In June 1969 a gay bar in Manhattan, called the Stonewall Inn, was raided by police. Riots followed for days in protest of discrimination and police brutality, sparking the gay rights movement in the US. This movement spread across the world, adopting the term Pride, and is celebrated across the month of June as the anniversary of the riots.
The pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 to represent the LGBTQ+ community and refused to trademark it. There have been many iterations, including removal of colours and addition of new patterns to represent the unique struggle of BAME, transgender, non-binary and intersex people. Originally it was seen as controversial for use by companies and public bodies, now it is common place across the month of June.
Despite the legal strides, most significantly the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equalities Act 2010, there are still cultural barriers to inclusion.
A survey of LGBTQ+ engineers found 46% of respondents were not out at work, and 17% felt it would hinder their career progression (E&T)
1 in 5 of LGBTQ+ people have been the target of negative comments from work colleagues in the last year (Stonewall UK)
25% of employers in the construction and engineering industry admitted they’re less likely to employ a worker that was transgender (Crosslands Solicitors)
Here at CBG we want to support breaking down barriers and champion inclusivity.
International Women in Engineering Day 2023!
Happy International Women in Engineering Day from all at CBG Consultants.
International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED) now in its tenth year and was launched to celebrate women in engineering around the world. #INWED is an international awareness campaign which raises the profile of women in engineering and plays a vital role in encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.
To celebrate #INWED2023 we wanted to highlight some of our engineers and share their advice for those wishing to pursue a career in engineering…
Jemma Clerkin – Electrical Engineer
Why did you choose to work in the engineering sector?
I wanted to be in a sector where sustainability had an important part to play in modern society. I first started my engineering journey with a renewable energy course but then moved onto building services. Engineering plays an important role for sustainability & our choices can make a positive impact on energy saving. As an electrical engineer one of my roles is to choose & specify equipment that not just works but also contributes to energy savings, for example lighting controls. Using daylight sensors & motion detectors to name a couple, this will control when the light goes on & off & can overall save energy, thus in the long having a positive effect on our environment.
Who is your engineering hero and why?
My engineering hero is not trying to be bias but Nikola Tesla, in my eyes he was a genius of his time. He helped shape the world of electrical distribution & AC current which is still used to this day. What I admire most about Nikola Tesla, he wanted to make a change. When he was researching how to produce “free electricity” he wasn’t interested in the profits of making money from electricity, he wanted to make it free & available for everyone. He was an engineer with inventions that helped shaped our world today.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There is so much I enjoy about working as an electrical engineer in the building services sector. There are so many projects that CBG undertakes & I love the variety. One day working on a heritage project, the next is residential. When you pick up a project from the start you get to see it develop over time & transform into the final product. You get to take away the moment of “I was part of that project”.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in engineering?
I would say do your research on what you’re interested in, prepare questions & go to university open days & career days. Always have an open mind because you may start off in thing & it might lead down a different path. I would also say, don’t give up! There will always be challenges that need to be faced & if engineering is what you want to do, push through it. It will be worth it.
Why did you choose to work in the engineering sector?
Greetings, I am Sibani Bhagotra a sustainable Architect/Engineer. I decided to pursue a career in the engineering sector because I wanted to make a positive impact on the built environment by integrating sustainability principles into architectural design. I believe that engineering plays a crucial role in creating energy-efficient buildings, designing sustainable infrastructure, and finding innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
Who is your engineering hero and why?
My engineering hero is my family, specifically my grandfather, father, and brother, who are all engineers. They have been a constant source of inspiration and guidance throughout my journey. “I was drawn to architecture because it allowed me to embrace and channel my creativity, but I wanted to engineer this creativity in the ability to transform ideas and concepts into tangible structures that impact people’s lives is incredibly fulfilling to me. Reinstating that engineering is not just a profession but a mindset that can be applied to every aspect of life.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to merge creativity with technical expertise. As an architect with a background in sustainability engineering, I find great satisfaction in integrating sustainable design strategies, such as passive heating and cooling, renewable energy systems, efficient material selection, and water conservation, into projects. Seeing the positive impact of these sustainable design choices on energy consumption, occupant comfort, and environmental performance is a contribution to the betterment of society.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in engineering?
