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Iain Mackinnon MBE

Plant Manager - FoundOcean

"I couldn’t wait to join the army when I was 16. Then I got to go to the Royal School of Military Engineering to do my HNC in Civil Engineering."

I was in the army for 35 years. During my time in the Royal Engineers, one of my roles was to go and “recce” jobs, taking me all over the globe: Hong Kong, Nepal, Belize and Norway. In a later role as Regimental Quartermaster, I had to ensure that a unit of 650 soldiers was fully equipped and resourced for deployments worldwide.

When it was time to enter civilian life and find a new line of work, I was 50 and FoundOcean was my first ever proper interview. I came into the HQ in Livingston, spoke to a couple of people and got the job! I haven’t looked back since.

I’m in charge of equipment, in Livingston and worldwide. This used to mean lots of trips away, perhaps moving heavy silos from Malaysia to Europe, or travelling to sites in the Middle East, India and the USA. Now, with more regional managers in place, I manage the overview of all FoundOcean’s equipment and where it is in the world.

My role virtually doubled when I took on the stores in Livingston but, with my experience, it wasn’t a huge leap. I can’t really believe how seamless the transition was from soldier to civilian. Being Quartermaster Technical in a regiment to doing what I do now isn’t all that different, just on a smaller scale.

What I love about FoundOcean is working in a new, vibrant industry where the aim is to produce electricity as cleanly as possible, using a nature-given resource.   

Another big driver is that this industry definitely attracts a certain type of individual: highly skilled, “can do” people who are open to adventure in an exciting new industry!

I can see that the military frame of mind fits in very well here. And as for the guys offshore, working in often challenging and demanding conditions definitely suits “can do” folk too.

I know I enjoy my job because the time flies by. I get here at 7.30am and the day just goes – there is no clock-watching! And I am still enjoying it after ten years. It’s a great firm to work for, a really excellent place to work.