Professional Life

I work for a publically funded organisation called iSLI, or to give it it's full title "The Institute for System Level Integration". It's based 15 miles outside Edinburgh in the new town of Livingston in a technology park called the Alba Campus. iSLI is a peculiar organisation in that it is a collaboration between four universities [Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot Watt and Strathclyde] and a local government ecconomic development agency [Scottish Enterprise]. The organisation does a mix of activities ranging from postgraduate education to industry support with technology uptake.

Up until the end of 2006 I lead a group there working in MEMS [MicroElectroMechanical Systems] which I started in September 2003. To put it simply, MEMS is "moving stuff on a chip". Electronic chips, like the ones in a computer, basically work by managing how electricity moves around inside them. MEMS devices actually have moving parts in there which are much smaller than the diameter of a human hair; what is it with human hairs and football pitches they seem to have become almost SI units?

At the start of 2007 I got put in charge of all of the design side of the company, so I now have six folk for whom I am line manager. It's exciting, really exciting. Over the early part of the year I want to get things really kicked off in the line of combined MEMS and electronics research / services. The Boss has a lot more gas burners he can light under my ass, that's for sure, but hey, that's what makes life fun. It's certainly going to be a challenge, but a good one.

Had enough? Let's go home.