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Leading Projects in 2015 Debate

CIBSE YEN London Centre Presents…
Leading Projects in 2015 Debate
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
London South Bank University
By Jairo A Jaramillo, CIBSE YEN London Centre Treasurer 2015-16
2015_05_08_15_13_42_241.pngIt’s always an exciting time for CIBSE YEN London when an event is organised with this sense of anticipation heightened when it comes in a novel format.  ‘Leading Projects in 2015 – The M vs E Debate’ was a different type of event entirely to what CIBSE YEN London usually serves up to its audience.  The inspiration was a BBC Question Time style debate, with the panel being presented with common building services sector scenarios and then being asked to discuss them in the context of leadership and management of a project i.e. does one discipline usually reign over the others as you go up the management ladder?


Panel members face the music!
From left to right:  David Mather, Gareth Rodwell, Adrian Lim and Jairo A Jaramillo
The panel team consisted of hurleypalmerflatt West End Office co-workers Divisional Director Gareth Rodwell (Electrical) and Intermediate Engineer Jairo A Jaramillo (Mechanical ) plus Mendick Wareing Associate Director Adrian Lim (Sustainability).  The panel represented a broad spectrum of both disciplines and experience levels, the intention being to provide as varied a response and point of view on the scenarios as they came up and it is safe to say the audience was not disappointed!

CIBSE YEN London Chair 2015-16 David Mather was chairing the debate and kicked off proceedings with a coordination case study involving the classic question of how much a CAD department should be expected to coordinate drawings and design or if it should fall to a particular discipline.  Jairo bravely responded first and raised some chuckles by complimenting David on the authenticity of the scenario and then expanding on his previous experiences.  Adrian and Gareth followed with their own answers, diagreeing with Jairo on various points and as a result bringing a measure of liveliness to the debate which the audience enjoyed.

David followed up with a further two case studies covering topics as diverse as responsibility for BMS design (Jairo said Electrical, Gareth said Mechanical!) and lastly a discussion on how Building Services degrees themselves should be structured i.e. obligatory core subjects or a more integrated approach.  It was fascinating to hear Adrian Lim’s opinion on this, coming as he does from a company that eschews the traditional specialist approach in favour of pushing its engineers to become experienced in as many disciplines as possible.

The audience were involved at all points and asked some great questions, bringing the evening to a close before attendees were treated to food, drink and the now de rigeur animated networking which is so valuable after an event like this.

By the end of the evening we weren’t any closer to answering the perennial question of who should lead teams but perhaps therein lies the truth, namely that a good employee and engineer / consultant will always rise to the top and soon find themselves calling the shots!  My thanks go to David Mather for chairing, Charlie Murray for organisation of venue and catering, Jason Smith for assisting Charlie Murray and of course both Gareth and Adrian for agreeing to take part. 


Three wise men? – Gareth, Adrian and Jairo ponder Mechanical vs. Electrical and all disciplines in-between