Team Work at its Finest: Q&A with our Two New Process Engineers

As part of our plans for 2021 and beyond, we have recruited two new Process Engineers — we quizzed Eryn & Darrel on their respective functions and feelings about the company culture.

"I realised this company could help me achieve what I wanted to achieve whilst I could offer them my experience to help them achieve what they’re trying to achieve."

What were you doing before you joined Aquascot?

Darrel: I was working for an advanced porous material company, specifically Porex technologies. I was responsible for the CI and Engineering projects aimed at improving efficiency and cost reduction with multi-site responsibilities. I was involved in design projects – most of our machinery was bespoke, you couldn’t buy it off the shelves, it was made for a purpose… I was heavily involved with all departments, Quality, Research & Development and Operations…

Eryn: Before I joined Aquascot, I was at Strathclyde University in Glasgow and I studied a Master’s Degree in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Out with university I was the captain of the swim team. I was also the class and department representative for Chemistry throughout 3-4 years out of the 5 years I was there – I was like the spokesperson between the Chemistry and the Chemical Engineering departments and the student body.

What drew you to the business?

Eryn: When I was looking at graduate positions, I came across Aquascot and what stood out to me was their commitment to the environment, sustainability and achieving the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. Throughout university, there is a big enforcement towards that, so it was probably a big driver for me. And obviously, I really like salmon! I was hoping I would get a couple fillets and samples coming out of it as well… And I just thought, in terms of my career development, having never worked in the food industry before, I kind of assumed I’d be thrown into the deep end and that it’d be a challenge and that was exactly what I was looking for.

Darrel: In my previous job, I felt like I’d gone to the maximum I could achieve with the company I was working for. I’d identified a certain career path for myself that I was struggling to fulfill, so I started to look around and I stumbled across Aquascot. I’d previously heard of them because I’d got colleagues who worked for the company. After speaking with John Housego, the commitments to carbon neutral and continuous improvement were the selling points for me. I felt the geniality come across in the conversations. I’d identified an opportunity where I could enhance my current skillset and develop the avenues that weren’t available to me in my previous employment. There wasn’t anything specifically that attracted me to Aquascot as such, prior to these conversations, but once I’d engaged with people that worked here, I realised this company could help me achieve what I wanted to achieve whilst I could offer them my experience to help them achieve what they’re trying to achieve.

"I kind of assumed I’d be thrown into the deep end and that it’d be a challenge and that was exactly what I was looking for."


Darrel Shortis & Eryn Skinner

Can you explain in simple words what you are going to be doing?

Darrel: What I will be doing is working towards making Aquascot as lean, as productive and as efficient as is possible with the aim of helping the company become ‘Best in Class’.

Eryn: I think for me, to try and learn, and obviously absorb as much as I can about Aquascot, the company culture, how the methods and the processes work, and then look to see where I can make improvements – apply knowledge and methods to make Aquascot the best they can be!

How are you going to work together?

Darrel: I’m going to bring plenty of experience to the table in regards to process engineering, cost control and continuous improvement, whilst Eryn, with her chemistry background, is going to bring a technical knowledge.

Eryn: Although I’ve done internships in the past, I don’t have experience in what Aquascot does as far as process engineering goes – but a young, fresh pair of eyes, the grit, determination and willing to learn is where I would slot in.

Do you feel like COVID has impacted your induction to the business?

Darrel: I don’t think so. In fact, I was very impressed by the induction process here. In my previous employment, there wasn’t an induction process, and in the job I had before that, there was an induction process but not designed like Aquascot, where we got to spend time with individual business units that make up the whole Aquascot team. That was a new experience for me, and it was quite refreshing.

Eryn: I thought it was great in the sense that we were exposed to all different aspects of the business, you know, Operations, Technical, Commercial… As soon as we joined the company, we were able to meet a good chunk of the company – it was very busy.

So far, what has been your favourite thing about working with Aquascot?

Eryn: For me, it’s the fact that there is such a diverse range of things to look at, there isn’t a shortage of things to be doing – you could really be doing something completely different every single day, which keeps things interesting, doesn’t it?

Darrel: My role has become more open, more diverse, my skillset is required across a broader scale which means ultimately that I get to be involved in a multitude of things instead of being pigeonholed. I also like the fact that it’s cosmopolitan – it’s diverse, there’s people from different cultures. Apart from the work side of it, I like the overall culture here, and the culture that is trying to be driven.

Follow Aquascot on LinkedIn for the latest news, recipes and information from the Scottish seafood people in Alness.

Interviewed by: Justine Fourny (Category & Marketing Officer)

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