How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
I have worked in the building controls and automation industry for over 25 years. I started my career in a technical role and in the early years, I was fortunate to work with some of the best in the industry where I gained a strong technical foundation, wealth of knowledge and experience in building controls and HVAC systems. I then went on to pursue my career in sales and management.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
It is such a dynamic and evolving market. Buildings are transforming at a rapid rate due to innovative solutions and advancements in integrated building technologies. Smart buildings are the future.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
More people are engaging in discussions relating to the Internet of things (IoT), cloud-based applications and smart cities as we start to see the bigger picture. In the Home Automation sector, an emerging IP based wireless networking protocol, Thread, is gaining traction and support by a number of technology giants. Lack of standardisation is still a primary challenge in networking protocols.
What services does your company offer?
Distech Controls is a global player and innovative leader in energy management solutions. The company operates in multiple market segments and delivers unique building management technologies and services that optimise energy efficiency and comfort in buildings whilst reducing the operating costs. We manufacture a comprehensive range of building control products based on open protocols. Our solutions are delivered through an extensive network of Authorised System Integrators, ensuring a high level of standard and custom care. Our mission is to deliver innovative products and leading solutions that empower businesses and individuals to maximise energy efficiency.
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
We all have a role to ensure that we keep up to date with the latest changes and new regulations. We need to make the information more accessible and easier to digest.
What are the benefits of a smart building?
Smart Buildings deliver a number of key advantages, including integration of systems on a common IT infrastructure, achieving sustainability and futureproofing through the use of open protocols, being fully automated and self-sufficient through dynamic optimisation of system performance, achieving rapid return on capital expenditure through energy savings and operational efficiencies and last but not least, creating a happier and more secure workspace.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
Terry Casey, a figurehead and highly respected entrepreneur and businessman in the building control industry. What Terry doesn't know about this industry you could write on the back of a postage stamp.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
There is no one predominant question.
What are the best/worst things about your job?
I enjoy being part of a global multicultural organisation and at the forefront of developing business foundations.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Invest the time to learn the fundamentals of building controls, which will be invaluable in either a sales or technical role in the future.
What living person do you admire and why?
Admiration comes in different forms. From a business perspective, I admire people with entrepreneurial skills who have taken the initiative in creating successful business enterprises. One great example would be Peter Jones, an entrepreneur and businessman who has also appeared on the BBC television show Dragons' Den. His diverse portfolio of businesses is impressive.
Where would you most like to live?
It is a big question as it will require further exploration. I have done a fair bit of travelling, but always feel most at home in the UK. Where else can you get all 4 seasons in one weekend?!
What is your favourite book?
“Real Deal” by James Caan comes to mind.
How do you relax?
Listen to music.
What sports team do you support?
Formula 1, Mercedes AMG Petronas.
What is your desert island disk?
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. It is also one of my favourite songs when I am running.
What is your ideal holiday?
Somewhere warm where I can switch off in a nice hotel with private pool