Sadly another bright light in the energy world went out recently with the passing of Professor Sir David MacKay, physicist, mathematician, Cambridge professor and former DECC chief scientist. As a recipient of the EI’s Melchett Award, one of its most prestigious, I had the pleasure of spending a little time with David then and was touched as many have been reading his most recent blog posts written from his hospital bed, where still he promoted energy efficiency and sustainability in his rational and pragmatic way. Many will also have read his books, most notably Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air which he made freely available – my copy is well thumbed. A modest, gentle humoured and very clever man in business company, he was not the obvious candidate to shout from the rooftops but his commitment and passion for getting on with sustainable energy transformation made him stand out and for that I hope he is long remembered.
Making people stand out for their achievements in the quest for energy excellence is simply the right thing to do. Celebrating success, recognising the talented and diverse brains that rise to our energy challenge and showcasing the dynamic, innovative and exciting world of energy we serve is essential. How else can we improve the energy literacy of our stakeholders and attract talented people who can innovate to solve one of the world’s greatest challenges? It’s simply right to recognise the good we do.
So my plea, in David’s memory, is step up to be recognised for the part you and your team is playing and be recognised for the excellent work you do. We must lead so others can follow. Our Awards competition celebrates the best in the industry, and we hope to count you among the winners.
Ian Marchant FEI, President
I have never been a big fan of awards, probably because I never win any! However, last year I was one of the judges for the Energy Institute’s annual awards and this sort of changed my view. I had two, apparently conflicting, emotions. Firstly, I was really impressed with the calibre of many of the nominees and was struck by the obvious evidence of professionalism and achievement. However, the second emotion was that in a few of the categories I was disappointed with the depth of the field as I know from the various roles I have around the energy industry that there is a lot of really great stuff happening and lots of really talented and committed people.
I would single out two particular awards where I would have liked to see a lot more nominees. Firstly there is what is now called the ‘Energy Champion‘ award which is for an individual who has made a significant contribution to our industry. I suspect that one reason for a small field is that people don’t feel they should nominate themselves. I totally agree with this so why not nominate a colleague or contact who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. They could be your energy hero or they could be a rising star, it doesn’t matter; what matters is the impact they have had.
The second award where I would like to see a deluge of nominees is for safety. This is a topic close to my heart and I know that, for most companies in our sector, it is the number one priority or core value. Lots of good stuff is happening, every day, to improve processes, change behaviour and reduce risks. Let’s celebrate this and use the awards to showcase what can be done to inspire others to raise their game too.
So my plea is that we make the job of this year’s judging panel much more difficult by swamping them with loads of examples of the good things that are happening in our industry. This would be a nice problem to have.
The EI Awards are free to enter and the deadline for submissions is 29 June 2015.
For more information, please visit www.energyinst.org/ei-awards