School's out!

I hope everyone is well after the holiday season. This is always a difficult time for businesses, those who have to go away in school holiday time suffer the premiums that are demanded and those who don’t have to cover the panics that ensue. Staff numbers are always restricted through to the end September and before you know it half term is upon us. I fortunately managed to get a few days off but the weather had no mercy even for a President, so the “to-do list” is no shorter!

Winners of the 2014 Young Engineers Awards
My CIBSE life might have appeared quiet through August, but we have been working hard behind the scenes on our awards. Having seen the judging for the employer of the year and the undergraduate of the year in this year's Young Engineers Awards, competition is as fierce as ever following record numbers of entries for both. We also saw the award of two other medals - the Napier Shaw and Carter Bronze Medals - to teams from Strathclyde and Malaysia Universities respectively, as well as the Ken Dale Travel Bursary. A glittering month!

On the 18th, I was joined by John, Cathie, Paddy and Clare for lunch at BSRIA. Here we met several members of BSRIA to discuss the industry and areas of collaboration. Lunch was followed by a very interesting tour of the Facilities at Bracknell.

As for the business side, well what can I say. I’m sure many of you have seen the trade news of our Parent company Imtech NV who, as this blog goes out, is in administration. It has been an interesting couple of weeks seeing how the industry reacts to this sort of news but I am pleased to say that Imtech UK is business as usual.  We concluded a deal with the Private Equity firm Endless LLP which secures funding and a long term future for Imtech UK & Ireland as an independent business, safeguarding over 2,500 employees across the group.

Winners of the Napier Shaw Bronze Medal in 2012
We have been fortunate in that the issues in the business have been in Europe and not as a result of anything in the UK. However, the construction industry is very difficult in the UK with tight fees and margins, tight programmes and often difficult payment plans. As an industry we need to look at this more closely and I know many of the Professional bodies have raised this. Maybe another area for collaboration!

Anyway, September is full steam ahead. Apart from the usual activities in CIBSE, there is Nominations, B&ES presidents lunch, meeting of the societies, HKIE reception, Guide D launch and the CIAT luncheon. Oh, and there is the day job! Have a good September.


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