IOR announces 10 new fellows


21 March 2023
The new IOR fellow are, clockwise from top left, Ian Giles, Chris Playford, Christopher Green, Damian Wiszniewski, Robert Unsworth, Bruce I. Nelson, Stewart Woolston, John North, Ross Cawte and Mark Hughes

The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) has named 10 new fellows in recognition of their leadership, voluntary work and contribution to improving the standing of the RACHP industry.  

Fellows are long-term members of the IOR with a commitment to leading and advancing the industry that goes beyond their day-to-day work responsibilities.

Ian Giles started out as an apprentice and worked in all fields of the industry ending up as an industrial engineer and in 2002 moved into training at Grimsby Institute where he eventually became responsible for 200 apprentices and 11 staff. He now works as a lecturer supporting students at City of Liverpool College and as a technical expert for City & Guilds on assessment. Ian has shared his training expertise internationally and nationally by providing input to industry SkillFRIDGE competitions and the development of technical qualifications for City & Guilds, SummitSkills and individual employers.  He regularly contributes to IOR work on education and training, providing technical advice on apprenticeships and taking part in educator forums and events.

Christopher Green is engineering director (Heat Pump Solutions) at Vital Energi. He was previously engineering director at Arctic Circle, which he joined straight from school as an apprentice engineer. He is a member of the technical committee of the IOR, and has chaired IOR Annual Conferences, presented papers and hosted SIRAC tours as well as contributing to the IOR Beyond Refrigeration environment work. He has received two industry awards for his work on supporting the transition towards natural refrigerants, carbon reduction and heat recovery from refrigeration. He is a supporter of apprenticeships and engaged in outreach with local schools and Universities to promote careers in engineering.

Mark Hughes is a refrigeration specialist at Chemours. He has held numerous volunteer positions within industry groups including chairman of BRACES (the BRA Equipment and Components section statistics gathering and processing group), chair of the BRA equipment and components section, and most recently has been appointed president of the BRA. In these roles and as an IOR member he has helped coordinate activity between the IOR and BRA in key technical and legislative areas. Mark shares his expertise in refrigerants widely through articles in trade magazines and presentations at conferences including the webinars and CoolTalks organised by the IOR. He also contributes to safety standards through membership of the BSI Safety Standards Committee RHE18 and CPL61

Bruce I. Nelson built his career in Colmac Coil in the USA, a manufacturer of heat exchangers, starting as an engineer and eventually becoming president.  He has served on various ASHRAE national technical committees and continues to be active in his local ASHRAE chapter. Bruce was recently given the ASHRAE Distinguished Service award. He is an individual member of the International Institute of Refrigeration and is active in the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration, first as chair of its research committee and later as chairman. He helped set up the Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation (ARF)  which supports engineering scholarships and research projects. As chairman of IIAR Bruce has fostered more cooperation and regular communication between IOR and IIAR as strategic partners. He has also presented several papers at ASHRAE and IOR-organised IIR events

John North works in training at City of Portsmouth College, and has substantial experience in commercial refrigeration. In addition to his day-to-day role he recognises the importance of actively supporting the IOR and its values and instilling these in newly qualified engineers and apprentices. He has served as a member of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) education committee, and provided responses to IOR consultations on apprenticeships. He encourages students to register for membership of the IOR and to further develop their skills beyond what is required to achieve a qualification by taking part in national skills competitions. He currently advises City & Guilds in the development of qualifications and assessments.

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Chris Playford is the EU development director for Foster Refrigerator and Gamko where he is directly responsible for Foster product development including a team of technical colleagues. He is currently leading a project to benchmark emissions to achieve net carbon zero for 2050. Chris has been an active participant in the refrigeration section of FEA (Food Service Equipment Association) since 2002 and has represented FEA at ACRIB board meetings, providing input from a food service refrigeration perspective on key legislation and standards developments. He has given various presentations on Eco-design standards internationally and for the IOR. Most recently he spoke at an IOR CoolTalk webinar on the safe use of flammables in small refrigeration applications.

Robert Unsworth is global sustainability manager for GEA Heating and Refrigeration Technologies. Throughout his career at Sabroe and GEA Rob has shown commitment to promoting careers and sharing his expertise in sustainable refrigeration. He regularly gives talks on refrigeration-related subjects in schools, universities and colleges, writes and presents papers at IOR conferences, gives technical presentations at International Institute of Refrigeration and International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration conferences. Last year he received an international award within GEA for sustainability and helped a customer achieve a sustainability award from the Irish Government. Within GEA he supports and encourages graduate engineers and mentors younger members. 

Damian Wiszniewski is business development manager for Samsung Climate Solutions UK. He has also managed branches and regions for RACHP wholesalers in the south of the UK.  He is active inorganising events for the Hampshire Refrigeration Society and is currently its vice-chair as well as being involved in setting up an IOR South West Branch. Since 2018 Damian has served on the IOR membership committee, which he currently chairs.  In 2022 he was elected to serve on IOR Board of Trustees. 

Ross Cawte is managing director of RJC (Mechanical) Ltd, a mechanical contractor with a proven commitment to developing its workforce through partnership with their local college where it sends technicians each year to follow the apprenticeship programme. Ross actively promotes the industry and mentors new trainees entering the business.  He encourages all employees to join the IOR to take advantage of the professional development opportunities available. Ross’s first involvement with the IOR was through the Service Engineers Section 15 years ago, and he then moved on to become a full member as his career responsibilities developed. He is now an active member of the IOR membership committee.

Stewart Woolston is head of UK projects at Digital Realty having worked in data centre and consultancy roles since leaving the Royal Navy. He has had involvement in IOR education initiatives through support for the REAL Zero training programme, past membership of the ACRIB education committee and contributing to the development of City & Guilds qualifications and assessments.  He continues to raise awareness of careers in RACHP as a registered STEM ambassador and runs events promoting STEM engineering. He participates regularly in IOR CPD events both in person and online.

For more information on the criteria for IOR fellow appointments see