There is nothing that is beyond anyone’s capabilities. The entire narrative revolves around one’s interest in a particular subject. Once you feel curious and motivated to gain knowledge and expertise in a specific field, that’s when you realize you can delve deeper into the subject and potentially pursue it as a profession. Engineering is a multidisciplinary field, and having a diverse skill set can be advantageous. I think engaging with mentors and peers can provide guidance, support, and potential career opportunities in the field of engineering. Engineering projects often involve collaboration with interdisciplinary teams. Developing strong teamwork and communication skills is crucial for effectively conveying ideas, working collaboratively, and ensuring project success.
Remember, as an engineer or an any multidisciplinary art and science professional, you have a unique perspective and the ability to make a significant impact on sustainable design practices. Embrace your multidisciplinary background and continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in the built environment.
Any women seeking to join CBG Consultants in any Engineering role can expect personalized mentorship from Senior Engineers and a range of company activities and rewards. We actively encourage more women to apply by offering various benefits, and maintaining our IIP Silver status.
Every year CBG Consultants employees get the chance to take part in Activity Days, where colleagues from our London, Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester offices get the chance to socialise together in team building activities.
As an Investors in People (Silver) company, CBG Consultants believes in the importance of social connection between colleagues across the company, both in the office and out. Creating space for teams and managers from different offices to relax and socialise with each other outside of the office is key to overall happiness and wellbeing, and consequently has a positive impact on the company.
In 2022 CBG Consultants held five different Activity Days, one of which was the Crystal Maze Experience in London, a brilliant activity full of 90s nostalgia where thankfully no one got left behind in a lock in! Others included Swingers Golf in London for the competitive crazy golfers; U Drive Cars for the car enthusiasts; Hardwick Park water sports for those wishing to be tied to the back of speed boat by a rubber donut; and for those craving less adrenaline a serene Oxford river cruise picnic.
If you want to get involved and experience more exciting opportunities at CBG Consultants, then visit our careers page for our list of job vacancies!
Day in the life of a Graduate at CBG Consultants
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME AN ENGINEER?
From a young age I’ve always been interested in making things and developed a curiosity for how things work, so a career path as an engineer was a natural progression for me.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WORK FOR CBG CONSULTANTS?
There were several of reasons, but the biggest attraction was the vast portfolio of projects CBG are involved with.
HOW HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR TIME AT CBG CONSULTANTS SO FAR?
Very insightful, I have learned a lot from colleagues. Having the opportunity to be hands on with the work means I’m learning a great deal as I go.
WHAT’S A TYPICAL WORKING DAY LIKE FOR YOU AT CBG CONSULTANTS?
I usually start my day by catching up with lead managers of the projects I have been appointed to. Then depending on the stage of the projects, I’ll be designing mechanical systems from scratch including calculations and sourcing. Some days involve site visits for surveys to get a better understanding of projects or I’ll have on site meetings to attend.
DID YOU FIND YOU WERE ABLE TO APPLY WHAT YOU STUDIED AT UNI TO YOUR WORK?
There are some aspects of Uni I have found to be very useful, especially CAD standards and report writing.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR ROLE AND CAN YOU GIVE US ANY EXAMPLES OF FAVOURITE PROJECTS AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT?
The diversity of projects I get to work with, ranging from hospitals, banks, data centres, residential, rail etc. Mentmore Towers was particularly memorable, as it was interesting to see such a historical and iconic building.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF YOUR ROLE?
Conforming to deadlines and finding solutions to complex mechanical problems.
WHAT TRAINING AND MENTORING HAVE YOU BEEN OFFERED AT CBG AND HOW DO YOUR TEAM SUPPORT YOU?
I’ve completed a 2 day Advanced Revit training, and I’ve had the opportunity to attend weekly CPDs. The mentoring and guidance from superiors and peers is ongoing and everyone has been really supportive.
WHAT IS THE WORKING CULTURE LIKE AT CBG CONSULTANTS?
Great, my co-workers are friendly and everyone works hard. There is a good balance of work Activity Days and team meals. We will also sometimes attend post work events together, and there has been the opportunity for people to take part in competitions like the annual SLL Ready Steady Light competition
WHAT DO YOU APSIRE TO WITHIN YOUR CAREER AND HOW ARE CBG CONSULTANTS HELPING YOU REALISE THESE GOALS?
I aspire to reach Chartership status, which CBG will assist me with. As well as giving me access to memberships such as IMechE.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN ENGINEERING?
