Pool People : Colin Dougall Operations Director, Devin Consulting Limited

Colin DougallAfter serving an apprenticeship as an engineering draughtsman, Colin I spent several years in the Royal Navy before undertaking a Master of mechanical and manufacturing engineering degree at Newcastle University. Colin’s pool industry career started in 2002 when he joined Devin Consulting.

What are your pool market credentials?

I have been in the pool industry as a consulting engineer for 15 years, all with Devin Consulting. Initially I was appointed as a project engineer, becoming a director in 2009, as the company grew. My career at Devin has always been interesting and consistently challenging with every day bringing something new.

How has the industry changed in that time?

Clients are more aware of the availability of high calibre professional advice that can be delivered independent of the trade. Clients are also looking for centralised design input via a single expert consultant to advise on pool water treatment, the pool tanks, spa and heat experiences, pool water features and decorative water features. The increase in demand for positive sustainable contributions has been strong and will remain strong as it is unanimously endorsed as a fundamental design requirement on all schemes.

What projects are you currently working on?

We have approximately 70 projects currently running through the office of various sizes and complexity, examples include the new Center Parcs in Longford Forest, Ireland (multi pool leisure facilities with flumes/rides and features, Aqua Sana Spa pools and features); 2019 Indian Ocean Games in Mauritius, Chelsea Barracks in London.

What have been the landmark moments of your career?

Devin worked on five projects for the 2012 Olympics in London. I worked on the Lee Valley White Water Canoe Centre in Broxbourne. This required research to determine what water quality parameters could be applied to the facility, designing the treatment system for such and then monitoring the install through construction and commissioning into an operative state.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given? By whom?

Some of the best advice has been gleaned from simply reading ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins. There is something on virtually every page and it should be considered the essential read for anyone running or helping to run a company.

What are the main challenges facing the pool industry at the moment?

Building Information Modelling and supporting software/3d design capability has been an issue for some time. I expect there will be an increasing pressure for an ever-higher level modelling earlier in the pre-tender design development period so that the client is better informed in all aspects of the building creation and how it is expected to behave during its lifetime.

What direction do you see the industry heading in?

I would like to think that eventually there will be governmental recognition and budgetary support to the industry in forming a national body with authoritative powers to provide standards for design and operation of pool facilities.

What about outside of work?

Typically family oriented – fell walking, canoeing, climbing, rugby league and riding my motorbike.