Introducing Scott Burt

Discover the lure of Igne in the words of Contracts Manager Scott Burt, and how having a full-time job with water wells and geothermal, as well as singlehandedly parenting three children is just not enough for this dynamic drilling expert.

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Tell us all about yourself, professionally speaking of course

Glad you added the caveat as I barely know you!  Well, I’ve been in the drilling industry for 23 years now.  I came straight out of school at 17 years of age and started as a labourer on a shell and auger rig – that’s cable percussion.

I laboured and learned over about three years before taking on my own shell and auger as a lead driller where I stayed for four years.  I did do a bit of rotary as a labourer in amongst all that and then with enough experience under my belt, I applied for a job working offshore. 

Drilling for oil?

No!  I went offshore as a lead driller on nearshore jack-ups. 

Excuse me, what?

A jack-up is simply a very versatile platform for nearshore drilling and testing.  It’s ideal for coastal and marine geotechnical projects.  I was mainly working on site investigation works for the likes of wind farms and nuclear power station outlets.

I also did some dredging operations as well, for big ships that needed to go into small places! 

We needed to see what the seabed was made up of to get the big ships in for iron ore exports.  That was all over the world. 

Where abouts have you lived and worked?

I did a lot around Africa and spent quite a long time in Sierra Leone before heading back to Europe where I worked in the south of France before coming back to Britain. 

You gave up working in the south of France?  Why!

It was lovely, but by then I had a young family and I wanted to work more locally. 

That’s fair enough, so what did you do?

I joined a brilliant company and maintain a strong friendship with all my former colleagues there, even if I did eventually leave for Igne.

I spent 13 years at that company, starting out as a drilling supervisor before being promoted through the ranks to project manager.  My last four years there were as contracts manager.

The work the company does is all large diameter geothermal and water wells.  And so the experience I gained was entirely aligned with what Igne was looking for when Ben Cornish [Director of Water Wells] came knocking. 

What lured you away?

I certainly wasn’t unhappy in my last role.  But a number of things about Igne had me intrigued.  Firstly, I am an ambitious person and I had the assurance from Ben that I could take on the contracts manager role and mould it to suit my exceptionally high standards. 

His words were along the lines of – it’s your role, you’ve already been doing it for years, just crack on.  And that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do. 

Everyone at Igne is so supportive when you bring fresh ideas and want to elevate standards.  No one stands in your way and I’ve proven my worth by advancing the commercial success of many jobs already. 

What else – you said there were a number of things…was is the marketing department at Igne that really turned your head?

Well of course!

Actually, I saw a number of former colleagues join and progress really well and I wanted to be a part of this picture of success.  As a single father of three, the ability to work from home a lot of the time was appealing too. 

Wow – single-handedly parenting three whilst working full time is incredibly impressive.  How do you manage it?

I have brilliant kids and a brilliant mam!  There’s Jake who is nine, he’s into his fishing and rugby, then Rosie who is 14.  She also loves rugby, and I’d say she’s the mother of the house who helps me so much.  And then I have Grace who is 17 and about to emigrate to Australia.  

Oh no…

No, it’s great, I’ve been really supporting her ambition.  She’s got herself a job farming and I am really happy for her to grab this incredible opportunity as soon as she turns 18.  She’s been into horses since she was knee high and is very successful in the equestrian world.  I think she’ll shine in her new role.

In short, they are all three chips off the old block.  And then of course there’s my mam, who is as good as gold.  She lives for my kids and if I have to travel, I have to fight for them back when I get home! 

Tell us a bit more about your day job

It started with quite a big challenge to set up better procedures for storing, filing and tracking information and documents from past projects.  The speed at which Igne is growing has meant increasing efficiency is essential.

Then there was a catch up needed on the commercial side of things.  There was a gap after we had some leavers before we had new joiners.  This means a commercial process tidy up was critical.

I have increased internal knowledge in relation to client communications, contract law, the value of early warning notices and managing and submitted all documents per legal stipulations etc.

We are a small team, therefore with the efficiencies I have been able to bring in, we’re able to maintain our dynamism and increase output. 

What does the future hold at Igne in your opinion?

With the excellent resources we have within the group we are going to continue delivering significant benefits for clients. 

For example, we can offer borehole geophysics and we don’t have to rely on third parties.  We can even bring them in next day if needs be.  This means we save so much time on standing that we’re enabling our clients’ successes.  Saving them time and money and adding value.

It’s the same with having the in-house testing capability.  We had a big contract lift come off and the client didn't have any ground strength data for plate load bearing and things like that.  

We rang our laboratories and the next day there was an Igne engineer out.  He carried out all the plate load testing, sent all the information we needed, and we were able to just tick that box off and save the client far more time than another contractor would have been able to. 

What about you, what are your ambitions?

I’ve made it clear to Ben that while of course my commitment lies with the water well and geothermal team, I want to work more across the group in time to bring additional efficiencies, share learning and best practice and do all I can to continue the advancement of the ‘one Igne’ vision.

I have a passion for training and education, for keeping on top of legislation changes and want to do all I can to benefit the wider group. 

Apart from parenting Grace, Rosie and Jack, who are you when you’re not at work?

Well, before Igne I barely had any time outside of work and being a hands-on parent for anything else.  I’d work away a lot, travel a lot and spend evenings and weekends trying to keep on top of the house and all the admin that comes with juggling the needs of three children. 

But with the flexibility I now have at Igne, as 98% of my work can be done on my laptop at home, I actually have my weekends back.  You cannot place a value on that.

But if I get too much time on my hands, I have been known to kill a karaoke machine channelling Elton John.  I'm horrendous, you know.  I'm, like, really bad.  But I just. I'm one of them people who doesn't give a… 

Let’s leave it right there!