Chair - Continuing Education
In The Spotlight
What career advice would you give your younger self?
I have always been good at asking questions to increase my knowledge but I’ve not always been good at pushing for what I needed to advance my own career. I would tell myself to be more assertive and steer my early career more!
What do you think are the benefits of being a member of SPE?
It’s a great way to learn more about the energy industry in general and probably the best way available to share knowledge and network with others via continuing education events. It’s also a wonderful way to encourage young people into STEM careers via volunteering.
Best Achievement so far?
I have a number of personal and work achievements that I’m proud of including building up the knowledge to found my own company – sending that first invoice (that I had created!) with my company logo on it was a great feeling. I have also been incredibly lucky to receive an SPE Regional Service Award for the volunteering that I do with SPE Aberdeen, being recognised by my peers in the Energy Industry is quite special!
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be an electrical engineer, I did go on to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I have never actually worked as an Electrical Engineer but I have worked on a lot of electrical equipment through my work with Electrical Submersible Pumps.
What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?
I worked in the field to begin with, Europe, Africa, Russia and the North Sea assembling ESPs. I then moved to being office based where I have progressed through a few different roles including Well Surveillance, Applications Engineering and Product Line Management – I’ve always ensured that I’m constantly learning! Now I consult on various projects and having a broad knowledge has helped with this.
Anything you would do differently?
It’s better to regret something you’ve done than to regret something you haven’t! There are probably decisions that I could have made slightly differently however I don’t have any regrets, I definitely have one or two learning experiences though…
Who has been your greatest influence?
I’m lucky to have had a number of great mentors during my professional career so far. I feel it’s very important to have a mentor to progress and bounce ideas off of.
Overall, my greatest influences are my parents. My Dad worked harder than anyone else to become successful in his field and he couldn’t have done it without my Mum supporting and encouraging, they are a great team.
What’s your idea of perfect retirement?
Retirement is a loooooong way off however I hope it involves a bit of travel, financial security and perhaps a couple of nice cars to enjoy with my wife….. Hopefully my children are largely self sufficient by then!
What would your autobiography be called?
‘How do I still have hair?’ The title probably speaks volumes!
What is the best way to motivate others?
Empowering people is the best way to motivate them in my opinion. Give them a voice by listening to their opinions. Praise them publicly when they get something right. Privately guide them to the best solution when they could do better.
Your favourite stress-buster?
Being away with my family, outdoors, playing with my 2 girls and my Dog!
What’s your dream job?
Probably being a commercial airline pilot. I’m not quite sure why, it’s probably something about all those procedures and the real time problem solving I suspect!
Where is your favourite place to go on holiday?
I don’t have a favourite place but I like to keep busy by seeing and experiencing different things, I’m not really the type that sits at the beach or by the pool. I just enjoy going to different places.
What’s on your bucket list – the things you still want to accomplish?
There are plenty places I want to visit and plenty experiences I wish to have, I’d like to think I have plenty time to achieve them….. Right now, I would like to start building a property portfolio, sooner rather than later!