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CIBSE YEN London Presents...The CIBSE ASHRAE Young Engineers Awards 2015
8th October 2015
Reviewed by Jairo A Jaramillo
Now heading into its 20th year, The CIBSE ASHRAE Young Engineers Awards are always a personal highlight for me as they are one of the few events to really showcase the young talent that fortunately abounds within the building services industry.  The prestigious ceremony, held every year within the lovely traditional confines of the Institute of Mechanical Engineer's HQ and a mere stone's throw from Westminster Abbey, has a long list of winners and runners-up who have gone on to feature prominiently within CIBSE YEN London and other YEN Centres across the country and indeed world.
This year I have to admit a complete professional bias towards one of the entrants, Ryan Rolin Rodrigues, an incredibly competent electrical engineer and close colleague of mine with whom I share an office at hurleypalmerflatt. 

As usual, the array of talent amongst the finalists was clear to see, and it was Foster + Partners' Demetrious Constantinou who started off proceedings and discussed the theme for the year, namely 'How can collaboration make me a better engineer?'.  The format of the event means that all competitors are pushed for time to discuss an incredibly diverse and wide ranging topic but fit it all into only four minutes.  Goodness knows I have been in meetings where some of those attending could take inspiration from those kind of time constraints!

           CIBSE ASHRAE YEA 2015 Winner Ryan Rolin Rodrigues            Past and present - Previous winner Emilia with Ryan                  HPF colleagues Jairo and Ryan
Demetrios was followed by Young SoPHE and sometime YEN London contributer Ruth Howlett who spoke eloquently about collaboration between different disciplines.  There was a light hearted moment when Ruth and Georgiou, unbeknownst to each other, finished their respective presentations on the same Henry Ford quote, but otherwise they, along with all the other competitors including Andrew James, Peng Jiang, Alexandra Lindsey-Bethune, Jorge Abarca Montero, Charity Nicholls, Ryan Rodrigues and William Webb conducted themselves brilliantly.  It is never easy to do a presentation, especially so when the audience is 120 strong and filled with prominent members of your industry, but it always pleases me how the enthusiasm and competence of the presenters comes to the fore.  Several themes became apparent, particularly that of what I like to call the 'knowledge multiplier' namely the way in which by having a multi-disciplinary team and several experts to call on, then a young engineer greatly increases the ability and problem solving skills they can bring to the project they are working on.

I reserve my last thoughts for Ryan Rodrigues who gave a presentation that stood head and shoulders above the rest, with good humour executed with the assistance of bold, colourful and interesting slides plus a clear message of what an engineer actually is, should be doing and why collaboration will always be central to that.  It was no surprise to me when he collected first prize and knowing first hand how he covets travel at every opportunity, I am certain that Ryan will be a first class ambassador in Florida for CIBSE at the ASHRAE conference next year.

The evening was rounded off as usual with delicious food and drinks in the upstairs IMechE Library where Ryan and I were able to network and catch up with CIBSE YEN London Chair David Mather, long time colleague Vince Ruane from Cundall, previous winner Emilia Targonska, Cundall's entrant Jorge Abarco, impressive candidate Andrew James and of course Ruth Howlett.  The night ended on an impressive note with myself and several of those mentioned partying the night away at a nearby nightclub.  Hey, why not?  If this and every YEA evening I have had the pleasure of attending have taught me anything it is that the energy and drive of those coming into the industry must always be celebrated and appreciated for the boost it can give to their more senior colleagues and decision makers.  It has honestly never been a better time to be a building services engineer and I count myself fortunate that I can sit across from professionals such as Ryan Rodrigues and always be learning and aiming to better myself.  A big thanks to all who attended, a big congratulations to all the entrants, there are definitely no losers on a night like this and I look forward to next year and a new, even more impressive group of bright young things.

Winner and Trophy