Behind the refrigerator where you take cold meat in the supermarket or the air conditioner that keeps your office at a comfortable temperature, are the many people who, by chance or by choice, have decided to work in the cooling industry. These include the protagonists of today’s post, five colleagues who grew up and work in different parts of the world, yet who have the same commitment: help develop and spread efficient cooling technologies around the planet.
By publishing this post, we join the celebrations for the “World Refrigeration Day”, whose theme this year is “Cooling Champions: Cool Careers for a Better World”. I hope you enjoy reading the stories of five of our Cooling Champions, five stories of loyalty to the HVAC/R sector!
Our first Cooling Champion has been lucky to directly witness the most advanced innovations in the HVAC/R sector. He comes from Denmark and works as Service/Technical Manager at the CAREL Nordic subsidiary, based in Sweden. His name is Michael Aarup and can be proud to say that he has more than 25 years of experience in the most technical area of the sector. “I was introduced to the sector by a friend of the family in around 1992, and from day one there were so many interesting things to learn about and work with. At the beginning system installation was my main focus, followed later by controllers. That’s why I’m with CAREL today.”
The next protagonist is Andreina Figuera, who spends much of her working time going around the Iberian peninsula to explain to customers why they should use the most efficient and innovative technologies in their projects. Her story is a mixture of experiences in difference countries: she entered the cooling sector in Venezuela, but is now based in Madrid after having lived and worked for several years in Italy. Her background in mechanical engineering and her more than 20 years of experience in the sector have brought her to her current position as Business Development Manager.
Sometimes, the place where you are born determines your future profession. This is more or less what happened to Giuseppe Dal Prà, HVAC Project Manager, with more than 40 years’ experience in this field! “The fact that I lived a few kilometres away from what at the time was one of the major companies in the HVAC/R sector, Hiross, was the reason for my choice”. Indeed, it was said that back then, 90 percent of the Italian companies operating in the sector were located within a 100 km radius from Hiross’ headquarters. Anyone who knows Giuseppe would say that, in his case, geographic chance became a passion.
Cooling technologies is also the passion of our protagonist from Brazil, Marcel Daissuke Nishimori. However, in his case, it was his family business that aroused his curiosity around refrigeration equipment. “My family always worked in the food service business and since I was a kid, I've been interested in understanding how the equipment works; I watched a lot of maintenance work being carried out in on the cold room equipment and I was able to see the parts and pieces disassembled”. After having completed electrical/electronic studies as part of an internship and specialisation program, and having worked for 12 years in the refrigeration sector, he has just been appointed to the role of Technical Manager.
Eason Cheng is one of the experts in the Chinese refrigeration market. With a background in electronics and several years’ experience in that field, he joined the CAREL team in 2008. His current role is Marketing Manager - Refrigeration, APAC, and his story reflects the history of the sector and its marriage with electronics: “The HVAC/R industry has long history, which to me was more related to thermodynamics, about how to shift heat. I joined this industry because of my background in electronics, which started to be applied into this industry over 40 years ago”.
During day-to-day work in the cooling sector, there are many different activities that ensure the entire cold chain keeps running. However, there are also personal experiences, impressions and feelings that remain forever. Eason has no doubts about what has had the greatest impact on him: “The two Olympics in China!”. He remembers that he and his team worked hard in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics to provide energy saving control systems on bottle coolers, but it did not attract much attention at the time. However, 11 years later, they are preparing for 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics as the leading system provider of CO systems in China. “That was really awesome to see our efforts in the past lead to real installations in China for the Olympic project”.
In the case of Giuseppe, his best experience is having witnessed the evolution of controllers for air conditioning units, starting with the first electromechanical controls involving a potentiometric thermostat controlling a servomotor.
Andreina is also nostalgic when thinking about her experience: “The best part of my professional experience has been to see the continuous evolution of the sector. When I started working, mechanical thermostats were mainly used, remote management systems began to appear a bit at a time thanks to the first control systems, whereas the electronic expansion valve was only used in very sophisticated applications”.
Marcel is happy to be able to combine his more technical interests with other passions. This is why, in his cooling experience suitcase, he also includes the different cultures and new people that he has the opportunity to meet in his frequent travels all around South America's main regions, both visiting customers and commissioning installations. As for his highlight, he remarks that he had the opportunity to be part of a commissioning team for one of the first transcritical CO installations in South America, a technology that he had studied when it had been tested only in a few installations and laboratories a few years before.
Michael will always be grateful to the HVAC/R sector for everything he has learned and is still learning about CO systems and technologies: “in this sector there are many new things all the time”, he remarked.
After looking into the past, it is necessary to look at the present and the future, and reflect about the opportunities and responsibilities for the new generations. There is no better way to do this than to hear the thoughts of those who have dedicated their time and efforts to making the industry evolve. The message from Michael is clear: “This is a sector where we are moving all the time into new technologies and market demand all over the world market is growing”.
Eason highlighted why this sector is relevant in many aspects: “The HVAC/R industry does not just entail building a comfortable environment for human beings, it is also the essential part of human culture for providing food safety, sustaining health care equipment, and for maintaining any science testing environment. Without neglecting its significant contribution on humankind’s journey to reach its carbon neutral target. All these things are meaningful to individuals”.
Both environmental commitment and passion for technology are two important requirements for whoever wants to have a successful career in this industry, as Andreina underlined: “The new generations that connect with the concern to improve environmental conditions, and to take advantage of the great technological developments that we have today at our fingertips, surely have a great opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the HVAC/R sector”.
Giuseppe has no hesitation in recommending that young generations join this industry: “The possibility of employment in a dynamic environment, in which the opportunities to find the right stimulus and the most suitable outlet for your abilities and aspirations, are greater than in other sectors, due to the vastness of the possible applications; the opportunity to travel around the world, to get to know other industrial sectors and to acquire a considerable wealth of knowledge and experience”.
Finally, Marcel remarked how working in the refrigeration sector makes an essential contribution to the world: “One of the most important parts of the food preserving process is related to the cold chain. Having a process for maintaining the right temperature drastically reduces food waste during transport and distribution. This is a way to fight hunger and poverty”.
In essence, working in the cooling sector means much more than one could imagine. Michael, Eason, Andreina, Giuseppe and Marcel simply represent the more than 15 million people who improve life on earth by helping the HVAC/R industry to evolve. Hopefully, many more will join in the coming years, helping to face the new challenges that will arise.