Spotlight On: Blair Martin, Biomass Monitoring

19th February 2020
Biomass

Blair Martin plays a pivotal role in the smooth running of the largest portfolio of biomass managed boilers across the UK. His expert knowledge ensures that AMP Clean Energy boilers enjoy maximum uptime, with any issues often being resolved before even troubling our customers.

Q. How long have you worked in energy?

A. This is my first job in energy and I’ve been working for AMP Clean Energy for around two years now. After pursuing a number of different careers, I went to university later in life to study environmental engineering as I knew that I wanted to get into energy.

Q. Describe a typical working day

A. Every day I do three full checks on the 200 boilers we manage. Our monitoring system reports back on how each boiler is working every 30 minutes so I will be alerted to any issues which requires attention. This could be something I can resolve remotely or something requiring the expert help of our team of specialist engineers.

We have a target of 94% uptime across all our boilers so an important part of my job is also to help ensure that the boilers run at optimal efficiency.

The monitoring enables me to keep an eye on every individual boiler’s performance. Every boiler is different depending on the site and the set-up. Just a dip in output or fluctuation in temperature could be a sign that something is not working at optimal levels. It’s good to be ahead of the game and be able to resolve issues before they have even materialised.

The other part of my job is to help support managing the assets. This involves liaising with customer account managers and onsite boiler operators to ensure that customers are happy with the set-up and operation of their biomass heating installations.

Q. What do you enjoy best about your job?

A. The fact that there is no such thing as a typical working day, and that I feel continuously challenged. It is also satisfying to help ensure our boilers perform to the best of their abilities and resolve any issues before they become problems for the customers.

I enjoy working as part of a team. In my case that is the service and heat supply manager, service and heat supply co-ordinator, and of course all the engineers, who are all specialists in their field and do an incredible job.

Q. What do you enjoy least about your job?

A. The nature of my job means that I am office-based and spend a fair bit of time on the phone. I enjoy the contact I have with the customers but it would be nice to spend more time on site meeting with them in person. That is something I am hoping to do more of in the summer which is a traditionally quieter time for me in my role.

Q. What has been your career highlight?

A. Last year we had a very rare incident when a boiler completely failed. The boiler was not fixable so we had to source and supply a temporary back up boiler and order and install a new boiler. I think every aspect of AMP Clean Energy’s biomass team was involved. Everything went so smoothly and we managed to completely resolve the issue within seven days. The school was only without heat for a matter of hours which was a great achievement. They were also very pleased with the outcome. Within the school’s contract maintaining the boiler, including any break down issues, is down to AMP Clean Energy.

Q. What keeps you awake at night?

A. I feel a responsibility to our customers especially schools and care homes which are reliant on the hot water and heat our boilers provide. I’ll sometimes log-on to the monitoring system in the evening or at weekends just to check all the boilers are running well. If I spot a problem I get in touch with the out-of-hours engineer to help resolve it.

Q. What next in your current role?

A. When I first joined AMP Clean Energy there was a fair amount of work to do on the monitoring system to ensure it was performing to the best of its abilities. This is an ongoing piece of work as we strive to provide the best possible remote monitoring for our customers.

Q. What are your professional aims for the future?

A. I’m loving my current role. It’s still challenging and I’m still learning new things. It’s also an exciting time to be working at AMP Clean Energy with the business growing rapidly. I’ve always wanted to work in energy and this job has convinced me that I’m in the right field.