Friday, 22 January 2016

First time for everything

CIBSE would not be able to manage all of the work it does without an army of volunteers behind it, tirelessly giving their free time to the Institution. At the highest level, busy engineers serve as board members within the organisation deciding its future direction. We spoke to board member and Vice-President Cathie Simpson, to find out a bit more about what members of the board do. 

November and December are a busy time for a CIBSE Vice President, as we have the privilege of visiting Regions to attend Annual Dinners.  The first this year was in Northern Ireland where I was able to squeeze in a visit to the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre courtesy of Gary Bennett, who was instrumental in its design.  (Culinary note: the best gravy in the world is made with Bushmills whiskey – unbelievable!)  My visit to the Northern Ireland Region left me with an impression of ‘innovation and sustainable design’. 

The East Anglia Regional dinner followed in Cambridge where I was amazed at the number of female engineers, which was very inspiring and is a strong element of the Region’s identity, and the Regional Chair has come through the Young Engineers Network, one of several who have moved from the YEN to the main committee.

The Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland ©B. Fullerton
The desire of contractors to participate in CIBSE was once again very evident (aside, President Nick Mead and former Presidents Peter Kinsella and George Adams have all come from a contracting background!). The West Midlands Regional dinner was in early December, held in Birmingham, and the industry sponsorship was remarkable.  There was a wide diversity of members from different industry sectors which made for a very dynamic evening.

At all the dinners, I had many constructive and interesting discussions about the CIBSE 2020 vision and the implications for membership and what skills and knowledge members would need in 2020 to deliver building performance. I was given ideas for possible new events and initiatives to consider and evaluate, and the relevant staff within CIBSE are now aware of these.  I also met with non-members wanting to know how best to join and I subsequently linked these people to CIBSE Members who could help them.

Recognition and thanks must go to John Davidson and the Northern Ireland committee, Jon Page and the East Anglia committee and Eric Roberts and the West Midlands committee for all their hard work to obtain sponsorship and plan these events.

A packed auditorium at the 2015 Technical Symposium
A topic that cropped up time and time again in the Regions, as it did at Council in October, is ‘what can members do to address the chronic skills shortage?’ You will be pleased to know that CIBSE Patrons are supporting a unique initiative called Class of Your Own and I must have linked up many members over the past few weeks who are interested in taking this forward.  If you want to find out more please don’t hesitate to contact me; I can assure you that after 10 minutes in one of the Class of Your Own schools you will be truly inspired!

To keep my inspiration topped up I visited Beechen Cliff School in Bath who are in the first year of Class of Your Own. I left with a sense of amazement that children so young could discuss the complex interrelationship of energy, comfort and sustainability within such a short learning period.  I also met with Richard Folkson, the President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, who had expressed an interest in learning more about Class of Your Own when we met at the CIBSE/ASHRAE graduate of the year awards October.

I closed last year with some background work with the Technical Symposium committee headed up by Tim Dwyer.  The event goes from strength to strength and I hope you will take a look at what is planned.  We could do with a few more reviewers for papers so if you fancy volunteering in the comfort of your own home (with a suitable beverage in hand of course!) please contact Tim Dwyer.
Best wishes, happy New Year, and thanks for your support in 2015.

I would also like to give a huge congratulations to the 2015 years award winners and runners-up, who have all made an immense contribution to the work CIBSE does.

Charity Nicholls, Ryan Rodrigues and Alexandra Lindesay-Bethune


Ken Dale Travel Bursary
Luke Ramsey

The President's Prize
Kaitlin Allen (Winner)
Jolyon Axelrod (Runner up)
Aimee Desert (Runner up)

Young Engineers Award  
Ryan Rodrigues (Graduate of the Year)
Charity Nicholls (Runner up)
Alexandra Lindesay-Bethune (Runner up)
Services Design Solutions (Employer of the Year)

Honorary Fellows
Humphreys, M 
Holmes, M
Smith, M
Day, P

Gold Medallists
Ogus, H

IHVE/CIBSE Bronze Medal
Richard Seagrief
David Wright
John Doherty
Patrick Lehane
David Callaghan
Kenneth Beecroft

Napier-Shaw Bronze Medal
SG. Howieson, T. Sharpe and P. Farren

CIBSE Silver Medal
Northey, C
Anderson, J
Kelly, K

Carter Bronze Medal
Prof. YH. Yau and Dr. BT. Chew

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