Say Hello To… Michael Grimley, MD of GSA Environmental
Meet our Managing Director Michael Grimley. Born in Scunthorpe, Michael has grown up with a keen interest in science and technology. Now, he leads the team at GSAe by day, while spending his spare time with his family, playing rugby, squash and football.
For National Boss Day, we caught up with him to find out more about his role at GSAe.
What first interested you in chemical/process engineering?
In my mid-teens, I did some work experience in chemistry labs as a metallurgist carrying out non-destructive testing and CAD operating. It was around this time that I quickly realised that the only people I knew who still retained a sense of job fulfilment, alongside an interest in what they were doing and a desire to improve the environment – broadly speaking – engineers.
My father is a chemical engineer, and I had met a lot of his colleagues, so I saw a broad set of opportunities. It seemed like a good idea when I was looking to go to university to choose something that would be fulfilling through my whole working life.
What’s an average day look like for the Managing Director of GSA?
I enjoy my ability to retain a technical role within the company.
Mostly, this is providing technical authority type observations and directing the projects at a high level, and then input to the research and development programme that we have at our laboratories in Lincoln.
Sometimes, I’m able to get a proper look at elements because of particular experience from my project background, which is also rewarding. If I can do that 50% of my time then I’m happy.
The other 50% tends to be liaising with clients, potential clients and partners about contracts and business opportunities that we are pursuing around the world.
There’s also the strategic work within the executive management team looking at cash flow, personnel and the laboratories. If I could add more % then I would as there is an ever-expanding demand for time, due to telecommunications and the geographic spread of our business opportunities.
What do you do outside of the office?
I look after my wife, children, house, garden and – very occasionally – myself; in that order!
What’s your favourite thing about the job?
Honestly, I enjoy the fact that the work we do could/should and will make a difference to the environment, given the unavoidable truth that we are – as a planet – reliant on power.
What’s your least favourite thing about the job?
Travel can be a burden. Although I enjoy visiting new countries, it takes you away from what’s important. Video- and teleconferencing do make a massive improvement to this, but sometimes, you just have to get on a plane and work away from home.
If you didn’t go down this career path, what would you see yourself doing instead?
There are two answers here really – at the time I made my choices I was very keen on being a barrister. However, if I were allowed to choose again and it had to be different, then I think I would have liked to be a teacher in subjects I enjoy such as history and maths.
Want to find out more about what we do? Speak with Michael today.