What does your day typically consist of?
Given the nature of my role at Natural Power it’s hard to describe any day as “typical”. Sure, there are days when the market analysis team carry out very similar tasks (report writing, cost benefit modelling, etc.), but the subject matter is quite varied.
There is a lot of research though… a lot of research.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety. We work with every department in Natural Power and that allows us to get involved with almost every aspect of the business. One week you can be researching the global solar market for an internal report and the following week you can be looking into the impact of particular products, services or technologies on the life cycle cost of wind energy.
How did you get into the role in the first place?
I had just finished my Master’s degree and I was looking for a role with a particular focus on energy economics. I was working as an economist for a branch of the Scottish Government when the job at Natural Power came up. It looked like a great opportunity to get involved in renewable energy, an industry that was (and still is) becoming more important as the world looks to reduce emissions and meet growing demand.
What is your degree and / or professional qualification?
I have an MSc in Energy Management and a BA in Business Law from the University of Stirling.
What is the most interesting type of work you have done and why?
From time to time a request will come in for an analysis that I, nor anyone else in the team, have never done before and those tend to be the most interesting pieces of work – the ones where you really need to think about your approach and methodology, and you produce a truly bespoke output.
A great example of this would be the cost-benefit model that we built for ZephIR Lidar Limited, our sister company. It was keen to show its current and prospective clients how the use of a forward looking turbine-mounted ZephIR lidar unit can be used to correct YAW error and reduce operations and maintenance costs.
We built a flexible, excel-based cost benefit model that provided a detailed breakdown of the impact of a forward-looking turbine-mounted lidar unit on the energy yield over the lifetime of a single wind turbine or the entire wind farm.
I really enjoy projects that don’t have a defined methodology and require a great deal of thought, discussion and problem solving.
What is your biggest achievement at work?
I can’t really point at one particular project. I have been with Natural Power for more than three years and in that time I have been involved in several projects that have used to guide corporate strategy. I have also been involved in driving corporate strategy for external clients.
It’s a great feeling knowing that the work you are doing is being used to help drive the business forward.
Any hidden talents?
As part of the University of Stirling American football team I have won four UK National Championship titles. One as a player and three as a coach – the team retired my jersey number when I graduated, which was a real honour.
If you could be an Olympic champion, which sport would it be for?
It’s a very predictable answer, but you’ve got to be aiming for the sprint triple – 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m. I never was (and likely never will be) a distance runner.
What is your favourite hobby?
Sports, I have played competitive sport all my life and I have been coaching various sports for the past 17 years. These days I spend a lot of my free time on the golf course.
When I’m not working, coaching or playing golf, I enjoy travelling with my wife.back to day in the life