Kevin Mitchell’s inaugural address as President of the Chartered Institution of Building Services (CIBSE) was met with broad industry support, as he outlined the need for collaboration to inspire the next generation of engineers.
Kevin delivered his Address at the Royal Society, London on 5 May 2022 following the CIBSE AGM. Distinguished guests included Sir Julian Young, President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET); Peter Flinn, President of the IMechE; Fiona Horgan, President of the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP); and Patrick Prendergast, President of the ASHRAE UK London and Southeast chapter.
Following Kevin’s address, Sir Julian Young and Peter Flinn confirmed their support for increased collaboration between professional engineering institutions. Together, the institutions represent a vast wealth of expertise and knowledge. Seeking a unified approach to current global challenges, Kevin said:
“If we can inspire people to join us – people from a range of backgrounds who reflect the communities that we serve – if we can do that, our ability to problem solve and innovate in the future will increase exponentially.”
Kevin Mitchell called on building services engineers to pay forward the support they had received to the next generation and to learn and share how building services engineers are key to the transition to net zero carbon.
“I would argue that there are few careers that offer more opportunity to deliver real change than ours.”
It is abundantly clear that the work required to meet net zero targets successfully cannot be done in isolation. The climate crisis affects us all and highlights a need for a new and urgent approach to collaboration, calling for a broader focus on the changing role of engineers in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Great hope can be taken from the immediacy with which representatives from other professional bodies showed their willingness to collaborate, supporting the transition to net zero and in facilitating the cultural change needed to improve safety within the construction industry.
Kevin Mitchell is due to meet ASHRAE President, Mick Schwedler later this month and plans to meet with representatives from several institutions to discuss further opportunities for collaboration.
In addition to collaborating with other professional institutions, CIBSE is committed to working with the government and industry initiatives and professionals in delivering on its Climate Action Plan. CIBSE continues to work with the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), recently publishing a set of FAQs on Net Zero Operational Carbon, designed to drive real progress by providing clarity on what net zero means for buildings, in practice and in detail, the document is free to download at (add link)
Following the success of CIBSE’s 2021 guidance AM16 Heat pump installations for multi-unit residential buildings, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) commissioned the Institution to produce guidance on heat pumps for large buildings. CIBSE has been working with Arup and a cross-industry steering group to author AM17: Heat pumps for large non-domestic buildings which are expected in the next few months.
2022 marks 125 years of CIBSE. In celebration of this milestone and in support of his key theme, to inspire the next generation, Kevin Mitchell has launched five challenges for the year ahead. The aim is to encourage action, communication and collaboration, motivating those who are new to our industry, as well as raising our profile more widely and inspiring people to join us from a wide range of backgrounds to ensure our industry reflects the communities we serve. CIBSE is committed to working alongside other organisations to raise the profile of building services engineers and in creating a safer, more sustainable built environment.
If you have any questions or if you would like to find out more about how you can get involved with the CIBSE 125 Challenges, please contact [email protected]