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SGS People: Catherine McNeil

Catherine McNeil is a Senior Solutions Architect for us at Smarter Grid Solutions. She previously received her Post Graduate Diploma in IT in 2000 and has worked in a variety of industries before joining the energy sector.


Tell us a little about your background?

I grew up in Scotland, attended Glasgow Uni to study Physics & Astronomy (undergrad), and IT (Postgrad). I moved to London to start my career and returned to Glasgow 5 years later.

My first few roles in IT were as Software Engineer until 2010, I moved into a Technical Lead Role in 2011, and became a Solution Architect in 2016.

I've worked in Insurance, Retail, Banking and Government sectors before coming into the Energy Sector when I started with Smarter Grid Solutions in 2017.

I am mum to two wonderful and expensive teenagers, my passions are music, running (slowly), socialising and visiting new places.

Not being able to go on holiday or to any gigs for the most part of 2020 has been very difficult, but the list of events on my calendar for next year is growing!


What motivates you about your work with SGS?

Working on a successful transformation project in Government gave me the opportunity to learn Agile and upgrade my technical skills.

I found the lean way of driving improvement of software, processes and the user experience, for internal teams and customers alike, really satisfying.

Many companies, including SGS, are on a similar journey, and I wanted to continue doing that work in a growing sector that would allow me to learn new things and possibly make the world a slighter better place!

What do you like best about working at SGS?

The first few months in SGS were a steep learning curve, trying to extract some hazy Electricity knowledge from my distant past and working with a system that can be configured in many ways.

I like the size of Smarter Grid Solutions; it means my day can involve talking to many different people throughout the company.

This also helps me do my job better when I can hear from different people how their roles are linked to, or affected by, the ANM platform.

What has been your biggest achievement so far at SGS?

The things I am proud of achieving since joining the company are being part of design and delivery of key Product features, driving forward the automation capabilities for creating environments and testing, building relationships with customers and designing improvements to the platform that will allow it to scale and flex in the future.

What are your hopes for the clean energy sector in the coming months and years?

My biggest hope for the Energy Sector over the next few months is that companies start to take more of a 'Revolution' rather than 'Evolution' approach to solving problems and building systems. We, Smarter Grid Solutions, the Energy sector, the Planet need to make faster progress and be innovative in how we deal with the risks.

Looking forward, what impact are you hoping SGS will have?

My aim is that the ANM Strata architecture and automation improvements will help SGS drive that innovation.