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60 seconds with...David Glass, Health and Safety Executive

Institution News Team

With mere weeks to go before the Lifecycle of Pressure Systems conference takes place, keynote speaker David Glass shares his excitement to join as representative of the industry's regulatory body.

For further details and to book your place at the conference, visit the event website.

Please could you briefly explain your role, involvement, and experience with regards to the Pressure Systems industry and this event?

David Glass (DG): I am David Glass, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute, and I work as a Principal Specialist and Team Leader for Mechanical Engineering within HSE’s onshore major hazards sector. I have been privileged to represent HSE on the Pressure Systems Group within IMechE for a number of years, giving the regulatory perspective on issues associated with design, fabrication, inspection and maintenance of pressure vessels and associated equipment.

What, in your experience, has been the biggest roadblock for the industry over the past 2-3 years?

DG: The most pressing issue for the past few years has been the aftermath of the pandemic, which along with other coincident factors has led to significant change in the maintenance and inspection of plant. Labour quality and availability is proving a significant issue that continues with the large energy projects that are planned or are already underway.

What key topics are you excited to discuss at this year's conference?

DG: There are many emerging opportunities in the area, but also a changing risk portfolio that engineers need to recognise. The conference is a great way to have an open dialogue with engineers who are developing new technologies, as well as discussions with end users intent on using alternative materials, methods and techniques.

What would you say are the technologies or applications to watch for the future?

DG: The use of additive materials continues to present an opportunity to change the fabrication industry, but there is also enormous scope to improve design, fabrication, inspection and maintenance by using digital technologies – machine learning, AI and the digital twin concept are beginning to play an important part in the energy supply arena and other critical process industries. There are obvious benefits, such as targeting inspection activity and minimising the risk during examination, but there are some potential challenges – decisions may become more opaque for example, and the amount of data may be overwhelming for traditional approaches, so we all need to be guarded about how the technology is deployed and ensure we keep safety at the top of the agenda.

Who else are you most interested in hearing from on the programme?

DG: Speakers covering non-destructive testing are always worth listening to – the area has scope for improvement, as I hope to highlight at the conference by reviewing a recent case and highlighting some significant deficiencies. If we can use technology to limit or even eliminate malpractice or error, and improve the rigour of testing, it would benefit us all.

Why is it important for engineers to join this conference?

DG: The conference is a great opportunity to interface with those from varied industries and sectors, see what’s on the horizon and understand how it may influence the way we work, and from my perspective, lead to increased safety.

The Lifecycle of Pressure Systems conference will take place on 31st October - 1 November 2023 in London

The conference is a comprehensive two days of updates that brings together every area of the pressure systems community.

Don't miss this “state of the industry” designed to update all those involved with pressure systems and equipment and for all asset stages: from design and installation to daily operation and decommissioning.

For further details and to book your place at the conference, visit the event website.


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