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University award steadies the ship for David after Navy injury

27 November 2014 @TeesUniNews


An injury while serving in the Royal Navy led David West on a journey back into education and a new career path.

David, 29, of Wingate, County Durham, graduates from Teesside University with a First Class BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering. He has also been awarded the Cecil M Yuill prize for achievement in any field of construction, entering with non-traditional qualifications.

Originally from Tyneside, David moved to Durham during his childhood and also spent time in Portsmouth and Plymouth while serving in the Royal Navy, before a hand injury led him to seek an alternative career.

'My roles in the Navy involved electrical engineering and electronic warfare, monitoring radar, but after leaving the Navy I decided to focus more on civil engineering.'

He completed an access course and joined the degree, spending five years studying before taking on his current role as development engineer within the Banks Property team at the Banks Group in Durham.

David said: 'As a development engineer my role is to consider the technical aspects of the development throughout the planning stage and then to monitor the works during the implementation of the infrastructure prior to the construction of the surface building development.

'This can include co-ordinating the highway design, assessing the site topography, coming up with an adequate drainage strategy and assessing if the site requires any site remediation works. My role is very varied from project to project.'

He added: 'I chose Teesside University as it offered a foundation year, enabling me to progress straight to the undergraduate degree.

'As I wanted to study an engineering based degree, I felt the heritage of Middlesbrough in terms of its connection with engineering, would be an ideal location, in the hope of making connections and gaining valuable experience.

'I have always had an interest in how things work, often looking at an infrastructure and wondering what was involved in building it. We are at the stage of innovation which enables engineers to build such amazing structures and designs.'

David said the variety of learning provided by the degree was what he enjoyed most.

'It covered so much, it felt like I was continuously learning and developing as an engineer. I really enjoyed carrying out my own practical experiments for my dissertation during my final year.'

He added: 'I worked as a peer mentor within the School of Science & Engineering and also worked in the Library as a Library Support Assistant during my final year.

'Without a doubt the course has gave me the technical knowledge I need to be able to do my current job, along with the confidence to actively network.

'My time at Teesside was amazing. I learned so much from the industrial placements and I’m delighted to receive recognition with the Cecil M Yuill award. Teesside University offers so much support and guidance, I certainly made the best choice in as it’s has helped me come into the job where I am today.'

In the News

Award steadies ship after Navy injury
The Northern Echo, 27/11/2014; Evening Gazette, 27/11/2014
David graduates with a Frist Class BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering.