University awards success for determined David

December 8, 2014 | Bowesfield News

A former serviceman who moved into the development industry has won two prestigious prizes from the University that helped him make his career change.

David West served with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth and Plymouth as an operator mechanic  before a hand injury led him to look for an alternative career.

Twenty-nine year-old David, who is from Wingate in County Durham, completed a foundation year at Teesside University before going on to study for a BEng Degree in Civil Engineering, which he completed this year with First Class Honours.

He joined Durham-based regional employer The Banks Group as a development engineer within its property team in September this year, and has now been honoured by Teesside University with both the Cecil M Yuill prize for ‘achievement in any field of construction, entering with non-traditional qualifications’ and the Professor Leni Oglesby prize for achievement.

David West says: “My roles in the Navy involved electrical engineering and monitoring radar, but I’ve always had an interest in how things work, so after leaving the service, I decided to focus more on civil engineering.

“Middlesbrough’s heritage in terms of its connection with engineering made it an ideal location, and the variety of the course material that I studied enabled me to continuously learn and develop as an engineer.”

David is now working on a range of projects across the North East, including Banks’ flagship Mount Oswald scheme in Durham City, the unique mixed-use Bowesfield development in Stockton, which sits on the banks of the River Tees and includes an integrated 15-hectare wildlife conservation area, and the Palmersville residential scheme in North Tyneside.

He continues: “As a graduate development engineer, my job is to consider the technical aspects of the development through its planning stage and then commission and monitor the required works through to implementation of the project infrastructure prior to the construction of the surface building development.

“It’s a very varied role and can cover a wide range of different areas which the technical knowledge I built up during my course really helps me to manage.

“The Banks Group offered me a role that matched the design and technical areas in which I’ve got most interest, and the reality of working in the Banks Property team has already more than lived up to my expectations.”

Founded in County Durham in 1976, the Banks Group now employs over 420 people in surface mining, renewable energy, property development and energy from waste.

Michael Shuttleworth, managing director of Banks Property, adds: “David has already proved himself a valuable member of our property team, and his dedication and determination make him a thoroughly deserving recipient of these awards.”

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