Day in the life…. GSHPA’s chair Laura Bishop   

Laura Bishop, a well-known figure in the heat pump sector, is a welcome addition to our ‘Day in the life’ segment. Laura is chair at the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, founder and MD at Infinitas Design, and was recently crowned ‘Woman of the Year’ at the National ACR and Heat Pump Awards.  

Laura Bishop, GSHPA

In this edition, we find out what makes Laura tick, what are her daily habits, and what items can’t she leave the house without.

Name: Laura Bishop 
Organisation: Infinitas Design Ltd and Ground Source Heat Pump Association
Job title: Infinitas Design – Founder & MD. GSHPA – Chair  
Location in the UK: Derby 
Your company/business in one line: Heat pumps made accessible. 

My alarm goes off at … 

The first thing I do each day is …  
I make a cup of tea and read the news headlines on my phone. Reading the news is sometimes not the most positive way to start the day but it seems to be a habit I can’t drop. Sitting in the garden whilst drinking tea and reading the news helps to encourage positive vibes! 

Laura Bishop
Laura Bishop getting down to her day

I prepare for the day ahead by …  
Taking an hour to plan my day, check and respond to emails, make my to do list, list of phone calls to make etc. If I don’t have that hour, I know my day is likely to be not very well organised. At 9am we have our team meeting for 15 mins and that gets the team prepped for the day too. 

I can’t leave the house without …  

My phone and usually the dogs. One of the good things about working for yourself is to take the dogs to work. It means I also get out for lunch as they usually need walking by then.  

My typical day…  

The one thing to say is that there never seems to be a typical day. This is one thing I love (and sometimes dislike) about the job. An office day would typically be quoting/invoicing design jobs, emailing various clients with requests for info or letting them know how projects are progressing.  

There are also a lot of calculations, drawings, report writing and design work going on. We design lots of plant rooms and heat networks, so our heads and days are usually full of flow rate, heat transfer and diversification calcs! 

 I’ll also usually have some work with the team such as advising them on a design or checking their drawings or specs before issue.  

Laura at the GSHPA conference in 2021.

If I’m out on a site visit, that will entail travel, chatting with the client and maybe the equipment supplier, about the job. I particularly enjoy visiting new projects and meeting new clients so that could be a problem-solving expedition to work out why something is not working or what their intentions are in terms of decarbonisation for their buildings.  

Translating non-technical ambitions into workable designs is our speciality and listening to clients is a big part of what we do. This would be mopped up later in the day in the form of a short report or design brief that we can start work on later. There is also usually a lot of tea drinking during the day too. 

My most memorable work moment …  
… was not designing heat pump systems! Although there have been memorable moments there. If I could pick the most memorable time it would have to be working on HMS Vanguard when it came into dock in Faslane.  

Laura Bishop

My employer at the time, Babcock, was responsible for some of the maintenance on the boats and I was sent up there to help with replacing and commissioning a seawater pump used to cool the reactor. Just being on the submarine, seeing the interior first-hand and working on the pumps was something I will never forget. 

The worst part of my job …  
Has to be balancing workload. Being self-employed means, you are usually balancing having too much work or worrying about not having enough work. Fortunately, we normally ‘suffer’ with the first problem, which is a nice problem to have.  

At Infinitas we try to put the customer first at all times, so I could still be emailing at 2am to make sure they all get sorted out. 

The best part of my job …  

The people I work with whether clients, suppliers or partners and associates. Most people in the renewables industry are in it for the right reasons and tend to be passionate and care about what they are doing.  

The other great part of the job is seeing our designs that exist ‘virtually’ as drawings, 3D models and calculations, being installed and set to work. That is a great feeling every time. 

I relax after work by …  

Gardening mainly, which is inspired by my mum and encouraging more bees into the garden. I also joined a choir after lockdown, and I find the practising very relaxing – almost mindfulness! On Fridays, to celebrate the weekend, I am always in the pub at 4.30 on the dot. Wind down time. Not very rock n roll I know but I’m mid-40s now, you know!  

Laura Bishop relaxing after work
Laura Bishop relaxing after work

On my bedside table is …  

A pile of books and an alarm clock. I’m usually reading multiple books which never get finished. My Kindle is always ready to go. As soon as I finish one book, I’m downloading the next. I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan so there’s usually at least one of hers on my table that I’ve read a hundred times before. 

The last thing I do each day is …  

I’m normally in bed by … 

10pm. I’m an early bird, not a night owl.  

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