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Interview with David J. Keats - underwater welding expert

UCi How would you describe yourself in three words?
Honest, hardworking and reliable.

UCi What was your first job in your chosen field?
I served my time as a welder with a structural engineering company.

UCi What does it take to be successful in your industrty?
No surprises here -lots and lots of hard work, determination and perseverance, and of course ability.
UCi Which person do you most admire in your industry? It's a long time since I have given any thought to this kind of question. As a very young man I would have to say Jacque Cousteau certainly opened my eyes to a world of diving. But thinking about such a question today, I would have to say people who make a contribution to industry through personal achievement, which benefits all.

UCi What has been the most embarrassing moment in your career so far?
To be honest, I'm not sure I've had one. The nearest thing I can think of would be when I've made a presentation or speech and my mind has gone com­pletely blank.

UCi What is the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
This is not always possible, but given the chance I'm in the workshops getting my hands dirty.

Weld expert David Keats, owner of Yorkshire, UK-based Speciality Enterprises (T/A Weldcraftpro), likes nothing better than to get his hands dirty and says there's no substitute for hard work, perseverance and ability.

UCi What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
That's easy, travelling and meeting other professional people with as much enthusiasm as me in providing a quality product or service for the welding/diving industry.

UCi And what do you least enjoy doing?
Accounts, legal matters and general admin.

UCi Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
I guess I'm lucky, as I feel have achieved all my early goals in life.


Career path -David Keats
2002 Put MBO to MOS and set up Speciality Welds
1999 Joined the MOS Group as MD of Speciality Welds Ltd
1995 Freelance consultant
1988 MD of Hydromech Technical Services Ltd
1983 Offshore welder diver
1975 Welder and NDT inspector

The last personal goal is to follow through for my Chartered Engineer. I passed my professional interview and was accepted as a Sen.M.Weld.I. nearly 10 years ago, but never got round to fully completing the job for CEng. After that, I will continue to develop the business and its products and services. Within the next five to 10 years I would like to see my Weldcraft­Pro welder-training programme adopted for all diver training ­we have made an excellent start, but still have more to do.