Meet our Sales and Business Development Manager for the APAC and MEA regions, Simon

Please tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Simon White and I’m the Sales and Business Development Manager for the APAC and MEA regions. I was born in Coventry and lived there until I met my wife Sarah and moved to Nottingham. We have two sons, Dexter 9, and Jonny 7, both born in Singapore; and two French Bulldogs , Rexa and Ronny. We’ve been based in Asia since 2009, living in Singapore until 2015 and then Johor in southern Malaysia, a short drive from Singapore, for the past six years. I’m based out of our Singapore office, although travel restrictions for the past 18months have prevented me working from anywhere other than home for some time now.

What first inspired you into the engineering and architectural industry?
I’ve always had an interest in how stuff works so was constantly taking things apart as a kid. As I got older this continued with bikes and cars; my motorbike probably spent more time in pieces on my garage floor than it did on the roads. I studied Mechanical Engineering and was able to regularly apply my theoretical knowledge practically in all of my early roles which was very rewarding. I started off working in an internal design and development role, designing, building and assessing new particle size reduction concepts, before moving into customer facing installation, commissioning, project management and technical sales roles. Primarily I’ve worked for companies providing equipment and process design solutions, mainly into the Pharmaceutical sector, so I’ve built up a good understanding of working in regulated and clean environments. I moved out to Singapore to establish the Asian HQ of my employers at the time, a UK based containment solutions provider.

What made you want to work for Dortek?
Working in the pharmaceutical sector and spending lots of time in cleanrooms across the UK and Ireland, I probably saw many more Dortek products than I realized. The first real interaction that I remember was whilst working at Howorth Air Technology and the Dortek demo van paid us a visit. I relocated to Singapore around the same time as Mike Glanville so we met frequently to discuss opportunities over a beer or two, so I was aware of many of the projects that were being worked on. When the APAC business development manager position became available, the timing and role were perfect so I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately however COVID came along a little under a year later and my role was affected quite significantly.

How has COVID affected you and your family in Asia?
The pandemic has been tough in this part of the world and Malaysia is still very much working towards the recovery. Restrictions have been lengthy with international borders having been closed since March 2020 so it’s been a long time since we were able to see family and friends in the UK. School for our boys has been online for the majority of the last 12 months so they’ve missed out on lots of sports and socialising with their friends.
From a business point of view, we have 12 partners across the MEA and APAC regions and prior to the pandemic I was spending a couple of weeks each month supporting their business development activities. With international borders closed this has obviously been impossible but technology has allowed us to carry out most tasks effectively. Nothing can truly replace face to face meetings though so I’m looking forward to getting on a plane again soon.

What do you like about working with Dortek?
The company has a very good feel to it and is filled with really capable and reliable people. I deal mainly with our estimating, projects and finance teams and the support that they provide is excellent. We have a great social media presence due in no small part to the efforts of our installation teams who seem to take photographs and videos everywhere they go! And obviously all of my sales colleagues are perfect.
Looking outwards, we have some excellent partners around the APAC and MEA regions and developing relationships with them has been challenging but rewarding. But probably my favourite thing is the variety of customers we deal with: from banana processors in Sierra Leone to cutting edge vaccine manufacturers in Australia, we seem to have solutions for everybody.

What are your interests outside work?
I’m a Coventry City fan so like to keep an eye on how they’re doing, but being out in Asia means that most decent sport is played whilst we’re asleep. I do play cricket when I can with the parents from our son’s school, and I enjoy cycling and running despite the heat and humidity of South East Asia. I also help out with coaching at the local rugby club.
Away from sport we like to travel. Having a regional role means travelling lots, but seeing very little, other than airports, hotel rooms and the inside of offices, so whenever possible we like to get away from home. Singapore and Malaysia are lovely countries but they are also really well connected and we’re lucky to have some of our favourite places in the world a short flight away. We have a great network of friends here too, lots of different nationalities, but with similar aged children, so a typical weekend for us would probably be a relaxed barbecue washed down with a few Changs, Singhas and maybe some Soju…!

