Gina Barney HonFCIBSE spent her working life in the lift industry and, for 50 years, was a world-leading and renowned international vertical transportation consultant.
She was the driving force behind five editions of the CIBSE guide to vertical transportation, Guide D. Without doubt, the rate at which Guide D has been updated and refreshed, and the rigour with which it has been maintained, are due to the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of Gina.
None of those editions would have been published on time without Gina keeping the Steering Group in check.
Gina called a meeting in April, months earlier than usual, to plan the next edition. Although unwell, she ploughed through the planning meeting, repeatedly saying ‘of course, this will all be down to you lot, as I won’t be here’. The next edition will be a testament to Gina, and none of the contributors will dare be late.
Gina, nominated by the Lifts Group, was awarded a CIBSE Honorary Fellowship in 2014, in recognition of her work on the Guide. It was an honour of which she was truly proud. She received a President’s Commendation in 2021 for her work on the lifts section of CIBSE’s Emerging from Lockdown guidance, undertaken at no notice and which continued at all hours.
Gina served on MHE/4, the BSI lift committee, for nearly 35 years, and her work rate on that was as vigorous as everything else. She was a Liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Engineers, in which she was equally active.
Gina could be cantankerous and knew it. Opponents in legal cases knew that she could, and would, debate for hours.
Gina was not only a brilliant engineer, but a true friend to a number in the industry.
When she transitioned, some were quite unpleasant to her, while others adapted to getting a hug when parting.
Gina had a strong sense of fairness. She wanted to be a force for change and for good – especially for those in need. She was co-chair of the CIBSE LGBTQI+ Panel and she enriched the lives of those around her. She was a kind soul, always supporting those who needed it.
Gina was active in her community and, as an engineer, got involved in the provision of broadband to remote homes, arriving on-site in appropriate gear to help with installations well into her ninth decade.
First printed in the CIBSE Journal, July 2023.