshore to witness the installation of suppression equipment our team had been tasked with designing and manufacturing. I quickly developed an appreciation for the complexity of these unique deepwater projects. Interestingly, the challenges of working offshore closely mirrored those I experienced during my previous internships with an auto-racing team—critical time constraints and limited resources onsite. VIV research and development was a perfect match for me.
3. What credentials do you have that make you an ideal fit for the company?
Each day brings a new challenge where I can balance my technical and commercial skills. Working in a small business requires me to be flexible, quick-to-learn, and capable of juggling many activities concurrently.
4. What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
I’m very keen on our latest generation of Tail Fairings. They are used on deepwater drilling rigs to combat strong currents. After analyzing feedback from our clients, we found that the single biggest improvement we could make to the product would be a reduction in installation time. The newest FlexLock™ Tail Fairing is nearly an order of magnitude faster than the original full fairing design.
5. What has been your favorite project thus far?
Our team pioneered the use of fairings on s-lay vessels. It’s an amazing technology that we implemented for a client in the Gulf of Mexico on multiple risers. We designed a method for keeping the tails pinned upward during installation as they pass over the stinger to prevent damage to the roller boxes. The project was a huge success.
6. What are the values that drive you?
I strive to go above and beyond to meet my clients’ needs, so I would say that exceeding expectations is a key value for me. Thorough planning, excellent communication, and an organized and efficient work style are all contributing factors. I want people to feel as though no other provider could come close to matching my dedication for achieving the desired objective. Maintaining this positive reputation, both personally and professionally, lays a strong foundation for building upon existing relationships and also establishing new ones.
7. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I love working with repeat customers. Their vote of confidence is a true testament to the way we do business. It is very rewarding to develop a rapport with someone who appreciates the extra attention to detail and value added by our team of competent engineers.
8. What makes VIV Solutions stand out from the competition?
VIV Solutions’ technical expertise really sets us apart from other suppression providers. Our engineers truly understand how our products perform in the field which allows us to optimize a design for a given application. We’ve invested significant time and effort into understanding things like hydrodynamic behavior, cyclical fatigue, loading conditions, preferred materials, etc. A great deal of engineering goes into each helical strake and fairing that we build.
9. What kind of VIV developments would you like to see for the offshore industry in the future?
Asset integrity is becoming a hot topic for existing deepwater facilities. Risers and pipelines nearing the end of their original design life are being considered for extended service. Since suppression devices play a critical role in minimizing fatigue damage, it is important to understand how well these devices are performing long-term. Not all strakes and fairings are created equal, which is why we dedicate additional effort up front into properly designing our products.
10. What is an interesting fact about you?
I love dogs! We have a golden retriever named Indy and have fostered dozens of others through local rescue groups. I volunteered as an intake coordinator for Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston and served on the board of directors. We are looking forward to adding another four-legged member to our family this spring when my son receives a service dog.