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Strengths and challenges of young building services engineers
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Strengths and challenges of young building services engineers

05 Feb 24

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and a growing emphasis on sustainability, young building services engineering professionals find themselves at the forefront of shaping the future of the industry. These individuals, armed with a combination of technical skills, innovation, and a commitment to sustainability, bring a fresh perspective to the field. However, they also face challenges that require strategic solutions for the industry to thrive in the years to come. 

The first of these challenges is the experience gap. Building services engineering relies heavily on accumulated knowledge over their short time and lessons learned from past projects. The challenge is to bridge this gap by fostering mentorship programs and providing opportunities for hands-on experience. Industry veterans can play a crucial role in imparting practical wisdom and guidance to the younger generation. Acknowledging this, the CIBSE ANZ region held its Young Engineers Awards in Melbourne in October 2023. This year, two new awards are being introduced which recognise both individuals and organisations driving mentorship and championing developing engineers. 

Building services engineers must also navigate adapting to evolving design practices. Continuous professional development programs and industry partnerships can help keep them abreast of regulatory shifts and equip them to implement compliant and innovative solutions. A number of CIBSE publications are called up in various Green Star Guidelines, such as best practices for commissioning management and testing. The ANZ region is continually looking at how to adapt the CIBSE Knowledge Portal guidance, including an adaptation of TM65 Embodied carbon in building services.

Young professionals, like the rest of the industry, are also navigating evolving changes in regulations and best practices with a strong emphasis on sustainability standards and codes. These changes will ensure their designs comply with current regulations. Continuous professional development programs, such as the regular technical seminars that CIBSE hosts across locations in ANZ, can help keep them abreast of shifts in technology and design methodologies and equip them to implement innovative solutions.

The state of young building services engineering professionals is certainly a blend of strengths and challenges that underscore the dynamic nature of the industry. By leveraging their professional networks, innovative mindset, and commitment to sustainability, young professionals in the built environment can drive positive change. 

“When you’re coming out of university, building services isn’t the first career that comes to mind, but when you think about the fact that the built environment represents 40% of global emissions, building services jobs are climate jobs, and that’s the future,” remarked CIBSE ANZ Chair Phil Senn at the 2023 CIBSE ANZ Young Engineers Awards.

By joining an institution such as CIBSE, young engineers working in the built environment can build on their knowledge, network with experienced professionals and meet potential mentors to further their careers.

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