Woop woop! Thanks to all the students, my fellow engineers and the moderators for a brilliant two weeks!
I went to school in Aberdeen (Ashley Road Primary School and Robert Gordon’s College) before heading down to Glasgow to study at the University of Strathclyde
5 Highers, 3 Advanced Highers and then my MEng in Mechanical Engineering. Oh and the Tadpole swimming badge!!
Paper-round, swim teacher, lifeguard during school. I spent a summer at Talisman Energy during University and then joined the Subsea 7 graduate scheme and have been with Subsea 7 ever since.
Mechanical engineer in our Intervention and Autonomous Systems department – we come up with solutions for all the proper head scratching stuff ;-)
Subsea 7 – an engineering, construction and services contractor for the offshore energy industry.
Me and my work
I’m a mechanical engineer who designs tools and upgrades for underwater robots called ROVs
I work in a small, crack team making bespoke tools to accomplish tricky tasks underwater. Although an ROV is a very impressive, complex piece of kit it just doesn’t have the same dexterity and range of movement that a human does, that’s where we come in with the clever solutions.
This is one of our ROV’s being deployed for one of our vessels:
Away from work I enjoy being out on the bikes (motor and mountain), climbing, walking and snowsports. I will also have to add “dog walks” to that list as me and my fiancé have just become the proud owners of our wee puppy, Harvey!
My Typical Day
I love my job because it’s so varied, a typical day does not exist!
One day I could be designing tools for cutting, grabbing, pumping, moving, turning…anything you can think of, but all 3000m under the surface of the ocean! The next I could be involved in costing up large development projects; or maybe meeting with clients and suppliers to discuss what needs done; or I could be refurbishing old, broken tools to get them back in the field. The variety keeps me on my toes and makes sure I never get bored.
What I'd do with the money
I’d create build-your-own ROV or drone kits for use with schools
I’m keen to let the voting pupils decide which one, ROV (underwater robot) or drone (flying robot). The kits would be designed to be constructed (and deconstructed!) by small teams of pupils incorporating mechanical, electronical and structural aspects.
Obviously there would need to be some sort of competition once all the teams have built their ROV or drone!
“Why add the water / flying aspect” I hear you ask? Well it’s simple, remote controlled cars were so last year…and it’s much more challenging contenting with gravity / buoyancy!
Here’s a potential ROV kit (design by Robert Gordon’s University):
And here’s a photo of a similar drone to my one…it’s looking in much better condition than mine it has to be said…I’m not a very good pilot:
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Up For Anything
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I’m not really fussed about what music is playing as long as it’s upbeat. My secret guilty pleasure would have to be Taylor Swift though…but don’t tell anyone!
What's your favourite food?
It’s got to be chicken, give me a cheeky Nandos (Hot double chicken burger with piri-piri fries and garlic bread) anytime, anyday!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Tricky one, I’m going to go for the two years I spent in Australia when I was younger. I met some amazing people and had an absolute blast…just need to save my pennies and get back over there!
What did you want to be after you left school?
A Lego builder or tester, which nicely ties in with being an engineer! Either that or retired (hopefully by creating an amazing must-have piece of kit that makes the millions…so yeh back to engineering!!)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Maybe…I was quite a handy climber therefore anytime the football got kicked up on the roof it was always me getting it back down again! The teachers disapproved with me running about the school roof for some bizarre reason, can’t think why… :-S
What was your favourite subject at school?
Presume break time doesn’t count?! Unsurprisingly it was always Tech Studies that I looked forwards to, how predictable eh?
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
There’s nothing better as an engineer than seeing something you’ve designed, built and tested finally doing what it’s meant to do. I also designed and built a deck on my soon-to-be-in-laws’ pond for our wedding…hopefully I’ve done my calculations right and you won’t see us on youtube like these guys!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCcEmJylpYw
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
Ummm, is Top Gear presenter allowed? They seem to have the best job in the world! Or a chalet host in the Alps – little bit of cooking, little bit of cleaning, lots of awesome skiing.
Tell us a joke.
I love a good cheese joke. Best one I’ve heard so far: Q. Why did the cheesemonger fall over? A. He only had one stilton! Cheesy, I know! Can you beat that?
- This is my normal place of work in Westhill, Aberdeenshire:
And this is the most important part of the office…the canteen and coffee shop!!
But sometimes I end up going offshore on one of Subsea 7’s many vessels. This is the Skandi Acergy which is the only vessel I’ve not felt seasick on! Apparently I don’t have great sea legs…
And due to popular demand, he’s some more photos of my wee dog, Harvey! (I know they’re not technically workplace photos…but he is a lot of work so surely that counts?!)