The success of Autonomous iOt is being helped by two local specialists whose own education and career pathways have progressed just a matter of miles from our North Lanarkshire base. Getting to know our production manager Diane Morgan and technical director Jim McDougal,
Here’s a short Q&A from both:
Where were you immediately before arriving at Autonomous and why did you want to join the company?
Diane (originally from Petersburn, former Caldervale High pupil, now lives in Caldercruix): I worked for a company called Securus where I was the Stores and Purchasing Manager. I became aware of Autonomous iOt as a new manufacturing Company with an exciting product they were designing, I wanted a change in my career and to go where I would learn new skills and meet new people.
Jim (originally from Moodiesburn, attended St Patricks High in Coatbridge, now lives in Glenboig): I was the IT manager with DMI Fire and Security. Autonomous were designing a new and exciting product which I knew would bring daily challenges and with the experience I have accumulated over the years I knew I could bring something to the table, for me this would bring a total change of career and give me something new and exciting to be involved with.
What has given you most pride or satisfaction in your role so far?
Diane: Having worked in Stores and Purchasing for several years I have manged to change my career path despite getting to a certain age. I have had many challenges in front of me during this journey and overcome them one by one, and I am proud of the new skillset that have learned.
Jim: I assisted CEO Bobby Kane from an early stage in the product development. Probably the proudest moment was when the first unit was produced and installed outside our office, to achieve what we did in such a short time, taking our ideas from a whiteboard to an actual product, was incredible.
Tell us a bit about the work you do with the graduates, what you teach them and what you learn from them?
Diane: With the level of experience I have I do feel I have a guiding role to play to support the development of all the graduates. I have gained lots of different skills throughout my career and hopefully the graduates can benefit from this. All the graduates have a wealth of knowledge from University and so that blended learning combination with real life and work experience works very well as we know.
Jim: I try to teach them different ways of working and give guidance on the various projects they do. I have worn many hats in my time including coachbuilding, mechanics, project management, electrical, security systems and IT and I try to pass on my knowledge where it can assist on the various projects they do. Equally, as an old dog can learn new tricks, the graduates have taught me a thing or two as they have a great understanding and knowledge in their own areas with a fantastic work ethic. We all complement each other in any task we undertake.
What are your ambitions for the future - for you in your role and also for Autonomous as an organisation?
Diane: To see the Autonomous iOt grow and be very successful knowing that I have played my part. Personally, I wish to progress within the company and will see what opportunities arise in the months and years ahead.
Jim: Similar to Diane, for the company to grow, to create new products and local jobs and just to be involved with a company that cares for the environment and their people.
Finally, following COP26, what's your one wish for countries across the world to ensure it has a positive legacy?
Diane: That we all change our attitude and behaviours to help to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals by 2030.
Jim: That we all need to work together to achieve net zero. Countries and companies must take responsibility for the carbon emissions they produce, but also as individuals if we all make small changes it will go a long way.