MEP Awards 2015: Meet the judges

The judging panel of the MEP Middle East Awards 2015 has its say on what it expects from the entrants

ANALYSIS, MEP
Abdul Rahman Hussein Aly El Sayed, MEP Director, Meraas Development
Abdul Rahman Hussein Aly El Sayed, MEP Director, Meraas Development
Lee Hall, Head of Operations – Qatar, Atkins
Lee Hall, Head of Operations – Qatar, Atkins
Sarfraz Dairkee, General Manager (Corporate Development and engineering), MAHY Khoory & Co
Sarfraz Dairkee, General Manager (Corporate Development and engineering), MAHY Khoory & Co
Majed Fares, Operations Manager, BAM International (Middle East & Gulf States)
Majed Fares, Operations Manager, BAM International (Middle East & Gulf States)
Mark Wilson, SSH Practise Director for Building Design
Mark Wilson, SSH Practise Director for Building Design
Onuwaekuke Kachikwu, Lead Mechanical/ACMV Design Engineer, Arab Engineering Bureau
Onuwaekuke Kachikwu, Lead Mechanical/ACMV Design Engineer, Arab Engineering Bureau
Taher Diab, Senior Director – Strategy and Planning, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy
Taher Diab, Senior Director – Strategy and Planning, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy
Anwaar Al Shimmari, Director, Projects Planning Department, UAE Ministry of Public Works
Anwaar Al Shimmari, Director, Projects Planning Department, UAE Ministry of Public Works

MEP contractors and consultants are able to file their nominations for the ninth annual MEP Middle East Awards online. The gala evening is scheduled to take place on 18th November 2015 at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.

The black-tie event, which will be attended by 350 industry professionals, celebrates the best in the Middle East’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing sector. Each award category is judged by a panel of peers made up of contractors, consultants and senior industry association members from around the region.

Go to the awards website for more information on how to nominate your projects, colleagues and peers, www.constructionweekonline.com/mepawards.

MEP projects in the Middle East region face some unique challenges, particularly as energy efficiency and sustainable design come to the fore.

Projects as varied as Jeddah’s kilometre-high Kingdom Tower and the desert rose-styled Qatar National Museum in Doha, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Qatar’s rail projects and new city developments from Cairo to Ras Al Khaimah, are all posing unique MEP design, installation and operational challenges.

The MEP Middle East Awards is the perfect industry platform to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of the sector. Over the last nine years the event has grown in stature and popularity as indicated by the growing numbers of nominations, participating companies and guests.

Please provide as much relevant information as possible with each nomination to increase your chance of winning an award. Those nominations that provide specific details, such as cost savings made, deadlines hit, or efficiency targets achieved, will have the best chance of winning.

2015 Awards categories:

Health and Safety Initiative of the Year

Sustainable Project of the Year

Retrofit Project of the Year

Mechanical Project of the Year

Electrical Project of the Year

Plumbing Project of the Year

Young Engineer of the Year

Project Manager of the Year

Mechanical Engineer of the Year

Electrical Engineer of the Year

Plumbing Engineer of the Year

MEP Executive of the Year

MEP Consultancy of the Year

GCC Project of the Year

MEP Contractor of the Year

Abdul Rahman Hussein Aly El Sayed, MEP Director, Meraas Development

Tell us about yourself?

I have over 20 years’ experience across a full spectrum of international projects covering the GCC/ Middle East (Dubai UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt) and Europe (Turkey); ranging from international airports, hospitals and clinics, resort hotels and serviced apartments, high-rise buildings, mixed-use developments, retail and food and beverages, and sport facilities. My design experiences were built-up through multi-disciplinary international consultants, starting from Zuhair Fayez (KSA/Egypt), Shaker Group (SCG Egypt), and finally with Dar Al Handasah (Egypt/Turkey/Dubai), in addition to leading supervision of projects carried out by high-ranking contractors.

Is this your first time judging?

