Graeme has vast experience in the energy management sector, launching his career 27 years ago, as one of the first batch of UK graduates in energy engineering. He has extensive knowledge across several geographies and cultures, globally recognised for outstanding achievement. Graeme has written in numerous technical publications including a chapter in the book “Advanced Engineering Technologies in Healthcare” published by the Royal Chartered Institute of Mechanical Engineering. At NetThings, Graeme is now responsible for overseeing all marketing and sales activity, across a range of sectors and products, globally.
How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
I became involved in the Smart Buildings industry 27 years ago when I joined Satchwell Control Systems as an engineer.
I was fortunate enough to benefit from one of the best training programmes in the industry which provided me a solid foundation in pushing the boundaries of technologies in cutting edge engineering projects.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
The thing that excites me most about the Smart Buildings industry is the more recent alignment with mainstream technological developments and applications such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, Advanced Analytics and Building Information Modelling. A new landscape has emerged where Smart Building technologies can play a part in improving productivity as well as the health and well-being of people.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
The integration of particular technologies such as advanced Building Information Modelling (BIM) and analtytics with real-time measurement of conditions within buildings is technically feasible but relatively unexploited.
Our business NetThings is starting to team up with cutting edge BIM developers to help unlock some of the benefits for building users.
What services does NetThings offer?
NetThings is an “internet of things” company that has developed an internet based, universal platform for both domestic and business customers. The intuitive, easy-to-use system provides smart control and energy monitoring, empowering users to change their behaviour, environment, well-being and productivity.
Our technology has multi-sectoral application however we have initially focused product development in the energy market with a series of products, which are revolutionising energy management.
Our services also include new product development and white labelling for global players as well as direct turnkey operations for end users or channel sales through Value Adding Resellers (VARs).
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
In the case of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generally not, as these businesses often face huge time and resource constraints.
However it is important that they view compliance with forthcoming regulations as an opportunity to reduce their energy costs and improve overall efficiency as part of a longer term approach and not just as another short term cost to the business.
These businesses will reap the benefits if there is an embedded responsible business strategy with long term goals.
What are the benefits of smart buildings?
The main benefits of truly smart buildings are business improvement through better staff productivity and reduced energy and maintenance costs.
Systems are already becoming specifically tailored to customers needs, to reduce costs, and increase workspace flexibility further.
Knowledge workers need healthy, productive environments to maximise their contribution to an organisation and better still if they live in a smart home as well.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
I was lucky enough to be mentored by a number of people with extraordinary social intelligence, which created a strong desire in me to better understand people and form lasting long term relationships based on trust.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
I am most often asked, “what do you do?” Although a simple question, it often leads to meeting incredibily interesting people with a shared interest in technology and engaging conversation.
What are the best/worst things about your job?
The best things about my job, centre around the experience of people benefiting from a product, service or system you helped create and deliver.
The worst things are to experience missed or squandered opportunities to add value and improve the environment and peoples’ lives.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
I would advise anyone starting out to join an organisation that offers a good range training and mentoring specific to the role. Experience like this is invaluable and will open more opportunties for you throughout your career.
What living person do you admire and why?
I admire the philosopher Alain De Botton for his ability to relate history and philosophy to modern life in such a meaningful way that can help people at any stage in their development.
Where would you most like to live?
That’s easy – Edinburgh, where I was born and raised. I’ve tried living in other places and have been lucky enough to travel the world in previous roles but I think I would always want to come home at some stage. Scotland also has the fastest growth in technology businesses in the UK outside London, making it a thriving, exciting place to work.
What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. This book touches almost aspect of work and personal life and helps the reader gain a better understanding of human behaviour based on a variety of subjects such as the latest technology in brain scanning and recent breakthroughs in anthropology.
How do you relax?
I relax by socialising through sports like golf and spending time with my family and sometimes taking part in tennis, badminton, football and rugby.
What is your desert island disk?
Volare by Domenico Modugno. It was the first song I learned to sing in Italian and tells a simple and story that’s very touching.
What is your ideal holiday?
Anything that’s experience based really rather than conventional tourism. I really like to get some sort of idea of what it must be like to live in a different country and culture.
What sports team do you support?
Unfortunately one of the worst perfoming in history – the Scotland football team.