Women in ACR: Rinku Patel


20 July 2017
ACR Journal talks to Rinku Patel, CFD and Mechanical Design Engineer at Airedale International Air Conditioning.
How would you describe your role?
As a CFD and Mechanical Design Engineer I am responsible for creating special mechanical drawings and work instruction sheets for any production order for the manufacturing department so that manufacturing understands for that particular production order, exactly how the unit should be built and what the associated components and any special requirement from the customer is. I am also responsible for conducting all CFD analysis on our customers’ data centres to understand the airflow and temperature distribution within their data centre.

Where did you study?
I did my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in India and a Masters (MSc) in Mechanical Engineering at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK

What was your first job? 
I was an Internal Sales Support Engineer at Airedale. I think this is a great start for anyone to understand any manufacturing industry, its products, its customers and the company’s position within the market.

What attracted you to the industry? 
I was more curious to understand the workings of the mechanical objects surrounding us, which we use in our day-to-day lives, such as refrigerators, car engines etc. From my teenage years I’ve had this curiosity and hence I chose the field of Mechanical Engineering.  During my studies in India I found refrigeration and air conditioning the most interesting as a subject, as I guess this is more closely linked to our day- to-day lives.
What do you specialise in now? 
I am specialised in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) – one specific aspect of Mechanical Engineering. CFD is a computational technology that uses numerical methods to solve and analyse fluid flow and temperate related problems. Within the CFD computer software we create a 3D model of the space or object and visualize the temperature, velocity, pressure and airflow distribution for a given scenario. This type of analysis helps to predict the situation before making huge investment and also helps to find the airflow and temperature-related problems.

What excites/interests you about the industry? 
I am working in the refrigeration and heat transfer field – the subject which I enjoy the most are the ones that excite me more. I studied a module in Computational Fluid Dynamics during my MSc, and using this technology and knowledge to resolve the industry airflow and temperature problems for customers can be challenging and fun.

How do you see your career developing?
It is developing steadily but I think there is lot to gain yet. I want to gain the CEng title and more hands-on experience of handling projects like the design and development of customers’ bespoke products.

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given? 
“Believe in yourself”. This gives me more confidence to face the challenges of the industry.

What are the benefits of being in your role?
I think the satisfaction of achieving something is the biggest benefit of my role.

What industry associations are you involved with?  
None at the moment but I’m thinking of joining IMechE soon.

What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry?
If a woman wants to choose the ACR industry and enjoy the field then she should be confident in herself despite the challenges ahead. If there is a strong desire to do something, anything can be achieved in the world by anyone, gender does not matter.

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