Steve Aitken

Steve Aitken

Steve Aitken
BSc Computer Science (Hons)
Class of 2001

Steve is a key supporter of the University of Aberdeen. Working closely with the School of Natural and Computing Sciences, Steve’s company, Intelligent Plant, donate an annual prize to 3rd year computing students recognising teamwork and presentation skills. In addition, Steve provides mentoring and placement opportunities and we’re delighted that our students benefit from his professional experience, engagement with the University and support for new talent.

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen and why your particular course?

I grew up around Aberdeen and actually originally applied to do Physics – which my course was in first year. I applied to do Physics because I wanted to work at CERN after watching Star Trek as a kid and fancying playing with a particle accelerator. Luckily Aberdeen University made it easy to change subject which I did officially after first year. I changed to computing science because I figured I was more likely to get a job in that (and I enjoyed it).

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? 

I still stay in Aberdeen so find it hard to separate that out – but Aberdeen is a great city that allows you to almost instantaneously be transported to the country by driving a small distance. I like the ability to work in the city (or study) but make trips out to the country for scenery and days out.

What advice would you give to prospective students to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?

I would say that they should always think about why they are at university and what they want to gain from it. You need to keep that perspective to drive the right things and to keep you motivated on your course. Also, enjoy your time with the friends you make - they will likely be friends for life.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.

I did a placement during University for an Engineering Consultancy (PI Limited). PI Employed me during my final year, and after graduation, during which time I worked as a part of a small and growing company providing software solutions to Oil and Gas Customers. PI Automation was sold to Matrikon – so I was then employed by Matrikon, and spent time in their Canada office, before coming back to the UK, and setting up Intelligent Plant.

Are you still involved with the University of Aberdeen and if so, in what way?  What benefits has that relationship brought for you?

Yes, we help with course content, are an industrial liaison for the Computing Science Department, provide placements for students, mentor students, hold a prize for 3rd year presentations and present to students on working life to help prepare them. We are currently trying to work out a way to collaborate with the University itself on projects too.