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New SLL President calls for renewed focus on access to technical education

Jim Shove sets out plans to emphasise the importance of quality and best practice in the face of ‘value engineering’ in inaugural address as President of the Society of Light and Lighting.

SLL President Jim Shove (left) and Immediate Past President Iain Carlile (left)

In his inaugural address as President of the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL), Jim Shove gave thanks to immediate Past President, Iain Carlile and his predecessor, Richard Caple. Jim is keen to build upon their work, particularly in relation to STEM, closing the gaps where talent might not be recognised or nurtured.

Jim gave an overview of his experience in the school system, originally intending to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the army. However, due to an accident which left him deaf in one ear, this ambition was not to be realised. Instead, Jim decided to pursue his burgeoning interests in engineering via a different pathway, becoming an apprentice tool maker in 1969. During this period, Jim commented that subjects which he had struggled within in an academic environment suddenly began to make sense, as he could see their practical application.

Jim Shove delivers his inaugural address as SLL President

It was in 1977 that Jim found his way into lighting, working for Thorn. Having gone through the Thorn lighting training modules it was safe to say, Jim was hooked. He moved to Holophane in 1981 and spent the next 24 years there, during which time he was involved in a number of memorable projects. Jim joined Fagerhult in 2006 and worked there until his retirement in 2018, where he forged a firm friendship with Henrik Clausen, Director of the Fagerhult Lighting Academy.

Whilst Jim has enjoyed watching changes and development in lighting technology, manufacturing and design throughout his career, this is not without some reservations. In particular, instances where design integrity is challenged on the basis of value engineering. He outlined his intentions to work alongside other professional bodies and the government to promote a better understanding of the ramifications of placing cost above quality within the built environment.

Jim would also like the Society to be a leading source of information with regard to the topical subject of circadian lighting. He expressed concern about the potential for end-users and clients to be sold an idea which so far, has not been fully substantiated. Referencing the Society’s position paper on circadian lighting, Jim highlighted ongoing research in this area, emphasising the importance of clarity, particularly in relation to health.

Jim raised the issue of mounting pressure being placed on schools to achieve government set targets, with an emphasis on students progressing to university education. Calling for a renewed focus on access to technical education, enabling students that may not be academically strong to gain confidence and skills through a learning style more suited to their needs. In particular, Jim aims for the Society to work alongside other institutions to change outdated perceptions of apprenticeships within mainstream schooling and industry.   

SLL AGM, Awards & Presidential Address 2019

Jim concluded his address by recognising the ongoing work of the Society’s committee chairs and members, along with the regional representatives and staff support.

The Society of Light and Lighting held its AGM at St Martin in the Fields, London on 23 May 2019. President Jim Shove took over the Presidency from Past-President Iain Carlile, who held office from May 2018. The new President-Elect, Bob Bohannon was also inducted, and will serve his term from May 2020.

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