I was part of the judging panel of the MEP Awards in 2014, so this will be my second time.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

I am looking forward to seeing projects designed within the assigned budget. They should also be totally safe and free from over-estimation in order to guarantee continuation in investments. What’s required from applicants is to be experienced in loads calculation, more sensible about results, capable of applying engineering solutions to suit the client’s requirement, and up-to-date with the state-of-the-art programmes like BIM for reducing the construction milestone and minimising construction claims. Achieving energy efficient buildings (sustainable buildings) should be the main target of the applicant in order to reduce the power consumption during operation and protect the main power-grid from unnecessary extra loads.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

I am looking for engineered projects that are feasible and add value to Dubai with reasonable operational cost.

Lee Hall, Head of Operations – Qatar, Atkins

Tell us about yourself?

I am a chartered MEP engineer. I have been with Atkins for seven years in the UK and six years in the Middle East. I currently head up the property design team in Doha, comprising of architects, engineers and master planners. I am from Middlesbrough in the north east of England. I won the MEP PM of the Year award in 2012 and led Atkins’ MEP team to the consultancy title in 2012 and 2013.

Is this your first time judging?

Yes. I am looking forward to seeing what is involved and getting stuck into the process.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

I am interested to see the range of projects that MEP colleagues are working on in the region and the different technologies and initiates being utilised. For the individual award categories, I am interested to see how the candidates are ensuring constant personal development and, most importantly, helping other junior or less experienced colleagues progress and develop.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

I will be looking for a real passion and enthusiasm to shine through in the entries – not just going through the motions but adding real value to projects, each other, teams etc. Doing things a little differently, being dynamic and above all constantly striving to improve and get better.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

I would certainly hope that the growing level of integration between MEP designers and contractors continues to improve – particularly through design and build projects as this results in a far better final product for our clients and makes the construction process far more efficient and less wasteful in terms of materials and time. This improves the more we use BIM, so I expect to see the continuing trend of utilising BIM to become ‘business as usual’ on all projects.

Sarfraz Dairkee, General Manager (Corporate Development and engineering), MAHY Khoory & Co

Tell us about yourself?

I have been passionately involved with efficient energy utilisation, generation and renewable energy systems for more than 30 years. I am a LEED (BD+C) accredited professional, certified energy manager, certified building commissioning professional, and a qualified trainer for pumping system optimisation (Hydraulic Institute-USA) and for the certified energy manager training programme (AEE-USA). In additon to this, I am an ardent believer of Appropriate Technology and a follower of the Soft Path Approach for the effective resource utilisation in harmony with nature. I am also secretary of the Emirates Green Building Council and a senior member of the Association of Energy Engineers, ASHRAE.

Is this your first time judging?

I have been judging for quite a few years particularly for the sustainability, green building and energy efficiency and Appropriate Technology projects.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

Creative application engineering: adapting, customising and seamless integration of the equipment and system.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

The effective use of the available resources, solutions that aspire harmony with nature, going beyond the treaded path, frugal and sustainable.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

A shift from product brand equity towards delivering solutions based on the tangible performance measurement and verification and benchmarking.

Majed Fares, Operations Manager, BAM International (Middle East & Gulf States)

Tell us about yourself?

I have many years of diversified experience in the construction field. This includes stadiums, hotels and serviced apartments, high-rise buildings, mixed-use development and commercial buildings. I am the winner of Construction Week’s Project Manager of the Year award for 2013, being the project director of Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium project, which has been awarded The Stadium of the Year 2014 by Stadium Database and the Stadium Contractor of the year 2015 by IQPC Middle East.

Is this your first time judging?

I was a judge in last year’s competition which I enjoyed immensely.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

I will be looking for safety quality timely approach submissions that demonstrate and address the key judging criteria and identify the main elements which contribute to the success of their individual projects including but not limited to, project design and operations, timeliness and professionalism.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

A project that is outstandingly planned and unique in the operational approach towards safety and construction. Companies that are paving their way to success and enhancing the MEP business in Middle East and Gulf states, and individuals that are setting an example for others to inspire and look up to.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

I expect to see the MEP industry develop further towards BIM methods which will help to build in advance a virtual building mock-up and eliminate the problems before construction. This will help to simulate the construction approach. Also new sustainable project models and environmentally-friendly temporary power technologies.

Mark Wilson, SSH Practise Director for Building Design

Tell us about yourself?

