Studiotech Squad – Nick Earle

Tell us a bit about your role at Studiotech

I am one of the lighting control programmers here at Studiotech, and the role brings together my background in theatre lighting and computer technology well. I’m also an electrical engineer and help do design, schematics and go on site to do commissioning, as well as helping with IT. If there is a problem with the server, this comes to me to fix.

What surprised you the most about working at Studiotech?

I originally applied for a role as a trainee lighting designer at Studiotech, after I’d been running my own business offering IT support for local companies. I wanted a change of direction that built on my interest in theatre lighting, so contacted Studiotech. I didn’t get that job but IBT Controls offered me another role which I took. Then another opportunity came up at Studiotech and I landed a role here. My current role is completely different to what I originally anticipated doing at Studiotech, but I absolutely love it.

What are you most excited for at Studiotech?

I am most excited by projects in the local Manchester area, like 111 Piccadilly. It consisted of over a mile of lighting! My favourite project was definitely Market Square in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. We got to programme the water features, as well as the lighting – so we could control water fountains and jets with the system. As a child, I loved submerging my toys in water and giving them the ‘water test’, so combining light and water for that project was a dream come true for my younger self.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I find I work better in the office, so you’ll often find me here. A usual day would involve me checking my emails, then I would either start working on a design, or occasionally I work in the workshop, and potentially test lights. No day is the same for me – for example, later this afternoon I am visiting a project to diagnose a problem with their controls system, so the job brings lots of variety.

What is the best thing about working at Studiotech?

I like the banter we have in the office and interacting with everyone – the people definitely make Studiotech. I also love the feeling of accomplishment as we finish a project, and seeing it lit up. For me, it feels like a theatre performance. Weeks, months of work go into putting on a great show, and the final performance lasts a fraction of that, a few hours at
most. At the end, you receive a round of applause and all the practice was worth it. Similarly, with projects, we put a lot of work into it and often encounter bumps in the road that elongate the process. But, ultimately, when it all comes to fruition at the end and we get an amazing result, it’s completely worth it and that’s the feeling of ‘applause’.

4 fun facts…
– I am from Timperley – well known for Frank Sidebottom and rhubarb.
– When at university I lit Showaddywaddy.
– I am passionate about real ale, and I’m a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). I also enjoy helping at beer festivals.
– After finishing my electrical engineering degree at the University of Nottingham, I went on a workcamp in Germany and met people from many different cultures. I enjoyed that so much I volunteered for them for 2 years – running their office in Birmingham. I travelled to Paris, the Netherlands, Belgium to name a few places.