Daniel Mackinlay is building on his 16 years’ experience in the demolition industry by embarking on a two year Master’s Degree in Demolition Management at the University of Wolverhampton.
The 32 year old from Widnes in the North West, is currently a Demolition Project & Health and Safety Manager working for S.Evans & Sons Demolition Specialists.
The University of Wolverhampton officially launched the first Demolition Management Master’s degree in the UK in 2017. Accredited by the Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE), the course has been designed in conjunction with industry specialists and will be delivered by both academics and demolition sector experts.
Daniel left school with a handful of qualifications and started working in demolition as a labourer before working his way up to a supervisory position and then Project Manager. His only experience of learning during that time was gaining a NEBOSH health and safety qualification.
He said: “I was always good with my hands rather than with my head but there was something in me that had always wanted to further my education. As I progressed in my career I realised that, even though I had worked in the industry for 16 years, I didn’t have any qualifications to match that practical experience.
“I’d been looking around for a while to find a relevant course, but there was nothing on offer at the time. As a member of the Institute of Demolition Engineers, I read something about a new course that was being developed by them in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton.
“It was like a light-bulb moment. All I know is demolition and I love my job, but it’s also good to be a pioneer so I visited the University’s Open Day and signed up for the course. My aim is to challenge myself, to see if I’m capable of achieving a degree.”
Daniel has a young family and travels to and from Widnes one day a week to study for his Master’s Degree. He has paid for the course through a student loan.
“It’s a really big commitment,” he said. “Not just financially, and there’s much more involved than I first thought – it’s actually really challenging, much more difficult than I had imagined in terms of doing research, getting used to the reading material, attending lectures and then finding the time to study as well as spending time with my wife and kids.
“Sometimes it’s quite difficult to juggle work, home and study, but I’m investing in myself and my future. Even though I’m not specifically doing the course to advance in the company, I just wanted to prove to myself that I can achieve at this level and there’s a degree of personal satisfaction associated with that.”
Mick Ulyatt, Chair of the IDE Education Committee, said: “The formal accreditation of this degree is an historic landmark for the development of demolition engineering and is an important milestone in trying to get more young people interested in pursuing a career in this field.
“We have no problem attracting labourers and operatives, which is great. However, we want youngsters looking to become chartered demolition engineers, senior managers and the leaders of the future.
“There isn’t anything like this currently in the UK and the University of Wolverhampton has shown its passion and understanding of our sector by working with us to shape the content and delivery of the courses.”
Sixteen people have signed up for the two year, part-time Master’s course which is being delivered at City Campus in Wolverhampton, eventually transferring to the new £100 million Springfield Campus. The course comprises 15 different modules, ranging from asbestos removal and façade retention to working with explosives and health and safety.