The ACR Journal interviews Carolin Dittmer from Bitzer for this month's 'Women in ACR' feature
Name and job title
Carolin Dittmer, Market Sector Expert Supermarket
Education: Where did you study and what course/diploma/degree did you gain?
I studied at ESaK (the European academy of refrigeration and air conditioning at the vocational academy in Maintal (Germany) and successfully graduated as a certified engineer in refrigeration system technology. My field of study was mechanical engineering and focused on refrigeration system technology and I wrote my thesis, ‘Experimental Analysis of Microchannel Cold Plates for Electronics Cooling’ in the USA at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Details about membership of industry associations and the benefits from being part of them for you (if applicable)
Details of current employer (or own business), including location
What attracted you to the industry?
My interest in the various applications ultimately led to me spending some time after my graduation in a job as a project engineer for the national area in a medium-sized company making refrigeration systems with about 40 staff. After some time, I increasingly wanted to extend my horizons and also work on international projects.
At this time, BITZER offered me a unique opportunity. Their entry programme for young engineers made it possible for me to get to know a variety of departments over 18 months. I was thus able to work on various projects in design, development, application engineering and in sales, and was responsible for my own smaller projects. I was then able to complete the programme by spending three months at a production facility in Atlanta, Georgia.
That was a valuable experience. It not only helped me to expand my technical and language skills, but it also convinced me that I should work for a manufacturer of refrigeration components. In general terms I find the international nature of the sector attractive. As the products are used around the world, for each project, we have to reconcile very different climatic conditions, legal requirements and specific customer wishes.
What do you specialise in now? Or, what type of projects do your work on?
The declared aim is to identify the requirements and needs of the mostly globally active target group and to build on that by working hand in hand with product management to initiate the development of products.
An important aspect of my role consists in transferring knowledge within the organisation and in supporting the worldwide BITZER subsidiaries.
In addition to that, I also train customers, for example at BITZER International Refrigeration Seminars, abbreviated as IRS.
What do you know about the industry which you wished you had known before?
If I had known earlier on that I would be working in such an international field, I would have improved my language skills earlier on and would have learned another language such as Spanish.
What excites/interests you about the industry and your part in it now?
For some years, the holistic approach has been gaining in importance. For supermarkets for instance, it is not just a question of supplying suitably dimensioned compressors for a combined system which supplies the medium temperature and low temperature systems. Instead, subjects such as air conditioning, heating and the heating of waste water are included in the design of the system and I find it very interesting to discuss all of that with planners and decision makers.