Oceanlab Technical Director
Following graduation with a BSc(Eng) Hons in Electronic Engineering, I began my career as an Electronics Design Engineer for an American multi-national corporation. While there I studied for an MSc in Digital Techniques. This was followed by a year designing electronic systems for NMR scanners. I then spent 16 years as a lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering, Robert Gordon University, specialising in digital systems design and signal processing. While there I became a Chartered Engineer and also undertook research leading to a PhD with a thesis entitled "Study of Design Methodologies for Fault Tolerant State Machine Controllers". Following this I worked for a start-up, designing VLSI Neural Network chips. This was followed by several years designing subsea electronic systems, before joining Oceanlab as a Design Engineer in 2008.
Although not directly employed in a research position I have research interests in several areas.
Following my research at RGU I retain an interest in fault tolerant and reliable systems design. I have developed this into a practical interest in the software engineering of embedded systems. Over the years I have implemented many systems and have gradually devised a design methodology based on finite state machines. This methodology addresses the design at a high level of abstraction and allows verification of the control part of the algorithm prior to coding.
I also have an interest in interconnected sensors via standards such as IEEE1451 and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) initiative. These are at an early stage of development and require a great deal of practical implementation and testing before they become truly useful standards for the sharing of data via the ethernet. I am interested in addressing this possibility with regard to all future sensor systems developed at Oceanlab.
- Further Info
Role at Oceanlab
My role as Technical Director is, together with a technician, principally to provide engineering support for sceintific research being carried out at Oceanlab. This can often involve custom design of systems capable of being deployed in the deep sea. I also provide support to the Business Unit with regard to the overall engineering implications of any testing which is to be undertaken. This involves the assessing tasks against Oceanlab's capabilities and an estimation of the time required to carry out testing.
Since joining I have designed and implemented several subsea electronic instrumentation systems for use on scientific research cruises. I have also been involved in the design of a small subsea observatory designed to investigate practical enginerring aspects such as supply of power and communications links.
My work with the Business Unit involves advising clients on test strategies for pressure, temperature/humidity and vibration testing of systems. This results in the writing of test plans based on industry standards such as the petroleum industrury ISO 13628-6:2006. These are then translated into test programs to be run on our test equipment. I am then present to advise while the tests are carried out.
I am also available to carry out electronics design consultancy in the areas of subsea electronics and instrumentation.