Get to know your trainers: Gordon Hudson, Mechanical Services Explained trainer
Areas of expertise: Mechanical Services and sustainability
CIBSE Trainer since: 2017
Tell us a little about yourself
I have worked in both Academia and Professional Practice in the Building Services Engineering Industry. I have always been enthusiastic about learning, whether in formal situations or from experience and that probably explains why I have a had a sort of foot in both camps.
In Academia and Professional practice, sustainability has been a keen focus for me over the last twenty years. I am particularly interested in whether we can really achieve our aim to deliver low carbon, low impact buildings that deliver well-being. With partners at Northumbria University we researched the use of BREEAM in healthcare and that led to sustainable assessment development work in Abu Dhabi and Egypt. It became clear to me that although building sustainable issues are worldwide their solutions and delivery are specific to regions too. In completing the first BREEAM assessment in Iceland it was evident that infrastructure primary energy mix, water use and local natural resources availability would lead you to specific projects actions and targets rather than generalised ones, and I believe this is how we should proceed.
I am writing this in 2020, and my CIBSE and University courses are now “live” online, our lives have also changed in other ways. For us, our ballroom dancing has paused, but the garden has had a lot of attention and golf can still be done.
What do you enjoy most about being a CIBSE trainer?
You do get to meet lots of great people on the courses and they all have their own stories to tell, so a lot of shared knowledge comes to the table. The attendees are on the course because they do want to know about Mechanical Services and lively questions and comments really enhance the experience for us all.
Do you encounter any challenges as a trainer?
You do, sometimes the basic simple question (usually starts something like “This may be a stupid question , but…” can be really challenging and I have to unpick it a bit and work on the explanation. They are often profound questions in truth.
What is your favourite part about your topic area?
I do enjoy the basic science elements, why your supply air position is important and extract position generally not, what happens to refrigerant fluids in the process and introducing enthalpy as a property.
Why do you think that it’s important that building services professionals keep up with their professional development?
Well, you can always learn new aspects and revisit subjects and in doing that your understanding and confidence grow which helps you enjoy your work and succeed in it.
If you could go back to your younger self when you started working in building services, what advice would you give yourself or would you try to change some of the decisions and actions done then?
When I started in the industry, energy efficiency was a key focus, on the back of rising prices rather than emissions. We did not collect real data on our projects, and I think I would advise “collect some data and visit the completed projects, because they are still going to be trying to tackle it in 2020”
What would you tell someone who is just about to start or consider working in building services?
I see students starting out now and I think they could have great careers in the industry, they need to invest something to get that out of it, so pick an area that you are interested in or passionate about and go for it.
Find out more about Gordon Hudson’s training course: Mechanical Services Explained