The Institute of Demolition Engineers held its 47th Annual General Meeting this year at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham, followed by lunch and a presentation of awards and graduations.

More than 20 engineers and associates to the Institute were presented with fellowships, degree certificates and special awards at the event, hosted by Vernon Watson FIDE in his first year as President.

The annual lunch followed the morning AGM, during which the direction of the Institute was discussed, alongside plans to further the new educational offerings on a national and international basis.  These include the world-first Foundation Degree and Master’s Degree, administered by the Institute itself and supported by the University of Wolverhampton, alongside the lectures and talks offered by the IDE’s regular seminars.

Mr Watson said: “I’m very proud this year that we have been involved closely with the HSE and NFDC in seminars aimed at clients about how to appoint a competent contractor, for intelligent demolition. They’ve been very well received and I’m looking forward to holding more of them in 2024 in Scotland, London, Bristol and Northern Ireland. They’re well worth attending”

Regarding the Foundation Degree, which is administered by the Institute, Mr Watson said: “These courses are vital for introducing new, expert engineers and trainees into the industry, so we are happy to see them continuing. As an Institute, we’re going in the right direction and it’s vital that members continue to support what we are looking to achieve.”

There were 12 students starting the Foundation Degree, administered by the IDE, during its fifth intake in March 2023, with a similar number expected to start in 2024.  “One of the things we are trying to do is find a good way of advertising the course,” said Mr Watson. “As it’s something we can administer worldwide.”

Meanwhile a stable membership of just over 400 has elected some new members of the Council of Management – Adrian McLean as Vice President, Mark Jack as Treasurer and new Council members Duncan Rudall, Stephen McCann, Howard Button, Mike Kehoe and Stephen Andrew.

The minutes of the AGM can be found here: AGM-minutes-2023

After the AGM and following drinks in the hotel bar beforehand, the three-course lunch was enjoyed by all. Members also received an emotional talk from Kate Puc, fundraising officer at Francis House Children’s Hospice in Manchester, which is the IDE President’s chosen charity this year.

At the awards ceremony, the following honours were bestowed: Foundation Degree Graduates: Stephen Bocking, Sean Flaherty, Stephen Palmer and Kirsty Walchester. As IDE Associates: Kevin Bowerman, Charles Cheriton, Oliver Crooks, James Hardman, Mathew Mowat, Jamie O’Donnell, Neil Swinburne, Badar Uddin and Jonathan Weaver.

Full Membership was awarded to Carl Bentley, Michael Daynes, Lee Goswell, Richard Love, Malcolm Lowes, Richard Murphy and Kirsty Walchester.

Stephen Andrew, Decommissioning, Decontamination and Demolition Lead for global sustainability firm ERM, was awarded Fellowship of the IDE, with Honorary Fellowships given to Eamonn and Una McCormack and Richard Vann.

Finally came Jan Andresen, HM Principal Specialist Inspector of Health and Safety – Construction at the Health and Safety Executive, who was given Special Award.

Funds were raised in a raffle other prize draws, before networking and socialising as the weekend began.