IIMS AGM, Conference and Dinner 2024

In the first week of June, attendees from around the world gathered for this year’s IIMS AGM, Conference and Dinner.

Held at the beautiful Chilworth Manor Hotel near Southampton, the dinner was a chance for professionals from the marine surveying industry to meet and network.

Incoming President of the Institute, Captain Ruchin Dayal, addressed delegates that evening and announced his chosen charity the Sailors’ Society.

He said, “They are a recognised international organisation worthy of our collective support.Sailors’ Society is a global maritime welfare charity supporting seafarers and their families in need, day and night, 365 days a year. I hope over the course of the next two years you might choose to support the charity by donating what you can to a deserving cause.”

Of his support, Director of Communications of Sailors’ Society Melanie Warman, said, “Our support and services are needed more than ever by seafarers and their families who may be caught up in conflicts, desperately in need of our emergency welfare grants or turning to our 24/7 helpline and Crisis Response Network for assistance.

“This is why support from organisations like IIMS is really important and we are so grateful to Captain Ruchin Dayal for selecting Sailors’ Society as his chosen charity.”

Annual General Meeting

CEO Mike Schwarz started the meeting by giving an overview of the Institute’s activities over the last year. He began by saying, “As some of you know I celebrated 10 years in my role back in January. I look back over the past decade with a sense of pride, for we have come a long way together. I believe the one thing that underpins everything that IIMS has tried to achieve is building a powerful network of professional surveyors, and as an organisation we continue to provide first class training opportunities.”

During the meeting, it was announced the Institute is in the process of trying to gain ISO 9001 accreditation — a globally recognised standard for quality management.

Another update revealed IIMS has now launched brand new regional websites for Asia and the USA as well as rebranding its six existing branch websites with a new design including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Nigeria and the UAE.

Online voting prior to the AGM on three matters were disclosed and can be seen below.
1. Are you in favour of re-electing the existing IIMS Management Board en-bloc?
· In favour: 96
· Not in favour: 4
· Abstain: 4

2. Are you in favour of the appointment of David Pestridge as Deputy Vice President?
· In favour: 92
· Not in favour: 2
· Abstain: 10

3. The IIMS Management Board proposes and recommends increasing the membership fees by the sum of 5% across all areas in 2025.
· I approve: 61
· I do not approve: 31
· Abstain: 12

Outgoing President Peter Broad took a moment to comment on the final result, saying, “Members are getting great value for money. When they are accepted as members, it’s still a valuable credit to them, and a 5% increase keeps us below other professional organisations.”

Of his new appointment, David said, “I am deeply honoured to have been nominated and then voted in as Deputy Vice President. I’ve been a member of the IIMS for 16 years — a full-time practising surveyor in that time and I’ve been a board member for five years. I’m very keen to help bring on the next generation. Education is a big part of what sets the IIMS apart from most other surveyor organisations in the UK. We take training seriously. We take mentoring seriously. And we take developing the skills of our surveyors seriously. I see this very much as a part of my role going forwards, so thank you again to those of you who voted.”

Peter Broad parted from his role, presenting the Institute with a golden model of a Korean Turtle Ship, which was the first ironclad warship in the world (1592) and shaped like a turtle.

As the new incoming President, Capt Ruchin Dayal addressed IIMS members for the first time, saying, “Thank you very much, I’m deeply honoured by the trust you’ve placed in me. Absolutely humbled but enthusiastic about taking up the presidency. I will surely try my best to render service and not let you all down.

“I want to thank Peter for the last two years. He has put in dedicated, interactive and energetic contributions to the Institute and has taken the ISO bull by the horns. Perhaps the most inspiring action was taking the initiative to write personally to every new member.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the head office staff, the Board of directors and the members. Over the next two years I will work with each one of you and I’m looking forward to it.”

The event concluded with the virtual presentations of two membership awards. Rory Marshall has been awarded a fellowship and Zennon Cheng was awarded an honorary fellowship for their significant contributions to the Institute and surveying profession.


Following a welcome from Captain Ruchin Dayal and an update by Mike Schwarz, the morning included a presentation and demonstration by Professor John Tyrer and Simon Dickinson on Understanding the realms of shearography – practical and theory. Describing how the NDT technique works — including a time when a fallen glove was discovered during an inspection — delegates were given the opportunity to see the technology at work in person.

Conference attendees were then split in two after an excellent buffet lunch provided by the Axis Conference Centre.

In the afternoon, Julian Smith, Cayman Registry, started the yacht and small craft session with a useful update on the amendments to the Large Yacht Code, which take effect this month.

Karen Brain of Matrix Insurance Ltd, returned to the conference to give an insightful discussion on general aspects of marine insurance, including the importance of P&I cover.

The session ended with a live interview with the remarkable nonagenarian who is Ian Nicholson, the Institute’s oldest active surveying member. He spoke of his remarkable career, which started with an apprenticeship during World War II to leading European surveyor and yacht designer Fred Parker before going on to share practical surveying tips and advice.

Meanwhile, in the commercial ship session, Steve Warner gave an in-depth presentation and review of Cygnus Thickness Gauges. This included showcasing the new Cygnus Underwater gauge and Cygnus 1 Ex gauge.

Inventory management risk in the supply chain was presented by Josh Finch, Logistics Risk Manager, TT Club, which shared the mutual insurer’s knowledge, experience points of good practice.

Last but not least, the session was concluded by board member Captain Zarir Irani whose presentation topic explored the growth and ethics of marine surveying business.

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