5 Minutes with ... a Scotmas Project Engineer
14 February 2017
By Kirsty McLaren
Brief Bio: Tom Livesey
Job Title: Project Engineer
Worked at Scotmas for: 4 years
How many countries visited with Scotmas? 10
Favourite Hobby: Travelling
1. Describe your role at Scotmas
My key role is in commissioning, to make sure the generator is working effectively and to ensure that we are delivering Chlorine Dioxide to high standards of purity and safety. I also provide training to the employees of overseas customers so that when I leave they can operate the plant safely and effectively.
2. What is your most memorable project overseas to date and why?
When we worked with the national water company in Doha, Qatar, as part of the preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which includes a new stadium and several new luxury resorts. Our treatment plant was commissioned to treat drinking water for the city of Doha. The generator required a specific design, which was carried out at our engineering facility in the Scottish Borders, and then it was shipped out for installation in a purpose built 40ft container complete with PLC controls, chemical tanks and air conditioning to cope with the extreme summer time temperatures, which could be >50°C.
3. How do you build relationships with the customers when you are overseas and do you continue to liaise with these customers when you have returned to the UK?
I’m pretty easy-going and tend get on with everybody. For our customers on site, they are reassured that I am experienced and am there to help them should they have any concerns and so, we quickly build a mutual respect for one another.
When I am back in the UK, I keep in contact with overseas customers that have I dealt with on business trips, and many are now great friends. We usually keep in touch through email or Skype.
No matter when we, or the customer gets in touch it is important that we make sure that the customer is happy and that we give them further advice, should they need any.
4. What is your greatest challenge when working overseas and is this a challenge that you are faced with regularly?
The heat!! A lot of our work is in the Middle East and in summer the climate can be very difficult.
Other than that, I would have to say liaising closely with the technical team back in Scotland, as I am not an expert in everything. We have various employees that have very specific skills. For instance, our chemists are most equipped to answer questions that require specific equations or formulas.
That is why I take lab reports to the customers overseas, to not only show them that we have carried out a range of testing, but also the customer will often have experienced chemists or microbiologists, as well as our own, who can interpret the data.
5. Have you noticed an improvement to the businesses overseas through the use of Chlorine Dioxide and have you noticed an increase in demand for Chlorine Dioxide?
Yes, particularly the European sites where I often revisit and get great feedback from customers. For instance, we deal with a number of breweries across Europe. A microbrewery customer is extremely satisfied with the capability of Chlorine Dioxide in effectively cleaning the bottles, whilst also having no effect on the taste of the beer. It has greatly improved the efficiency of their business, including in terms of costing and product output.
With regards to the demand in Chlorine Dioxide, there is definitely an increase all over the world. Some of the customers I dealt with previously want to use our generators in other areas of their business, and potential customers are seeking us out due to their increased knowledge and awareness of the benefits of using Chlorine Dioxide.