ScotEng Mentoring Programme – Meet Our Mentors

Mentoring can inspire, support, and motivate people to realise their potential and to achieve their dreams. In our careers, as in life in general, we can sometimes come to a point where we are stuck, standing in the same spot, unsure of how to progress to the next stage, or just looking for that “spark”. This is where mentors come in. A mentor helps accelerate growth by providing unique perspectives, advice, and encouragement. Through reflecting on their own experiences, they can help their mentee avoid the same mistakes they have made and provide the confidence and courage to explore new ideas and ways of working.

Our Mentoring Programme is open once again for new candidates who are building their careers. This Mentoring Programme is included in Membership, so there’s no additional cost to Member companies. All of our mentors are recently retired/semi-retired senior professionals from the engineering and manufacturing industry, and all boast a wealth of experience in professional engineering, project management, and leadership roles. The Mentors work on a volunteer basis and are extremely passionate about transferring their knowledge and experience to the next generation of professionals.

If you would like to explore how our mentoring scheme could support your organisation, contact


Meet our Mentors 


Lorraine O’Reilly C.Eng B.Eng. Lorraine has 38 years’ experience working with The Ministry of Defence, she has worked across many of its sub-departments and held senior leadership roles in infrastructure management, programme management, facilities management, and standardization. Lorraine began her career as an apprentice and developed an early career anchor in electrical power engineering. Her career history stretches from Naval Base Clyde at Faslane to ten years spent in Germany supporting British Forces and allies, to Bristol where defence equipment is designed and procured, to Glasgow where she was the lead on equipment standardization and to Brussels as the UK rep to NATO’s Standardization Committee. Her final role in defence took her back full circle to Clyde, as the infrastructure lead. She has worked extensively in partnership with industry and is a strong advocate of positive stakeholder collaboration and engagement. Lorraine has taken advantage of the opportunity and retired early from the MOD. As one of our current ScotEng mentors, she is very keen to promote engineering as a great career opportunity for anyone and women in particular. Lorraine lives in Balloch with her husband Stuart and enjoys travel, music, art and photography.


David Arnold. After a career spanning 32 years in the energy sector, David retired in early 2016, with more than half of his career spent in the renewable energy sector. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Strathclyde, and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University. 24 years of his career were spent with Scottish Power (the South of Scotland Electricity Board before privatisation). He joined the company through their two-year graduate programme within their Generation Business in 1984 and enjoyed a career that covered many firsts for the business. David’s career has seen him take on the role of Project Director with ScottishPower Renewables, where he was responsible for the development, consenting, construction, and operational performance of more than 1,000MW of wind projects. He also worked with Weir Power and Industrial, directing the development and delivery of a strategy that introduced Weir into the wind energy service sector. In late 2012 (until the end of 2014), David played an integral part in establishing The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – an innovation-driven business tasked with cost reduction in the offshore sector through collaboration between industry, academia, and government. David’s career has been wide and varied, and he is certain that through sharing his experience and knowledge with ScotEng mentees, that he can help the next generation enjoy long and successful careers.


Alister Miller. Alister has almost 40 years of experience as an enthusiastic, dedicated Engineer & Technical Sales professional. He started at grassroots as a Technical apprentice with Motherwell Bridge & Engineering Company, learning basic engineering skills, and later in his career gained a degree in Management from Heriot-Watt University. Alister has held various senior management roles within global companies, and has spent time as an independent consultant and company Director. Skilled in building strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders Alister has a successful track record in business development (planning), forecasting (models), mergers, acquisitions and change management, contract estimation, planning and tendering, along with managing teams and promoting personal development. Now retired, Alister is focussing on helping & supporting others and embracing an altruistic future. He is also mentoring care-experienced/disadvantaged youngsters through MCR Pathways school program and is passionate about transferring his knowledge to those who can benefit from it most. He is married and lives in Lanarkshire, has two children, and has recently welcomed the addition of his first grandchild. His interests are quality family time/holidays, walking (Scotland’s scenic routes), and football.


