Angela Smith 12th December 2017 Meet Cougar Cat: Duncan Beard… Share via: … a Project Engineer at our Yorkshire office. After you first meet Duncan Beard, you’ll almost surely be inclined to describe him as a quiet, patient man, dedicated to his job and his wife. You’d get that right. It’s precisely that demeanour that makes it somewhat surprising to learn he is a man whose hobbies have him constantly climbing higher and travelling faster than most of us ever will. Duncan started working as a Project Engineer with Cougar in early 2014. He’s a key member of our Yorkshire office team, undertaking PLC, HMI and SCADA programming for our customers. Before joining our team, he worked for about 16 years with a major gas turbine engine business. Not one to be limited to one focus, he also ran a successful band rehearsal and recording studio with his wife for many years. One day, he spotted our website and was immediately taken by the description of our open work environment in which people have fun, feel valued and equal, and share in decision making — a perfect transition for someone with a lot of controls-related experience and used to the independence of running their own business. Duncan brings a strong understanding of project management to his work with the Cougar team, and our customers appreciate his trustworthy ability to keep things on schedule and his confidence in the solutions we bring. Trustworthiness is a characteristic that suits him very well in one of his pastimes: mountaineering and rock climbing. He’s been a hillwalker for 18 years on the mountains of Wales and Scotland, an activity that lead him into scrambling and then rock climbing 12 years ago. He’s recently been winter climbing in Scotland and been to the Alps twice, and of course covered many of the hills, moors, outcrops, and gritstone edges of the Peak District near to where he lives. When he doesn’t have his head literally in the clouds, Duncan is participating in another activity that requires his feet — well actually, his racing tires — to be firmly on level ground: drag racing. He took up the sport just this past year, after having been a spectator for 30 years. He races his own car, a 1972 Ford Mustang which he’s owned since 2002. With a V8 engine with about 400hp, Duncan has a lot of fun driving it, but admits it’s not all that fast. He also owns and is team boss of a ‘proper’ dragster which has a V8 engine with over 1000hp in a very light chassis. This is driven by racer Des Taylor from Huddersfield. To Duncan, life is all about pushing himself in challenging situations and never giving up. He describes climbing and racing as unique experiences that put him very much ‘in the moment.’ Great qualities he also brings to his work with us at Cougar.