People Spotlight: Greig Adams

02 August 2023

In our latest People Spotlight, we caught up with Greig Adams, Project Manager, who recently joined our renewables team. An avid traveller, Greig talks about his passions both inside and outside of work…

Hi Greig, tell us a little bit about your career journey so far…

Having graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a master’s degree in chemical engineering, I was lucky enough to secure a place on the Scottish Water graduate programme.  I worked in the Water Operations division where I got to see first-hand the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep fresh water supplies flowing. I was also involved in areas such as emergency management and digital development before moving on to a Network Analyst role where I helped maintain and improve public water infrastructure. 

Earlier this year I saw an opportunity to get involved in renewables which is something I’m hugely passionate about.   In my water operations role, I helped with site access for solar PV installation, and was inspired by the efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.  I’m now part of a team responsible for the operation and maintenance of low-carbon energy schemes to help Scottish Water on its journey to net zero.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Greig enjoying a quiet pint of the black stuff

As cliché as it may sound, my day-to-day job is extremely varied. From site visits and stakeholder meetings to spreadsheet analysis, there is never a dull moment. 

Plus there is the mix of technologies I manage which I find fascinating.  As well as solar PV, I help manage our energy centre at Stirling which provides cost-efficient and low-carbon heat to a local school and offices. Work has also kicked off on Scotland’s first hydropower scheme on a waste water asset and I’m looking forward to learning all about that too.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

For me, it’s all about getting the chance to do work that protects our environment.  Every day there is something in the news about the damaging impact of climate change so pace is important in what we are doing. I love having the opportunity to make a difference, however small.  I also love the technical side of things. Some of our schemes use cutting-edge technology which keeps my job interesting and I’m constantly learning. The bifacial solar panels at Fraserburgh for example are a great example of us innovating and trying different things.

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

While it may seem like a strange answer, being involved in several large-scale operational incidents has been some of the most rewarding experiences at Scottish Water. I’ve worked during periods of droughts, winter leaks, and pipe bursts.  Although this can be stressful and demanding, often working round the clock, it also takes a lot of teamwork and problem-solving.  So after the dust settles, the achievement and adrenaline rush of getting customers back in supply has been a great source of pride and satisfaction.

Now that I’m working in renewables, it’s a different sense of satisfaction, but one that fulfils me just as much. I’m helping make Scotland a better and greener place for people to live.  Getting schemes up and running after months of development feels like such an achievement and it’s a great team effort. It’s an area that we all take great pride in.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spending time in the great outdoors! I love being in the wild, bagging Munros (mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet high) with my wife and friends. I’ve been Munro-bagging since my teens and some of my best days have been at the top of Scotland’s highest peaks. I also have two small dogs and love to do shorter walks (for smaller canine legs!) in the woods or at the beach.

One more Munro in the bag!

Next on my bucket list is Japan – the culture, nature, and history are so different from Scotland and I’m really looking forward to spending some time exploring the country and meeting its people.

What’s your favourite food and why?

My Grandma’s stovies!  (For those not in the know, stovies are a traditional Scottish dish made with potatoes, meat, and onions, and it’s delicious!).  My Grandma’s stovies are unmatched by anyone else’s and I’ve yet to be proved wrong…

Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?

I love travelling, and have been lucky to live and work in the USA, Canada, and France as well as touring across Europe.  I’ve cycled across France and actually met my wife whilst working together in the French Alps.  

Greig enjoying the great outdoors

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve had lots of great managers and mentors in my short career at Scottish Water and soaked up lots of great advice along the way.  If I had to pick one piece of advice, it would probably be from a recently retired Water Operations Manager who told me: “If you find yourself at a loose end, study the drawings”.  This might seem odd to some, but it’s something I’ve been able to follow throughout my role so far and has certainly helped me along the way – specifically when it comes to network configurations and getting up to speed with all things renewables.

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