Ross Cameron - Assistant Engineer - Dougall Baillie Associates
Issued: Mon, 07 Sep 2020 00:00:00 BST
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I have now been involved in the Science Connects K’nex challenge in Scotland since primary school. I competed in P5/P6, helped facilitate one of the group stages in Calderglen high School and I am now judging it as an ambassador when it goes to South Lanarkshire College.
Tell us about your career journey so far
Back in school, I didn’t know what I wanted to be until 6th year, exam time 6th year. Cutting it a bit close. All I knew was that I did not want to go straight to university, full time education was not for me. I got a call from a friend who had left in 5th year, asked about my advanced higher graphic communication and if I would consider a career using it. There was an apprenticeship going in his office at DBA (Dougall Baillie Associates) and asked me to send in a CV. Within a week, I had been for an interview and got offered the job at the interview. Most interviews end with ‘oh, we will let you know’, but in this case I was offered it there and then. At that point I still had a few options as I had an interview with Dell for an IT support role (despite not taking IT at school). But the offer I got from DBA was far better and I joined up with them at the end of that summer. 6 years later, I am in my last year of university with a professional qualification and an Ambassador for both the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) and STEM Learning. All this before I have actually finished university. The apprenticeship route has been particularly useful in my career, as experience definitely outweighs academic knowledge by quite some margin in a lot of cases.
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
Graphic Communication – something about drawing things up on paper or CAD/Inventor and seeing them slowly become the real thing was very satisfying. At the time I really enjoyed TV shows like ‘How it’s made’ and the like to see the process in making things.
Music Technology – Sound Engineering was also very interesting for me, again probably from a creative standpoint. Recording each individual instrument and being able to edit and piece them together to create a song.
What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?
Graphic Communication, Maths, Geography and Physics. You’d think I use a lot of maths, I actually use a lot more of physics and science than maths
What is a normal day in your role like?
Most of my responsibility lies in creating drawings. I need to draw everything needed to build a structure. The structures I’ve worked on range from an extension to massive blocks of flats and industrial units. All of which, need various drawings to be able to build it. This goes from foundations in the ground and the floor you walk on, all the way through the floors to the roof.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Seeing what I draw and label, become a standing structure. The satisfaction of being able to say, ‘I did that’.
Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
Building Bridges Kit (and other kits) from the ICE – Alison.Ward@ice.org.uk
Science Connects Creating Engineers Challenge - https://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/schools/gsfcreatingengineers/enteringthecontest/
STEM/Education K’nex kits - http://www.knex.co.uk/stem-building-toys
If you're a STEM Ambassador in Scotland and want to share your story you can download the form here.