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Spotlight: Douglas Mackie, Hydro Maintenance Engineer, SSE Renewables

Updated: Jul 16



Tell us a fun fact about yourself


I like mountain biking and snow-boarding.


Tell us about your career journey so far


After leaving school I studied Electrical & Mechanical Engineering at The University of Edinburgh. I joined Scottish Hydro-Electric, now part of SSE, in 1998 as a graduate trainee engineer. Two years later I was given my first engineering post in the maintenance team and two years after that I became a Chartered Engineer. I am currently responsible for the electrical and mechanical equipment maintenance at six of our hydro power stations. I have also worked as part of a team carrying out life extension projects at other hydro sites.


What was your favourite subject in school and why?


I enjoyed science and technology subjects at school. I liked finding out how things work, doing experiments and designing machinery.


What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?


Academic subjects that are useful for my role are electrical, mechanical & civil engineering, mathematics, physics and computing. However, the skills I use most often are problem-solving, planning/organising and communicating.


What is your favourite thing about your job?


I like visiting our hydro power stations and dams which are in some amazing parts of Scotland. I enjoy spending time outdoors, so it is a good day when I get to have a picnic lunch next to a beautiful river or loch.


What is a normal day in your role like?


I spend some of my time in the office planning and preparing for maintenance work. I write and reply to emails, I organise the things that we need and write work instructions. Other days, when I am at power stations, I might be investigating faults, making sure it is safe for people to carry out maintenance work and managing tools, equipment and people. Some days can be normal but other days unexpected things happen and I must quickly change my plans to deal with new problems.


Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?


Make your own wind turbine:






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Tel: 01383 626070

Email: sae@sserc.scot

Address: 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website