Chris Bennett

University of Derby student applies knowledge to new role in concrete industry.

A current student at the University of Derby has joined a new concrete and quarry services business.

Christopher Bennett has been appointed as head of the concrete division of Cambrian Services Limited, recently founded by Jones Bros Civil Engineering.

Chris is currently undertaking the University Certificate in Professional Development: Concrete Technology at the University’s Centre for Mineral Products, based at the Enterprise Centre.

Chris was able to apply the knowledge he has gained through his programme directly to his new role. He said: “The Concrete Technology course had had an immediate impact on my work. I am from a mechanical operations background so the technical design of concrete mixes was new to me. I have now gained knowledge of different types of concrete and this has meant we can now produce concrete for our own contracts and to support other producers on site-based projects.”

Students at the Centre for Mineral Products are normally in employment and complete their studies via online distance learning whilst continuing in their full-time roles.

A group of people in orange overalls stand on a raised mound

Chris commented: “It has been challenging to balance work and studying, especially in relation to deadlines as my work takes me all over the country. The online learning portal and study materials are invaluable in helping me plan ahead and ensuring I can submit coursework on time.”

Chris began working in the concrete sector as a holiday job while still at school. He completed an undergraduate degree in international business at Nottingham Trent University and then spent six months studying entrepreneurship and new venture creation at California State University. Recently he worked on behalf of Italian concrete plant manufacturers SIMEM before beginning his studies at the University of Derby.

Dr Andy Smith, programme leader for the University Certificate in Professional Development: Concrete Technology, said: “It’s great to see one of our students applying the knowledge they have gained through their University of Derby course, and that this is directly benefitting their workplace. We wish Chris all the best for the rest of his studies and hope he will continue to find success in his new role.”

The Centre for Mineral Products delivers industry standard and globally recognised qualifications to the mineral products sector. In partnership with the industry's professional bodies, the Centre and its qualifications have been developed to ensure they represent the training needs of the industry.

For further information on the professional courses available that can be studied whilst remaining in work, please visit