Iain McGachie. Iain has 40 years of experience in aerospace, marine, and nuclear sectors. Iain has held positions in a number of disciplines including engineering, procurement, quality, supply chain management, program management, business development, aftermarket, and customer services. Iain began his career as an apprentice with Rolls-Royce Plc at Hillington in Scotland, before working worldwide for the company based with airline customers. He progressed within the organization holding various management roles in UK and USA before taking on senior management roles in Procurement and Programme Management, and then global roles at executive board level as Senior Vice-President Customer Services and Executive Vice-President Corporate Quality. Iain has also worked for Emirates Airlines based in Dubai as General Manager – Technical, for their Aircraft fleet, Doosan Babcock in Renfrew as Business Development Director and most recently as an independent consultant working with aerospace companies, governments, councils, and general engineering businesses. He is now focusing on pursuing a life of leisure. Iain was born in Johnstone and is married with two grown-up daughters. Currently living in Largs, his interests include golf, offshore rowing, walking, and is a lifelong season ticket holder at Saint Mirren Football Club.


Rehela Hussain. After completing a BSc degree in Physics in 1987, Rehela started working within manufacturing industries in Scotland (mainly electronics and medical devices). Rehela has held technical positions in Quality Assurance, Regulatory, and Health & Safety roles. Working within healthcare industries in the last 20 years, she has moved from working with established manufacturers to smaller start-up medical device companies that develop and commercialise novel medical devices. Within QA, Rehela has worked with a variety of medical device manufacturers, some of which have been early stage spin-out Scottish companies – A prosthetic hand with multi-articulating digits that has been designed and developed by Touch Bionics in Livingston, and a dental inter-oral camera for diagnostic purposes commercialised by Calcivis at Edinburgh BioQuarter. These products follow highly regulated design and manufacturing processes and undergo very rigorous compliance testing to quality and safety standards. Rehela has recently become involved in mentoring others in life sciences and engineering and is a STEM Ambassador, having a particular interest in improving the gender balance within STEM fields by being a positive role model. Rehela was raised in Glasgow but is now settled in Livingston, and enjoys walking and cycling around the local area, enjoys arts and crafts, and is a member of a community garden.


Stuart Aitkenhead. Stuart graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Glasgow Caledonian University and retired in 2019 after a 35+ year career, holding a variety of technical and managerial positions across a diverse range of industry sectors including construction, Life Sciences and Nuclear Defence, the final 11 years as a Director of Babcock Marine (Clyde) Limited, the Ministry of Defence/Royal Navy Tier 1 Industrial Partner at HMNB (Clyde), Faslane, at which the UK submarine fleet and strategic deterrent are based and maintained. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE). Stuart’s other responsibilities have included serving as an IMechE Professional Review Interview Panel Chair and membership of several industry groups including the Scottish Engineering Executive Committee, the Skills Development Scotland Engineering Skills Leadership Group and the Developing Young Workforce Regional Board for Argyll & Bute. He is currently a Trustee and the Vice-Chair of the veterans’ charity, Erskine Hospital.


Brian McNaught. Prior to his retirement, Brian had 35+ years within the electric power industry. In this time Brian gained experience across the full spectrum of the industry inclusive of engineering, sales & marketing, business development, construction & project management, and consultancy. Beginning his career as a project engineer with James Howden in Glasgow, Brian had spells with John Brown Engineering Ltd (Glasgow), Stone & Webster Engineering Consultancy Ltd. (Milton Keynes), and ended his full-time career as Head of Projects for Scottish Power’s electrical network business. Following on from this Brian took up project management consultancy within the petrochemical sector at Grangemouth and the off-shore wind power industry in Scotland. Throughout his career, Brian worked on projects in many different parts of the world including Japan, China, Malaysia, India, the USA, and Australia. Brian was born in Glasgow and is married with a grown-up son and is currently living in Paisley. His interests are football, travel, cooking, and skiing.


Testimonials – 

“Attending the Scottish Engineering Mentoring Scheme throughout the year helps me to recharge and focus on my goals of where I want to be in my profession.” Mentee, Xandor Automotive

“The meetings with Brian are always relaxed and informative, as he has a wealth of experiences and advice to pass on.” Mentee, Xandor Automotive