Michelle Tuxford is the Yorkshire and Humber Committee Secretary for the Association of Building Engineers (ABE), which has been promoting excellence in the industry since 1925.
Construction Magazine: What does the ABE do and whom does it represent?
Michelle Tuxford: The ABE is a professional, member-focused association. Our aim is to give members assistance in their life-long learning and give them the opportunity to work towards achieving a professionally recognised qualification. We offer a broad spectrum of training courses, from Structural Design to Sustainability, from half-day CPD events to degree level qualifications.
Membership is open to professional individuals working in the built environment such as surveyors, architects, architectural technologists, building maintenance engineers. It’s really quite a broad scope of professionals.
CM: How important is the role of the ABE within the construction industry?
MT: The building industry is constantly evolving so members need to keep abreast of changes and that is what we aim to do. Learning and development are key to career progression and are becoming increasingly important in what is a very competitive industry. We provide a prospectus of training courses which members can take part in and learn new skills, enhance their professional development and drive their career forward.
CM: How does the association organise itself?
MT: In the UK the association is made up of 11 regional committees. In the Yorkshire committee we have quite a strong membership and we host CPD events along with technical visits for our members. We try and put on social events, but they’re not as popular with members who are more interested in the professional side of the association. The ABE hosts a national conference organised by the association HQ in Northampton annual. Around the world we have 5,788 members in 50 countries.
CM: The current economic situation aside, what would be the main challenges facing your membership today?
MT: I think the biggest challenge at the moment is the issue of Intelligent Modelling. Most of us have been using AutoCAD for the past 10-15 years, but the industry is now moving away from that system towards Intelligent Modelling. That’s a big challenge for the industry to keep up with the move, which is happening quite quickly.