John Maher Senior Technical Partner
To develop the highest level of technical prowess and build a breadth of pragmatic project experience takes a unique personality, as anyone who knows John Maher will agree! Maher began his career for the celebrated firm, A.W. Elliott & Co. Ltd. and revitalised the prestigious organization. Whilst with A.W. Elliott & Co. John Maher presided over an array of high profile government, infrastructure and military projects. Winning and successfully completing prestigious projects was a notable attribute that defined John’s career at Elliotts and has continued since then.
One such prestigious project was the restoration of Windsor Castle following fire damage. With Windsor Castle being one of the most recognisable and cherished buildings on the planet it was imperative that the works were effectively designed, planned, executed and commissioned. As a result of his contribution and conduct John Maher received a personal letter from HRH Queen Elizabeth II along with a medallion that she had struck to commemorate the works. During his time on the project John made a number of friends in the Royal household staff and was invited to play a round of golf on the Private Royal Course at Windsor. Clearly competitiveness overrode any sense of decorum because John won the round, along with a tie bearing the course emblem.
After his time at Elliott’s Maher decided to establish JMI, his technical consultancy, to enable his team to support projects from inception to completion and in so doing address difficulties prior to the construction phase. JMI quickly earned a respectable reputation for providing excellent technical support at an acceptable price, and with a focus for specifying effective systems at least prospective installation cost. JMI was merged into what became the FM Sudafix Group, which in turn became the organisation known today as FM Sudafix whose technical arm is Earthing Services. The achievements of Maher’s career are almost too numerous to mention. Highlights have included his work on behalf of the British Royal Family, his recurrent authoritative presence on significant projects in Europe and the Middle East, and his role on Technical Committee GEL600, which has a specific focus on earthing, both below 1000V (BS 7430) and above 1000V (BS EN 50122). John Maher continues to head the technical department of Earthing Services.
From John Maher
Specifying the most effective earthing system is not a one step process and that is why my department has a lot of responsibility to keep people, and assets, safe from the dangers of fault electrical current. We often explain to clients that we consider the most effective electrical earthing system to possess a number of attributes. Not only must it achieve the target safety criteria, but it must be economically designed to require the least quantity of materials and the least time to install. So in that way it must save money and time as well as lives.
Whilst Earthing Services provides a range of electrical safety services to an array of project varieties in the construction sector, the one for which it is most regularly sought is to provide safe, economical, and practical electrical earthing system designs. To give an idea what that means to my department we would undertake the following activities: plan and complete the requisite survey and testing activities; appropriately process the data that those activities provide into soil resistivity models and design approach; judiciously design the system using industry leading software; achieve the target electrical resistance to earth value; ensure that the site is safe for touch voltage potentials and step voltage potentials; correctly evaluate the Earth Potential Rise (EPR or sometimes GPR for Ground Potential Rise); comply with the required fault clearance time; protecting both client and supply infrastructure; abide by the requirements of Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and do all this whilst making sure that only the necessary products, and installation activities are specified. All of these activities are detailed in a report and any technical drawings to illustrate the system requirements. As you can see there is quite a lot of work behind those few pages, but we are happy and proud to work hard for our great customers.