Spotlight: Bill Potts, Design Engineer at Devro (Scotland) Ltd
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I was the Glasgow cross country champion when I was in high school but now my sport/hobby is bodybuilding.
Tell us about your career journey so far
I left school after sixth year and made the decision to study Computer Science at University. After a few months on the course, I knew it wasn’t for me so I completed the year and switched to a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I have not looked back since and I am so glad that I made the swap. I finished my degree and after a few months landed a job working for NCR in Dundee. I also moved from Glasgow to Dundee as the commute was too long. After two years there I moved back to Glasgow to work for Philips Lighting in Hamilton as a Development Engineer. After three good years with Philips, they decided to close the factory and my position became redundant. I then got a job with Devro Scotland as a Design Engineer. I have been now been with Devro for the past seven years. Each of my roles has involved using CAD 3D Design software such as Solid Edge, Solidworks and Autocad/Inventor. I have worked on lots of different topics including machinery design, process improvement, safety aspects such as doing risk assessments, project management and budget management to name a few. There is a wide variety of disciplines within engineering. We also have our own 3D printers at Devro which I look after and use to develop new parts. I also get hands on with machines and building equipment that I have designed.
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
It was probably computing or maths. This is what lead me to start a degree in computer science and although this was not the right choice for me I am still glad that I completed the year as computers are used in every work place so having experience with them is a good tool to have at your disposal.
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
Maths, Physics, Computing. Hands on practical experience with tools and manufacturing methods is also very useful.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
The variety. One day I can be sitting designing something on the computer, the next day I am in production building a machine or performing a test on some new equipment.
What is a normal day in your role like?
There is no set structure to my day and I am in charge of my own time. An example of a day starts with checking emails. I will then continue with project work whatever that may be. I might have a meeting for project work or for problem solving some production issues. Lunch is at 12:30. In the afternoon I might look out my tools and install some parts that I have designed and had made by our suppliers. Then check any emails again and tie up any loose ends before leaving for home or the gym around 4pm.
Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
If you have a computer and internet connection available there is a website called www.tinkercad.com which is run by Autodesk. Autodesk are the company behind one of the biggest CAD platforms in the world, Autocad/Inventor. Using tinkercad you can create very basic 3D models and assemblies.