Kelly Butler has been appointed the director of The Electric Heating and Ventilation Association, recently created by BEAMAEnergy .

Previously six years with the Energy Saving Trust, Butler has worked with BEAMAEnergy – the UK trade association group for the controls, metering, energy related communications, electric heating and ventilation industries – on previous projects, including a heating controls marketing campaign and the successful DTI metering research funding bid.

Butler argues that: “Any building services product sector aiming to improve its profile with consumers and specifiers must effectively promote its energy efficiency attributes. The electric heating and hot-water sector especially must raise its game in this respect. That’s the challenge for me and TEHVA members.”

Energy minister Mike O’Brien recently opened a pilot facility in Crawley, Sussex that will be used to develop manufacturing techniques for the mass production of a revolutionary fuel cell.

Ceres Power, a commercial spin off from Imperial College London, aims to put a mini power station into every home. Using natural gas it produces heat and electricity efficiently and with little pollution. The Ceres fuel cell is a small, power-dense device. The size of a brick and made of stainless steel, it is extremely robust.

The CIBSE National Conference on delivering sustainable construction is available as a webcast on the CIBSE website at www.cibse.org.

The event recently took place in London and was attended by over 400 engineers and construction specialists. The webcast includes all the main conference sessions and has video, audio and slide presentations in an easy-to-use format.

Over 80 speakers covered virtually every area of sustainable construction, while the keynote address by Sir David King, the chief scientific adviser to the government, summarised the growing evidence on climate change and the importance of improving energy efficiency in buildings. Delegates also gave their input into CIBSE’s response in October to the ODPM’s consultation document on revisions to Building Regulations Part L.

Technical papers included: the use of phase change materials for cooling and heating; ground source heat pumps; and a case study on Heathrow Terminal 5’s district cooling system. The three main sponsors of the event were Carbon Trust, HVCA and ECA.

Transport for London (TfL) is set to spend up to £34m on new digital enforcement technologies for the Congestion Charging Scheme, which could include radio frequency identification tags.

A new number plate recognition system will be used in the proposed western extension zone and will then be rolled out to the existing congestion charging zone.

This will be completed by 2008, at which point a TfL contract notice says a further technology refresh may be needed to take into account “the potential use of radio tags to aid detection of vehicles”.

New technology is also being used to keep track of employees. MobileLocate has launched a tracking service to enable businesses to track workers in the field via their mobile phones, with locations either displayed on a map via the user’s PC or texted to a mobile.

The service will be available on Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and 02 and costs under £1 per month per phone.

The Midlands Engineer of the Year Awards 2005, launched this year for the first time, are organised by the Institution of Electrical Engineers to recognise the contribution engineers make to the Midlands economy.

Run by the Coventry & Warwickshire Branch of the IEE, the awards will honour those men and women in the Midlands who have contributed to the success of the region.

Open to all engineers in industry, academic environments and professional institutions, whether in a large company or as an entrepreneur in a small business, the Midlands Engineer of the Year will have demonstrated his or her capability through their contribution to the organisation for which he or she works.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 15 April 2005 and finalists will be chosen to go before a distinguished panel of judges from industry, academic and professional institutions and business. The awards will be announced at the Celebration of Engineering Dinner planned for the spring of 2005. All finalists will be invited to attend the Awards Dinner as guests of the Awards Committee.

For more information, contact Sheila Lashford on 07986 514240.

The managing director of Kewtech and fundraiser for the EEIBA, Phil Smith, has announced that the 7th Valentine’s Ball for the EEIBA, on their centenary year, will be held at The Savoy, London.

Last year, 250 guests attended and raised over £10,000 for the charity, a figure that the charity hopes to surpass with the backing of the industry.

The charity provides help to the needy and distressed who work, or have worked, in the electrical and electronics industries and any connected or allied industries and sciences (including mechanical engineering) in the UK. They provide information and advice to families and individuals in need; supply one-off grants, specialist equipment and regular financial support; operate and manage sheltered accommodation; and develop awareness and understanding of their activities.

Bookings can be for any number, from individual guests to tables of 10 to 12. However, donations for raffle prizes, sponsorship contributions for tickets, programmes and balloons are also needed.

For information on tickets, sponsorship and contributions, please contact Sarah Harley, Kewtech, Knyvett House, The Causeway, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3BA. Alternatively, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01784 898013.

The 2004 Michelin Challenge for sustainable mobility was held last week in Shanghai. More than 150 vehicles took part with 70 of them electric-driven, of which 46 were built in China.

The high number of battery electric, hybrid-electric and fuel cell-electric cars showed the access to advanced technology enjoyed by Chinese carmakers and academic institutions.

North American, Japanese and European electric-drive entrants included Audi, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Ford, Toyota, Volvo, GM, DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai, and Nissan. Michelin, which founded and sponsors the annual event, entered its own EV’s, built in cooperation with Swiss-based PSI.

The Institution of Electrical Engineers has recently acquired a previously unknown letter written by Michael Faraday, acknowledged as an architect of modern day electricity, to his friend Benjamin Abbott, dated 16 May 1836.

Anne Locker, IEE archivist, said: “I am very pleased this letter will now be available to the public. It is an exciting addition to our Faraday collection and I hope it will stimulate further research into Faraday’s life and work.”

The IEE already holds the main collection of Faraday-Abbott correspondence, as well as a significant collection of Faraday’s correspondence and notebooks. This letter sheds further light in his working life at the Royal Institution.

