Fiona Cousins takes over as CIBSE President for 2024-2025

CIBSE is delighted to announce that Fiona Cousins has taken on the role of CIBSE President for 2024-2025. Fiona brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to advancing the field of building services engineering.

In her own words, Fiona expressed her enthusiasm:

I am really excited about taking on the role of CIBSE President. I’d like to thank Adrian Catchpole for his service as he hands over the gavel, and celebrate his achievements, especially around getting STEM Ambassadors into schools and the certified practice initiatives. We’ll be building on that work over the next few years.

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These are volatile and complex times and CIBSE has an enormous role in addressing the big challenges of our time: climate change, social inequity, and decreasing biodiversity. The breadth of impact of building services engineers, whether they be as lighting, vertical transportation, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, façade, or digital specialists, is such that we can and should be working towards addressing all these issues. Much of the recent work of building services engineers has been very sharply focused on energy use, where the relationship with climate change has long been clear. There are many other threads to our work as professionals, especially as we consider the full breadth of building performance.

The traditional view of building performance has been focused on delivering the functions of a building, including occupant comfort, at minimum energy use and carbon emissions and within a price that the owners or tenants can afford. It’s time to broaden that view to put more emphasis on other things. We spend most of our lives indoors and buildings can support our wellbeing through air quality, acoustic performance, lighting design, or environments that support biophilia. Buildings form the backdrop to our social interactions and can make things easier or harder for people with different abilities, constraints, and perceptions. They can and do interact with utilities and our public environment in ways that impact our ability to be resilient to weather, climate change, accidents, and emergencies.”

Fiona Cousins holds multiple roles at Arup, including Americas Region Chair, Arup Group Board member, and Arup Fellow – a title granted to exceptional leaders who demonstrate remarkable vision and initiative in their work. Before her current position, Fiona served as Deputy Chair of Arup’s Digital Executive and Automation Leader, advancing digital transformation and sustainable development.

A mechanical engineer by profession, Fiona has worked on many award-winning projects globally, including the U.S. Embassy in London and Fulton Street Station in New York. Under her leadership, Arup’s Americas Region, with over 2,000 members across 16 offices in the U.S., Canada, and Colombia, strives to realise a sustainable and inclusive built environment by providing expert guidance to clients.

Fiona has been recognised as one of the influential leaders in the commercial real estate industry, featured in the 2023 Commercial Observer Power 100 List, and acknowledged as one of the notable leaders in sustainability by 2023 Crain’s New York Business. She is a valued advisor on critical climate legislation and was appointed to the New York City Advisory Board for Local Law 97 in 2019. Fiona is a Fellow of CIBSE and a LEED Fellow. She was honoured with AIA NY’s Award of Merit in 2017 and chaired the USGBC in 2016.

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