Employee Spotlight: Andrew Baker

20 December 2021

Next up in our Employee Spotlight series is Andrew Baker, Specialist Graduate, who is supporting our low carbon projects as part of the Graduate Development Programme. Having joined us just a few months ago, Andrew is already making his mark!

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Andrew Barker
Andrew Baker, Specialist Graduate

I joined Scottish Water on the Graduate Development Programme last year and I’m currently completing a six-month placement with Horizons. This is my third (of six) placements and I’ve already learned so much from different teams across the business.

Prior to that I studied an MEng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. During that time, I also completed placements with The Weir Group and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (part of the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland) to give me essential work experience.

At the end of the programme, I’ll be joining Scottish Water’s Technical Support and Assurance Team which I’m really looking forward to.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I get up, have breakfast and a coffee, take my dog out for a walk and then sit down at my desk (at home for now!) to start work. Fortunately the type of work I do in Horizons is varied so no two days are ever the same!

So far, I’ve been mainly involved in the development of solar photo voltaic (PV) schemes which help reduce emissions and offset energy consumption at our treatment works.  I’ve been helping with funding applications and project pre-questionnaires, visiting sites and supporting the development of commercial processes. When time allows, I also pick up various adhoc tasks to help my team mates.  There is always so much going on and it’s great to be part of a busy and dynamic team!

Andrew with his beloved dog, Sonny

What do you enjoy most about your job?

From an environmental perspective it’s great to think I’m directly contributing to projects that are helping to tackle climate change.

In a general sense I also just like the idea of getting to stamp my name on a project which has a visual product as an output (i.e. a solar array). So, whenever I see a certain solar scheme I can take pride (hopefully!) in saying that I contributed to its development and it’s something that is going to be around for years to come!

What has been the biggest highlight of your experience so far?

I’d say its been visiting different sites and meeting people in person. That might seem mundane (or maybe even a nightmare!) for some, but I joined the company during the pandemic and as such I was sat in my home office for a year without meeting anyone in person. So it’s been great to get a change of scenery and meet a friendly face.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Most people probably don’t know that I am a twin (I have a twin sister called Eilidh), that I train in Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and have had 3 competitive bouts so far. I’ve been training on and off in martial arts for around 10 years and it’s a brilliant way to keep physically and mentally fit.

Andrew with his training team from the University of Strathclyde

If you could take three things to a desert island with you, what would you bring?

1. My dog Sonny (does he count as a “thing”?).

2. A boxing bag for a bit of exercise and training.

3. Something to listen to music with, like an Ipod or a radio.

What’s your favourite food and why?

I love a nice steak and proper curry, but my favourite food would probably have to be pizza.

A very well known supermarket’s ‘Make Your Own’ to be exact, £4 for a large is a bargain with the amount of toppings they give you.

‘Make your own’ pizza is one of Andrew’s favourites!
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