BSRIA recently welcomed a group of Year 9 and 10 students from schools in Reading to its world- renowned test facilities to promote a charity scheme which gives students invaluable and tangible experience for a career path in science, technology, engineering and maths after GCSEs. EDT is a nationwide educational charity with over 30 years’ experience, delivering over 40,000 STE(A)M experiences each year and connecting young people, educators, partners and employers across the UK.

Its Routes into STEM programme is an Industrial Cadets accredited scheme which allows young people to demonstrate experience and progression, empowering them to succeed in future study and make informed career choices. As part of EDT’s programme, students spend a taster day undertaking STEM-related activities at a college, university and in a company to find inspiration for the type of career suited to them. Colin Pearson, head of building performance, building thermography technical expert, Sustainable Construction Group, BSRIA, kicked off the event with an introduction to thermography, where the students got stuck-in with a hands-on experiment involving infrared cameras and Coca-Cola cans filled with varying temperatures of water. The cans had stickers on the side and students had to gauge the temperatures of the different parts of each can. The heat would be reflected by said stickers.

Mr Pearson explained that with buildings and airtightness, faults can

and do creep in. Cold outside air can affect inside air temperatures too – especially in winter.

The group then moved to BSRIA’s UKAS-accredited test house laboratories. A further six building services engineering experiments followed with students tackling measuring temperature in the workshops, again using thermal- imaging infrared cameras. These tests involved a radiator, fire extinguisher, boiler, light, a chair in a cold room and a human hand.

BSRIA chief executive Julia Evans presented all the students with an Industrial Cadets ‘bronze’ personalised certificate to mark completion of the three day course. BSRIA urges members and businesses to collaborate with their respective local schools to participate in such projects.

The 2018 Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) Conference has started to take shape with high profile sessions already agreed on the technical implications

of the Hackitt Review for contractors, and how Brexit will affect the building engineering marketplace, along with a number of ‘meet the buyer’ sessions.

The one-day conference, entitled ‘Engineering the Future’, will take place at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London on November 01 with headline sponsor Milwaukee Tools. It will focus on how building engineering firms can win and deliver projects in a highly disrupted marketplace.

A wide range of expert speakers and political commentators will help delegates focus on the actions that companies of all sizes should be taking to build resilience into their businesses – including preparing for Brexit.

Informed ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ voices will provide an overview of what is in store for the industry and delegates will have a chance to ask questions and share their hopes and fears. BESA’s public affairs and policy manager, Alexi Ozioro, will also be interviewing the Government’s small

business commissioner Paul Uppal in a special public session during the conference. Dubbed the ‘late payment tsar’, Mr Uppal will explain how his office can help companies resolve disputes, how effective his role has been so far and where he is trying to make a difference in the wake of Carillion.

As well as wider commercial issues and important discussions on mental health and diversity, the conference will zero in on key technical topics. The air conditioning and refrigeration industries have seen unprecedented upheaval in the refrigerant marketplace. Head of Refcom, Graeme Fox, will lead a session on the future of refrigerants. Driving the pollution agenda indoors will be hosted by the BESA Indoor Air Quality Group. The new TR/19 and what it means for the sector’s future will be addressed by the Association’s Ventilation Hygiene Group Facilities management guru Geoff Prudence has agreed to host an in- depth discussion on the FM sector, with a particular focus on leadership and how investment and standards must rise in the wake of the Grenfell fire. This session will also look at the FM requirements of NHS estates and other high profile clients. There will be sessions dedicated to apprenticeships and training, with a key focus on how BESA is helping the industry equip its workforce with qualifications for life via new style apprenticeships. The trade union Unite has also been invited to give its views on how the sector needs to modernise the way it funds and delivers training.

10 July 2018

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