Spotlight: Elliot Cowan 

In this team spotlight feature, we are thrilled to introduce Elliot Cowan, a member of the team in our Stockport head office since 2022. Elliot is a design technician with 7 years of professional experience as a CAD draughtsman, focusing mainly on CHP projects, concept design, and P&ID’s. He has contributed to projects at various development phases and has created drawings for multiple Energy from Waste, Carbon Capture, and Hydrogen projects.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in Computer Aided Design (CAD?) 

From a young age I had interests in problem solving and creativity, I would spend hours creating different models and drawing. As I grew my interests in Maths and Science increased as well, which naturally lead me towards design technology and engineering throughout school and university respectively. One of our modules at university was CAD based and I found that this had a balance of creativity and structure which I then pursued into my career.

Q: Tell us a bit about what your role within the CAD team involves, what areas/software do you focus on? 

In my role within the CAD team, I focus on projects that require 3D modelling and P&ID’s. To create these models, I use a range of software projects. Primarily AutoCAD Plant 3D. This software has the ability to link P&ID’s and 3D models if required. Creating 3D models gives our clients a detailed visual representation of what the end product will look like. Additionally, Revit is used to create more detailed renderings, we can then use another software package, Infraworks, to display the model in a real-world environment.

Q: How does CAD improve the efficiency of project development? 

CAD software allows us to create detailed and precise designs with high accuracy, this reduces errors that are common in traditional drafting methods, leading to fewer design revisions. The ability to create 3D models and rendering helps stakeholders better understand the design, facilitating clearer communication and quicker decision-making. Many CAD software packages include collaboration features that allow multiple team members to work on the same project simultaneously. We are also able to automatically produce detailed documentation, including bills of material and parts lists.





Q: Can you tell us about a particular project highlight during your time at Fichtner?

One of the standout projects that I had the privilege to work on was the Protos ERF carbon capture plant. My role on was to develop the design from a blank page to the first draft of the 2D site layouts and into a detailed 3D model, this would later be used by the client as part of their PR strategy. My role involved co-ordination of the overall site layout, development of the 3D model and routing of the main pipework to inform the cost estimate. This has been one of the most significant carbon capture projects we have worked on and is likely to be the first in the world of its kind to be built and I’m proud of the part I played.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone looking to kickstart their career as a CAD technician?

Learn as much as you can about as many different software packages that you can. There are so many interesting uses for CAD and the more you learn the more opportunities will be available to you.