M&E Engineering

Team

All Max Fordham engineers are trained in both mechanical and electrical engineering. By having expertise in both disciplines, we understand how one impacts on the other, and are better able to integrate them together. We also have specialist Mechanical and Electrical engineers who can provide extensive experience on more complex projects.

 

Colin Darlington

BA CEng MIMEchE

Senior Partner

Engineering is about balance. It's balancing technical issues, client requirements and architectural ambitions to deliver elegant, unobtrusive services design.

This often means working within tight constraints, and where some see this as an obstacle, I relish the challenge. I’m interested in delivering great projects: buildings with well-resolved, appropriate design, ones that are responsive to the particular needs of the brief and effective in use.

I operate across mechanical, electrical and environmental engineering disciplines. My experience tells me that there is no one right answer to complex design problems. I believe in doing right by the client and sharing a commitment to achieve the architect’s vision.

Working closely with design team and other engineers, I help them explore fresh approaches to seemingly familiar problems. It’s about looking at the brief in a detailed way to come up with imaginative proposals, developing them into appropriate solutions, and following through to make sure it happens.

Michael Baldwin

BEng

Senior Partner

What I like to do in all my projects is to find the opportunities to talk to the client about passive design and sustainable buildings. Sometimes it’s about taking clients and design teams along a learning curve.

I’m a gut-feel engineer, willing to make decisions, pragmatic. For me, good design is about being appropriate. Our services design should be absolutely appropriate for the client and their project.

I strive for an end product that is something the whole project team can be proud of. And to leave behind well-liked buildings, spaces that people enjoy being inside.

You could say that my role on projects is to be the environmental conscience. Helping the design team to make the right decisions at the right time so that what finally gets built has the smallest environmental footprint. And in my experience this means delivering simple, robust, straight-forward solutions.

Matt Dickinson

MPhys

Senior Partner

In my experience, it takes easy-to-use building services to create truly comfortable buildings. And that requires a keen eye for detail during the design process.

This process is really a series of discussions. My approach is to break down the brief into simple questions to help reveal the technical detail so we can deliver the right kind of building.

So, thinking about a passive ventilation strategy for a historic church where windows cannot be opened, the question isn't 'where do the ducts go?' It's 'how do we get air into the space?' And then 'how do we get it back out again?'

My experience includes schools, student accommodation, pools, listed buildings and theatres, although I’m interested in all types of projects. The breadth of my experience means I know what works and what doesn’t, and the project team can have confidence in that. Each time my goal is to engineer services that integrate seamlessly into the architecture.

Dr Neil Smith

BEng EngD CEng FIMechE

Senior Partner

Buildings are composed of different energy flows. Whether light, heat, air, electricity or sound, my firm understanding of the physics of fluid mechanics has proved invaluable in its application in building design.

With expertise in cultural, sports, education and workspace projects, I’m skilled at delivering high quality results for the client. I am fortunate to have led our teams working on award-winning international projects.

There are cultural differences to working overseas, recognising that things are done differently and being sensitive to that, as well as appreciating differing regulatory issues. I've found that expectations of environmental conditioning differ between countries as well, and understanding those differences is essential.

Forming strong relationships across the project team on international and domestic projects alike is critical. Forging these partnerships improves our ideas generation and allows our designs to integrate in a way which is sympathetic to the vision of the architect and the aspirations of the client.

Mark Palmer

BSc

Senior Partner

I try to demystify the engineering, seeking input and debate from everyone involved. Ensuring there’s positive engagement throughout the design and construction process is key to delivering a successful building.

Each project has something special about it. There are no standard solutions, yet my approach remains the same: responding to the brief in an intelligent and robust way. It all begins with helping the client to understand what they want from their building so that they can tell us what they want for the services.

I've seen social housing, education and cultural projects from inception to delivery and into use. My hands-on, cross-sector experience means that I know how buildings really work in practice, and can judge where it's sensible to innovate.

At its best the project team works together seamlessly, and we are involved at an early stage in shaping the design. This collaborative approach has helped me conceive and deliver optimum design solutions, which have contributed to the realisation of many beautiful buildings.

David Degrussa

Principal Engineer

Sustainability, for me, means thinking about how a building's occupants will use water. With this understanding, I can influence design so they get the services that they need, but not at the expense of the local ecology.

Each public health engineering design starts with understanding how the building will be used, the rest is about spatial management – which is where things become interesting. I’ve worked on pretty much every type of building from Grade I listed refurbishments to mixed use high rise new builds, designing bespoke sanitation, drainage and water services that fit into the architecture.

I enjoy being actively involved in the development of the engineering designs and seeing them implemented during construction. Having a pragmatic approach means that I understand how systems will actually work when the building is in use.

We can always improve how we use water. Building services strategies like rainwater harvesting and making use of grey water can have a positive impact on urban drainage and help our cities to be places that we want to live.

Scott Crease

MEng AMIMechE

Senior Partner

Do it simple, do it right. With the best interests of the client at heart, I see my role as being a trusted consultant seeing the project through from start to finish.

Delivering robust and efficient building services design is what interests me. My approach is to simplify the design back to key criteria, before planning how everything fits together, and fits into the space.

Experienced in workspace, sport & leisure, healthcare and residential sectors, I understand the varying technical requirements of each one and aim to deliver the project to the highest standard.

Our clients can be confident in the knowledge that we take a view that considers the whole life of the project through design, installation and into use. And we will communicate what we are doing and why.

I’m realistic about the complexities of construction and have the detailed knowledge and nuanced judgement to be able to know when it is possible to compromise. In my view, delivering a successful building comes down to close coordination and collaboration across the project team.

