Meet the Team:
Martin Smith

Each month we’re introducing you to a member of our expert team. This month is the turn of Engineering Capital Projects Manager, Martin Smith.

What is your background and how did you end up at FEG?

I spent 18 years in the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineer and I believe the training and experiences have made me an excellent problem solver. You can’t call the AA when you are in the middle of the ocean!

After the Navy I spent four years as a project engineer in the pastry industry, where one of the projects I worked on involved introducing good engineering practices to eight UK food manufacturing sites. This provided me the opportunity to learn lots about food production from fresh, chilled and frozen sites.

I moved on to a role with a food machinery manufacturer specialising in conveyor systems, cooling and freezing systems where I was involved in projects formalising machinery and site safety and streamlining electrical and mechanical manufacturing.

Prior to joining FEG I spent 16 years as an engineering manager for a major European salmon processing company. During my time in the seafood industry I grew my team of engineers from four to 26, providing 24/7 engineering cover to the business. 

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I start my day with a cuppa while reviewing emails and preparing for the day’s activities. Covid-19 has changed the way we work but much of our day-to-day operations still include customer site visits and supporting the businesses that have remained in production throughout the pandemic. 

I have daily catch ups with our engineers across the UK, checking progress on things like CAD drawings or electrical design. Some are embedded within business on long term contracts providing Project Manager/Engineer support, while other guys have been working from home everywhere from Scotland to the South of England.

Most importantly, I spend plenty of time contacting our customers, making sure they’re getting the support they need and keeping them updated with project progress.

What makes FEG different?

The team has a depth of experience and knowledge that is second to none, gained by working in various roles across a wide range of industries. If we can’t find a solution to a problem we have the contacts who do. Even when we come up with what we feel is a solution we conduct our own in-house peer review – a no holds barred analysis to ensure that not only we are happy they it will solve an issue but that we all know what that solution is and we understand it.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Having ownership of a project from the start to finish and beyond. Even though we may be working for client the project is our responsibility and it is up to us to identify solutions to any problems that may occur and present them and act.

If we can’t find a solution to a problem we have the contacts who do. I value being part of a team full of problem solvers who get the job done.

Martin Smith
Engineering Capital Projects Manager

What are you most passionate about in your role?

For me it’s the people and building relationships – not only with our in-house teams and suppliers but also our customers. I also enjoy the varied nature of the work which we see as a learning opportunity which can help us in the future. I’m proud to be part of driving forward FEG’s goal to be the go-to choice for existing and new customers.

Selected Projects Carousel

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£650k CDM large capacity flour silo installation

FEG were commissioned by GM in the UK to Project Manage a £650K cost saving project under CDM to install larger capacity flour silos and batch weighing facility.

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McVitie’s site restored and at full production 6 months after flooding

FEG Ltd were appointed as Principal Contractor to get a flooded McVitie’s biscuit factory back up and running at the earliest opportunity.

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Organic Production Facility for Mcvitie’s

We were commissioned by McVitie’s to project manage a new ingredients feed and mixing system for a start-up organic facility.  At a value of £1m the project included our operating under full CDM duty holder responsibilities. 

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Industrial odour Issue solved for high temperature frying factory environment

Our client Essentia came to us after having received an environmental notice for an industrial odour issue from its proteins frying factory. Our experience showed us that a typical combination of scrubbers would not be adequate for this project, given the variation in contaminants that had to be removed from the air. 

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Odour Acridity Issue Solved for Seafood Manufacturer

Our team of odour experts worked to develop a new liquid gas scrubber* solution that worked in a 3-stage process to remove all composites from the gas.

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Flexible Dynamic Weighing Conveyor System designed and built to allow for varying product flow levels

2 Sisters Food Group needed a conveyor system installation to transport their potato products from existing line equipment to a new food transfer pump. Within the final process, the UK-based food manufacturer also needed to be able to dynamically weigh the potatoes.

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Solving storage capacity issues as Principal Contractor & Designer

We undertook a phased factory extension turnkey project to help our client improve production capacity by 20%.

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Turnkey cereal cooling conveyor replacement

We replaced a cereal cooling conveyor with aims to reduce pre-pack temperatures, reduce floor waste, simplify cleaning and remove the danger of long-term breakdown.

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Gas valve ventilation system design, installation and commissioning

FEG designed, supplied, installed and commissioned a ventilation system to ensure desired ATEX classification for the area.

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Cradle-to-grave £6.5m factory production line extension

We were appointed Principal Contractor for this £6.5m factory extension project, which involved converting a warehouse into a high care food production area and incorporating it into the main factory. ​

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Design and installation of new docking rollers to reduce downtime and wastage

We designed a docking roller system to reduce wastage and downtime for this baked foods manufacturer.

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Designing a conveyor for new pizza line that maximises existing equipment

Our expert team of engineers designed and installed a conveyor system for a new pizza line that maximised the use of existing equipment.

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