Permanent professionals and international volunteers
Our core team
Captain, scientist (FR)
Born in 1986 in France, raised close to the harbour of La Rochelle; defended his PhD thesis on Arctic permafrost carbon at the University of Copenhagen in 2018; After sailing onboard S/V Hawila in the Baltic in 2013, he fell in love and saved the abandoned ship from the breakers in 2014 by founding the non-profit association Hawila Project. His scientific background gives him a strong awareness of the gravity of the climate crisis. Samuel also has the leadership qualities required for the enormous task of holding together all the technical, administrative and social challenges with restoring a derelict wooden vessel into a seaworthy, commercial sailing ship.
Born in 1994 in the United Kingdom, she graduated from her boatbuilding school in 2018; following experiences include a full year on the shipyard of S/V Ceiba in Costa Rica, where she also heard about Hawila Project. Of all the volunteers who joined the project since the start of the refit, she is the one involved longest: Elly is an invaluable member of the carpenters’ team, where she shows all her craft with a keen attention to detail. Furthermore, she’s a key player in the organisation of the refit, like daily planning and staffing. Elly also runs the administration, and the daily tasks of the volunteers’ house, and co-organises educational events in partnership with Holbæk City council, and local cultural institutions.
Naval architect, engineer (FR)
Born in 1987 in south-east France, he graduated as a naval engineer and has been working in this profession in Denmark for the last decade. Although more used to dealing with speed performance of giant container vessels rather than making old sailing ships seaworthy, his occupation gives him a fair insight into the limitations of the contemporary shipping system. His training in the theoretical side of shipbuilding is of great benefit for the design and planning of Hawila’s refit. His methodical and science-oriented mindset make him an ideal candidate for technical and data-based subjects. Besides being the primary technical consultant, and the naval architect for Hawila’s refit, Vivien also functions as the treasurer for both Hawila Project and Hawila ApS.
Carpenter, writer (AT)
Born in 1956 in Innsbruck, Austria, living in Denmark since 1993; his experiences include mechanical engineering, carpentry, secondary school teaching, professional copywriting, and he’s also an autodidact shipwright. Like several of Hawila Project’s volunteers, he heard about Hawila while paying a visit to the construction site of Sailcargo INC’s sail ship Ceiba in Astillero Verde, Costa Rica. He is now functioning as a Danish liaison to associates and authorities, a business advisor, writer, editor and translator for outbound communication, while also watching over technical aspects of the project and assisting the team of carpenters in the shipyard, whenever he can.
Born in 1994 in Nantes, France. Tom is a trained boatbuilder. After graduating from his boatbuilding school, Tom has gained work experiences in various shipyards both in France and New Zealand. He now puts his impressive boatbuilding skills to good use for Hawila’s renovation project. He is the undisputed leader of the carpenters’ team and organises the work-flow of the refit. He’s also participating in organising educational events in partnership with Holbæk City council, Kystliv Centeret, and other local institutions.
Born in 1987 in Denmark, currently living in Frederiksberg. Being a trained lumberjack, he originally joined the renovation project as a sailor and carpenter, bringing with him invaluable knowledge about wood and profound woodcutting skills. However, over time, the needs of the project revealed his talents as a facilitator, Danish liaison and organiser. Johan is now managing Hawila’s internal communication, takes care of volunteer recruitment and management, and he organises teambuilding events, meetings, and collaboration with international schools and volunteer organisations.