CIBSE UAE launched

Chewpieng Ryan, chair of CIBSE UAE, outlines the new organisation’s aspirations


CIBSE promotes the career of building services engineers by accrediting courses of study in further and higher education, by approving work-based training programmes and providing routes to full professional registration and membership, including chartered engineers, incorporated engineers and engineering technicians. Once qualified, CIBSE offers a range of services, all focused on maintaining and enhancing professional excellence.

CIBSE has more than 21,000 members worldwide with over 300 of these members based in the UAE. Following many years of work by the UAE committee with support from staff, CIBSE has now gained a license from the Dubai Association Chamber (DAC) to operate as an official region here. This is not only a milestone for the local committee in the UAE, but one for CIBSE, as this is the first new region that has been launched in 29 years.

This is a great achievement for CIBSE in the UAE and now allows the committee to support members who live here with more technical networking events and gain traction locally with companies as well as local institutions and governmental bodies.

The region’s main aim is to raise the profile of building services engineering, and in particular, the awareness of CIBSE’s presence in the UAE and surrounding regions. As the only truly professional engineering body whose primary function is sustainability in buildings, our institution is very relevant. Bearing in mind the goals of the UAE Government, supply authorities and the Supreme Council for Engineering, CIBSE’s input is invaluable. In fact, some of these bodies use or refer to CIBSE guides for various building services activities such as our commissioning guide.

CIBSE’s presence in the UAE is driven by a committee of volunteer members who coordinate activities and events. The committee meet on a monthly basis in Dubai to formulate and deliver a programme of networking events, conferences, training and social events. The work to date has been focused on outreach and profile raising for membership; liaising with the industry’s professional members, suppliers and manufacturers through CPD and technical events. We have been liaising with local authorities and relevant organisations and linking and supporting academic institutions to bring in the next generation of engineers into our profession.

Numerous technical CPDs, networking events and membership clinics have been conducted with the support and sponsorship of the local suppliers and manufacturers from the industry. Typical of technical activities was a live link up with Herriot Watt Universities (HWUD) in Edinburgh and Dubai for a joint technical symposium on ‘Integration for Whole Life Building Performance’.

The CIBSE UAE region is set up with sub groups, societies and networks. Very active networking events are held through YEN (Young Engineers Network), SLL (Society of Light & Lighting), WiBSE (Women in Building Services Engineering) and more recently, with the setting up of SoPHE (Society of Public Health Engineers). Work is in hand to set up an Abu Dhabi Chapter and an Energy Performance Group (EPG) in the forthcoming months.

A technical sub group of experts has been convened to review, support and generate local technical literature, publications, design practices and raise the attention to opportunities for involvement of forthcoming CIBSE guidelines and codes. The panel of experts are gathered from across the breadth of industry practices to include consultants, contractors, facility managers, suppliers and manufacturers.

Alongside supporting and encouraging the YEN group, our work with academic institutions is key to the ensuring the next generation of engineers for our profession. We are particularly pleased to have been instrumental in linking CIBSE with HWUD. HWUD Architectural Engineering course has since attained full CIBSE accreditation with our committee members volunteering their time on the industry advisory panel and providing talks on careers options and current topical issues like sustainability accreditation systems, energy efficiency and monitoring systems. The future generation of UAE home grown talent is undoubtedly significant with the last two years’ winners of the CIBSE Ken Dale Travel Bursaries being Dubai-based engineers and a HWUD student shortlisted for the CIBSE ASHRAE Graduate of the Year 2016.

Members based in UAE are urged to join the committee and a call out for volunteers to vacant positions will be issued this month.

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