What do you enjoy most about working at AVID?
I’m an engineering, renewable energy buff, I absolutely love it, and I really enjoy my job. There are lots of other places I could go or things I could do, but I genuinely enjoy working here, I really believe in what AVID does as a company, in terms of what the aim is, to try and make the area in which we live a greener place. The philosophy of the company is really inspiring, and I’ve really bought into that philosophy, which is a crucial thing when you work here. If you believe in what it is that we’re doing, then it makes your job really rewarding.
I think AVID as a company is a place where, you know, the world is your oyster, you can progress as much as you want to. If you want to develop and become a director, you can train, and you can speak to people and say “I want to do this, I want to go down this route. Of course, it’s got to fit in with the company’s aspirations, but nobody has ever said no. If you’re ambitious and you want to better yourself, nobody is going to stop you.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
My favourite part about my job is that it is so varied, my job changes from day-to-day. The range of stuff involved with testing is so vast, and there are so many problems that can occur as well. It’s a constant learning environment, so if there’s something new that I need to learn or something that needs to be done, I can just go and research it, read up on it, ask people… AVID is really good for that, it certainly has been for me. So that’s the thing that I enjoy most about the job, there’s a lot of favourite things, but, yeah, that’s what sticks out.
How has your career grown while at AVID?
My career has grown massively while at AVID, I’ve worked on the design and topology for the 11″ eFans, for that I had to research motor drive circuits and how they worked. While on this project, I worked in collaboration with the University, working on studies to do with power electronics design. I then worked in motor design, designing new motors and finding new ways to reduce the cost of the fan overall. I’ve worked in procurement, because within electronics design I had to learn that side of things to keep the costs down. From there, I went on to the production side, working on trying to productionise the fan and figuring out what the best methods are for that. During this time, there was a few Innovate UK projects that came up, so I learned some project management skills, took a course on that, which was really interesting. And then going from there to the testing side of things, the opportunity came up, and I learned all about automotive standards. I think the testing department itself is growing and developing so quickly, like everything else here at AVID it’s obscenely quick. I’ve never known or been involved with a company like it, in terms of the way that they approach things and the way they see R&D, it’s exhilarating to be a part of.
What is your favourite pastime?
Sadly I don’t do it any more, but my favourite pastime used to be to grab my saxophone if I had a gig coming up, and work on a few different solos to perform. It’s improvisation, and it’s in the feel of the moment, but you’ve got to work on a few licks that you’re going to put into different parts of the piece. It’s sort of problem-solving in its own way. You’ve got your scales and chord progressions, but then I had to figure out how I could make it fit in with that particular moment, in that specific style. So I used to really enjoy that when I was a teenager, but I haven’t done that for a long time.
What is your favourite thing to do in the North East?
I think going out, but not to get drunk, just going out for some food and a few drinks, appreciating and enjoying the atmosphere. It’s an area of the country where you can actually afford to do that too. I’ve got friends from all over Europe, and they love it. I think Newcastle especially has such a variety of cuisines, and it’s not that expensive in the grand scheme of things if you just do it a few times a month. It’s also a really great way to meet people and to discover new places because there are so many hidden gems in the North East.
That and play handball on the beach, in the summer.
Finally, who would you say is your favourite musician?
I’d have to say John Coltrane, when he plays the saxophone my brain just goes silent, it’s like everything he’s playing is what my mind does most of the time. To most people, including my wife, they listen to him and think it’s just noise, but to me it’s like, I get that, I get where he’s coming from.