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Safety and security, from the military to BP: Dennis’ story

Published:
16 April 2020
For Dennis, his time as a Marine was an invaluable experience that instilled leadership, the ability to delegate, self-discipline and drive – skills he credits to achieving success in his career today

A lifelong learner with an aptitude for technology and electronics from an early age, Dennis Brewer is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who combines lessons from the military, higher education and his previous career to make his mark at BP.

Dennis Brewer began his military career at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego; also known as “Hollywood Marines” because of its California location. His initial assignment was performing electronic repairs on an air defense system called Tactical Air Operations Center. Following the escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf in 1990, Dennis and his unit were amongst the first to be deployed as part of Operation Desert Shield during the first Gulf War. 

 

For Dennis, his time as a Marine was an invaluable experience that instilled leadership, the ability to delegate, self-discipline and drive – skills he credits to achieving success in his career today. 

 

When the time came to choose between reenlistment or separation from the military, Dennis decided to pursue a new mission – this time in the classroom, where he earned an electrical engineering degree as well as his MBA. He then embarked on what he describes as a “rollercoaster career” in the telecom industry.

 

After several years, Dennis knew it was time for a change. His time serving in the Marines prepared him to easily adapt to evolving situations and take control of his career – something he says BP and the military have in common. Jumping headfirst into the energy industry, Dennis joined BP in 2011 as an operations integrity consultant and now leads a team of 26 that oversees field telecommunication engineering.

What I like best about working in the energy sector is the diversity.

"What I do within this field is related to physical security, meaning I deal with radars that help prevent collisions in platforms, cyber security of networks, and communication through radios to helicopters and boats. The energy industry is very broad, with a wide variety of systems we get to work on. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the latest advanced technologies, which can be very exciting,” says Dennis, who also recently received his master’s in cyber security from the University of San Diego.

 

Safety and security front and center

 

As a telecom engineer at BP, Dennis leverages his military and previous career experiences to oversee the engineering and maintenance of radar systems, CCTV security systems, alarm systems, fiber optic networks, LTE and other wireless technologies for BP – vital infrastructure that ensures the safety of the company’s people and assets. 

 

Dennis also works alongside BP’s security teams who handle physical security as well. This includes intrusion and perimeter detection using cameras, fiber optics, microwaves and biometrics to help keep BP’s facilities and operations safe.  

 

One interesting project he worked on was designing security for block valves along a pipeline in Turkey, to support perimeter defense systems at adjoining facilities, refineries and pipelines. 

Working with the physical security team to help our operations stay safe felt similar to my time in the military, so it was an experience I was already prepared and equipped for.

Feeling supported, and supporting others in the workplace

 

As a veteran, Dennis knows firsthand the support system that comes with the military service. He is able to connect with other veterans, reservists and military family members as well as their supporters at BP through the company’s veterans business resource group, “BP Veterans.” 

 

Joining BP Veterans was the first time in his career that Dennis experienced a true employee network dedicated to supporting veterans in the workplace. Dennis plays an active role in the group on a day-to-day basis, and during two events that engage employees across BP by serving as the leader of BP’s Memorial Day ceremony and emcee of the Veterans Day program in Houston. He served in a leadership role in 2018 and was named the BP Veterans co-lead for the Houston chapter in 2019. 

 

“BP Veterans business resource group is something I had never witnessed at any other place I’d worked. Veterans bring a camaraderie to the team since there is a common background that we share from the services, and I appreciated the opportunity to build relationships and network with other veterans at BP.” 

 

Dennis also values the many training opportunities available at BP and feels supported through the combination of on-the-job training, mentoring and formal classroom training: 

BP genuinely cares and caters towards veterans in ways that I personally haven’t seen elsewhere.

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