People Spotlight: Presley McGuire

27 August 2021

Meet Presley McGuire! Presley is passionate about helping make the planet a greener place as part of her role as Renewable Energy Optimisation Specialist.

Tell us a little about your career journey so far.

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Geology from the University of Glasgow and then went on to complete an MSc in Environmental Engineering at Strathclyde University.

Presley receiving her masters degree in Environmental engineering
Presley receiving her Masters degree at Strathclyde University

I joined Scottish Water’s graduate scheme back in September 2017 and completed four 6-monthly rotations in different areas of the business.

After I completed the graduate scheme, I was lucky enough to be offered a new role within Horizons where I’m responsible for the operation and maintenance of our renewable and low carbon assets.

What does a normal day look like for you at work?

My day-to-day work involves monitoring asset performance to make sure everything is operating as it should and consulting with framework contractors on performance and operational issues.

I also work with contractors to arrange access to site for any work that needs carried out, and I’m continuously looking to identify areas for performance improvement.

Presley hard at work on site
Presley working at a Treatment Works during her Scottish Water placement

What is it about renewable energy that took your interest?

I have concerns about the future of our energy supplies, climate change and what we’re all doing to our planet. In this role I feel as if I’m contributing to a more sustainable and greener future for Scottish Water and Scotland.   

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Because I haven’t been able to go abroad on holiday over the last year and a half, I have been visiting various parts of Scotland to wild camp (when restrictions permitted travel). I find wild camping quite therapeutic as it allows me to switch off and disconnect from my phone for some peace and quiet! If I’m not on a hill somewhere, I’m either at the gym (spin classes are my best friend) or watching The Office (US version) on repeat.

The view from one of Presley's wild camping sessions
The view from one of Presley’s wild camping adventures

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A question I’m always asked is if I’m named after Elvis Presley. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly state that I am indeed named after the King of Rock & Roll. My parents were massive fans – as am I!

What’s your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is Beyond Possible by Nimsdai Purja. Nimsdai is the first man to summit all 148,000m ‘Death Zone’ peaks in under 7 months (smashing the previous record by more than 7 years!). His autobiography is a powerful testament to human spirit and highlights the importance of having a positive mindset.

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