Tom Bentham

MEng PhD Ceng

Senior Partner

I believe engineers need to understand and communicate the physical principles of how buildings work. For me, the most exciting design uses this understanding to open new possibilities, combining elegant architecture with innovative engineering.

My approach is to combine engineering design and building physics analysis. This dual focus has allowed me to develop and deliver novel environmental designs that really work, including the groundbreaking acoustically attenuated natural ventilation scheme at City Academy, Hackney. This scheme lets students enjoy fresh air without noisy disturbance from the street outside.

I’ve enjoyed working on a wide range of projects from bespoke cooling systems for art installations (Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle in Trafalgar Sq) to large contractor-led developments where the emphasis is on delivering efficient, economical services design to a tight programme.

This range of experience helps me to quickly pick up a new project’s brief and aspirations, and tailor our design approach to suit.

Mark Nutley

BSc PhD CEng CPhys MInstP

Senior Partner

I manage the design and delivery of our large building projects. Immersing myself in each job, I’m involved in all aspects – I believe that’s the only way to successfully implement large-scale design.

Taking a proactive role from the very beginning, I help develop and agree the brief, advise on the procurement strategy where required and then work closely with the contractor during the construction stage.

I’m skilled at running large teams of engineers, while remaining connected to a project’s design as it evolves and develops. Staying involved with the hands-on design is invaluable – it enables me to identify potential problems and prevent them from progressing into major issues.

Building fruitful long-term relationships with clients, designers and contractors has only been possible with commitment and understanding. I continue to find it exciting work, which, at its best, involves clear dialogue between all parties and robust yet elegant engineering solutions – both essential to achieving the right results.

Dr Anthony Chilton

MA DPhil CEng MIOA

Senior Partner

My goal is to find the acoustic solution that helps make buildings more comfortable.

Success is a building that sounds and feels just right.  In some cases, this means occupants should not be conciously aware of the acoustics.  In others, sound should be an active part of the character and function of the space.

Ideally, the acoustics are considered at an early stage of the design process. This makes it possible to achieve real benefits using the building and site layout thereby minimising the need for dedicated acoustic treatments.

Delivering good acoustics in a finished building is about attention to detail and monitoring the implementation of our designs through the construction process.  This is equally important for a naturally-ventilated school, open-plan office, world-class performance space or broadcast-quality sports venue. 

In my experience, creative thinking, good communication and collaboration across the design team are critical for a successful project, because the acoustic performance is influenced by all aspects of the building’s design.

Chris Banyard

BEng CEng MCIBSE

Senior Partner

A building should be comfortable and enjoyable, with services that are efficient and simple to operate.

How do we create such a thing? By getting to grips with the client’s objectives at the outset and developing the environmental and engineering strategy in tandem with the architect's vision. Starting with understanding the project requirements, I can integrate engineering to deliver a design that suits the building, its occupants and the client.

With experience across cultural, workspace, education and health sectors, I have successfully delivered a variety of projects from conception to completion. I’m able to advise on building form and façade, before developing the most appropriate building services strategy.

I'm an advocate of the Soft Landings Framework as it is a methodology that keeps the focus on buildings that work as they are intended.

Innes Johnston

BA MEng CEng MCIBSE MIOA

Senior Partner

It's important to nurture the client's aspirations and design team relationships beyond project completion. In this way buildings can work truly sustainably.

My feeling is that a building can only be sustainable if it is comfortable, usable, and maintainable. This places particular emphasis on the design of user controls, simplicity and a real engagement in the process of hand over: I’m a keen advocate of Soft Landings.

As a chartered building services and acoustic engineering team leader I have run projects at all stages from concept briefing throughout the construction process to post-handover. Many have been high profile public cultural and arts buildings with historic building fabric.

Right from the start, I enjoy making sense of complex briefs, and reconciling the physics on paper with the human reality of a building in operation. I take pride in bringing to life the architect's vision while maintaining a consistent ‘big-picture’ view of the environmental strategy.

I'm the Senior Partner responsible for leading the Bristol office of the Practice, having established it myself in 2013.

Luke Hadley

MEng MIET

Principal Engineer

With each project I look for the robust yet efficient electrical design solution. I work closely with the clients helping them to understand the systems and to get what they are expecting.

The size and type of building may vary but my approach remains the same - less is more. Whether it’s high specification private housing, specialist theatre or iconic art gallery, my goal is to balance the system specification with what's needed when the building is being used.

I enjoy seeing buildings through from concept to completion and find that good communication helps to keep the process as smooth as possible. This means being able to make the case for my ideas and to work with the project team to drive the brief.

It’s great to be in a position to produce work that makes a positive impact. A combination of taking the lead on projects and championing high quality electrical engineering in the Practice means I can spot opportunities to keep the industry moving forwards.

Paul Button

BA MSc CEng CPhys MInstP MIET

Senior Partner

I help bridge the gap between engineering design and delivery, theory and practice. With each project my aim is to deliver the building services that the client wants, to bring to life the architect’s vision.

The most fantastic design can founder for the most mundane of reasons. My engineering focuses on the detail to make sure this doesn’t happen. I work within a project’s constraints to provide a low energy, sustainable solution to service the building.

As Head of Mechanical Engineering, I’ve worked on some of the practice’s biggest and most challenging projects, all with different complexities and needing a different approach. I lead a large team of engineers to deliver high quality mechanical design to deadline. The result is services integrated with the building’s architecture.

I also understand the commercial realties of construction. My design information and on-site delivery always aims to protect my client’s commercial interests, so that they get the building they want.

M&E Engineering

Featured Project

London 2012 Water Polo Arena