Associate Director - Energy
With a degree in mathematics and a love of analytics, Iain has come a long way since starting out in a call centre. Since joining Mace in 2010, Iain’s career has really taken off. Now working as an associate director for energy, Iain is focused on helping clients to deliver their mission within a heavily regulated industry.
- How did you get into what you do?
After graduating from university, I spent a year in Canada before returning to Scotland and taking a job on the phones in a call centre. Although I progressed quickly to a lead project role with a team of around one hundred, it wasn’t really where I could see myself long term.
Instead, I decided to focus my career on analytics and, via a utilities and energy consultancy, I moved to Scottish Water Solutions as a programme analyst. Here, I gained a lot of experience in project and programme management and found that I really enjoyed the culture and environment it created.
A few of my Scottish Water Solutions colleagues moved to Mace and, seeing the opportunities they were being given, I soon followed as I was keen to be a part of it.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
It’s progressed really quickly. I started off as a systems and data analyst working as part of the Mace team at Thames Water, where I was given the opportunity and freedom to use my initiative and assume more responsibility. I learnt pretty quickly that if you have a desire to develop yourself, Mace will fully support you and from there my career really started to grow.
At United Utilities and Affinity Water, I worked with the client to implement change initiatives within their programme management offices, and focused around improvements to their programme controls and information management. From there, I moved to a transformational change project at Sellafield and have since taken on the lead role of managing Mace's project and programme management support services here.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
- Helping people develop themselves and their careers. Establishing new and improved processes and systems is great, but it’s the people who make everything work by helping to create the culture and embed new ways of working. Seeing people, both experienced and inexperienced, go on to achieve things they didn’t think were possible just because they had an opportunity to learn or to try something new, is the most rewarding aspect of any role.
- What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
- In the energy sector we’re at the start of a growth in infrastructure investment. A need to maintain sufficient capacity, combined with carbon reduction commitments and assets coming to the end of their lifecycle, means that a lot of money will need to be spent in both the delivery of new assets and the decommissioning of existing ones. Collaborative working will be key in delivering this work efficiently. Working closely with clients and the supply chain will enable new technologies to be identified and innovative solutions to be found, while at the same time reducing some of the perceived burden that surrounds more traditional commercial arrangements.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
I’d probably be doing data analysis in some regard. A couple of my friends have worked with football clubs in understanding the role of statistics in the game. For a massive supporter and terrible player, that sounds pretty close to a dream job.
“In the energy sector we’re at the start of a growth in infrastructure investment. Working closely with clients and the supply chain will enable new technologies to be identified and innovative solutions to be found.”