Absorb as much information as possible no matter what discipline and ask as many questions as you can.
CBG Consultants Donate Blood
A+ positive start to the New Year here at CBG Consultants Ltd as we continue to organise office team trips to donate blood!
Did you know one donation can save up to three lives?
135,000 new blood donors are needed each year. Could it be you?
In October 2022 a team from CBG Consultants braved the elements and took part in the annual SLL Ready Steady Light competition, for the second year running. Held in the grounds of Rose Bruford College, with a helpful team of current students on hand, up to fifteen teams take part. Each team is assigned an area, and an allocation of just six light fittings. They have to come up with a concept for their scheme, then implement it and create a narrative. Light fittings can be exchanged at the swap shop, and a variety of colour gels are available. At around 7pm it’s tools down and a welcome hot meal in the campus café, while judges pace the sites and mutter secretly amongst themselves. Does the concept work? Is that a bit of stray glare they can see? Why has the light spilt over and illuminated an ugly TV dish? Could those cables running on the ground have been concealed better? Teams themselves visit their competitors’ installations, and vote for the peer award. After a tense wait, all is revealed, with awards given for best technical installation, best artistic scheme, and the winning peer award.
After some playing around with light fittings (really the main point of the evening), the CBG team focused on just a couple of interesting features on one tree: a derelict bird box, and a small hollow on a cut trunk. Using some narrow beam spots with colour filters aimed onto these focal points, the stage was set for a dramatic showdown between law enforcement and an errant acorn-stealing squirrel. An eerie red foreground wash amongst the branches completed the sense of an immersive crime scene.
To our delight, the team scooped the artistic prize and was also praised by the technical award judges. As for the squirrel? Well, that’s another story….
CBG Project Parsons North features in Architects’ Journal
CBG Consultants was appointed to provide a full M&E design package RIBA stages 3-7 on the recently completed development at Parsons North, which is featured in today’s Architects’ Journal. This mixed-use development for Westminster City Council provides 60 new homes, as well as restoring and rejuvenating a neighbourhood of streets and gardens to this corner of the Edgware Road.
This project utilised BIM and CBG produced the M&E design package using Revit in line with the BIM Execution Plan.
After postponement of Light + Building from its scheduled year in 2020, and again from earlier this year, it has finally gone ahead. Chris Dicks headed out to Frankfurt, meeting both current suppliers and many potential future ones. With 12 halls of potential exhibitors to visit, it is truly immense. Happily, if you didn’t get there yourself, here are Chris’ top 10 picks of the show:
Timber, timber everywhere. That’s right, this year’s go-to material for making light fixtures with is wood. Many interesting suppliers had wooden fixtures on display, ranging from the highly technical veneer lined glass tubes of LZF from Spain, beautifully crafted pieces by Trilum, to more homely intricate lampshades by Tom Rossau. The lower temperature of LEDs compared to traditional halogen lamps, plus an awareness of the embodied carbon of materials makes this an ideal moment to look to sustainable timber. On Chris’ wish list is a supplier focused on using salvaged timber or even a client’s own forestry stock to turn into a beautiful lighting piece.
Slick innovative LED panels you can customise to shape and even fit other lights into. Folio have an innovative single edge lit panel system that allows a whole range of new options to combine ambient lighting with directional. Other services such as CCTV cameras can be integrated too.
German manufacturer Meyer (supplied in the UK by Commercial Lighting) have a well engineered new insert for handrail lighting. Small LED inserts fit into holes which can be site drilled, with a clever proprietary retention system to prevent even a determined tinkerer to remove without use of a special tool.
Retro industrial style lighting remains as on-trend as ever in 2022. One manufacturer has stayed the course since 1933, Edinburgh based Coolicon Lighting. With a product range and manufacturing process largely unchanged since then, it proves that good design endures.
Italian manufacturer Linea Light had a large stand in Hall 3.1, complete with a pizza restaurant in it. Despite a UK office, they are not so well known over here. Linea Light offer a huge range of products, from small decorative external lighting through to office lights and high quality gallery spotlights. CBG Consultants worked with them extensively at our Pipers Corner School theatre project. Highlights of their stand included the Ink system to create a bespoke wall/ceiling power rail, and the precision Pound range of spotlights. Their demonstration area neatly showed the drama a framing projector can bring to a space. (see main article picture)
Antidark were one of many Danish manufacturers with beautifully designed products, aimed at both professional designers and the retail market. Available through Nest in the UK, their turned brass range of pendants and spots stood out.