Meet our Sales & Business Development Manager

Please tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m Adrian Murtagh and I work as the Sales & Business Development Manager with Dortek. I have been working with Dortek for the past 8 years and I am based out of the Irish office, covering business development across Ireland and Europe.

What first inspired you into the engineering and architectural industry?

I studied Construction Management and Civil Engineering in college, so I have always had an interest in the construction sector. After spending a number of years in renewable energy, I moved to Singapore with Enterprise Ireland.  My role with Enterprise Ireland was to assist Irish companies export abroad so this is how I got to know Dortek and Mike Glanville.

What made you want to work for Dortek?

My first sit down meeting with Mike and Alan was a bit surprising to say the least. What was supposed to be a meet up in Starbucks to discuss how Enterprise Ireland and I could assist further across the region, turned into an interview. But it was only after a while into the conversation did this become apparent to me! Thankfully I must have made a good impression and started with them a short time later.

Dortek offered an excellent opportunity to work within construction internationally and travel across Asia Pacific as there was a great variety of multinational companies and sectors we supplied to. This included working with the likes of Abbvie & GSK in Singapore, Fonterra in Indonesia, Nestle in Philippines, Ikea in Thailand and on many large hospitals across Singapore and Hong Kong. After 3 and a half years living in Singapore, I got the opportunity to move to Auckland with Dortek to cover New Zealand and Australia. It was a challenge as many of the clients were unfamiliar with GRP doors but it was one I enjoyed. It meant working closely with our local partners as well as introducing Dortek and our ranges of door systems to architects & engineers across both countries.

How important was your Irish Network when working abroad?

Being Irish abroad, and having a big interest in GAA, I found that being part of that Irish community helped me settle into new surroundings and meet good friends. I found this true with both Singapore and Auckland. From a work perspective, the GAA & Irish communities internationally are a great assistance as people are very well connected and more then happy to offer introductions wherever they can.

How has COVID affected your role within Dortek?

After 6 years living abroad I was lucky enough to move back to Ireland with Dortek. Since being back in Ireland, it has been challenging covering the European market due to the covid travel restrictions. I would have been used to meeting clients and architects in person on a regular basis. However, working from home during covid has had some advantages. As we had a baby during the lockdown period, it meant I got to spend more time at home and help out especially in the early days. But, getting away for a night or two so I could get a full night sleep would have been very welcome!

What do you like about working with Dortek?

When starting work with Dortek, it would have been hard to envisage the route I would have taken, but I have always found a great variation in the types of projects that I deal with in Dortek. For example, it could be ensuring our doors can meet fire compliance in both local and international standards as well as ensuring meeting the cleanroom standards for Covid vaccines projects, or working with architects to develop solutions for retrofit projects within ICU or Operating theatres on hospital projects. It is interesting to see projects from early design stages where we would have input in the door design details, all the way to completion. It is especially satisfying when we get to see them first-hand in critical areas of the building’s functionality.

Research Laboratory Doors

Research laboratory doors must meet rigorous standards with regards to both primary and secondary containment systems. They have requirements for infection control, structural durability, biosecurity, decontamination, procedures and administrative controls.  

Here at Dortek, we have worked on many projects with some amazing businesses with the need for research Laboratory Doors. For example, we have worked on projects at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, with AstraZeneca in Cheshire, Dana Farber and many more. You can read about each of our case studies here.

Dortek’s solutions are designed to improve performance, quality and personal safety as well as ensuring compliance to ever-increasing regulatory demands. We have been manufacturing our specialist hygienic doors for more than five decades and have delivered solutions to world leading research laboratories worldwide. 

Our research laboratory doors: 

  • Are built to last – our doors will not dent, warp, swell, rot or rust 
  • Are resistant to water, chemicals and fumigation agents 
  • Have a smooth, non-porous smooth hygienic finish, maximising infection control and ease of cleaning 
  • Have an inorganic timber-free construction to prevent bacterial growth or harbouring vermin 
  • Can offer up to 4 hours fire protection 

For more information about our Research Laboratory Doors, fill out our enquiry form via the Contact Us  page on our website. 


