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The Velaspan Pros Across the Pond  

Meet Velaspan’s UK outpost: Scott Baxter and Emmet Chubb, our London-based engineers who somehow feel like they’re right down the hall.

Distance doesn’t faze Velaspan. Our Pennsylvania team routinely travels to projects spanning the globe. Still, the option of a two-hour train ride instead of a trans-Atlantic flight has its benefits.  

It was this line of thinking that prompted Scott Baxter – a longtime Pennsylvania-based Velaspan employee – to return to his homeland as Velaspan’s one-man UK hub in 2018. Having a European presence immediately paid off, and Emmet Chubb became our second UK-based Velaspanner in early 2022. Together, the duo has helmed wireless design for London’s esteemed Francis Crick Institute, among other high-profile international Velaspan portfolio pieces. 

We sat down with Scott and Emmet for what they call chin-wag. 

Gents! For the uninitiated: Tell us a little about your careers leading up to Velaspan, and how you ended up with us. 

SCOTT: Honestly, I didn’t have much of an established career before joining Velaspan [laughs]. I moved to the US in 2010 without any concrete employment and initially picked up some work testing applications for mobiles and laptops. I met [Velaspan Partner] Aaron Campana socially. He mentioned that Velaspan, which was still called Cumulus at the time, was looking for an engineer. We discussed a 2-week trial period to see if it was a good fit. That was 13 years ago, [laughs]

Emmet at this year’s team outing, a Phillies game.

EMMET: I come from a managed service provider background, starting out on an MSP’s help desk before moving into a network engineering role focusing mainly on wired infrastructure, security, and hospitality Wi-Fi. Post-Covid I needed change of scenery so I relocated from Dublin to London. That’s when a recruiter reached out to me about this Velaspan role. 

Describe how you stay connected with your US-based Velaspan co-workers. 

SCOTT: I chat with the team online almost every day, and have the occasional phone call. Time difference can be a bear at times but you get used to it. The time difference is actually advantageous for our customers in that, between the US team and Emmet and me in the UK, Velaspan’s able to operate and serve them 18 to 19 total hours a day.

EMMET: Slack and Zoom really do make it easy. The time difference hasn’t been much of an issue for me. The project managers who schedule our meetings with the US team might feel differently.

What’s your favorite aspect of the work you do as a Velaspan engineer? 

SCOTT: I love experiencing a ton of varied and interesting RF environments and client locations, and interacting with the customers and the end users that work within them. We get to meet so many different individuals in so many walks of life. That and the feedback we receive when we assist a customer and help them with an issue they’ve been struggling with, or hearing the positive impact a new or newly designed network has made. It’s gratifying. 

EMMET: It’s a cool feeling working with some of the largest companies globally and knowing our work is being implemented by them. Other than that, probably the continuous learning aspect. There’s always more to know or something new in the wireless world and Velaspan’s partners have really fostered an environment that allows us explore our interests and find a niche for ourselves. Getting to travel often for a living is pretty nice, too.

Scott with fellow Velaspanners, Jacob and Kyle.

Wireless design standards and related regulation do vary a bit from one market to the next. Do most people realize that? 

SCOTT: No always. Most noticeable recently is the 6GHz spectrum allowance here in the UK versus in the US. There are also some industry differences that can impact the approaches we take to projects.

EMMET: Like Scott said, there are some slight variations in regulations, yes, mostly around available spectrum as determined by different regulatory forces. We always need to pay close attention to the FCC for the US, ETSI for the EU, and Ofcom for the UK.

How often do you guys visit Velaspan’s Allentown, Pennsylvania headquarters nowadays?

SCOTT: I used to get there every six months but the pandemic has altered that a little. Hopefully can try and pick up a similar cadence again.

EMMET: I’ve been to the States a number of times but only once so far to visit Velaspan. 

When you’re here: Philly cheesesteak. Yay or nay? 

SCOTT: Hell yes! Any chance I get!

EMMET: Scott can have mine!

Interested in joining the Velaspan team – here or there? Check out open positions or drop us a line.

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