Selection of Speakers

It is a long established tradition of the Club that regular dinner meetings are held, typically in London,
and normally have a keynote speaker, talking on a technical, contentious or humorous subject.
Many have been Presidents of the IHVE and CIBSE.

Neville Billington OBE,
President IHVE 1970


     Neville Billington was Chairman of the

     Rumford Club in 1965 and a
     towering figure in the industry having
     been Head of the National College
     and the first Director of the HVRA
     (later BSRIA).

     In 1969, Neville Billington entertained
     himself (and hopefully the members)
     by conducting a much simplified
     Delphi forecast on the likely incidence
     of domestic air conditioning.

Ken Dale TD,
President IHVE 1974


            Ken Dale was a pioneer of the National  
       College Diploma Course and worked for
       G N Haden & Sons before starting
       K W Dale & Partners i1954,

         forming the partnership Dale & Benham in
       1961 and then Dale & Ewbank in 1970.
       He spoke of his experiences working in
       Saudi Arabia, highlighting
the challenges of
       climate and circumstances wholly
       from those in Britain, and the difficulties
       and the hazards of working in a Muslim
       country and particularly in Mecca.

Hugh Johnston CB,
President CIBSE 1987


            He was educated at Wimbledon College and
            Faraday House where he graduated with
            DFH (Hons), joining the Air Ministry Works
            Department in 1951. By 1974 he had become
            Deputy Chief Executive (Deputy Secretary)

            of the Property Services Agency.

            He was made a Companion of the Order of
            the Bath. He served as a Member of the
            CIBSE Council from 1974 to 1977 and as
            a member of the Technology Board during
            the same period. It is recorded that he
            entertained the Club with an account
            of the life and work of their eponymous
            Count Rumford.

Bernard Hodges OBE,
Secretary IHVE

1956 - 1985


        It was customary for the Rumford Club
        to invite the current Secretary of the
        Institution as a guest to one of their
        Annual Dinners. Bernard Hodges took
        over as Secretary on the 1st January 1956.
        He was elected MIHVE in 1965, continued
        as Secretary when CIBSE was formed

        and continued in post until his retirement
        in 1985.

Andrew Ramsay,
Secretary CIBSE

1985 - 1997


      He studied mechanical sciences at
      Cambridge University and became
      a Chartered Engineer and a
      Chartered Secretary.

      He worked for GEC and then the CEGB
      before serving as Secretaryof the
      Lighting Division of CIBSE. He acted as
      Deputy Secretary of CIBSE before taking
      over as Secretary on the retirement of
      Bernard Hodges in 1985, and continuing
      in post until he left to join the
      Engineering Council in 1997.

Professor Max Fordham OBE,
President CIBSE 2001


He was born in England in 1933, attended the progressive Dartington Hall School which was a pupil-run democracy where students helped maintain the building which led to his design and create philosophy. After National Service as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm he obtained a Cambridge MA in Natural Science, next taking a vacation job with G N Haden. After attending the National College of Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration & Fan Engineering he worked at Weatherfoil Heating Systems and then joined Arup Associates before setting up his multi-disciplinary practice. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA. In 1997 he was awarded the CIBSE Gold Medal and the CIBSE Carter Bronze Medal.

Paul Yunnie, Rumford Chair 2001

with Bill Coad,
President ASHRAE 2001 

Paul Yunnie was born in Southampton but lived around Worcester for most of his life before moving to Sydney in Australia when he retired.

He was Managing Director of Andrew Water Heaters and served for 15 years as Vice-Chairman of the CIBSE Heritage Group. He was also a member of the Institute of Gas Engineers Panel for the History of the Industry and served for two terms as Chairman
of ASHRAE’s Historical Committee.

He was involved in arranging sponsorship and production of a number of Heritage Group publications including The Quest for Comfort (for the CIBSE Centenary in 1997) and HVCA@100 (2004). He also co-authored The Magic of Hot Water (2001) and Hadens of Trowbridge (2004). In 1997, he was awarded the CIBSE Silver Medal for his Heritage Group activities.

John Barnes giving a talk in 2010 about the history of The Rumford Club

John Barnes, Chair 2003

Having served a student apprenticeship with the
contractor G N Haden & Sons and gained the
National College Diploma in heating and ventilating,
he went on to join the Electricity Council
where he
advised the industry on energy usage conservation
and air conditioning (The Council was wound up
in 2001). He returned to Haden before retirement.
He is a long-time member of the CIBSE Heritage
Group, responsible for organising visits to view the
engineering services of many important historical
buildings and museums. He currently serves as
Honorary Treasurer of the Heritage Group and in
2007 was awarded the CIBSE Bronze Medal.
To view John Barnes Power Point Presentation on the
History of The Rumford Club


Catherine (Cathie) Simpson

Chair 2011

Is a Chartered Engineer with over 30 years experience, operates her own consultancy, Building Simulation Ltd, specialising in BREEAM thermographic surveys, air tightness testing and environmental monitoring. She took a Masters Degree, Energy in Buildings, at Cranfield University, working (1983-85) as an Undergraduate Assistant at Property Developers, Lennon & Company and then as a Junior Mechanical Engineer (1987-88) at Haden Young. She served as CIBSE Vice-President 2015-16.


Dr Willis Carrier
The Father of Air Conditioning, He won a State Scholarship to Cornell University where he graduated with degree of Mechanical Engineer in Electrical Engineering (1901). He joined Buffalo Forge Co, later forming a subsidiary called Carrier Air Conditioning Co of America (1907). He published his paper Rational Psychrometric Formulae (ASME, 1911), and the famous Buffalo Forge “bible” Fan Engineering (1914). He founded Carrier Engineering Corporation (1914) and went on to take air conditioning, which had been  initially for industrial applications, into the comfort business in cinemas, department stores and restaurants.

He patented the high-pressure air washer (1906); the centrifugal water chiller (1922); pioneered air conditioning for railway coaches and passenger liners (1930); introduced unit air conditioners for the home, and high velocity induction systems for offices (1939). With Realto Cherne and Walter Grant, Carrier wrote the best known of all air conditioning textbooks, Modern Air Conditioning, Heating and Ventilating (1940).

Professor  Ole Fanger

Was an expert in the field of thermal comfort and perception of indoor environments. He was a senior professor at the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark. His work is credited with demonstrating that poor air quality in homes can cause asthma in children, and that poor air quality in workplaces decreases productivity. His contribution to the research on thermal comfort still defines the state of the art in  technology and the basis for international standardisation.

Dr Geoffrey Brundrett
President CIBSE 1997

Head of the Environmental & Building Division of the Electricity Council Research Centre, with outstanding service to CIBSE at Regional, National and International levels. He received a Bronze Medal in 1977 for a paper in Lighting Research & Technology and a second Bronze Medal in 1992 for a paper on Legionella. This was followed by the award of a Silver Medal in 2004.

Has been involved with so many different Groups, Panels and Committees that there is barely space to list them all. He served on the Guide-A Panel; chaired TM13 (Legionella) & TM20 (Guide to Health & Safety); the Electrical Services Group and helped found the ASHRAE Group. He has been an active Committee Member of the Heritage Group since 1990


January  2018