Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
Outside of work I manage a football team at part-time professional level.
Tell us about your career journey so far.
I initially planned to go to Uni to train to be a PE teacher but at the last minute a CAD technician apprenticeship came up with a local engineering firm and I went for it. I started working life in 2000 as a CAD technician in Dumfries then moved to Glasgow in 2004 to a multi-national firm, working my way up to a senior modeller and getting involved with BIM (Building Information Modelling)
I left to take on a BIM Manager role in 2010 with a sub-contractor before moving on to help set up a small engineering firm with a former colleague. I was then approached to take on a national BIM Manager role with a large multi-national in 2017 where I have been ever since and was recently promoted to the position of Head of Digital Engineering.
I have always weighed up opportunities logically and then went with my gut on when is the right time to move or progress.
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
PE was my favourite subject as I was very sporty, and I played part-time professional football.
I also really enjoyed Graphic Communication as I enjoyed being creative and I liked English and Maths. I have quite a logical brain which I think is why I ended up in Engineering.
What subjects/qualifications/skills are useful for your role?
English as we need to be very strong communicators, Maths for calculations and problem solving, Graphic Communication had a big influence for the creative side and the sciences also play a strong part.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
In my current role I focus on technology and how we can leverage it to produce efficient and intelligent projects. For example, we use a lot of Virtual Reality and Digital Software/Hardware to visualise and problem solve on our projects so I love integrating technology with engineering.
What is a normal day in your role like?
It can vary quite a lot which is something I enjoy. I might be travelling nationally or internationally to a conference or to meet with an app developer or a client.
On other days I may be in project meetings with our teams or developing internal best practise or workflows. Some days I am trialling hardware or software and deciding whether to purchase it for our business – it is wide ranging.
And what does your job title mean?
I am at director level in terms of seniority, I am responsible for everything to do with our Digital Engineering area. So, I lead on technology, hardware and software to deliver projects, additional apps, information management on projects, processes and standards etc.
Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
https://www.ukbimframework.org/ - the BIM Framework site can give a bit more explanation and resource around BIM in the UK.
https://www.autodesk.co.uk/ - Autodesk are one the main software vendors we use in our business; their website is a good place to get a feel for the various software packages and there are several free downloads if you have some engineering files you would like to open or view.