Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?
I have had a wide range of jobs in the telecoms industry, but my work in consultancy has always been the most fulfilling. Mott MacDonald offered opportunities to apply my existing consultancy skills in new areas.
What is the best thing about your role?
It provides a chance to become involved in a wide range of different projects. Recent projects include a due diligence investigation of a broadband network, advising a power utility on how to enter the telecoms market, designing the telecoms and IT for a carbon-neutral city, preparing a strategy to migrate an existing power network to a “smart grid” based on “next generation” networking technologies, acting as Lender’s Engineer to assess the telecoms and IT capabilities of a new airport and specifying a telecoms network to support a new railway. I like the fact that every day brings a different set of challenges.
How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?
Mott MacDonald has somehow managed to create a friendly, open culture that is welcoming to new arrivals. The ownership structure means that decisions can be taken for the long-term good of the business rather than short-term expediency, and this helps to reduce stress levels!
How has digital technology aided you in your day-to-day role?
Our projects are often undertaken by teams spread across several different countries, so the ability to communicate effectively is important to Mott MacDonald. The introduction of Skype for Business was a game-changer. It provides the tools for teams to work collaboratively from wherever they happen to be.
What excites you most about the digital technologies being developed within the company?
Mott MacDonald operates across market sectors ranging from aviation to water, and from health to oil and gas. However, digital technologies are becoming increasingly critical to businesses across all our market sectors. As someone who works in telecoms and IT, I see that as a major opportunity.
Where have you travelled with Mott MacDonald?
Consultancy often involves travel, and this is particularly true when working for a global company like Mott MacDonald. During my time with the company, I have worked on projects in Abu Dhabi, Oman, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, Turkey, Senegal, Ecuador, Holland, Finland, Luxembourg and Morocco.
Are you involved with any charities or do any volunteer work?
I work with a local school taking parties of teenagers on expeditions as part of their Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver awards. We take them to places such as the Lake District, the Peak District or the Yorkshire Moors, and we teach them a range of outdoor skills including navigation, backpacking, camping and first aid. They also learn a lot about working together as a team in challenging situations.
If you could have lunch with any three people who would they be and why?
I’ve always been fascinated by Brian May (lead guitarist, Queen) because of his extraordinarily inventive music played on a home-made guitar. He must also be one of very few rock stars with a PhD in astronomy. John Gribben would be another interesting guest, because his books about relativity and quantum mechanics have shown me that science fact is far stranger than science fiction. My final guest would be Robert Peston who, despite a rather annoying voice, has some really important insights into the causes of the financial crash in 2008.