Hermetic Doors Within Cleanrooms

The benefits of sliding hermetic doors within a cleanroom environment.

Within Cleanrooms, it is the function of the HVAC and overpressure to provide protection against the infiltration of contaminated air. A pressure differential should be maintained between adjacent zones or rooms, with the cleanest rooms operating at the highest pressure within the facility.

The amount of air introduced into a cleanroom is tightly controlled; so is the amount of air that is taken out.  Generally, cleanroom pressurisation is achieved by taking out slightly less air than is put in.  A minimum of 5pa overpressure between clean zones is required. The extra air then leaks out under the door or through the tiny crevices or gaps that are inevitably in any cleanroom. Pressure can be increased in a room by increasing the volume entering the room or reducing the leakage amount.

The cost of air control in a cleanroom can be comparatively high. The energy requirement of HVAC systems usually amounts to 50-75% of electricity consumption in a clean production space, due to the high airflow rates needed for particular ISO classes. However, when a door is opened, a significant exchange of air (with that of the outside air) will take place. This can affect the cleanliness of air within the room until such time that the HVAC can recirculate and clean the air again.

Entry should be through doors that are interlocked as an airlock in a cleanroom. This is to maintain cleanroom pressure differentials and to minimise human, process and product contact with contaminated air from particles, microbial agents or chemicals. Ideally, sealing rooms with differing pressures will increase cost efficiency, reduce air loss and keep the filter load low. Hermetic doors can play a huge part in the cost, efficiency and particle control of a cleanroom.

It is important that a door, particularly if automated, has an opening and closing speed that can be easily configured according to user requirements. All personnel doors should include self-closing mechanisms, which is also a legal requirement on fire doors.

Manual or automatic hermetic sliding doors may be useful when space is an issue, or to facilitate movement between spaces of similar cleanliness class for personnel whose hands are otherwise engaged. It is important that automated doors have on board safety sensors for both door, personnel and traffic safety protection. Touchless activation of the doors should also be considered.

Cleanrooms or operating theatres that have hermetic sliding doors can give consistent and fully predictable sealing and air leakage control over long periods. Hermetic sliding doors have a frame mounted seal that, along with special indentations in the track, uses the door’s own weight to seal perfectly against the frame and also the floor. Therefore, there is no need for a threshold, meaning ease of access for beds, trollies etc.

Specialist research laboratory doors for a world renowned facility

Dortek, along with our partners, Life Science Products are pleased to announce the completion of a successful project at St Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis TN. Dortek and LSP, beginning in 2018 worked with the project team to design and manufacture specialist research laboratory doors for this world renowned facility. Dortek’s international experience and in depth knowledge of large laboratory projects  gave the project team confidence in Dortek’s ability to deliver such a large project on time and on budget. The scope of work included manufacture, install and commissioning of 270 door systems. Special features included: STC (Acoustic) rating, fire rating, hermetic sealing, chemical resistance &  automation.

VP of US Operations, Michael O’Rourke Comment: “We are extremely proud to have been part of this project and to support research at this facility.  From the outset, the project teams focus was solely on supporting researchers and giving them the best possible facility to carry out their life saving and life changing studies. Research undertaken at St Jude in Memphis saves children’s lives around the world. To play a small part in supporting such a facility fills all at Dortek with great pride.”

Facility Note:

“The Advanced Research Center will play a substantial role in new scientific discoveries as the new home to several shared resources, including a biorepository, advanced microscopy and gene editing. There, top scientists from around the world will have leading-edge resources and opportunities to pursue breakthroughs in a space that fosters teamwork and generates new ideas.”

LSP Note: LSP are the leading supplier of clean construction materials for laboratory facilities in the US. Dortek and LSP have worked in partnership since 2016 and continue to support the biomedical research industry.

