In The Spotlight – James Davison

With a reputation for delivering cutting-edge solutions across various engineering disciplines, TGA’s team boasts a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Now, our “In the Spotlight” blog series brings their stories to you, shedding light on the people who make TGA Consulting Engineers the industry leader it is today.

In this exclusive series, we dive deep into the lives and experiences of TGA’s talented engineers. We uncover their journeys, passions, and the innovative projects they’re currently working on. With each interview, you’ll gain a unique perspective into the world of engineering and the people driving change within the industry.


James Davison, TGA’s Specialist Lighting lead and Associate.

James is a chartered engineer and specialist lighting designer. He joined TGA in May 2019 after working for large multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies for the last 17 years. He has gained a good working knowledge of both refurbishment and new build works across a wide variety of different sectors including several prominent heritage and commercial schemes.

James heads TGA’s specialist lighting section combining technical expertise and artistic vision. He has contributed to articles for International Lighting Journal, Arc Magazine and obtained TGA a listing in the prestigious International Lighting Design Survey.

Let’s find out a bit more about him….

What’s your name/job title/role/office?
James Davison, I am an Associate and Specialist Lighting Lead, based in Newcastle.

What current projects are you working on?
The redevelopment of the Grainger Market
Raby Rising
Durham Light Infantry Gallery and Museum
Durham Miners Hall (Redhills)
The redevelopment of Redcar Town Centre
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS)
West Malling Retirement Village

What’s the most exciting part of your job?
The initial concept and development of an idea is always exciting but as lighting is extremely visual, seeing the end result for the first time is always special.

Do you have any people who inspire(d) you/your work?
I always find Henrik Clausen extremely engaging and with a unique infectious approach when discussing lighting.

What is your number 1 tip/piece of advice for aspiring engineers?
Always make sure the concept is feasible!

What’s been your career path so far?
Electrical Engineer (Cundall)
Member of IET
Incorporated Engineer
Electrical Engineer (Atkins)
Member of CIBSE
Senior Electrical Engineer (Atkins)
Member of Society of Light and Lighting
Senior Electrical Engineer (Desco)
Chartered Engineer
Associate – Specialist Lighting Lead (TGA)

How have your engineering skills developed over your career?
I’ve taken a bit of a left-hand turn, starting in electrical engineering before being exposed to lighting design after being seconded to Light4 when at Cundall. This really set me on my path.

Why did you pursue a career in engineering/anything specific that solidified you wanting to go for it?
To start with wanting to know how things work and effect their surroundings. Then combining this with the artistic side of lighting.

Where do you see things going in the future/future aspirations?
It’s another step on the ladder to building up TGA’s Specialist Lighting Design offering. We’ve seen a lot of growth and investment in the Specialist Lighting Design Department and the chance to be at the forefront of it is very exciting. To be tasked with developing this area of the business is certainly not without its challenges but is something that we look forward to with great relish.

A big part of the role as I see it, is to strife for pushing the local industry into more energy efficient and sustainable territory. We can do this through the work we are involved with and the standards that we are held accountable by. By promoting thoughtful and intriguing technical design solutions, that offers our clients maximum visual impact, balanced against energy consumption.

Why did you join this company?
The type of work that TGA do and the family feel of the company. We’re well placed, small enough to compete but large enough to make a difference.

What area of engineering/Specialist Lighting are you most interested in, and why?
I enjoy the technical aspects of my role – essentially the challenges. This could be external lighting installations or artwork. Lighting demonstrations are always fun but are nearly always late at night.
I also love the artistic aspects of my role.

How do you keep up with the latest changes to engineering codes and regulations?
Journals and blogs are essential to keeping things fresh and new. Journals like Arc Magazine and Light Lines are superb sources of inspiration.

How often do you update training/how do you to ensure you are informed on the latest engineering developments/latest software programs? 
Journals are a great source of knowledge but also social media. Lighting is very photogenic and easy to engage with so you can source inspiration in unlikely places on an almost daily basis.

How do you handle a last-minute shift in goals when much of the work is already completed?
Lighting like good art is very subjective, so you always need a back up plan. It’s frustrating when things don’t go in as they should but the ability to quickly adjust is important.