IIMS London Conference 2017 Report

Once again, the Institute returned to the splendid 1930s, art deco style, Regent’s University in the heart of Regent’s Park in central London for its Conference.

In his opening address, IIMS CEO, Mike Schwarz, said how saddened he was that numbers attending this year were significantly lower than the previous few years. Mike introduced a welcome video message delivered by President, Adam Brancher, who had been unavoidably detained in Australia on business. In his address, Adam challenged members to reach out and mentor one younger surveyor, bringing them into the Institute’s family. He said that “our cohort is stronger if we are more people”. He went on to declare the Conference open.

Mike Schwarz spoke about the many initiatives that are underway at IIMS this year, stressing it has been a productive and progressive year to date. He also took the opportunity to scope out some of the plans for the medium term future of the organisation. In particular, he spoke of the need to reorganise the head office structure following the departure of Financial Controller, Vicky Lawrence and then singled out the recently launched Continuing Professional Development App. He announced that from January 1st 2018 those who had successfully acquired their CPD points allocation of ten in this calendar year would be rewarded by the addition of a CPD Compliant roundel on their member listing on the IIMS web site. Members, he said, would have until 31 March 2018 to obtain the required number of points for this year to qualify.

Next to speak was Jennefer Tobin from ID2. A formidable lady with extensive experience in the shipping industry over many years, she talked about the use of technology to gather and interpret data.

Dr Phil Thompson, MD of BMT Ship & Coastal Dynamics, introduced delegates to the Rembrandt software, which is used to simulate shipping accidents and collisions using real data. He showed a video of two ships set on a collision course accompanied by the actual dialogue from both bridges immediately prior to the impact, which made for sobering viewing.

The next speaker, IIMS Vice President, Capt Zarir Irani, discussed the topic of flag state inspections and defined where the commercial opportunities could be identified for surveyors.

Karen Brain, Matrix Insurance Services, tackled the complicated subject of what constitutes a surveyor’s duty of care in her usual, thorough style. She referred to historic case law to make her point and it was certainly thought provoking content. Karen has extended the theme of her presentation into an article, which can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Report Magazine.

IIMS was most grateful to Jukka Kuuskoski from Norsepower, who flew in especially from Finland to speak about rotor sail propulsion technology, a fascinating topic which engaged the audience.

The final speaker on the first day was Capt Nigel Moniz. The theme of his presentation was large ship collision claim study and reviews and insurers’ expectations of the surveyor, a subject which he delivered in a confident manner.

Later that evening, delegates and guests assembled at what turned out to be an inspirational choice of venue, the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms, set beneath Westminster in the heart of London. Churchill’s secret war time bunker made a fabulous backdrop for the event. The guest speaker was Commander Graham Hockley, Royal Navy and Secretary of Trinity House. He spoke eloquently about the work and charitable efforts of Trinity House, mixed with a few amusing anecdotes. To conclude proceedings, Mike Schwarz took to the podium. In his address he spoke about the innovation currently abounding in both the small craft and commercial ship arenas.  He also presented a Fellowship award to Kay Wrede, who has been recognised for his dedication and expertise in the field of superyacht coatings. Further presentations were made to the eDot team to mark their efforts in developing and delivering the IIMS CPD App. The cuisine was excellent and the evening was voted a success by all who attended.

Day two dawned with a bright and early start. Delegates were faced with a diverse choice of technical workshops and the audience split 50/50 between the two rooms.

First to speak in the Tuke Common Room was Capt Zarir Irani, who had stepped up to fill this speaker slot at short notice. His topic this time? “Facts not Assumptions” – an independent surveyor’s report, the content of which proved to be self-explanatory and was well delivered.

Mike Proudlove gave a powerful and authoritative presentation on the subject of the challenges faced when surveying one of the latest generations of wind farm fast crew transfer vessels. These complex vessels demand careful inspection and Mike gave a detailed insight into how to approach it.

Last to speak in this room was Mike Lewus from the British Stainless Steel Association. His presentation entitled ‘Corrosion of stainless steel in marine applications: Factors that influence performance’ was delivered by someone who knew his subject and was devoured by delegates.  It may be of interest to readers to know that they can see and hear Mike again. In January 2018, IIMS is engaging him to lead a full one day’s programme on this subject. Watch out for details soon.

Meanwhile over in the adjacent Tuke Cinema, a range of further, excellent presentations were unfolding. Mike Schwarz delivered a short presentation that offered 19 tips for business success. He was followed by the erudite Italian surveyor, Alessio Gnecco, who gave a very personal and fascinating account of a major project he had been instrumentally involved with last year – raising the floating dock Mediterraneo in Livorno, Italy.

Richard Jennings, a Technical Manager from Akzo Nobel and qualified Registered Marine Coatings Inspector, was the next to present. He talked effectively about coatings and what is the responsibility of the inspector, keeping the audience engaged through his presentation.

Peter Solvang, an accredited eCMID vessel inspector and something of a specialist in dynamic positioning, gave a comprehensive introduction to another specialised area of the marine surveying profession. He introduced the different types of DP vessels to delegates and with clarity told them the sort of questions that should be asked and what to look for when surveying a vessel fitted with a DP system.

The IIMS Annual General Meeting

The 2017 AGM was held at the Tuke Cinema, Regent’s University on Tuesday 12 September. Around 30 members joined members of the management board for the meeting.

Two votes were taken by those present who were entitled to vote. The current management board was voted back in en-bloc. The motion to impose a modest increase on the annual membership fee was also carried.