By Sandra van Dijk
With only a few days remaining until the winners of the 2016 HVACR Leadership Awards are announced, its time to meet the finalists.
The anticipation is building, as finalists prepare for the award presentation which will be held on Tuesday, August 2, at the Royal Randwick Racecourse.
The winners will be announced after a keynote presentation by Lux Research Asia Pacific managing director, Cort Isernhagen and research director, Dr Arij Van Berkel. This is your last chance to secure tickets at https://secure.twodeforce.com.au/hvacr/register
The first award category to be announced at CCN Live 2016 is the Sustainability Leader in HVACR Award which is sponsored by Heatcraft. The first finalist is Cold Logic technical director, Brad Semmler.
Best known for leading edge system design, Semmler was instrumental in the creation of Australia’s first ammonia heat pump recovery plant. Semmler began his career as a refrigeration apprentice in the 1980s. Passionate about refrigeration, the hallmark’s of Semmler’s projects are energy efficiency and sustainability.
The second finalist is 100% Renewables director, Barbara Albert. After years of working with all levels of government on how to transition to renewable energy, Albert is set to launch her very first book “Energy Unlimited – Four Steps to 100% Renewable Energy” in September.
She has won awards for developing Master Energy Plans and contributing to projects creating more sustainable HVACR systems.
The third finalist is Lucisco director, James Martin. He has been with ActronAir for more than a decade and oversaw the implementation of DC motor technology and inverters, while Lucisco promotes the latest solar and power storage technologies. His Six Sigma black belt is proof of his commitment to continuous improvement. Martin takes a holistic, life cycle approach to sustainability.
The next category is the Industry Rising Star Award which is sponsored by ABB.
It has been a huge year for our first finalist, DTM Air Services tradesman, Nathan McHugh. Earlier this year he won the gold medal at this year’s WorldSkills Australia national championship and is now preparing to represent Australia overseas.
Although McHugh only completed his trade earlier this year and is only 20 years old, he is now moving on to his second trade undertaking an electrical apprenticeship as well.
The second finalist is Intrust Energy Solutions managing director, Michael Guli Since completing his Certificate III in air conditioning and refrigeration in 2012, Guli has been building his own little empire with his company that is now expanding into plumbing, building services and solar installations. He is only 25 years of age and since establishing his business last year has doubled staff numbers from two to four.
For the first time ever, CCN introduced a new category this year the Woman of the Year in HVACR Award which is sponsored by Daikin. The first finalist is Australian Refrigeration Mechanics Association president, Kim Limburg.
For more than a decade Limburg has worked tirelessly as an advocate for ARMA members showcasing a high level of resilience in a male dominated industry. It is a testament to her tenacity that ARMA now has over 1,000 active members.
Limburg’s nomination is in recognition of her ability to motivate, inspire and lead as well as her commitment to ensuring HVACR operators have a strong voice.
The second finalist is A-Gas managing director, Louise McCann. When it comes to successful women, McCann is an excellent example of how professional women can play a senior role in a global company and lead with both vision and exceptional management skills.
McCann has set high standards when it comes to corporate responsibility, company culture and personal integrity. Her nomination recognises her business prowess and ability to overcome the many obstacles that make the role of managing
director in this industry so challenging.
AIRAH president and Edefice director, Ania Hampton, is our third finalist. Since graduating with an honours degree in mechanical engineering in 2003, Hampton has been a passionate advocate for sustainability. In 2015 she joined the AIRAH board and in 2016 became the first female president of AIRAH ever to be appointed in the organisation’s almost 100 year history.
Whether she is leading sustainable design teams or balancing her role as a professional consultant with being the mother of two young boys (aged eight and three), Hampton is an outstanding example of a woman who is actively making a difference.
The fourth finalist is Staycool Heating and Air Conditioning sales manager, Lisa Dainty She has come a long way since joining Staycool Heating and Air Conditioning as a receptionist in 1999.
Since then she has worked in all areas of the company, showcasing her passion and dedication to the industry. Dainty was nominated by her peers for being a constant source of inspiration and for her ability to design heating and cooling systems
for Melbourne’s largest home builders.
A popular category in the awards program is the Emerging Leader in Energy Savings Award which is sponsored by the Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA).
