The world's oldest and largest professional harbour masters association has announced a new president from Forth Ports and its first woman leader.
The UK Harbour Masters Association (UKHMA) has welcomed Forth Ports' senior harbour master Ashley Nicholson as its new president. She was previously the UKHMA's vice president and president-elect of the organisation which has almost 500 professional and commercial harbour master members.
Ms Nicholson has worked for Forth Ports for nearly 12 years starting her career with the port group in 2008 as VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) Operator. She joined Forth Ports after graduating from Strathclyde University with a BSc in Nautical Science in 2007 and a brief spell at sea with Saga Cruises.
Ms Nicholson was one of the initial group of harbour masters in the United Kingdom to achieve the MCA Acknowledged Harbour Masters Certificate of Competency. She is also part of the certificate management group who continue to support this industry's lead qualification.
Of her appointment Ms Nicholson said: 'I look forward to my time as President of the UKHMA and will strive to continue the excellent work of my predecessors in representing the Harbour Masters of the UK and shall promote, encourage and grow the association whilst continuing to provide a valuable return to the UKHMA membership and the Harbour Mastering community in general.'
Ms Nicholson has held her present role of senior harbour master since 2017 and currently manages all the Ports on the River Forth, now focusing on the Ports of Grangemouth, Rosyth, Kirkcaldy & Burntisland.
The prestigious Scottish Engineering / Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow Award is also among her gongs for the role she played in managing the marine operations during the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing in the River Forth. More recently she also received the Women in Industry award for the first time at the CeeD (Centre for Engineering Education and Development) Industry Awards 2020 for her continued efforts to drive the change required to ensure a more gender diverse workforce within the maritime sector.
Ms Nicholson succeeds out going Association president Julian Seaman (Harbour Master /Marine Director Shoreham Port) on 10 June.