People Spotlight: Kyle Mathieson

06 July 2021

First up in our new spotlight series is Kyle Mathieson! Kyle is one of the newest additions to our Development Centre team which supports water innovation

Kyle Mathieson, Project Coordinator

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’ve been with Scottish Water Horizons for over seven years now, having started out as a Modern Apprentice.  Over the last five years I supported our waste business where I helped with day-to-day operations, tanker logistics and customer enquiries.  Now that I think about it, it’s hard to believe how quickly time flies!

What drew you to our Development Centres?
At the end of last year I decided to take a leap of faith and do something completely different. When I learned how the Development Centres were helping to drive innovation and support new ideas I knew it was just up my street.  The chance to be at the forefront of water innovation, see new technologies being developed first-hand and play a part in their success was very appealing. Plus I’d get to meet new people in the wider water industry.

What does a typical day look like?
It sounds cliché but I guess there is no typical day as such and that’s what makes it so interesting. There can be days where I spend time meeting with companies who want to trial at our facilities and days where I deal with operational type requests.  On other days I get to spend time on our sites in Bo’ness and Gorthleck to assist live trials.  I love being on site, getting my sleeves rolled up and helping make sure everything runs smoothly.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Where do I start?! There’s so much work that goes behind the scenes to get trials up and running, so to see them go live is always exciting! Plus it never ceases to amaze me at all the impressive innovations that come our way.  These innovations have the potential to make such a difference to our future water resources and is something I’m very proud to be a part of.   I also enjoy meeting new people, engaging with our stakeholders and supporting where I can to help progress their ideas. No two days are ever the same and I love that aspect of my job.

Kyle assisting with a new trial at our Waste Water Development Centre, Bo’ness

What has been the highlight of your experience so far?
Without doubt, the opportunity to learn new skills.  It’s been a steep learning curve, but I get a real buzz out of being kept on my toes! My background in waste has been really helpful, but let’s just say the world of science is a whole different ball game! Thankfully I work with a brilliant team and I’ve learned so much in a very short space of time.  It’s been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to future trials and seeing what new innovations come our way!

How do you spend your free time?
Mostly I like to socialise with friends and family. Of course that’s been difficult due to lock-down, so it’s been brilliant to catch up for a pint or two!  I also like to keep active, whether that’s walking or running, and if the weather permits bag some munros …although I’ve some way to go before I complete all 282 of them!

Kyle bagging some munros on the West coast of Scotland

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I wish I could say I’ve done a parachute jump, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro or abseiled down the world’s tallest building…I think I’ll just have to come back to you on that one!

If you could take three things to a desert island with you, what would you bring?
I’d probably take a really good book which I’d be able to be re-read without getting tired of it (does a trilogy count as one thing??), a favourite album to listen to and a football to kick about when boredom kicks in!

What’s the last book you read?
I’ve just finished Shuggie Bain by a Scottish-American author which won the 2020 Booker Prize.   It’s a fascinating and emotive book which tells the hardship of working-class communities in Glasgow during the 1980s.  A very hard read at times but some humorous moments too.  Very relatable for anyone who has grown up or lived in central Scotland!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received…
Although not advice directly given to me, I’ve always liked the mantra ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Very simple but something which is also very true!

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