Derby College students recognised for commitment to HE study

Mike Aston (centre)

[story and pictures pre-date Covid-19 social restrictions]

Two higher education students at Derby College Group (DCG) have received regional recognition for their commitment to learning by the prestigious Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Mike Aston (24) from Derby and Claire Ryan (45) from Lincoln both combine full time jobs with studying for the HNC in Building Services - attending DCG’s Roundhouse Technical and Professional Skills college in Pride Park one day a week.

They were nominated for the CIBSE awards by their Building Services lecturer Neil Smith who accompanied them to the presentation dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nottingham.

Neil Smith said: “We are extremely proud of both Mike and Claire who are shining examples of how the future of the Building Services profession is in safe hands.

“Both are part of an outstanding cohort of HNC Building Services students here at Derby College Group and our HE offer won widespread praise at the CIBSE East Midlands awards.”

Mike was awarded the CIBSE Outstanding Award from CIBSE President Elect Stuart MacPherson at the event.

He is currently a scheduler at Incentive Tec, a leading building services company providing a comprehensive range of maintenance services to over 300 clients across a diverse range of buildings.  

He joined the company seven years ago after completing a Business Studies programme at Derby College and returned to education for the two-year HNC programme with his sights set on a design role within the company.

He said: “Neil invited us to the CIBSE event but I had no idea I had won an award.

“I have really enjoyed the HNC and it is already very beneficial in my current role at work.  Moving forwards, I have the skills to design solutions that are more environmentally and economically beneficial to our clients and this qualification is well respected across the profession.”

Claire Ryan, an Estates Project Officer with Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was presented with the John Hulme Award for Endeavour.

She has worked for the NHS for 16 years and enrolled on the HNC to help her progress her career.

“Having left school with GCSEs, I have worked my way up through the NHS and needed industry specific qualifications to progress further.

“Juggling study with family and work has been a challenge but I have aimed for distinctions on all the assignments and it was a huge honour to be presented with this award.”