Thursday, 1 June 2017

President’s Column

Dear Members and Colleagues

Almost half way through 2017 and it has been a much better start to the year than 2016 already with many of us starting to see a recovery in our end user markers and a generally improved situation for many of us in our industry as a result.

So today I find myself torn between thinking about what the rest of this year will bring for our industry and thoughts of my summer vacation which is just next week. Whilst none of us like to admit it, I am sure many of us get to this point and silently wish for an extra week to work on those last details that just can’t be left unfinished.

At the start of the week my ears pricked up at the news of a mild oil price recovery. I’m in two minds as to how important this is for our industry today as whatever action is taken by OPEC will likely be counted by increased shale production over the coming years. The more positive news has to be the firming of the support base for the current oil price which may indicate a little more stability going forward.

Then my mind wandered to warmer weather and if there would be decent, stable wifi to be able to check my email whilst I’m on holiday.

Stability. That is a word used a lot around the world these days as the political and business landscapes change, in some places quite radically. This sea change in politics seems to me to be driven primarily by social media. Social media is great for us all and provides a platform for our voices to be heard, yet it is also a dimension where facts are often distorted at best and fabricated at worst. Even reality is sometimes claimed to be fake. Professional networks, such as LinkedIn, are no different. There seems to have been a big increase in the number of “professionals” who have shifted from being generally professional to pandering to a base level of nonsense and providing “advice”. Some of 

this “advice” would probably see most companies finish an interview prematurely or even impacting negatively on a customer situation. Sadly, as with other social media in these situations, it is the loudest voice which gets heard. This is normal however, we all know a loud voice is not always the most sage. So what relevance does this have on us and our industries? Well, probably none but I hope that any impact politically is only positive but time will tell. Socially, it can only bring us together and the wealth of information out there is wonderful both socially and professionally.
One such type of information are reports and papers on market conditions. I have ready many of these types of things over the years and there are two things I can conclude. Number one, they all say the same thing, namely “things were bad but will improve”. Number two, they are almost immediately out of date and useless beyond their commentary for the present and maybe first year which can give us a little insight or support for what we already thought we knew. After that they are all useless, such is the pace of change internationally. Internationally, I’m thinking about my vacation again!

For sure, some of our industries’ end user markets have seen a bit of a recovery in 2017 and, if we believe the forecasts, a recovery in our industry will continue to be led by end user markets such as cement, non-ferrous metals, glass and incineration. Of course, iron, steel and ferrous foundry are the largest market and any recovery here, however small, will be welcome news for everyone.

On that happy and positive note, it’s time for me to spend a little more time looking forward to my vacation next week and how on earth I’m going to be able to pack clothes in around all the gifts for friends and family that we have to cram in the cases. You just can’t forecast first world problems like that!


Callum Arthur
President
Institute of Refractories Engineers 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

IRE ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017

INSTITUTE OF REFRACTORIES ENGINEERS

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017

SILVER LININGS 2

TUESDAY 7TH NOVEMBER

VENUE: TANKERSLEY MANOR, CHURCH LANE, TANKERSLEY, BARNSLEY, SOUTH YORKSHIRE S75 3DQ

IRE Training Day 2017

INSTITUTE OF REFRACTORIES ENGINEERS

TRAINING DAY 2017

THE DESIGN OF MONOLITHIC LININGS

WEDNESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER

VENUE: TANKERSLEY MANOR, CHURCH LANE, TANKERSLEY, BARNSLEY, SOUTH YORKSHIRE S75 3DQ

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Stoke & Sheffield Branch Meetings, 1st March

Unfortunately the meeting for Stoke & Sheffield Branches scheduled for the 1st March have had to be rescheduled. Details are to be confirmed.


Apologies for the short notice.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Institute of Refractories Engineers Conference and Training Day 2016

Details are now available for the Institute of Refractories Engineers Conference and Training Day 2016.

Annual Conference Wednesday 12th October
"Silver Linings, Adding Value"

Training Day Thursday 13th October
"Heat Flow and Thermal Expansion"

More information is available below:

Monday, 25 January 2016

Stoke AGM rescheduled for the 9th February

Please note that the  Stoke AGM has been rescheduled for the 9th February, apologies for any inconvinience.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Mary Lickley awarded Honorary Membership of the Institute by the General Council.

The Refractories Engineer are pleased to announce that Mrs. Mary Lickley, the widow of founder member of The Institute of Refractories Engineers, Bob Lickley, has been awarded Honorary Membership of the Institute by the General Council.

Mary was the first, ever, female member of the IRE and in the early 1960’s she played a large  supporting role in assisting her late husband Bob during those early difficult days – getting the Institute up and running.

She also played an important role behind the scenes with the organisation of the early National Dinner Dances of the IRE, along with the first few National Conferences, which were held in Buxton.
Mary was recently presented with her Honorary Certificate by Past President of the Institute, Mr. Paul Bottomley (Pictured).

Mary said that she was extremely proud to have been awarded Honorary Membership of the IRE and expressed her thanks to the General Council for bestowing this privilege upon her, adding that her late husband, Bob Lickley would whole-heartedly have approved of the gesture.