President's Page May 2019

1 May 2019

President's Page May 2019 Image
Dear Members,

It’s been quite a journey as my time for handing over the chain of office approaches. In fact, by the time many of you read this the presidential Inauguration will only be a couple of weeks away at the House of Lords. A great time in the Association’s calendar; a time to meet with many industry colleagues and friends, and a time to reflect on my journey as President throughout the past two years, which has been an amazing experience.

It has been a privilege and honour to have been elected President of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers and to have represented our Association and members for the past two years, along also with the prestigious recognition as one of only seven past presidents since 1925 to have held the position for more than a year.

I recall a number of past presidents making comment on the time you have as president to make a difference; how little time you have to influence the decisions of others around you, but how rewarding it can be if in that time you empower others to develop themselves. I hope over the past two years I have influenced decisions and helped others in their developments; after all, our Association’s values are all about developing professionals, sharing knowledge and raising standards, and if I have helped expand and flourish our Association’s strengths and visions into the future, then I will be extremely satisfied and fulfilled.

Like all past presidents, at my Inauguration I set myself three objectives to build upon during my Presidency; these being Growth and Collaboration whilst also addressing our Industry Core Values and the need to demonstrate best practice when it comes to professional performance and our ethical standards. I have travelled around the CABE Regions, and beyond, speaking about these values and I have represented the Association at many industry events emphasising the importance of our industry profile and our growth into the future. Any professional body is only ever as strong as its membership, so growth of membership, identity and our Association’s sustainability into the future must always continue to feature as high priority.   

In a post-Grenfell and Hackitt world of challenge and change, Collaboration was always high on my agenda, and I wanted to encourage better communication and collaboration between CABE and other professional bodies in order to promote equal opportunities. It’s important that we all continue to invest and trust in each other, paving a way to mutual respect; developing and creating relationships whilst broadening our industry platform with a common goal of raising standards, and we can all lead by example, proudly promoting our membership, and taking up the opportunities for networking as they arise.

The next few years will continue to bring many challenges and there is a need and urgency for industry to come together to tackle issues of integrity, industry quality, performance standards and ethical responsibilities.  The new Code of Conduct and Guide to Professional Ethics is not just about public trust; it’s incumbent on us all to retain and preserve the highest possible standards and industry values, and we all need to support a promotion of better core values if we are to be true to CABE’s values and visions, and I’m delighted that the President-elect and Vice-Presidents are also passionate about this subject and I’m pleased that they will continue to build upon this in the years to come.

One of the noticeable changes I have seen on my travels is the enthusiasm amongst our members; which is not only great to see, but also encouraging seeing how our membership is becoming more inspired.

We now sit alongside fellow Chartered bodies tackling issues of diversity, climate change, regulatory standards, CDM, health and wellbeing and much more, and we are making great strides in helping steer the future of our industry and education. Our Association hosts a diverse membership range of skills and expertise, and as we continue to improve these standards, I’m confident that the increasing recognition our members receive, and the discipline of Building Engineering is going to go from strength to strength. 

During my early days, I was often told that if you had a vision and passion then with the right team and skills you can aspire to fulfil it. My vision as CABE President was to promote our ethos, our standards and objectives and to become a successful body representing industry at the highest levels, with Building Engineers being more recognised, respected and embraced as leading professionals in the built environment. I’m proud to say that CABE is recognised both nationally and internationally and seen as a forward-thinking and modern Association, whose members are acknowledged as being at the forefront of our industry, and as I’m about to pass on to Ant Burd, our President-elect, it pleases me immensely to know that I’m handing over on a high.   

Before stepping down, however, I had two more people and organisations to meet with in developing and continuing our strengths with industry friends and colleagues. 

My first visit was to the LABC conference at Hinckley Island, Leicestershire; which was a well-attended event. CABE was exhibiting, whilst past President Ben Bradford delivered an excellent presentation on Fire Safety in Design Management and the use of BS:9991. 

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Gavin Dunn, Jayne Hall (CABE Vice-President) and Tony Ginda were also in attendance and it was good to catch up with Paul Everall and the LABC presidential team.

Our friendship and relationship with the LABC spans many years, and it was good to discuss the opportunities and choices ahead for industry and our mutual members.

My next meeting was with Rod Noble, International Chairman of the Lighthouse Club, and Director of Asian Business. Our meeting at their London office also involved Adrian Hughes QC and chairman of the China Law Council.

The Lighthouse Club is a global organisation, foremost a charity, but with professional members of all construction related backgrounds, whose interests are to develop important relationships and supporting opportunities with our global built environment professionals. Our CABE chapter in Malaysia is well connected with the Lighthouse Club and, following my recent visit to Asia, I was minded to develop this further. As an example, my meeting with Rod resulted in an opportunity to connect with 1,200 members alone in Hong Kong, along with many members in the UK, USA, Australia, UAE and much more. I’m pleased that Rod has agreed on behalf of the Club to attend our national conference and exhibit, enabling our members to gain an insight into their global standing.President's Page May 2019 image 1

Having an opportunity to discuss with Adrian Hughes QC our recent trip to China and the enormous opportunities for CABE members was encouraging. Adrian is possibly the leading authority in the UK on developments, arbitration and growth in China, and regularly acts for the UK Government, and I’m thrilled that Adrian has also offered to attend our national conference and deliver a themed presentation.

My travels and meetings are now nearing an end; one more event to attend with our CEO Gavin Dunn for a video interview with MBS TV, and following the House of Lords Inauguration Caroline and I are looking forward to a nice relaxing holiday, in preparation for a mad return to my office and immense catch-up for the next several months, and who knows, I may be calling the Samaritans in the months ahead!!

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the great team at HQ, whose hard work, commitment and appreciation has been an invaluable support; and you, the members, whose enthusiastic involvement has been influential throughout my Presidency. Thank you all.

Best Regards




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