wu1The Institute of Demolition Engineers have recently held their Autumn Seminar at One Great George Street in London supported by a record attendance.  Over 180 delegates attended the event which saw the Institute officially sign an agreement with the University of Wolverhampton to deliver the first Demolition Degree. 

President Duncan Rudall commenced the day’s events before the first speaker of the day, The Erith Group’s Andy Dyson, took to the stage. Mr Dyson spoke about his company’s project at Stanhope Gate in central London where the demolition phase of the work called for a large amount of engineered temporary works to be installed. The large and detailed temporary works proved vital to the successful completion of the project with Mr Dyson providing a very detailed and technical presentation for the delegates. andy-dyson

Second speaker of the day was Peter McLean of the Sellafield Group. The Winfrith Outfall Pipe was laid across Dorset in 1959 to take contaminated waste out to sea and Mr McLean offered an interesting take on the decommissioning and disposal of the redundant pipe.  Mr McLean spoke about the methodology and associated risks of the removal including the extreme conditions facing his team of divers working on the project.  

Following a short break where delegates took in the latest offerings from our exhibitors, Mr Robert Johnstone of Keltbray delivered a presentation on the detailed structural strengths and demolition techniques of various structures. The interesting presentation was followed by former Winter Olympic ski jumper, Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards.  A very funny presentation saw “Eddie” recounting his efforts to make the 1988 Calgary Games and his constant battle to get the British Olympic Committee to take his efforts seriously. His never say die attitude came across in his presentation with the delegates appreciating his honesty and his drive to achieve his dream. eddie-eagle

A late inclusion to the program saw a short presentation from AR Demolition’s Richard Dolman about the need for more detailed and inclusive communication across the delivery chain for projects. Following on with an incident on an AR Demolition project, Mr Dolman announced the commencement of an open forum, with full approval from the Council of Management, to anonymously offer information and assistance on different subjects within the industry. 

Prior to the break for lunch, Mr John Woodward and Dr Terry Quarmby took to the stage to offer some interesting and exciting news on the development of the first Demolition Degree in association with the University of Wolverhampton. Following the short presentation, IDE President Duncan Rudall and Professor Geoff Layer from the University of Wolverhampton signed official forms of co-operation. wu2

First to take the stage after lunch was Professor Roger Willey from ACS Physical Risk Control who spoke about the asbestos issues faced by the workers demolishing the Red Road flats in Glasgow. Professor Willey also detailed the history and long association with asbestos products in this part of Glasgow and in the material’s use in both the flat’s construction as well as putting Scottish manufacturing on the map with the locomotive and shipbuilding industries.  roger-willey

Nicola Elvy of Building Health was next to the stage and with a very entertaining and informative presentation enlightened the audience to the need to ensure worker’s health is being looked after in the best possible way. Through regular health surveillance to keep workers fit and healthy, Ms Elvy believes that companies can become more efficient and therefore profitable.  nichola-elvey

The final speakers of the day were IDE President Duncan Rudall and Anglian Demolition’s Rob Eastaff. The double act offered the delegates a presentation on the Autostem product supplied by Mr Rudall’s company DCS Engineered Bursting. The Autostem product provides a safe and efficient alternative to traditional blasting methods with Mr Eastaff going on to speak about his company’s use of the method on their project at RAF Marham in Norfolk. Mr Eastaff described his task in getting the method approved to weaken some very heavy concrete structures and the subsequent military acceptance of the product and its use. 

The day concluded with Mr Rudall thanking everyone for their attendance before announcing the forthcoming Annual Luncheon and AGM at the Royal Institute of British Architects on the 11th of November.  Book early to avoid disappointment!

Author and Photography: Paul Argent, RPA Photography

The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.