The ACR Journal talks to Hayley Nunn of Acorn Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, based in Bury St Edmunds.
ACR Journal talks to Rinku Patel, CFD and Mechanical Design Engineer at Airedale International Air Conditioning.
The Institute of Refrigeration held a career development workshop for Women in RACHP to coincide with the International Women in Engineering Day.
The two-part networking session, hosted by training and consultancy specialists Cool Concerns in Tewkesbury, began with a practical event enabling non-technical staff to gain a hands-on understanding of refrigerant handling and brazing. This was followed by an interactive career development workshop with handy tips on career management and planning.
From 2013 to 2014 only 3.4% of those applying for engineering apprenticeships were women. National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) takes place on Friday (June 23), celebrating female engineering role models. Here, Martina Antalova, MSc in Building Services, and lead mechanical design engineer at cleanroom and laboratory design and construction specialist Boulting Environmental Services, explains how we can encourage more women to become engineers.
This month, the ACR Journal interviewed Anna Shipley, Service Manager and ‘Girl Friday’ at ACS, Wrexham.
Where did you study? I studied in house and completed my F-Gas through HRP (our local distributor).
What was your first job? I worked as an estate agent for years then when the property bubble burst I came to give my father a hand in his business. Nine years later I am still here. I started helping with installations, running around with a hoover, but I much preferred the servicing side as I was able to go and meet customers and see all the sites.
Where do you work now? I am mostly office-based after I was ‘banned’ from site when I was pregnant. We took someone on while I was pregnant to do my job and kept them on afterwards. So mainly office, but we do sell a certain bit of kit (Stagionello) from Italy for which I am the only UK and Ireland engineer trained to use, repair and sell, so I do get to travel to see those customers, travelling from near Folkestone up to Scotland and Belfast.
What excites/interests you about the industry? I like that every job is different, every site is different with its own challenges so each day is different.
Where do you see your career developing? I hope to help my father progress the business as it has done in the past.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given? Don’t assume anything and always wear steel toecap shoes.
What are the challenges of this industry? Training is very difficult as it is not easily obtained in our area of the country. Luckily we can get some in Warrington, but it mostly seems to be in London. Also, when we try and hire staff it can be difficult and we have to take on untrained staff and train in house.
What are the benefits of being in your role? Having been on site for years and now in the office, I know a lot of the quirks of each site and sometimes know more about the site’s equipment than the owner. Also I can quote easily for repairs as I have more of an idea on how long it takes to change a compressor.
What industry associations are you involved with, and what are the benefits? Refcom, Safe Contractor, Constructionline, they all show how much we respect safety.
What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry? Go for it if you like a challenge both mentally and physically (if you are on site).
Are you a candidate for our Women in ACR feature? Or do you know someone who is? Please contact David Todd, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01778 392094.
In the latest in our Women in ACR Series, we meet Suzie Barron, Senior Process Engineer at A-Gas UK.
Tell us about your background?
Before joining A-Gas I worked in the chemical and offshore industries. It could be said that I was born to be an engineer as I have always enjoyed building and fixing things. When I first graduated I was working for a company that made burners for the glass industry. I then worked on improving power station efficiency but this was mostly office based – and working in an office was not why I became an engineer. I moved on to the oil and gas industry. However, I joined A-Gas last year when the wheels came off this industry. What I do now is definitely my ideal job.
This month's interviewee for the Women in ACR series is Hayley Billson.
Hayley, daughter of John Billson, Managing Director of Beijer Ref UK and Ireland, is the sales manager for refrigeration and air conditioning wholesaler, Dean & Wood, a member company of Beijer Ref working, at their Birmingham branch.
This month, the ACR Journal interviews, Emma Childs, 18, an Apprentice Engineer at Eastleigh College
Which course are you studying?
I’m currently studying a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at Eastleigh College, working as an Apprentice Engineer at my dad’s company. I’ve been at College for two years’ now and I’m due to complete my qualification this summer.
I would like to go on and complete the Level 3 qualification at some point, but I’m not sure if I’ll go straight into this. My favourite part of my Apprenticeship this year is actually the theory – it’s a lot different to what I’ve done before, and I can go home and chat to my dad about it. He gets very excited to be able to talk about his industry with someone at home!
What attracted you to the industry?
I joined Airmaster in 1995, having previously worked in the building industry. Initially, I worked in a part-time capacity to help out my future brother in law Richard (our MD) with admin and bookkeeping. As business and staff numbers grew, I took on a full-time role. The diverse range of contracts that we were working on, particularly in the service and maintenance sector fascinated me.
Where did you study and what qualification did you gain?
I have a Technical Degree with a postgraduate in statistics and QA application.