Publicising the best of SoPHE

The Society of Public Health Engineers’ new e-newsletter is raising the profile of the industry and giving key insights into an increasingly vital sector

Public health engineers play a vital part in the building design process

The Society of Public Health Engineers’ (SoPHE) e-newsletter is a quarterly publication offering insights into current trends in public health engineering. Following its recent relaunch, Mike Carter FSoPHE FCIBSE, director at Arup, discussed the newsletter’s content, contributors and wide-reaching impact, and the pivotal role of public health engineers in addressing climate and water challenges. 

When was the e-newsletter relaunched?
On 31 January 2023, and work is under way on the fourth issue, which will be published in winter. Amanda Stanley FCIPHE MSoPHE edits the newsletter, working with the SoPHE steering committee, contributors from the wider membership, and supporting industrial associates. 

It is currently circulated to a mailing list of 7,326, including around 800 SoPHE members, as well as being shared on social media and stored on our website, so its circulation reaches further than just the initial email.

Why is it important that the rest of the industry is aware of the role of public health engineering?
With constantly expanding and emerging issues around climate health, the impact on water as a natural resource is becoming ever more critical. Public health engineers play a key role in designing water supply, reuse and disposal systems for the built environment, with the overall aim of reducing water use while also limiting drainage discharge and disposal. 

These engineers play a vital part in the building design process, ensuring that the use of water in the building services industry is optimised so that this natural resource is not depleted further.

What have been the biggest talking points so far this year?
There has been plenty of discussion around the SoPHE Technical Conference, which took place in March, focusing on fire systems design. The subject covered legislative guidance and updates on fire-suppression equipment, shedding light on many critical aspects of fire safety. 

The summer 2023 issue looked at sustainability, as well as high-rise drainage ventilation design, a current focus of the SoPHE Technical Committee.

What is the purpose of the annual SoPHE Plumbing Competition?

It brings together the emerging talent within the industry, from design and contracting, and ensures that skills-based crafts are not lost. It also serves to make sure our future design engineers understand the complexities of site installation requirements and techniques. 

The competition bridges the gap in students’ learning from domestic to commercial installations. SoPHE’s young engineers will compete with college students in plumbing problem solving, hand skills, and practical fault finding of plumbing installations. 

The SoPHE Plumbing Centre of Excellence has gone from strength to strength this year,  It has been able to provide a wealth of in-person and virtual CPD sessions, including, for the first time, four simultaneous Plumbing Skills Competition’s across different college campuses in London.

 What other events can we look forward to in 2023?
Our final event of the year is the SoPHE London Dinner on 2 November. There are plans for a further SoPHE Technical Conference in 2024;  probably focused on water supply, disposal systems, and re-use. To finish off a busy year, the SoPHE Young Engineers Network has also arranged for two site visits to the Thames Tideway ‘super sewer’, and will be welcoming new public health engineering graduates to an event in London.

To learn more about the SoPHE visit: