People Spotlight - Stuart Clark

08 November 2021

Meet Stuart Clark! Stuart has recently joined us as Project Manager to support our hydro energy projects. With an extensive background and self-professed love for all things hydroelectric, we spoke to him to find out more.

What’s been your career journey up until now?

I left school at 16 to go to university, which in hindsight was too early for me, but I stuck it out and gained a HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

After uni I did an apprenticeship before working as a heating engineer. I was part of the team who helped develop the first commercially available condensing boiler which is something I’m really proud of!

Although I enjoyed my job, I was becoming more and more aware of the impact of climate change and wanted to be part of the solution.  I decided to go back to university to do my master’s degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering (passing with a distinction), which lead me into the exciting world of renewables. From there I worked in hydropower before moving on to Scottish Water, with the ultimate aim of working in Horizons – and seven years later here I am!

What drew you to Horizons?

I am a self-confessed hydro geek (I once bought an old water mill site to refurbish, but that’s another story….).

The opportunity to combine my passion for all things hydro whilst helping to reduce emissions through hydro power means I can honestly say I now have my dream job!

Scottish Water has so much hydro potential across its asset base, and I’m really excited to be able to play a part in helping reach its net zero targets by 2040 and beyond.

What does a normal day look like for you?

I usually start my day early with a couple of cups of coffee and a dog walk. Once I’ve logged in, my day can be pretty varied.  From meeting with suppliers, preparing budgets to scoping out new sites for hydropower installation, no two days are ever the same.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to work in renewables?

See what’s out there! There are many specialisms in the renewables industry so the more research you do the better.

Many places offer short courses so you can get a feel for which area captures your interest the most.  If you can get some experience early in your career such as a summer placement with an engineering firm even better. 

Stuart taking part in one of his favourite hobbies – sailing.

Where would you most like to visit in the world?

I’d love to go to Niagara Falls – there’s a hydropower plant there which was developed by Nikola Tesla in 1895! I’d also love to see Venice which looks like a gorgeous city but is sadly feeling the effects of climate change.

If you could travel to any period in time, when would it be and why?

I’d travel back to the start of the Industrial Revolution so I could encourage them to use sustainable power over fossil fuels!

Who was your hero growing up?

When I was a child I loved Evel Knieval, who was a stunt performer best known for his daring motorcycle jumps. These days I’m really inspired by the life and work of Nikola Tesla.

What does a perfect Saturday look like?

A nice early start fuelled by coffee and bacon rolls, then a sail in the sunshine through the Kyles of Bute!

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