I live with my wife in Upminster, Essex and when I am not working I love to run, eat out, go to the theatre and travel
I like to be outside and my running allows me to do this. I am never very worried about the weather, it is just great to be outside. There is a purpose to my running, I run four or five half marathons a year to raise money for charity. I have not had the courage yet to try for a full marathon! I have been very fortunate through work and for pleasure to travel to many places across Europe, Asia and America. I love meeting different people, experiencing different cultures and trying out different food.
I design, build and look after the buildings and engineering where the internet lives
All of the apps, e mail, video streaming, internet that we all use daily is run by computer servers which reside in buildings across the world. These buildings are called data centres and we design and build these buildings and the cooling and power engineering systems needed to keep the servers cool and operating. We also look after and make sure that the cooling and power are always working. This is the hidden world that very few people see as they use there computers at home but if these buildings or power and cooling stop working then the systems on your computer can go off line or work more slowly.
My Typical Day: I am usually up around 6am, try to get a run before breakfast, then shower and be ready for the day which can vary from working from home or the office. I could be visiting one of the data centre buildings we have designed or be at meetings to discuss a new data centre project. Usually my day wraps up around 6pm then home for dinner and some relaxing time.
If I am working from home or at the office I will usually be having a number of meetings with my colleagues, checking engineering designs for new projects or just completing general administration work. For most of the week I will be out of the office visiting our customers to discuss current or future projects, visiting data centres which we are designing or we are building. These customer or data centre visits can be anywhere in the UK or the world so I am occasionally away overnight or for two or three days at a time. I like this variety between being in the office then out and about.
What I'd do with the money
Set up a data centre visit programme for schools local to our office
I think it would give young people a real understanding of the role data centres had in the world if they could just visit one to see for themselves.
Sander Draper School, Hornchurch, Essex
8 O Levels
I started my career as an Engineering Apprentice with a company called Matthew Hall as a mechanical engineer learning how to design air conditioning, ventilation and heating for mainly office buildings. I went on day release to college to obtain my engineering qualifications. When my apprenticeship finished I went to work for a number of engineering design companies still focused on office building’s but about 25 years ago I started to work on designs for the first data centres that were being built though these were much smaller than the ones being built now and after that I never looked back and became deeper and deeper involved in engineering design for data centres working my way upwards and becoming more senior until now where I own and run a company dedicated to data centre engineering. When I started my career I could not have imagined that I would be where I am now. There was no internet as we know it, there was only one computer in the whole company, no mobile phones, no e mail. Hard to believe but true! The world has changed much I have been lucky that the original skills I learnt as an engineering apprentice allowed me to adapt to the world we are now in.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
running eating engineer
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Becoming an engineer
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
There have been many people along the way who have inspired me or I have learnt from. I like to think I have taken a little bit of inspiration from all of them.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Pet Shop Boys
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Walked over Sydney Harbour Bridge
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To continue to enjoy my work, live to a very old age, keep in the best health