Welcome to Spotlight On…our new weekly introduction to the OXTO Energy team.  Every week we will be conducting 5-minute interviews with the team, to get to know them a little better.  First up, we have Gerald Watt, our resident Mechanical Engineer.


Tell us a little about your background and your role?

I have been with OXTO Energy for a little under a year and the time has flown by.  I studied at the University of Surrey for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and I have a fondness for Guildford and hope that OXTO could be the next big start-up originating from Surrey.

Within the team, I am responsible for the mechanical design of the system and I have been busy designing and developing the mechanical components of the flywheel.  I manage the design alongside my colleague and I have also been coordinating the manufacturing and assembly processes.  One of the best moments so far was seeing the first prototype assembled and operating for the first time.


What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

In my spare time, I enjoy travelling and love America!  You can often find me in the golfing range or the shooting range on the weekends.  Unfortunately, over the past year I’ve been pretty busy most weeks writing my Thesis.  I’m definitely looking forward to finishing the final chapter and enjoying the rest of the Summer…and hopefully taking a trip to the States!


What drew you to the energy and storage industry?

I was interested to see how storage could contribute to the energy market through allowing renewables to become more closely integrated with our conventional fossil fuel generation.  I previously spent some time working in an engineering consultancy involved in the oil and gas industry and it’s been interesting to see the alternative forms of generation develop.


What do you think is the most exciting thing about the storage market right now?

As the UK population grows, the demand on energy and the grid is going to increase.  I think one of the most exciting benefits of storage will be its ability to support the widespread use of electric vehicles.  We need infrastructure that can support fast and high-power charging stations and I think storage could be a big contributor in making that happen.


Beyond storage, what clean-tech sector do you think is most interesting?

I think the electricity price hikes will drive many towards energy independence and setting up their own micro-grids and community grids and I think it will be very interesting to see how that impacts the grid.  I’m also intrigued by how people will control and manage their own micro-grids.


Have you read or seen something interesting lately that you think we should know about?

I think the cryptocurrency market has been very interesting lately!  I read an article recently that reported the first investor in Snapchat thinks Bitcoin could hit $500,000 by 2030.  I’ve been following the currency for the past 6 months and I have seen a near four-fold increase in value.  The currency can be quite volatile, especially with recent developments.  It will be interesting to see how high it goes and how mainstream it could become.


Don’t forget to check back as we shine the spotlight on the rest of the OXTO Energy team!  To keep up-to-date with the latest developments at OXTO, follow us on Twitter.

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