Adam Donges takes RACHP Skills honours


25 July 2023
Adam Donges, right, with organiser Mark Forsyth, left, and Graeme Fox, BESA Head of Technical and IOR President

Adam Donges was crowned RACHP Skills champion following the UK final staged at InstallerSHOW in Birmingham.

Adam, aged 37, who works at Cosham Refrigeration and studies at City of Portsmouth College (tutor Shaun Creech), is mentored by his employer, Steven Burge, himself a former WorldSkills medal winner.

He was joined in the final by Scott Fosbury, 21, of Polar Air Conditioning and Glasgow Kelvin College (tutor Kevin Muldoon), Lucas Hays, 18, of HaysEnergy and City of Bath College (tutor Shaun Coleman), and Joseph Morris of RMS Refrigeration and City of Bath College (tutor Shaun Coleman).

The four finalists, front, from left, Adam Donges, Scott Fosbury, Lucas Hays and Joseph Morris, flanked by judges, sponsors and supporters

The competition involved three tasks over three days:

  • Refrigeration cold room installation and commissioning (9 hrs)
  • AC/heat pump repair and commission (3 hrs)
  • Fabricating a heat exchanger using flame brazing (3hrs)

The tasks encompass the skills and knowledge required, plus time management, communication,
installation commissioning service maintenance, electrical testing and fault finding. Problem solving is built into all activities.

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Registration for this year’s event began in February and attracted entries from Glasgow Kelvin,
Practical Refrigeration Training Centre Burnley. City of Bath College and City of Portsmouth College.

During the qualifying heat rounds, which commenced in April, Scott Fosbury scored highest.

Organiser Mark Forsyth said: “Normally the final would be in November and feature six finalists.
However, in order to take advantage of InstallerSHOW’s kind invitation to host the final free of charge at the NEC, everything was brought forward. The downside was that there was not enough space for six finalists, with only four able to be invited.’’

This was a special edition of the national competition as it was not governed by WorldSkills UK
(WSUK) due to an organising partner not signing up to the COP terms in time. Coriolis International organised the event with support from many sponsors, including:

  • Climalife – gases, judges and awards
  • Lawton Tubes – materials and main award for the winner and the winning college
  • Fieldpiece – instruments and awards
  • Fujitsu – AC heat pump product, workwear, judges and gifts
  • ACRIB/IOR – judges and cash awards
  • Diversitech – judges and tool gifts
  • Bitzer – judges and gifts
  • Mattair – judges and gifts
  • TIS – judges and instruments
  • Danfoss – judges
  • Business Edge – judges
  • AC Solutions – judges
  • BL Refrigeration – judges
  • Coolstop – judges
  • BESA – judges
  • Johnson Controls – judges
  • Conex Bänninger
  • TIS & TIC – tool gifts
  • Uniwipe – gifts
  • Ideal – gifts

Previous winner Luke Haile, now a WSUK squad competitor, performed a pressure test project on another stand. Luke won the national final last year and as he is age eligible, WSUK invited him into the international competition selection cycle heading to Lyon in 2024.