Q&A - Gary Buckingham, product and segment marketing manager, partner projects at Schneider Electric

May 16, 2016 by John Hatcher
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Q&A - Gary Buckingham, product and segment marketing manager, partner projects at Schneider Electric

How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?
I think it was one of those happy accidents. I was involved in a project nearly 20 years ago in the early days of the internet and one of the ideas we came up with involved networking different building functions.
What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?
The big thing for me is that there isn't an end game to what can be done, there endless possibilities and people coming up with new things all of the time.
Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?
We recently introduced the Masterpact MTZ which will be available in the UK in Q4 2016. It’s the next generation of high power low-voltage circuit breakers, which combines the company’s legendary performance and reliability with new digital capabilities. This launch is part of an evolution that began in 1987 when Schneider Electric launched the first cassette breaker. We’ve continued to innovate the product, bringing in advanced features, a more digital user experience, and the ability to tailor the offer to meet individual customers needs.
What services does your company offer?
Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. With buildings accounting for almost 40 per cent of energy usage our technology, software and services helps our customers unlock the immense potential for the improvement in their energy efficiency. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems our connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives.
Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?
I believe there is a lack of awareness when it comes to the regulatory framework around smart buildings. Take for example ESOS, legislation which affects large undertakings. An investment in smart buildings technologies such as HVAC and BMS can aid compliance, reducing the risk of being penalised and help organisations achieve cost and energy savings across the board.
How big are the benefits of a Smart Building?
Significant investment has been made over the years to develop solutions and technologies that can unlock savings, improve operational productivity and building occupancy comfort. The good news is that these solutions are now within reach and are helping asset managers do more with less. Take for example a hospital, an energy intensive facility which requires a constant flow of quality energy to operate. With patient care on the line, there’s simply no room for downtime. Advancements in circuit protection, such as the Masterpact MTZ maximise uptime and minimise maintenance. These next-generation circuit breakers provide outstanding power uptime demanded by low voltage electrical distribution networks, even in the harshest environments. Connected, intelligent controls and equipment can now deliver greater insight into the performance of smart buildings and provide a significant, measurable return on investment.
What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?
I come from an electrical engineering background and still get lots of questions around technical issues and more recently about communications
What are the best/worst things about your job?
I get to do a fair bit of travelling in my job which I enjoy, but on the down side it can mean some very early mornings and late nights
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Get a network of contacts as quickly as you can and don't be afraid to ask for help
Where would you most like to live?
Like most of us I moan about the UK but it's still the best place to live
What is your favourite book?
I'm not a big reader, but I have read all of the Sharpe stories by Bernard Cornwell
How do you relax?
I used to race motocross although these days it's more watching than riding. Either way it's my weekend escape
What sports team do you support?
Coming from Yorkshire I'm a Leeds United fan
What is your desert island disc?
It's got to be December 63 by the Four Seasons. I never tire of hearing it
What is your ideal holiday?
Anywhere warm with a pool

 

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