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'Golden age' predicted for engineering through use of technology

12 April 2017

Opening the second day of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Technical Symposium, ASHRAE president Tim Wentz predicted an imminent "golden age" for engineering.

Referring to the ongoing development of digital technologies, Mr Wentz emphasised the dramatic changes occurring as these are applied in more areas to deliver more comfortable and effective buildings.

He also referenced the role of psychology in occupant satisfaction and its relevance to building services engineers.

Engineers were also encouraged to embrace all aspects of technology to build better buildings in a "built environment renaissance".

His words will be well received by many FMs, following the much-publicised difficulties experienced in contracting engineers with sufficient skills to deliver hard services.

Digital engineering was also referred to by other speakers at the CIBSE event.

University of Georgia's Tom Lawrence discussed the potential of the latest demand response tools to lower energy use in buildings, for example, whilst increasing thermal comfort.

CIBSE president John Field said changing technology is making it "an exciting time to be an engineer".

"We need to be prepared to embrace new ideas and techniques as they develop to take full advantage of their potential," he said.

Additional presentations throughout the second day of the event, held at Loughborough University, looked at both retrofit and new build projects.

Topics included the benefits of simplicity of system design and energy-reducing applications in a number of areas.

Winners of the Symposium Awards were AWE's Sergio Fox, for most effective presentation delivery, and Hoare Lea's Ashley Bateson for best contribution to the art and science of building services engineering.

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