Interview | Tony Chambers

In Conversation With

Issue 58

What were your career ambitions growing up?

When I was younger, I really wanted to be a structural designer, helping to design the likes of buildings, bridges, stadiums etc.

-Tell us about your role at the UTS Group

I was initially brought in as a design engineer to produce all the drawings required for production and for the sales team / site services.

After around 5 years, I was promoted to research and development manager. This means developing new products, examining existing products and with the help of a strong team, develop these to reduce cost, perform better and add more value for our clients.

-What services does the company provide?

We specialise in highly bespoke solutions for the UK utilities industry. Whether you require a single pipe fitting or fabrication, our innovative under pressure drilling services or a substantial maintenance contract’, we have the capability to deal with any issue big or small.

What’s your proudest business achievement?

We received a call for some emergency work. We needed to connect 2 pipes in the ground that were offset from each other and angled differently. The measure was done on-site and sketches were passed to me to interpret and to design the pipework to join. The timescales were incredibly tight and the space to work in was extremely small.

The fabrication drawings were completed and then passed to production. To see the parts being manufactured was really fulfilling, as I could see my 3D models come to life. Once the parts were coated, they were loaded on the transport and delivered to site.

A nervous few hours passed waiting for the call to ensure everything was ok. Photographs were then sent to me showing the pipework bolted up and the water was flowing again. A great sense of accomplishment and pride as I had a big part in getting this done in the time available.

-What challenges have you encountered?

The biggest challenges have been the short amount of time to design the fabrications, to the complexity of some items and using the materials we have. Challenges are one of the reasons I love my role!

-How has the industry changed since you arrived at the company?

I’ve seen many changes in the industry in only 8 years. From the technology and equipment, we have seen changes across most of our operations. Measurement innovations and the way our factory operates, we are continuously improving our work and pioneering in engineering.

-Is there a mantra you always aspire to do business by?

I’ve always worked on the saying ‘know your limitations, and then defy them’.

-How do you like to unwind?

I enjoy Formula 1 and the BTCC and try to attend at least one event each year.

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