On 25 February, the Institute of Demolition Engineers met at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. The event consisted of the IDE’s Spring Seminar and Graduation and Awards Ceremony for students of the Foundation Degree in Demolition Management, produced by the Institute and supported by the University of Wolverhampton.

The morning began with coffee and networking. This was on point as, following the British Demolition Awards and the Demo Expo, this was one of the first UK demolition industry events to be held since pandemic regulations were fully lifted.

Ben Cumberland attended for Demolition Hub with our professional photographer David Kennedy, both stepping in for me as I was at the American demolition industry’s NDA convention in San Diego. Both said the atmosphere was electric as old friends and industry acquaintances reunited with seemingly everyone.

Ben found a few familiar faces in attendance, including Matthew Bastable (BPH), Michelle Redman (Campbell Associates), Richard Yarwood (ECY Haulmark) and Howard Button, Chief Executive of the NFDC, to name a few. He told me it was fascinating to see just how enthusiastic attendees were to see old friends, colleagues and industry figures, bearing in mind this was the first IDE event for at least two years.

At 9.30 visitors were called into the auditorium where, standing alongside Dr Terry Quarmby of Dorton Group, President of the IDE Richard Dolman introduced the day. Members who had successfully upgraded their membership over the last 12 months were recognised, while graduates of the Foundation Degree were congratulated and awarded their certificate by the President.

Each recipient was welcomed by a huge round of applause as Richard Dolman called them up to the stage, where Dr Quarmby shook their hands and presented them with their degree. Demolition Hub’s photographer David then took the obligatory ceremonial photos. Once again, the audience showed what these awards mean to the industry with a further rapturous round of applause.

Richard briefly talked about the hours of study and commitment that go into achieving the foundation degree and honestly, hats off to each and every student. As an aside for those wishing to study in 2023 and beyond, I am joining the class of 2022, so have all of this to come. From 21 March I will be documenting my learning experiences in each issue of Demolition Hub magazine as well as through the IDE’s channels.

Lunch was served soon after and the catering team didn’t disappoint, with a traditional crowd pleaser of boeuf bourguignon and fruit crumble. There followed talks on a variety of industry matters by eminent professionals. Jacqueline Western, HM Inspector of Health and Safety, spoke about challenges that arise when taking on projects; Howard Button (NFDC) gave the audience an insight into the courses available through the National Demolition Training Group and how both the NFDC/NTDG and the IDE should, do, and will continue to work together for the greater good.

The whole day was a great success and well executed. Representatives from Worsley Plant, BPH Attachments, Liebherr, NFDC, Mabey Hire, ECY Haulmark and Campbell Associates all said how pleased they were with how the day had gone and how being a part of it as an ISP allowed them to be in the right place with the right people to gain potential new business.

The Demolition Hub team are honoured to have been part of the day. We witnessed the next generation of demolition engineers, were present for the interesting and informative talks and entrusted to report on, take official photographs and become that little bit closer to the IDE and this wonderful industry.

Author: Ben Chambers, Chambers Media

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.