I joined SSH in August 2013 as a practice director for building Design with more than 20 years’ experience in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. I worked on a range of large projects and managed big, multi-cultural and diversified teams delivering high quality, internationally recognised projects. Before joining SSH, I was based in Dubai and worked for a number of international consultants including, most recently, the Canadian Consulting Engineering Group, NORR Group Consultants International Limited and Atkins from the UK. After a stint at SSH’s mother country, Kuwait, I am now back in Dubai.

Is this your first time judging?

This will be my first time judging but due to the size and complexity of projects in the Middle East no amount of previous experience can prepare you for some of the likely submissions.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

I am interested in seeing how new and evolving technologies are becoming more and more commonplace in our industry and how these have been used to the benefit of the shortlisted projects.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

Leaders in design and leaders in change.  Whilst the built environment is a vast area of expertise, there are too many ‘cookie cutter’ design solutions and not enough individuals who actively promote and champion change in the industry.  For me, projects and individuals that do things differently but effectively should be showcased to our peers.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

BIM heavy. The benefits associated with BIM and collaborative programs such as IES etc. will be showcased extensively I believe.

Onuwaekuke Kachikwu, Lead Mechanical/ACMV Design Engineer, Arab Engineering Bureau

Tell us about yourself?

I am a chartered engineer with 18 years’ post academic qualification experience. My main skill lies in the design of HVAC systems (with specialist knowledge in smoke management system). In addition, I have detailed design experience of plumbing and drainage systems. I am extremely experienced in the production of concept to completion stage HVAC and public health engineering schemes. I have design experience across all types of projects from industrial developments to airports, shopping malls, schools, hotels and large-scale residential developments. Prior to my current role, I was the head of mechanical with AEB.

Is this your first time judging?

Yes

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

With the forthcoming Dubai Expo, I would love to see the designs that would be showcased for the projects for the event. I am expecting that there will be some signature buildings being proposed and I am anxious to see the MEP contribution, especially with respect to sustainability.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

In projects – sustainability. In companies – social responsibility. In individuals – creativity.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

The biggest projects are geared towards the Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We have not seen the construction boom that these two events would expect to cause. In fact, there are some that believe that the delivery is moving too slowly and there could be an unseemly scrabble for scarce resources (human and material) as these dates approach. Therefore, I expect that the closer we get to 2020, there will be increased inflationary pressure in Doha on the cost of construction, especially as there is a decided preference for living in the UAE compared to Qatar.

Taher Diab, Senior Director – Strategy and Planning, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy

Tell us about yourself?

My career spans over 25 years of diversified experience in business planning, strategy development, corporate governance, sustainability and HSE and quality management systems. I have worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ADNOC Group (UAE) and Qatar Petrochemical Company before joining the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy in April 2011. I am actively involved in strategic development of diversified energy sources, demand and supply management in Dubai and devising work plans for achieving Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.

Is this your first time judging?

This is my first time for these awards but I participate in judging entries for MESIA Annual Awards. I am also the secretary general of Emirates Energy Award.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

Innovative methodology and approach to some of the challenges in the region. Adapting global best practices.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

Cost effective solutions and integration of energy efficiency measures in design, construction and operation phases of projects. Performance criteria is also an essential part of evaluating projects.

Anwaar Al Shimmari, Director, Projects Planning Department, UAE Ministry of Public Works

Tell us about yourself?

I have 15 years’ experience in the fields of architecture, urban planning and design, traffic and roads, and infrastructure planning. I have worked on projects in Al Ain Municipality, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Dubai Holding and Ministry of Public Works. In my current role, part of my responsibilities include setting the federal budget for all UAE projects, and initiating new projects under both HH President of UAE Initiatives and MoPW. These projects cover housing, roads/highways, federal buildings, hospitals, schools, dams and harbours, and all infrastructure megaprojects. The major challenge is to set priorities while controlling budget and time. My new challenge is to develop new projects based on creativity and innovation, as well as promote the competitiveness of the UAE to meet 2021 National Agenda and UAE Vision.

Is this your first time judging?

This my third time, as well as judging in other engineering events in the UAE and GCC.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?

I believe they must strengthen their entries with better quality documentary evidence. Some of the entries in the past have not included enough description. Or sometimes there are entries run across several categories but they lack the precision for a specific category.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?

Innovation, creativeness, team work, leading strategy.

What trends do you expect to emerge in MEP in 2016?

Research and development, innovation in technology, smart city in services and infrastructure.

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