IIMS 25th Anniversary Conference voted a great success

Delegates in The Old Library at Lloyd's
Delegates in The Old Library at Lloyd’s

This is a brief overview of what took place in London on 31 August and 1 September as events to celebrate the Institute’s twenty fifth birthday reached a pinnacle.

Conference Day 1 – Technical presentations
Five presentations covering a variety of topics had been arranged, each lasting around 50 minutes. Nick Smith from Charles Taylor Adjusting covered the fascinating subject of commonly breached warranties for small craft and their implications for insurers and insured. IIMS member, Luc Verley talked passionately about dredging technology.

The next two presentations of the morning could best be described as ‘chalk and cheese’. Representing FLIR UK, the leading provider of thermal imaging equipment, John Reynolds gave an overview of the thermography products currently available to surveyors and their potential uses. Whilst over in the Knapp Gallery, Sam Ignarski, extolled the virtues of social media to an eager audience of budding Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter users.

Carol Powell, a corrosion expert and metallurgist, brought the morning’s proceedings to a conclusion with her busy and popular session. In her presentation Carol spoke about marine alloys, their corrosion behaviour and how to avoid it. Despite being an age old problem, there is clearly always new thinking on this most fundamental of topics for a surveyor to know and understand.

Sir Alan Massey (pictured right), CEO of the MCA is thanked by IIMS CEO, Mike Schwarz
Sir Alan Massey (pictured right), CEO of the MCA is thanked by IIMS CEO, Mike Schwarz

Following the technical workshops, the IIMS Silver Jubilee Awards were presented by Sir Alan Massey to an expectant audience of 100 delegates. Click here for details of the winners.

After the Awards, the room was prepared to enable the IIMS AGM to take place. A full report on the AGM will be published soon.

The IIMS Gala Dinner – a stylish night full of surprises
Surprises aplenty had been promised for the 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner and guests were not disappointed! Pirate stilt walkers brandishing IIMS banners, a talented caricaturist and a magician who defied belief all added to the fun of the night.

Guests assembled from 18.30 in the shadow of the imposing Canary Wharf. After time to take in the museum’s exhibits, diners headed for the ‘Sailor Town’ area, a space which has been used to recreate an old Victorian quayside scene. The Museum of London Docklands was originally No. 1 Warehouse of the West India Docks. Opened in 1802, the West India Docks were London’s first enclosed dock system, built away from the open river on the Isle of Dogs.

Capt Bill cuts the anniversary cake
Capt Bill cuts the anniversary cake

The Museum’s chef had been tasked with creating a unique international buffet to reflect the nature of the global nature of IIMS. He and his team did not disappoint, delighting guests by preparing a lavish selection of cuisine with the countries of India, China, Italy, America and Australia as their primary sources of inspiration.

A special 25th Anniversary cake had been commissioned and it fell to Capt Bill (William MacDonald), the Institute’s founder and first President to perform cake cutting duties.

Three speakers (and a brief, frivolous comedy routine) brought the evening to a close. First to speak, Mike Schwarz, IIMS CEO, praised the head office team and made presentations to Vicky Lawrence, Financial Controller, for 10 years’ plus service. He also recognised the work of Membership Secretary, Jan Cox, for whom this conference would be her last with retirement early in the New Year looming with a further presentation. Mike acknowledged the seven past Presidents who were present at the event. His final presentation was to Capt Bill (William MacDonald), the founder of the IIMS. Mr Michael Grey was next to speak. He spoke passionately about the need for the industry to develop and bring on the next generation of marine surveying, a recurring theme from conference this year. And so it fell to Peter Hancock to bring the evening and Gala Dinner to a close. Bravely returning by popular demand a year after having won the hearts of the 2015 Conference audience, Peter used his skills to deliver twenty minutes of humour which left guests laughing well into the evening.

IIMS 25th Anniversary London Conference
Thanks are given to our sponsors Constellation Marine Services and A R Brink & Associates. IIMS is most grateful to both organisations.

Delegates assembled once more at the magnificent Old Library, situated in the heart of Lloyd’s of London, for what turned out to be an excellent day’s gathering to celebrate the Institute’s 25th anniversary conference. The theme of the day, ‘Marine Surveying: The Next 25 Years’ had included a large hint as to the content of the Conference.

Given the nature of the disruptive changes surveyors are likely to experience in the coming years as technology looks set to continue unabated, delegates enjoyed a series of fascinating and far reaching presentations that fully reflected the agenda as thought provoking paper after thought provoking paper were given.

Following a brief address from the new IIMS President, Mr Adam Brancher, in which he welcomes delegates to this special event, Mike Schwarz, IIMS Chief Executive Officer, presented the highlights of 2016 so far and peered into his crystal ball to predict what lay ahead up to 2041 for the Institute.

John Guy put his many year’s experience of the marine industry and journalism to good effect as he spoke about crisis management. Next to speak was Philip Wake OBE, Nautical Institute. In his intriguing presentation, entitled ‘Maritime professionals or automatons? Brave new world or not?’ he posed a number of questions as to what a shipping industry full of automation might mean.

Session two was opened by Capt Peter King who tackled the thorny subject of ‘The next generation of marine surveyors’ with aplomb and passion.  Next up was Chris Curran, who tackled the topic of future challenges facing marine insurers, which in his opinion are clearly many and varied. The final speaker in the morning session was James Harrison, co-founder of Sky-Futures Ltd. His presentation, entitled, “Bringing the assets to the experts – meshing visual, telemetry, 3D and other complex data types to enable advanced asset assessment from your desk” certainly caused eyebrows to be raised as he lifted the lid on the impact of drone technology which provided a lot to contemplate discuss during the lunch break.

The final session was opened by Capt Andrew Korek, who presented his case study of the m/v Happy Star Big Lift project, the heaviest of heavy lift projects, for which he had been given an award the previous day. Nippin Anand from DNV GL delivered ‘Boxing and Dancing: The Broken Promises of Safety Management Systems in Global Shipping’ in which he argued that lessons are still not being learnt despite many high profile accidents in recent years. Dr Alexandros X.M. Ntovas, who specialises in the context of oceanic policy and the law of the sea, delivered a very thought provoking paper, entitled ‘Unmanned commercial vessels: What may lay ahead for marine surveyors in the context of classification’. Conference concluded with a panel discussion to consider the various presentations.

The day has been filmed and videos will be made available just as soon as possible via the IIMS web site.

Many photos will be available to browse in the Report Magazine soon and also online too.

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