This year’s finalists includes Blygold Oceania owner and managing director, Mark Weir, who is in the business of energy efficiency.
He operates one of the largest corrosion prevention coating suppliers to the HVACR industry in the world by protecting condenser performance. Weir said it is his passion for sustainability and energy efficiency that led him to his current business venture with Blygold, a company which is operational in 50 countries across the globe.
The next finalist is Scantec Refrigeration Technologies managing director, Stefan Jensen
Well known for his expertise in energy efficiency, Jensen has pioneered the commercialisation of central, low charge ammonia refrigeration systems. By the end of 2016, Jensen said there will be nine of these systems operational in Australia and one in China.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1978, Jensen began his career with Danfoss in Denmark. Since then his career has been extensive. He co-founded Scantec in 1996 and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) in Washington, USA.
The third finalist for this category is Air conditioning Air Purification Technologies engineer, Lindsay Pelser.
With 40 years experience as both a tradesman and engineer in the HVAC industry, Pelser could be described as an energy savings veteran.
He is best known as a pioneer of hydrocarbon systems and was involved in one of the first installations of hydrocarbon chillers at a dairy farm in Victoria. More recently Pelser said he has been involved in a world-first shopping centre installation south west of Sydney.
He has designed and installed a hydrocarbon air conditioning plant which is producing energy savings in the range of 35 per cent.
Another category that is always highly competitive is the award for Innovator of the Year, which is sponsored by Temperzone.
There are three finalists including Samsung Electronics national project engineer (air conditioning division), Deepika Naicker. Working for large corporate companies such as LG and Samsung requires plenty of creative thinking and forward planning, according to Naicker. She describes her contribution to being innovative as “process driven” because “smooth rollouts” is key to showcasing innovative technology.
The next finalist is Heuch Refrigeration managing director, Steve Oakley. This is the man behind the world’s first 100 per cent solar powered refrigeration containers suitable for remote area, off-grid and disaster management applications. Heuch Refrigeration has just completed trials and commenced commercialisation of this clean, green and innovative solution. (You can check them out here)
The third finalist for this category is Optergy product manager, Marc Abdelahad.
For Abdelahad, innovation is all about transformation. For him it is about being in control with minimal effort so it’s not surprising to learn that he works with building management systems that combine intuitive technology that can be used on the smallest, mobile devices. Abdelahad is a big believer in ‘continual product improvement’.
The final award to be presented next week is the HVACR Leader of the Year Award. This award recognises overall excellence in leadership and will go to a professional that has a well established HVACR career. Sponsored by Daikin, there are four finalists vying for this award.
They include Minus 40 managing director, Michael Bellstedt. Before showcasing his skills at Minus40, Bellstedt was well known for his expertise as a refrigeration design engineer.
He has an impressive resume highlighting energy efficiency projects from Germany to South Africa and beyond.
Bellstedt was the founder of the Green Cooling Council in 2003 and since then has become a technical leader and mentor, especially when it comes to natural refrigerants.
Another finalist is Coles Supermarkets national engineering refrigeration manager, Stuart Saville. Since he began his career as a technician in his early teens, Saville has proven himself as a leader in innovation and design.
Before joining Coles Stuart realised his deram of establishing his own refrigeration company. He has been involved in a number of landmark projects at Coles including the implementation of the supermarket’s first transcritical Co2 system and developed a successful Gas Loss Mitigation and Retrofit program.
The next finalist is AIRAH government relations manager, Phil Wilkinson. With a Masters of Engineering and a profile in this industry that is unparalleled, Wilkinson doesn’t really require much of an introduction.
His high profile and influence as an advocate for the HVACR industry is far-reaching. Wilkinson’s vision for the future of this industry has been translated into PRIME, which he helped create. It is a blueprint to transition our industry to a low emissions future. He was also involved in the R22 refrigerant Phaseout Guide and the industry’s first HVAC system ratings tool, Calculating Cool.
The fourth finalist for this award is Sydney TAFE senior head teacher, Greg Riach. With such a long standing career in education, this is a man that has shaped the hearts and minds of thousands of apprentices and students.
For more than 30 years Riach has been at the forefront of education and training for the RAC industry. Ultimo TAFE is currently at the forefront of the electronic delivery of education thanks to Riach’s contribution to extending TAFE’s capabilities.