In The Spotlight
What career advice would you give your younger self?
I’d give myself the same advice I give to young people now when I speak to them; get a customer facing part time job while you’re studying at school/college/university. I don’t think I realised at the time just how much this contributed to my own interpersonal and communication skills when I was working part time selling TVs and Laptops
What do you think are the benefits of being a member of SPE?
The opportunity – this could be the opportunity to learn something new or the opportunity to extend your professional network. Earlier this year I got a personal introduction to a NASA Astronaut and NASA Space Scientist…it’s not every day you meet someone that has been in space! Last year I met Bruce Dickinson, the front man of hugely successful rock band Iron Maiden. Amongst meeting some amazing people, SPE has completely broadened my own technical knowledge, extended my network and developed my interpersonal skills. I’ve also made some great friends along the way! The food at SPE events is pretty good too!
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Obviously I went through the footballer phase during the early years, before hanging my boots up, growing my hair long and kick-starting my skateboarding career. The board was then swapped out for two wheels, where I was super passionate about mountain biking for a while! Is it even a hobby if you don’t want to do it as a career at some point? Ultimately I’ve been breaking things and fixing them for years, so naturally I think I’ve always been destined to be an Engineer!
What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?
I attained a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Aberdeen straight from secondary school. I decided to complete four industry placements at Expro during my summer holidays from Uni – this was a great way into the industry and to learn more about the Subsea technology that I wanted to get involved with upon graduation. I started on a Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS) at Expro in 2013 after graduating and started working towards becoming a Chartered Engineer. Having worked hard and demonstrated a breadth of competencies over the years, I was elected as Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and became a Chartered Engineer in June just passed.
Who has been your greatest influence?
Probably my family and friends. My family have always supported me and ensured that I worked hard in life. Their influence made me realise you get out what you put in, and this is what I live by today. I read something a while ago about your education being a lifelong process, and that the people you encounter along the way help shape you as a person along with the challenges you face. A lot of my friends have been a good influence over the years…professionally speaking, maybe not so much on nights out!
What’s your idea of perfect retirement?
Going to plenty of gigs, lots of road cycling, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.
What is the best way to motivate others?
Show your passion and enthusiasm. I’ve always been motivated by passionate and enthusiastic people – this is actually how I got involved with SPE!
Your favourite stress-buster?
Road cycling – I embraced the Lycra a few years ago, making the transfer to the ‘dark side’ from mountain biking! Nothing beats racking up the miles on the bike and pushing yourself each and every time you go out! Helps keep the beer belly at bay too!
Where is your favourite place to go on holiday?
As I type this, I am on the countdown of the days until I go to Mexico…
What are you reading, listening to or glued to on TV?
I can’t stop listening to Bear’s Den – Red Earth and Pouring Rain! I’ve been to see them twice this year already and can’t wait to see them again. Strongly recommend everyone gives them a listen!