Meet The Team - Andrew Johnston
What is your professional background?
Graduating from Aberdeen University with a BEng Electrical & Electronic degree in 2006, I was thrown straight into offshore life in the North sea and spent the next five years as an inspection engineer using various remote technologies to inspect difficult to access subsea structures such as caissons and risers. Progressing my career, I had roles as a Senior Inspection Engineer and Operations Manager before starting my entrepreneurial journey with 5 partners in early 2013, co-founding AISUS Offshore. Over the past 5 ½ years I have been Operations Director for AISUS, growing the business from start-up to a well-established SME in the Oil & Gas Industry.
With my focus now on Innovair, along with partners Jamie and Stuart, we are building a business which develops advanced industrial robotic technology. I have always had an interest in future tech, my house is full of gadgets, and firmly believe that, among other things, Innovair can be at the forefront of developing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to offer commercially useful survey, inspection and solution capabilities. Using our experience and bringing the right partners along the way, we want to push boundaries using this technology whilst also developing robotic systems to address industrial challenges across multiple sectors.
What is your Role within Innovair?
My main role is to oversee the inspection department within Innovair but, as every company founder knows, I must turn my hand to all aspects of the day-to-day running of the business from sales, marketing, HSEQ and finance etc. I have over 12 years industrial inspection experience and hold a range of certification for visual and ultrasonic inspection. I like to be involved in all aspects of our workflow process from sales right through to completing the project on site to presenting the deliverables, ensuring our clients get the service and support they need. I am very much hands on and love getting out the office and onsite with the team.
Where do you see the future of Inspection Technology?
The inspection market has developed at an incredible pace since I began my career. Technology is becoming smarter, more efficient and adaptable so it can be used across a variety of industries. The application for robotics is almost limitless, and we have only just scratched the surface of what the future will hold. We are seeing an increase of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being adopted in industries such as agriculture, construction and energy and I see this continuing. Digitalisation is ensuring asset owners can have immediate access to real-time data and this will allow more efficient and effective management of their facilities. I believe UAV and robotic technology can be key tools in the data capture process, whilst removing personnel from dangerous sites and inspecting large areas efficiently and safely.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in the Inspection Industry?
Changing people’s perceptions of robotic technology can be a difficult process. For example, when you talk about UAV’s there is a sense of “you’re replacing my job with a flying robot”. UAV’s or any robotic system are implemented to improve an existing workflow or a process which was not possible with current technology available. It adds a further dimension and we are already seeing the benefits of what can be achieved now and in the future.
If you have any inspection related enquiries feel free to get in touch today.