M&E Engineering


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.


Dr Anthony Chilton


Director, Acoustics Leader, 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 consciously 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.

Tom Bentham

MEng PhD Ceng

Director, Education Leader, 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.

Luke Hadley


Director, Electrical Leader, Partner

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.

Innes Johnston


Director, Bristol Office Leader and Heritage Leader, 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 Director responsible for leading the Practice's Bristol office, having established it myself in 2013.

Colin Darlington


Director, Performance Spaces Leader, 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.

Dr Neil Smith

BEng EngD CEng FIMechE

Director, Bidding and Workspaces Leader, 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 Nutley

BSc PhD CEng CPhys MInstP

Director, Museums and Galleries Leader, 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.

Michael Baldwin


Director, Cambridge Office Leader, 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.

Chris Banyard


Director, 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.

Mark Palmer


Director, Edinburgh Office Leader and Sports Leader, 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.

M&E Engineering

Featured Project

London 2012 Water Polo Arena