People News

Our people: Bernard Conroy.

02/07/2019

Driving change for a better tomorrow.

Bernard Conroy has recently joined our Bristol office as a Project Director. Prior to joining Hoare Lea he had spent more than 20 years working for Arup on some fantastically challenging projects in locations as diverse as Texas and Moscow.

I chose a career in building services because…

it combines the need for an analytical mind with creativity and pragmatism, and this appeals to me. I initially did an integrated engineering course and at the end of year one I had to choose which aspect of engineering I wanted to specialise in. At the time I read an article about how the building services industry was on the cusp of huge change – having to adapt and face the challenges of climate change – and I found this fascinating.

In my 20-year career, I have been fortunate to witness first-hand the fantastic opportunity building services engineers have to influence building design for the better, creating more and more efficient spaces and the reduction in carbon emissions this has delivered. But, the challenge is ongoing.

I came to work at Hoare Lea…

for several reasons, but the firm’s long heritage of specialising in my chosen field of MEP engineering, and dedication to innovation in the sector for over 150 years is right up there!

One the most challenging projects you have been involved in…

must be the University of Bristol’s Centre for Nanoscience & Quantum Information project. This was early in my career and the brief was to achieve ‘the quietest building in the UK in terms of vibration performance’. Careful decoupling of vibration generators such as the buildings plant and the ventilation and hydraulic distribution systems helped achieve this brief. Close control of the laboratory internal conditions, the ability to fully isolate the services to each laboratory, ‘clean’ power and the inclusion of electromagnetic shielding helped us achieve a building that met the challenge – where research on a nanoscale could take place.

What excites me most about the industry today…

is the pace of change. When I first joined the industry there were still a few drawing boards in the office, with engineers producing drawings by hand. This seems incomprehensible now as we have embraced digital automation and new ways of working. Moving forward the opportunities to enhance the experience of the building user through a digitally ‘smart’ built environment and the impact a decarbonised electricity grid will have on infrastructure and building design are a couple areas I am looking forward to influencing.

Outside of work…

I am a huge sports fan, but with playing days firmly over involvement is largely confined to watching and to taxiing my two children around to all of their various sports clubs and activities… Driverless vehicles would be a welcome addition to free up some weekend time!