Designing for the future
Published: 09 Sep 2016 By Natasha Mckim
In January 2013, Mat Meredith joined AISUS, right at the very inception of the company. It was a scary start as there were no clients or orders and limited funding, but there was a number of talented people. After months of working feverishly to get their first prototype going, they turned it on and it worked. They haven’t looked back since.
But if others look back, they will see that Mat’s early career started in the nuclear industry where he was a graduate trainee. He relocated to Aberdeen from the Lake District in 2006 before his design skills caught the attention of the senior management at iicorr Ltd in 2009. They moved him into a technical role where he was responsible for bespoke inspection solutions and product development before he moved to AISUS.
Mat said: “Having worked for small, large and medium-sized companies, I felt that I could bring the best elements from each into a start-up company, which is the primary reason why I founded AISUS along with four colleagues.
“Ever since I can remember I have had an interest in how things work, how to fix things and how to make them better. From a young age I took broken things apart and would try to fix them, or understand why they had failed.
“This exposure to the inner workings of devices and machines, along with exposure to several different industries, has given me a great general understanding of how to design and develop new and innovative products.”
Mat’s day involves a wide variety of tasks and functions, from drawing concept sketches and designs, checking documentation to meeting clients, attending board meetings and testing new products and services offshore. He describes himself as a morning person, because the design work is easier to tackle first thing in the day.
“I like to do the more practical elements of my job in the afternoon, such as building and testing prototypes or engaging with clients to determine their needs and requirements,” he said.
For someone who is considering a similar career, Mat has some very simple advice. Allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them, and gaining a good grasp on what is possible and not possible is important. He has certainly learnt what is possible, and one of his biggest challenges in life came when his wife successfully applied to study medicine at the University of Aberdeen. Faced with her desperation to fulfil her life’s ambition to be a doctor, but also relocating and being the sole breadwinner, Mat was challenged.
He said: “Luckily I was given an opportunity in a small company at the last minute and we relocated into the unknown. My wife graduated from medical school in 2011 and is now working in ARI as a registrar helping people every day she works – it was the second best decision I’ve made in my life after asking her to marry me.”