Supporting role: Emily Clark and Neil Dalus

December 7, 2018

While studying for her A Levels, Emily Clark participated in the Tees Valley Logistics Academy at Stockton Riverside College. This included a four-week internship at PD Ports and Emily’s intelligence and enthusiasm impressed the team so much that she was offered a six-year apprenticeship at the port. Emily is now mentored by group engineering manager Neil Dalus as she works towards becoming a civil engineer

Neil Dalus

I have been with PD Ports for six years, working in its engineering department. I’m currently group engineering manager (civil) and am responsible for the asset management of our infrastructure across our various port and logistics facilities.

We get a steady number of individuals undertaking work experience throughout the year in engineering and throughout the business and Emily stood out right from the get-go.

She came to work with the civil department during her Logistics Academy internship and her reputation of being a really bright individual had already preceded her from my mechanical and electrical engineering colleagues.

The first thing that stood out about Emily was her great attitude to having the opportunity to sample all of the areas of engineering that we offer at PD Ports.

It was obvious she was a very intelligent young person, so I was sure that the academic/technical side of civil engineering would be a given.

However, it was her attitude and inter-personal attributes that stood out and identified her as a great candidate for the opportunity to join our six- year programme.

We tend to see each other individually or with the wider team multiple times per day. These meetings involve discussing the progress with various schemes that she is currently looking at and any issues that she is having with her academic work. This is an apprenticeship that will take Emily from a school leaver to graduate civil engineer.

She will have the full support of the engineering team and the variety of work to help her develop into a well-rounded professionally-qualified civil engineer.

Emily Clark

Before my internship at PD Ports, I wanted to pursue a career in mechanical engineering but on starting my internship, I found civil engineering took my interest as it aligned with my love of materials science.

The Logistics Academy ran alongside the four A Levels I was studying at college. We took part in workplace visits to various logistics companies to learn how they operated and understand the vast range of careers in the logistics industry.

Each student was allocated a mentor during the programme. Mine was Jim French, one of the directors at PD Ports, who arranged for me to
do my four-week internship within the PD Ports engineering department. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at PD Ports and learned a vast amount about all of the engineering disciplines.

I was extremely grateful to the engineering staff and PD Ports for offering me the chance to take part in an apprenticeship. I will be undertaking training and receiving help that I never would have received had I followed a full-time university course. In the first six years, I will gain a BEng, followed by two more years at university part-time to gain a masters in Civil Engineering.

Neil and I meet on a regular basis to discuss projects.

He has taught me that professional development is a continual process that doesn’t end when you become a qualified engineer. I have also learned that you must focus on self-development in order to continue doing your job effectively and become more efficient and grow as the business grows.

I also hope to reach my full potential within PD Ports over time and go as far as I possibly can while contributing effectively to the business.



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