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Darren Coombe

Darren started his career in 1999 working as an apprentice at Bewick Hydraulics before moving onto Corus steelworks as UK and Europe Fluid Power Engineer managing high capital upgrades and refurbishments . In 2010 with the industry downturn he made a move into the offshore and subsea industry with SMD.

Darren has a keen emphasis on designing equipment to be simple to operate for the end user. During his 12 years with SMD he was instrumental in LARS and subsea equipment design including DeepDigIt one of the largest trenchers ever built. Darren has the enviable skill of making hydraulic design from concept to implementation look simple.

When Darren is not working he can be found with his faithful spaniel walking the NE beaches.

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Michael van Zwanenberg

Michael spent his childhood on a farm repairing machines big and small. Now a Chartered Engineer he brings 17 years of experience working on offshore equipment both above and below the waves.

Previously he’s worked for IHC designing ploughs and lay equipment and then subsequently SMD as Principal Deck Engineer and Product Lead on the Curvetech subsea component range. Michael has extensive experience in bespoke design of specialist machines from concept to putting to work.

Michael enjoys an outdoor led lifestyle however lately his expanding family has taken a toll on the more adventurous outdoor pursuits. If he’s lucky you might find him out on his bike exploring the local woods.


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Richard Purdy

Richard is a time served Mechanical Engineer and has been designing subsea vehicles and LARS equipment since graduating from Harper Adams Agricultural college 17 years ago. He’s an active and diligent listener ensuring that client briefs are fully understood before starting on the work-scope.

Richard has extensive experience in designing and optimising subsea vehicles and their ground engagement components for best performance.  With several world firsts for vehicle design, Richard is known for his capability in innovation whilst maintaining the de-facto requirements of reliability, simplicity and maintainability.

When not in the office you’re likely to find Richard trekking the heather of Northumberland with his cocker spaniel.


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Stephen Dixon

Stephen started his career working in complex process plants and then moved into the offshore sector in 2008. Since then, he’s been involved in the design of a wide variety of offshore equipment ranging from subsea trenching vehicles, launch and recovery solutions and cable and pipe lay equipment.

Stephen approaches system design from an operators view-point with safety and maintainability of systems as an over-riding priority, ensuring the final design remains practicable in operation. He’s had experience working on the majority of the market leading PLC and SCADA systems available. Well known for his agreeable nature and adaptability he’s been a pivotal member of commissioning teams in-field getting equipment up and running smoothly for the first time.

At heart Stephen is a family man and often found at various North East sporting venues supporting his 2 sons and daughter in their amateur rugby aspirations.

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DME Systems Ltd
1 Garwood Street
South Shields
NE33 5AG

T: 0191 429 7900