For possibly the smallest light source on display, a mention to DGA. As well as tiny LED spots about the size of a pencil end, their slick range of display case and shelf lights have great applications from museums to retail.
UK supplier Holophane make a good range of external, industrial and sport facilities lighting. Often mounted tens of metres high, seeing the products up close allows the careful design process to be understood. Ever wondered why their Haloprism fitting is shaped like a donut? Well, it’s so the heat dissipates naturally through a convection process, a bit like a small chimney.
Amber chip lighting for external applications is becoming a big development area, with some research suggesting it may reduce the impact on wildlife and benefit human sleep patterns too. One manufacturer with a nice demonstration was Iluminia, from Spain. Seen next to a 2700K standard warm light source, the amber chip makes this seem almost like a cool white in comparison.
And lastly… for those who like to make their own light fittings from salvaged shades or scrap metal, veteran British manufacturer S. Lilley & Son from Birmingham had a small stand. Located in Hall 8, amongst global suppliers of OEM components, their timeless range of small turned metal lamp holders, grommets, threaded metal stems and every other item of lightmongery you could need was nice to see.
Crosfields School wins Building Project of the Year under £10m in the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 & Education Project of the Year Offsite Award 2022
A private co-educational school in the heart of Reading, Crosfields uses a two-storey curved structure, which protects trees on the site, creates solar shading, and utilises cross-laminated timber to substantially reduce embodied carbon.
CBG Consultants were engaged to design an energy-efficient Senior School Building, that includes a Café, Performance Space, Teaching classrooms, Library, Welfare Hub, and Academic resources.
In collaboration with David Miller Architects, CBG provided the M&E, Lighting, Building physics, BIM aspects and RIBA Stage 4C Design Information. Sustainable solutions included a brise soleil façade to help reduce overheating during the summer months and 47m² of photovoltaic panes on the roof to generate electricity.
In2science UK CBG Workshop – starting a career in STEM
We are working in partnership with the charity In2science UK. Due to poverty and social background being huge obstacles for young people to obtain a career within the STEM industry, the charity sets out to help overcome these barriers. Working with industry professionals, In2science UK provides young people from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to gain practical insight, knowledge, and confidence. Students work alongside and attend workshops hosted by industry professionals.
We have set up a workshop and present to a group of 16-18 year old students who are interested in starting a career within STEM.
The structure we lay out for our In2science UK workshops are as follows:
Discussion of the presenter’s career path to highlight to the students the variable nature of career development and to reassure them that even when things don’t go to plan, you can still achieve positive experiences and ultimately have a successful career in STEM.
Reassure students that it is okay to not know exactly what they want to do at their stage of their life. The suggestion is to try out different STEM subjects through online learning and work placements to see where their interest lies.
Explain why engineering was chosen as a career path for the presenter. What qualifications and memberships are needed to get into engineering.
What it means to be a building services engineer, what types of disciplines are covered and the types of challenges/problems we try to resolve.
Explain about the company and building services consultancy. The type of tasks the students can expect during the working day.
What technologies and software we use to aid within our work and building services engineering.
Key questions we get asked from students are:
“What piece of advice would you give someone our age to help start a career in engineering?”
Try to attend a summer vocational placement to make contacts and understand whether you enjoy the industry. Microsoft Excel is a very useful tool for calculations and efficiently analysing data, so we recommend that students obtain a good knowledge on its abilities.
“Can you advise of any free online tuition that could help get into STEM and help us understand which area we would like to pursue?”
The Khan Academy has numerous free online tutorials on various STEM subjects.
“What do you think is the biggest challenge in the building services sector right now?”
New regulations (June 2022) have just been put into place and as a company, we are trying to learn how they will affect our future designs. In 2025 the ‘Future Homes Standard’ will be released, and this will change how we design domestic buildings.
The feedback that we have received from attendees after our workshops:
“It was very informative based around engineering careers, so I now know much more than before, and questions were answered well.”
“Insightful on a career that I thought of doing but didn’t know 100% what it was about.”
“It was interesting to get to hear from different people about their journey into their respective careers and jobs.”
For information on how you can volunteer for In2scienceUK and inspire a young person into STEM click here