I am a practicing plumbing & heating engineer. I do mostly domestic work - anything from changing a tap washer to installing a central heating system or bathroom (although I mostly concentrate on the smaller jobs). I live and work in Reading.
For most of my career I worked in electronics, computer networking and lately hardware/software testing. I have always been a DIY-er, from messing around with electrics (including mains!) as a child, through to renewing the plumbing, electrics etc on the first house I bought in 1978. When I was made redundant from my IT job in 2002 I started doing small plumbing, electrical and general house maintenance jobs for friends and neighbours. I did a short training course at the local Technical College to acquire my NVQ in plumbing (actually called "Domestic Heating") which allowed me to enrol on their training for, and take, my ACS and become CORGI registered.
I am still interested in IT and have moved over to running Linux on all my home PCs, which are now almost entirely Microsoft-free.
As a professional I am just as keen to share my knowledge with others through the uk.d-i-y newsgroup as I was when I was a pure DIYer. There is a great range of expertise amongst contributors to the group, including many other professionals in areas which are also the subject of DIY activities such as plumbing, heating, electrics, structural engineering, various building practices etc. And where I do have knowledge to contribute to a query or discussion the process of understanding a problem and attempting to explain my understanding of it is a good way of practicing the analytical and communication skills I need in my job!
In this wiki I have concentrated mainly on what I know something about: plumbing and heating. In my professional capacity I find that some of my clients are interested in how their plumbing and heating systems work and/or what choices are available for them in extending or replacing them etc., so I hope that the articles I write and contribute to here may be uesful to them. I sometimes work alongside clients who DIY parts of jobs for themselves e.g. I may install a boiler for a client who installs other parts of a CH system for themselves.
I am particularly interested in energy conservation and efficiency as I consider that climate change is a real threat to our planet. (Whether or not it is a result of human activities - as has been the subject of discussion recently - it seems prudent to treat it as if it is, and in any case worthwhile to try to influence it for our benefit by our own actions.)