Stephen joined Eltako GmbH in July 2020 as its first UK Manager to develop the business. Their core products are their large range of EnOcean Open Protocol compliant devices, which Eltako manufacture. He has worked for many years in the smart Building product market and has enjoyed seeing this market grow year on year. Eltako's range means it can supply smart building control solutions for new and retrofit projects be they large or small. He is happily married with two grown up children and a pug.

How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?

My introduction to the wonderful world of Smart Building Control was working for Theben/Timeguard selling their range of KNX products. These were the early days, and it was great to see the market grow and what could be done. I'm pleased to still be working with many people in the industry year after year, both here in the UK and overseas.

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?

There is always something new. New products, new technology never a dull moment.

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of?

EnOcean Wireless technology is widely used in mainland Europe and beyond and is growing in the UK. EnOcean is an open protocol technology with around 400 manufacture members, offering thousands of products, which will meet the most exacting specification. Its Wireless technology means less cabling and with straight forward commissioning costs are reduced compared to other solutions. The flexibility that EnOcean offer means it can sometime offer advantages that other solutions cannot.

What services does your organisation offer?

Eltako is the largest manufacturer of EnOcean based products and we can offer complete smart home / smart building solutions. We also manufacture meters and many types of relays. Recently we joined the DIIA with our DALI lighting control products.

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?

It's like anything some are, and others are not aware, but important that regulations are adhered to for all parties involved.

What are the benefits of a smart building?

There are many benefits to smart buildings, but the benefits will largely depend on the people using it. For example: a landlord would view Smart Controls in student accommodation as a way to save energy and protect the fabric of the rooms/building. Students would see it as a way to link all their smart devices together in their room. People requiring Assisted Living will be able to have automatic controls and even monitoring enabling them to safe and comfortable in their homes. Smart Homes are not just home cinemas or colour changing lights, it's about making homes and buildings, which are helping people live comfortable, safe and energy efficient lives.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

Heinz Rutschi - Technology Consultant who taught me so much when we worked together.

What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?

How much is it?

What are the best/worst things about your job?

The worst thing recently is not been able to meet up with customers and colleagues due to COVID19.

The best thing is being able to help customers with projects and seeing them completed.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Walk before you can run and look to work with open protocols, so you keep your options open. Keep learning and growing.

What living person do you admire and why?

There are many people I admire who sadly are no longer with us. I admire different people for different reasons, but If I had to pick a living one, I will say my daughter Louise who is suffering with a debilitating and very painful condition. Her fortitude while we wait for an operation, which will help her but not cure her makes me very proud.

Where would you most like to live?

I currently enjoy living on the edge of the New Forest near the sea and I can't see that changing anytime soon. I consider myself lucky.

What is your favourite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Haper Lee, a big influence on me at the age of 14.

I also like all the Lee Child - Jack Reacher books

How do you relax?

Walk the dog, preferable along the beach, reading and music.

What sports team do you support?

Southampton FC Womens team, which I go to with my daughter. Two of their players (sisters) are friends of the family, so that's an added incentive.

What is your desert island disk?

Ultravox - Return to Eden

What is your ideal holiday?

Sunny, stress free, with a pool, good food and drink with places to explore. Though at the moment anywhere would be nice!