After 1817 there are only six know letters from Faraday to Abbott. They appeared to become less frequent as Faraday became more involved with the Royal Institution and his research into electricity. In the letter Faraday talks about his early life, of which little was known.

As the letter was in private hands before its transfer to the IEE it was not included in the recent compilation of Faraday’s correspondence edited by Dr Frank James, who will include the letter in a later volume of this work.

An apprentice electrician working on a council-owned flat in Bolton was killed instantly when he touched live 246V wires from a mains supply. According to the inquest, Richard Hardgrave, of Mellor Grove, Bolton, failed to correctly test the power supply to a fuse box at a property based in Horwich in May last year.

The young trainee, who was three years into a four-year course, had been working for Bolton at Home, the organisation that manages Bolton council's housing stock, for 12 months. He was electrocuted as he fitted an isolator to the fuse box in the hall enabling the outside power supply to be cut off. It should have been tested first, the inquest concluded.

HSE inspector Steve Frost said the type of double fuse box, which was 40-years old, was unusual and could be confusing. He added: "No one was aware of the state of the circuit. Electricity was still going into the unit."

Mr Harvey also told the inquest that job sheets given to the team to outline proposed work were "vague". The inquest was told that Bolton at Home has made a series of changes since Richard's death. Electricians no longer work on mains supplies outside and all isolators are now fitted by suppliers.

Edinburgh Prison and the National Wildlife Centre in Liverpool are among those to receive funding for innovative solar power projects. New solar power projects across the UK are to receive government funding, energy minister Mike O'Brien announced this week.

Seventeen projects were chosen for funding worth £1.4m out of total Government funding of £40m for solar.

Schools, community centres and businesses are among those who will also benefit. This funding round supports medium to high (5-100kWp) scale solar electric power installations under the government's Major Photovoltaics Demonstration Programme.

The 17 successful projects are:

Shields Environmental, Purfleet, Essex

Lowry Renaissance, Linthwaite, West Yorkshire

Preston Road Village Centre, Hull, Yorkshire and Humberside

Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Fernside Ave, Huddersfield

Manor and Castle Development Trust, Parkway Commercial Estate, Sheffield

Elephant & Castle Regeneration Partnership, Southwark, London

Dunbar Community Development Company, East Lothian

Scottish Prison Service, Edinburgh, Scotland

Ministry of Defence, Faslane Supermess Building, Scotland

Landlife, National Wildflower Centre, Court Hey Park, Liverpool

Levenshulme High School, Rochdale, Greater Manchester

Kensington Academy Trust, Liverpool

Infinity Foods, Brighton, East Sussex

The Environment Agency Thames Region HQ, Reading

University of Wales, Bangor, Wales

Western Education & Library Board, Lisneal College, Londonderry,

Northern Ireland

The daughter of Jenny Tonge, the Liberal Democrat MP, was electrocuted after builders failed to follow the IEE Wiring Regs when installing her fitted kitchen, a coroner ruled this week.

Mary Wherry, 34, the mother of two young sons, is believed to have been hanging a spoon on to a metal, wall-mounted utensil rack when she received an electric shock.

The coroner was told that every time a metal object was placed on the rack, there was the chance of a small electric shock.

Mrs Wherry's shock proved fatal because her ankle was touching the metal-fronted open door of the dishwasher, completing the circuit.

Fulham coroner's court was told that Mrs Wherry's family became suspicious that something was wrong in the kitchen after a family friend received a small shock when she tried to hang a colander on the same rack hours after Mrs Wherry's death.

Police brought in electrical experts who found that the Huddersfield-based builders who installed the kitchen in 1999 had broken a string of safety guidelines issued by the Institute of Electrical Engineers. The electric cable, which led from a fuse box to the extractor fan hood above the cooker, was not insulated and was only 10mm deep in the wall instead of the recommended 50mm.

The cable also meandered across the wall instead of running in strict horizontal or vertical lines. Mrs Wherry's husband, Jake, put up the rack three years before her death and thought he had positioned it away from the cables, although he did not check to make sure.

The evidence from David Latimer, an electrical engineer who examined the kitchen, was that a screw from the rack had caught the side of the cable.

Over the years, the rack and screw moved slightly so that eventually the screw was touching the live wire in the cable.

Det Insp Tim Dobson, of Richmond police, told the court that a two-and-a-half-inch black mark surrounded by yellow bruising was found on Mrs Wherry's left ankle, indicating that her contact with the dishwasher had completed the circuit.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, the coroner said: "I am going to record that the death was the consequence of home improvement work."

This year’s Hunter Memorial Lecture will take place at The IEE, Austin Court, Birmingham on 9 December 2004. The Challenge for Wind Power Generation will be presented by Professor Peter Tavner from the University of Durham.

The lecture will review the technical developments that have made modern wind turbines possible and the advances that must be made to ensure the place of wind as a secure, reliable source of electrical power.

Professor Tavner will demonstrate some of the key features of wind turbines design, manufacture, installation and control important to power engineers. This will include the source variability, control, energy production rate and reliability of modern wind turbines.

Peter Tavner is the Professor of New and Renewable Energy in the School of Engineering at the University of Durham. He has held a number of research and senior technical positions including technical director of Laurence, Scott and Electromotors and Brush Electrical Machines. Most recently he has been group technical director of FKI Technology, manufacturer of wind turbines, electrical machines, electrical drives, dynamometers, transformers and switchgear.

The lecture will be followed by dinner in the Lodge Rooms at the IEE, Austin Court, Birmingham. For more information visit http://www.iee.org/events/hunter.cfm