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YEN Chairs’ Conference 2013 - St Georges Hall, Liverpool

This year’s YEN conference joined with the CIBSE Technical Symposium which was held in the country’s European Capital of Culture (2008), the City of Liverpool! The weekend began on Friday 12th April with an ice breaker evening at Liverpool’s largest fashion, arts and entertainment complex – Liverpool One.

A fun fuelled evening at Bierkeller Bar and Restaurant helped integrate and entertain our international attendees; Ethan Poon and Chris Kwan, who had travelled all the way from Hong Kong, and Ian M (winner of ASHRAE Young Engineers Award 2012) and his wife, both sustainability engineers from Colorado, USA.

Saturday began with an early start and a short walk to the St Georges Hall in central Liverpool, a grand building housing spectacular magistrates courts and concert halls, which also boasts of being the UK’s first air conditioned building. The group of YEN centre’s chairs and vice chairs were taken on a guided tour around the complex array of ventilation systems serving the elaborate halls and courts, by Neil Sturrock, Chairman of CIBSE’s Heritage Group (http://www.hevac-heritage.org/homepage.htm). Neil’s dedicated research into historic building services systems and in particular to the St Georges Hall ventilation systems gave an incredible insight into the challenges faced by past designers in attempting new and innovative designs, thank you for such an eye opening tour.

Following a lunchtime break the group gathered within one of the many retirement rooms to begin the conference. In addition to the chairs and vice chairs of London, East Anglia, HCNW, South West, Scotland, West Midlands, East Midlands, Hong Kong and North East Centres, we were grateful to have the presence of George Adams, CIBSE President Elect, Hywel Davies, CIBSE Technical Director, Andrew Saville, CIBSE YEN Mentor and Alex Smith, CIBSE Journal Editor, who all participated in the afternoons discussions. George Adams also reinforced his support of YEN and intentions for the future with a short speech to inspire the group.

A number of subjects were covered within the conference, including; setting up of new centres namely West Midlands, East Midlands, Home Counties North West and the South West’s Peninsular Centres. The promotion of building services engineering among young people and use of demonstration equipment provided by CIBSE Patrons to take into schools and careers events was a hot topic of conversation. Another issue, raised by Lee Tabis, winner of CIBSE Young Engineers Award 2012, and George Adams was mentorship and how CIBSE can support those willing to mentor engineers in their early careers. The session closed on an update of the Young Engineers Network Ball 2013, which shall this year be held in Nottingham in October and is open to all YEN Members! Please keep a look out for further details and ticket prices which shall be released over the summer.

Journal Entry by: Carla Bartholomew on behalf of CIBSE YEN South West Centre