What does a typical day at work involve?
I must start the day with a cup of Earl Grey Tea. When I arrive at the office, I will open my emails and respond to any urgent pressing matters. I will then review my action list and put these into a form of priority.
In Consultancy there is no such thing as a typical day. I could have a day in the office writing an Electrical Specification for a specific project or carrying out a Quality Assurance review of a design package to be issued. The next day I could have a full day of Project meetings with Design Teams discussing project progress and design decisions that need to be made. Another day I could have a site visit where I am required to carry out some witnessing of the Testing and Commissioning being carried out on the Electrical Systems within the building. And then another day I could be carrying out a condition survey on a redundant building to ascertain the condition of the Electrical Plant and give advice to the client on the life expectancy of the Electrical Systems. I love the fact that my workdays can be very varied and that two days are rarely ever the same.
What’s the most unexpected thing about your job?
It never ceases to amaze me how varied the conversations that I get to have are. I can go from a very technical meeting where we could be discussing a phased shutdown of some vital electrical plant in different areas of a large commercial building, to then having a more light-hearted conversation with a client about which boat they are considering purchasing for their holiday home in Cuba!
I also find it fascinating how quickly a design can evolve and progress as the Building itself develops and grows. Design changes are brilliant and frustrating in equal measures.
Did you have any role models when you were younger? What inspired you to do the job you’re doing now?
As I was growing up it was my parents who I looked up to and admired. As my career progresses I find that I have a lot of role models who are involved in STEM.
My interest in Buildings, Architecture, Light and Engineering is what inspired me to do the job that I am doing now. And I hope that one day, I will be someone else’s role model.
Any influential toys during childhood?
Subbuteo, Scalextric and Lego. I do not care what anyone says, you are never too old to play with Lego!
Your favourite subjects at school?
Physics, Chemistry and Maths.
City & Guilds Electrical Apprenticeship HNC in Building Services Engineering.
Your reason for choosing this career?
I chose this career because ever since becoming an Electrician, I have been interested in Electricity, Electrical Engineering and everything associated with it. I am constantly amazed by Engineering and Technology and that is what allows me to continue to do what I do.
Tell me about your career path to date?
Three-year Electrical Apprenticeship attending college 1 day a week and working for an Electrical Installation company for the other 4 days. I then worked within Electrical Contracting for a further 7 years. I have been working in Building Services Engineering for 4 years, working my way up to the Senior role which I hold today.
I am also an MIET member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, which is important to me because it demonstrates my contribution and commitment to Engineering.
If you could have any job what would it be? How does it differ from what you’re doing?
I really enjoy what I am doing, and I am gaining valuable experience every day. My current job gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. But if I could have any job, it would be to work at the Hellisheidi Power Station in Iceland as a Geothermal Engineer. Iceland has a 99.96% renewable energy supply. This is a remarkable figure and should be a benchmark for other countries.
I am proud of being an Engineer and would not want to leave the profession.
In the future, once I am retired, to keep busy I would be happy to work on maintaining the Electrical Systems on Yachts.
Your advice to a young person considering a career in STEM?
Do it! Do not listen to the stereotypes and do not allow yourself to be told that you cannot do something. Being involved in a STEM career will open your eyes to a world of astonishment.
Do not accept that where you start is also where you will finish. Hard work, honesty and perseverance will take you a very long way. You need to be true to yourself.
If you dream of making a difference and you care about what you do, then a future in STEM is for you.