I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Birmingham and my first job was at Mather and Platt as a design engineer working on centrifugal pumps and large electric motors. Finite Element (FE) analysis came along in the late 1970s and I started writing in-house FE programs in Fortran on a Computer Automation Naked Mini. This quickly led to a full-time role in IT, developing software applications and system tools together with responsibility for operations management. I then worked at GEC Traction in Manchester and moved around within the company as it became GEC Alsthom, then Alstom and remained with the Alstom energy sector when it was bought by GE in November 2015.

I worked exclusively in IT with skills in networks, telecoms, system programming, hardware interfaces, ITIL, project management, etc. Many of my projects were setting up or decommissioning offices and their voice and data communications at power stations (Ironbridge, Fiddler's Ferry, Ferrybridge, Pembroke, Ratcliffe, Cockenzie) and railway depots (Longsight, Liverpool, Wembley, Chester, Glasgow). Other projects were UK-wide and included general telephony, Skype for Business, site closures, Year 2000, outsourcing, etc.

With over 32 years experience and knowledge in the same company I was frequently called on to provide historical information on past projects, site knowledge and so on.

I have worked with many different computer systems including DEC VAX, IBM 370 mainframe, ICL 1900 series, AS/400, PCs, a variety of mini-computers (CA Naked Mini, PDP-11, DECmate, DEC Professional 3xx, etc.) and now Raspberry Pi. I have programmed in IBM Assembler, Fortran, PL/I, Cobol, C and REXX. Why was an engineer using Cobol?

I am interested in managing and reducing energy consumption, automation, M2M, website development, web standards and developing hardware and software solutions on Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

JST Lawrence, © Copyright 2013-2017