In this blog series we talk to our power industry experts here at Bowman Power Group, to provide our readers with an insight into the diverse range of talents and expertise that make us proud of our team. In our first blog, we spoke to Dr. Shinri Szymko, Head of Technology.
Today we spoke to Matthew Butcher, our Principal Support Engineer, and learned how he applies his expertise to help our customers worldwide.
What’s your background, and how did you come to join us at Bowman?
My background is primarily in Mechanical Engineering. I studied for my first degree in Motorsport Engineering at Brunel University. During my time there I opted to do a placement year, and worked at a biofuels company which designed and manufactured equipment for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol production. This is what sparked my interest in the energy and clean technology sector. After university my first role was for Delphi Diesel Systems as a Graduate Development Engineer. After a year in this role the economic downturn hit the business hard and I took the opportunity to take a sabatical and spent a year studying for a Master’s degree in Renewable Energy at Newcastle University.
This experience really solidified my thoughts around what kind of work I wanted to do in the future, and after another short spell back at Delphi Diesel Systems I worked for a renewables company in Wilshire, before subsequently joining Bowman in 2012. When I first joined Bowman I took the role of Integration and Commissioning Engineer, acting as a link between Engineering and Customer Support. More recently, I took my first managerial role as Bowman’s Principal Support Engineer.
What’s your role here at Bowman, and what are your responsibilities?
I manage the Support Engineering team, consisting of four other Support Engineers, and one Operational Analysis (Reliability) Engineer. The Support Engineering department has two main facets; one to support our customers; through remote and on site assistance, and to assist the other functions of the business, primarily the Engineering team. My team spend a lot of time with customers on-site, to assist with new installations or demonstrator systems. We also provide in-depth training for our customers’ engineers on how to use and maintain our equipment. We usually talk to customers on a daily basis.
How does your work impact our customers and the development of the ETC system?
The Support Engineering team plays a crucial role in our customer relationships. It’s our job to offer support to customers as soon as they might need it (if not before!). I think it’s key for us to deliver complete customer satisfaction. In terms of Bowman’s development of our ETC technology, we also act as the voice of the customer, and deliver the feedback we hear from customers to the rest of the Bowman team.
What challenges have you been faced with/overcome in your role?
For my team, it can be challenging to plan and schedule when and where we’re going to be in advance. Our customers can often need on-site support almost immediately, which means we might need to visit them at the drop of a hat. Some weeks we might be supporting customers in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia – all at once! Being dedicated to meeting our customer’s requirements is our top priority. We try to be as prepared as possible and on-hand at all times.
What is your favourite aspect of the role?
No day is ever the same. One day I might be writing reports, working on product design, working on the shop floor, or out visiting a customer. I enjoy how varied my role can be. I also love our customer interactions, and get a great sense of satisfaction from helping customers and delivering the support they need. When we finish work on a project on-site and the customer is pleased with the result, we know we’ve done our job.