In Conversation with James Gillic

09 Dec 21
Meet James Gillic - Director, Data Centre

Meet James Gillic - Director, Data Centre

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Spending time with family & friends……..and cold Guinness……when combined, it results in ultimate happiness.

2. What’s your favourite holiday memory?
My favourite holiday memory is definitely spending the warmest week of 2021 on Inchydoney beach in Cork with family. It really confirmed that there is no better place in the world than Ireland when we get warm weather. It was very simple fare, swimming in crystal clear water, pucking a sliotar around with the kids, and the obligatory sand skyscrapers which is now a family tradition.

3. What are you reading? Would you recommend it?
I am reading ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen at present and it really is a great read. You gain more and more respect for ‘The Boss’ as the book goes on. We see these superstars and presume that they have it all figured out and had an easy ride along the way, it is only when they lift the lid on things that you see what a complex upbringing people like Bruce had and the hard work, dedication, and single-minded focus that was required to make it as big as he did. Plus we share a favourite pub in Dublin for pints of Guinness, The Long Hall on George’s St.

4. Which talent would you most like to have?
That’s an easy one….the talent of time travel….there is just not enough hours in the day! 😊

5. What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement to date?
That would definitely be helping to form the Data Centre team at Ethos Engineering over the last number of years. The team has not only grown in size but also the specialist skills have increased substantially by all the different talent that has joined. We have a great team that is always expanding and it is great to see people of different backgrounds and with different talents coming together to form a really strong and dedicated team. I played a small part in the formation of the electrical side of this team and it is one that I am most proud of.

6. What practice area do you specialise in and why does it matter?
As part of the DC group in Ethos Engineering, I specialize in Data Centre designs. It matters to people as so much of our future will be based on Data and Data trends. In the years to come, Data will drive so much good in the world, from ways & means to deal with environmental issues to using Data to form our best decisions, locally and globally. Some people might see Data Centres as a problem due to their energy usage, but this is a short-sighted view as like most things through the years, engineers will improve performance and reduce this energy use to acceptable levels……..however the Data within the centres will do much more to improve peoples lives for the years to come.

7. What is the quality you most admire in a leader?

Trust. I believe that it is a sign of confidence within a leader, that they possess enough confidence in themselves and their team not to feel like they need to micro-manage or second guess every decision. People cannot grow and develop careers if they are not trusted to complete the jobs that they have been tasked to do. It's sometimes easier said than done, but I believe that at Ethos we are trusted to make the right decisions at the right times.

8. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Embrace Change, because it is the only consistent thing in Data Centres’. These words of wisdom were shared by an older American engineer working on the client side of one of the first Data Centres I was involved in. If I’m honest, I was scratching my head a little when I first heard it…..change being consistent. Over time you quickly realise the truth in this, Ethos Engineering now designs services within Data Centres far and beyond what we would have done 10 years ago. It’s a case of listening to the changes that clients want to make, and guiding those changes to fruition.

9. Name your favourite international building and why?)

That would be the Empire State Building, we completed the standard tourist trip to The Empire State building a good few years back and I was just amazed that such a structure could be constructed in the 1930s. It’s an amazing feat of engineering and goes to show the bravery and intelligence that there must have been in New York at the time. Like most engineering nerds, I spent a large portion of my time reading the detail of how the building was originally heated and cooled and many of the different retro-fit projects that have been completed through the years.

10. Tell us something not many people know about you?
I once met Ronaldo when on holiday with friends in Dubai….it was just after his first stint at Manchester United and we couldn’t get over the respect and admiration that he had for our own Roy Keane…..It was like Roy Keane was Ronaldo’s hero. He stopped and chatted with us for a few minutes and came across as a nice enough guy.