Hygienic Doors For Laboratories

Here at Dortek our Hygienic GRP Laboratory Doors are built to last, even in the harshest of environments. This means our timber-free doors will not swell, warp or bow and will not rot or rust. It is important for laboratory doors to be watertight and resistant to chemicals, fumigation, bacterial growth and harbouring vermin. Dortek hygienic GRP doors not only meet but also exceed these expectations. We have been manufacturing specialist hygienic doors for over 50 years, providing solutions for laboratories around the world.

Our doors improve performance, quality, and personal safety, as well as being designed to meet the biological containment needs of research laboratories. The standards are rigorous when it comes to the engineering and containment systems, and each facility has specific requirements such as infection control, decontamination, structural durability, biosecurity, procedures, and administrative controls.

If you would like more information about our hygienic laboratory doors, why not ask one of our experts on our website and they will be more than happy to help you with your project needs. Alternatively, if you would like to request a quote, you can do so via our Request A Quote section on our site.

Installing doors at the world’s biggest furniture retailer

IKEA will shortly be opening its first store in the Philippines and Dortek are extremely proud to be playing our part in the fitting out of, what will, the world’s largest IKEA store. IKEA are the world’s biggest furniture retailer, and this new store is located in the Mall of Asia in the Manila Bay area.

The upcoming IKEA Pasay City store will span across 65,000m2, roughly 700,000ft2, which is the equivalent of more than 150 basketball courts. The store will be split over two shopping levels and will also feature a restaurant (featuring IKEA’s world-famous Swedish meatballs), as well as a children’s playroom. The store’s size also includes space for a call centre, an e-commerce hub and a warehouse, all of which is linked with various walkways connected to the structure in the main mall. The store will stock more than 8,000 products and it is expected that in excess of 7 million people per year will visit the store.

Dortek have manufactured and will be installing 32 GRP door sets – 24 single and 8 doubles – all with GRP frames. Our GRP doors are located in the brand new, state of the art, kitchen and restaurant areas. Dortek doors were specified by the architect for this project as we had worked successfully with them on a number of IKEA store projects across Asia in Malaysia and Thailand. The exceptionally quality of our doors has been recognised along with the hygienic benefits they offer as well as the pleasing aesthetics and the low long term maintenance costs.

The GRP door sets will be installed in both food processing and preparation areas, as well as wash down areas. Dortek doors are not affected by water or cleaning chemicals – our doors will never swell, rot, warp, de-laminate or rust unlike timber or steel doors – this being a key reason for specification on this and other IKEA projects. The ultra-clean construction of our GRP doors also prevents bacteria from harbouring. Manila is the 5th IKEA project that Dortek has worked on in Asia and we are delighted to confirm that we have also supplied doors to a new IKEA store in Singapore. We have installed GRP doors in all of the IKEA stores in the UK and Ireland and also in IKEA stores in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Mobile Bio-Containment

Dortek recently completed this special project with Knight Aerospace. This Aeromedical Bio-containment Module will be the first of many designed and manufactured by Knight Aerospace. The module is designed to be loaded into various military aircraft such as the C-130 for quick response worldwide.

The Dortek design team had to work within the modules size constraints to design and manufacture doors with the following traits:

  • Clean, seamless surface
  • Chemical resistance
  • Lightweight
  • Tight sealing capabilities

Dortek Timber-Free Hygienic Doors

Dortek have installed timber-free hygienic doors in this modular theatre build. Once again, our doors have been chosen in conjunction with this off-site theatre build scheme at a Bedfordshire hospital in the UK. Double, leaf and a half and single doors all feature, as do our Vistatec lead and laser-proof interstitial vision panels and automations to make entering and exiting the theatre suit easy for users.

Architects Online Learning

Dortek can give you a free CPD at your home desk by way of remote delivery. All you need is an email address to have the link sent to and click at the appropriate time to view the seminar with no additional software needed apart from your usual browser.

Please contact us at and we’ll get straight back to you with details.

All our presentations are RIBA, AIA or RIAI accredited.

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