I was born in Aberdeen in April 1979, the son of an oilman (James Fenton) and caterer (Isobel Dyker).
At the age of 16 I left school with 9 standard grades at credit level and went on to study Information Technology at Aberdeen College. During this time I also joined the Territorial Army (3 Batallion, 'The Highlanders') to earn some money and help with my education.
While at college I succesfully held down 4 part-time jobs, including positions at McDonalds Restaraunts (crew member), Aberdeen Football Club (catering assistant), Crimond Stock Car Racing Club (commentator), Territorial Army (soldier) and wrote articles for various North East of Scotland Newspapers including the likes of the Buchan Observer and Turriff Advertiser.
At the age of 20, after completing severl courses and being bored with college I decided it was time to go into the big bad world and get a full time job. At this point I decided to join the Regular Army (British) with the Royal Corps of Signals.
During my time with the Army I was trained in multiple trades including, Systems Technician, Information Systems Manager, Technical Supply Specialist and Driver Lineman. As is to be expected with the British Army I saw multiple deployments to numerous worldwide locations including the likes of Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone aswell as safer environments such as the USA and Canada. After having completed a total of 12 years with both the Territorial and Regular Army I decided it was time to move on. The Army were gracious enough to provide a good resettlement programme and allowed me to gain valuable courses in the hope of an offshore job.
My first job after leaving the Armed Forces was to be with a company back home in Aberdeen (ComputerCab (Aberdeen) Plc.). This role although based in Aberdeen was applicable to the whole of Scotland. It involved installing of Radio Equipment into vehicles, maintaining the I.T. equipment within the London call centre (located in Aberdeen) as well as the RF transmitters located throughout the city. The final job for the company before my departure was to upgrade the systems to a more modern infrastructure using 3G and GPRS data systems instead of relying solely on RF transmission. Due to the nature of the upgraded equipment the requirement for a RF Engineer became redundant.
The chance to get offshore finally came, and thanks to Cormon Ltd. (now Teledyne Cormon Ltd.) The General Manager had came accross my CV and taken note of my I.T. skills and experience. For this reason I was employed as the Account Manager where I managed several high profile accounts including the likes of CNR International, BP, Taqa and Shell. This was a multi disciplined role and required me to not only manage the accounts, but also travel to various offshore & onshore locations where I would install various types of corrosion coupons and electronic probes into gas, water and oil pipelines. The knowledge gained from the Army and not least my own personal hobbies allowed me to understand the data received from the corrosion probes and subsequently provide detailed information to clients regarding the state of their assets. In 2011 Cormon was purchased by Teledyne Ltd. and as a result all employees were offered redundancy due to the outsourcing of the service department and relocation of the business.
Within days of getting the bad news that I was being either relocated or made redundant I was able to secure further employment with Kongsberg Maritime in the Training and Simulation Centre at Westhill. I was very unsure about this position. This was going to be something very different; although I had trained hundreds of people within the Army, I had never done it full time every day. Taking the job turned out to be one of the best things I had done. Taking the chance on something I had never done before was very daunting but as it turned out very rewarding. When I first joined the Training Department I was only the 6th Technical Instructor there. I had never heard of Dynamic Positioning but seemed to have a natural talent for understanding the system and was teaching the (technical) subject (K-POS) within 1 month. Due to this I then progressed to Automation (K-Chief 700). The Automation side of things was far larger, but again within a very short time Iwas teaching the subject to delegates. Things progressed extremely well with Kongsberg and within the first year I was teaching more subjects than any other person, and we had increased in size so much that we had to build a new training centre. By August 2012 the company had moved into their new premesis and I was teaching a total of 11 subjects; some of which had actually been written by me (K-Chief 600 which is designed more for Merchant Marine and the K-Net course, which is a basic networking course designed to help the more mature offshore and marine worker who didn't grow up in the computing age!!). Unfortunately the General Manager at the time had to step down and the company was presented with a new manager whose first move was to cost cut and make personnel redundant.
Luckily, I managed to find new employment within minutes of this news with Ultra Electronics as an Offshore Engineer. I had thought that my offshore days were over and had planned to be with Kongsberg until I retired, but the way of the oil and gas industry at the time had other plans in mind.
The start with Ultra brought new challenges, working with Radar Early Warning Systems was new to me. Never before had I actually worked with Radar equipment, pls I now have to contend with the early morning rises at 04:00 in orer to do trips offshore, which I have not had to do before as a father. The time away from my son is something new, but it does make me appreciate family life more.
After a spell with Ultra Electronics, I secured work essentially as a Civil Servant in an area that prevents me from talking about it in any form, other than to say I deal with secure communications.
Having decided to gain some more qualifications I enrolled on a full time education course in August 2019, studying Arts & Social Sciences with a view to learning something new completely out with my usual comfort zone, including, Psychology, Sociology, Politics, English & Mathematics.