Engineer from Aghyaran wins 'highest place' award beating 1,200 UK nominees

Shortlisted from over 1,200 nominees, father of three Darrell McVitty from Aghyaran was one of 75 finalists selected from across the UK. He was announced as the overall winner, Openreach’s Engineer of the Year 2023, for his leadership, expertise and unwavering support to his colleagues in the build of the country’s leading digital network – Ultrafast Full Fibre (Photo: u)

A father of three from Aghyaran has been named Openreach’s Engineer of the Year 2023 at a glittering awards ceremony held in London, achieving the highest place out of all engineers across the UK for this accolade.

Darrell McVitty has been an Openreach engineer for five years helping build, manage and maintain the region’s largest digital infrastructure and upgrading Northern Ireland to Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband across the network.

The 42-year-old was one of 75 UK finalists in the Openreach Shining Stars Awards 2023, shortlisted from 1,200 nominees, which saw 21 recognised in seven categories including exceptional engineers, safety, inclusion and environment champions, and best boss.

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Darrell was nominated by his colleagues for his steady leadership, expertise, problem-solving ability and unwavering support to both his peers and customers.

“Darrell is always the same friendly, approachable person 24/7 and I’m proud to call him my boss.” said one nomination.

Speaking about his achievement, Darrell, explained: “When my name was called out as a winner of Openreach’s Engineer of the Year, I couldn’t believe it! Being nominated by my colleagues for this award makes it even more special. The work carried out on a day-to-day basis is testament to the fantastic engineers and the comradery between the team in the west.

“A reliable broadband connection can have such a positive impact on people’s everyday lives, and it gives me great pride knowing that Openreach is at the heart of it.”

Today, 250,000 premises in Northern Ireland are connected to the expansive Openreach Full Fibre platform and can access an even faster, more reliable, and future-proof broadband connection essential for everyday life.