Tell me about yourself and what you specialize in. I work as an Engineering Manager for Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) on Transmission Infrastructure projects. Having worked in assets, project management and engineering/design (Civil Engineering) across canal, rail and energy infrastructure I specialise in being a generalist, if that makes sense. I am able to understand the landscape and work within all areas of projects. This understanding and ‘general knowledge’ has supported digitisation in our business and helped me open the discussion up to the wider areas of project teams. Away from work I love the outdoors, mountain biking or walking/hiking in spring to autumn and winter sports through the colder months.
Why do you love working in the construction industry? Construction has such a vital role to play on how our landscapes are shaped, how people live and interact with the environment around them. There’s a huge responsibility to do that as well as we can. I love being part of that, and especially in Transmission where we are making a sizeable contribution on the UK’s climate targets in enabling renewable energy.
What topics and trends are you most passionate about in the industry? I like to focus on any form of improvement, with a civils background I naturally lean towards civil engineering innovations. Whether that is with low carbon concrete, soil mixing to make better use of in-situ materials or looking at how we can share site data such as ground investigation logs quicker via advancements in GIS solutions. Away from any specific discipline I am interested in how existing technology can improve our work now, to add value in the short term and then develop along with emerging technology to stay current. I tend to find small process improvements can go a long way to impacting large change. I recently read a quote from Vincent Van Gogh ‘Great things are done by a series of small things brought together’ and this resonated with me and feels as relevant in our industry today as it was in his world.
What advice would you give to the next generation preparing for the future of the industry? Learn to view conventional wisdom with a critical eye. Don’t be afraid to give healthy challenge if they have ideas, and don’t be put off if those ideas are wrong, they may not be next time. With this be open to learn from the people who want to teach you, they can have the experience you only gain from time. For engineers considering a management career path, I’d encourage to them take time early in their career to develop technical skills, stay in technical roles to properly learn the discipline in a practical environment.
Your Superpower Patient and calm in difficult situations
What Motivates You Turning creativity into practical solutions
Tool You Can’t Live Without None, engineers can always improvise
Best Artist/Song for Work Difficult - Paulo Nutini’s Iron Sky
Jobsite or Office Prefer implementing designs on site