The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has appointed Reid Donovan as the new chairman in the UAE.
Donovan, who is the regional director at MEP consultancy ChapmanBDSP, said it was an ‘honour’ to be elected chairman by his peers and that he hoped to make a positive impact for members during his tenure. He said he plans to take membership of the institute past the 400-mark by the end of the year.
ChapmanBDSP has worked on a number of landmark projects in the UAE and has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
In his first interview since being elected chairman, Donovan said while the organisation remained committed to raising standards, he hoped a series of behind-the-scenes project tours and talks from industry experts on “leftfield subjects” would increase interest.
He said: “My key goals are to keep the committee highly organised through regular continued professional development seminars and then going a little leftfield with the subject matter to ensure our members are engaged and that we capture a slightly wider audience with future events. We are planning a number of talks and a behind-the-scenes tour of an iconic building followed by an insight to the way the building is managed and maintained.”
He said the committee had already set its sights on securing experts on a range of topics, from BIM, through to the use of augmented reality and modularisation. “They are all hot topics at the moment and we need to explore whether they are viable in the UAE market,” he said.
Donovan, who has previously served on CIBSE's technical panel, said the committee also considering an awards ceremony in November. He said: “Our annual CIBSE dinner will be extra special this year, with more promotion of the awards and greater recognition for our high achievers.”
Better use of social media and LinkedIn would increase awareness “across the full range of grades”, Donovan said, while insisting CIBSE would remain committed to mentoring members through to qualification. The group’s quarterly newsletter would get a “full revamp”, he added, including sections from the Young Engineers Network, Society of Light and Lighting, Woman in Building Services Engineering, the Energy Performance Group and the Society of Public Health Engineers.
“We will be focusing on CIBSE professional body's primary function of the design of sustainable building services systems”, Donovan said, “but there will also be an emphasis on sustainable solutions relevant to the UAE climate and current market. Some of these subjects will be managed by our technical sub-committee chaired by Isaac Coker of WSP.”
Donovan added: “It’s such an exciting time for CIBSE in the UAE. I hope members see we are driving the organisation forward and that non-members want to be a part of it.”