Position: UK Electrical Operations Manager
Time at DRB UK: 5 months
Chris Dailly is the UK Electrical Operations Manager for DRB, responsible for overseeing the successful delivery of electrical installation works across a wide range of projects, primarily in the forecourt space, including electric vehicle (EV) charging installations, lighting upgrades, complete re-builds and general maintenance.
Chris lives in Bishopton, a village in Renfrewshire, with his wife Stacey and two children, Aaron (8) and Emily (6).
What were you doing prior to DRB?
“I was an Electrical Contracts Manager for the Emtec Group for seven years, prior to that I held positions at a number of mechanical and electrical (M&E) contractors, including NG Bailey and Vaughan Engineering.
“In 2019, during my time at Emtec, I had the opportunity to work with Emtec Petroleum (formerly DRB) and was excited by the type of projects the team was involved in.”
How did you get into the sector?
“My first role in the industry was as a Trainee Project Manager, following the completion of a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Building Services Engineering and an onsite electrical apprenticeship at Hills Electrical & Mechanical.
“I’ve always had an interest in new technology, which has led me to where I am today. The EV sector in particular is an exciting and rapidly growing market – definitely something I’m very happy to be working in.”
What do you find interesting about your job?
“I really enjoy the fast-paced nature of the job. Many projects have extremely tight deadlines that require a quick turnaround, with engineers only allowed on site for a maximum of 2or3 days.
“I also like that we are helping to facilitate more green fuelling solutions to the UK marketplace, thanks to the uptick in demand for EV charging (EVC) installations – both on fuel filling stations and commercial properties. It’s a really exciting industry to be part of.
“In my short time working on the EV side of the business, I’ve really noticed an increase in clients looking to install charge points at their premises. The majority of Petrol Forecourt Station (PFS) enquiries we receive these days have at least one EV charge point incorporated in the traditional PFS design. I can only see this area growing as we strive to achieve the government’s 2030 pledge to end the sale of new fossil fuel cars.”
What is the biggest challenge?
“One of the greatest challenges we face is the recruitment of skilled tradespeople, including qualified and accredited installers.
Another challenge is the timescale taken for the first stage of the project. The initial process from appraisal to design and approval can be quite protracted and admin intensive. However, by combining the skills and experience of both DRB and TSG UK, this issue is now being addressed and we are confident in streamlining the whole process. Surprisingly, construction on site is usually the shortest phase.
What are the most exciting developments?
“The technology behind EVC being introduced to the market is really exciting. With the increasing demand to charge electrical vehicles faster than ever before, new and better rapid-charging design solutions are being developed all the time.”
What is the most interesting/enjoyable project you’ve worked on?
“I have been heavily involved in a project for BP Pulse, rolling out EVC installations on a number of forecourts across the UK, which I’m really enjoying. We now have an Electrical Contracts Manager and Design Manager who are both dedicated to delivering this work, and it’s great to see a site progress through the whole process – from design, inception and commissioning, to becoming fully operational.
“Other exciting projects in the pipeline include the first commercial EV charge install for Royal Mail, collaborating with BP Pulse and Premier Forecourts. We are also part of the turnkey installation team for the Shell & Artelia Recharge project.
“Overall, the order book is looking really healthy – I have joined the business at a good time; we’re on track to have one of our busiest and most successful years.”
What are your interests outside of work?
“I am a football fanatic and follow my club St Mirren FC home and away (someone has to!) I also coach football at the grassroots level, including my eight-year-old son’s team, Bishopton FC.