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SGS People: Spotlight on Iain Smith

Iain Smith graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a Bachelor of Science degree. He served as the Senior Software Engineer with Scomagg, Ltd. and as the Software Director for Cygnet Solutions Ltd. Iain joined Smarter Grid Solutions in 2012 and is now the Director of Software Engineering.


Tell us a little about your background?

Born in Glasgow and grew up in Dumfries, then Strathclyde Uni to do Computer Science during the 80s when there was only about 20 of us on the course.

Married for 27 years with 2 grown up daughters, a primary teacher and a dental student.

Before SGS I worked mainly on designing and building industrial control systems for Scottish engineering firms, including:

  • SCADA system at Longannet
  • Control system at Chapelcross nuclear
  • Bottling control system at Johnnie Walker and Gordon's Gin
  • Radio Teleswitch control system for storage heating (still operational!)
  • Network simulation software for BAE nuclear sub weapons systems
  • Transactional software for BETTA/NETA electrical market trading system


What motivates you about your work with SGS?

Engineering excellence, technical innovation, punching above our weight and building systems that make a real-world difference - there's a great satisfaction in being able to point to something tangible and say, We Did That.


What do you like best about working at SGS?

The people first and foremost - it's very rare to find a company with so much excellence in so many fields. We have a real family atmosphere where I like to think that everyone feels empowered and a vital cog in the machine.

I'm proud that we provide opportunities not only to innovate and take responsibility technically, but also in career trajectory, which is something you rarely get with bigger outfits.


What has been your biggest achievement so far at SGS?

Undoubtedly getting our Strata platform to the point where it is a world-respected market leader in it's field in the utility sector is hugely satisfying.

In terms of discreet achievements, building the first version of SGx to control voltage and then watching that become what Synergy is today is right up there.

Finally, having the opportunity to take the SGS engineering ethic to New York city and help build our presence in the States was a huge honour and something I'm very proud of.


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

Working on innovation projects in California over the past few years has given me a real insight to what's currently possible and what are still real challenges to be overcome; I'm fascinated to see how the traditional utility sector moves to close this gap and embrace faster, leaner and cleaner tech.


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

SSG will continue to lead the way in innovation and enterprise-grade control technologies, even as we adapt our product lines to meet fresh challenges and push into new and exciting sectors and territories.