08 December 2023
The ACR & Heat Pump Trainee of the Year Awards returned with a fresh format and a new venue at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.
New categories for 2023 included trainees in sales and support roles, while the event also covered the booming heat pump sector for the first time.
Hosted by ACR Journal and Heat Pumps Today publisher Juliet Loiselle and with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) as main sponsor, the awards recognise the young people who represent the future of our sector.
Allcool NW enjoyed a double success, with Gold awards for Lewis Cook in the ACR Service Engineer category and Harvey Talarczyk in the ACR Installation Engineer competition. Jordan Guy of GEA HRT struck gold in the Heat Pump Engineer category, while Claryhs Radford of Beijer Ref UK & Ireland was named Sales & Support Services winner and Megan Bradley of Vital Energi triumphed in the Project Engineer section.
In addition to a trophy and certificate, Gold winners received an Apple Watch, £500 cheque from the sponsors and a £100 cheque donated by the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR). Silver and Bronze winners also received an Apple watch, plus a year’s membership of the IOR.
Former Rangers and Scotland striker Derek Parlane was guest speaker.
ACR SERVICE ENGINEER
Gold: Lewis Cook, Allcool NW
Lewis Cook has been with Allcool NW since 2019 and has built up his experience by tackling challenging jobs and, in his own words, constantly asking questions.
Managing Director Paul Talarczyk said: “Lewis has become a well-respected service engineer for both refrigeration and air conditioning within the company. Lewis also works alone carrying out service, repair, and maintenance of refrigeration and air conditioning systems with his technical ability and confidence continuing to grow. He is regularly put into the position where he has to think on his feet and he possesses a positive attitude whilst remaining calm under pressure to complete the work in a timely and professional manner. Lewis has shown the kind of initiative and confidence which is necessary to become a fully-fledged refrigeration and air conditioning engineer.’’
Senior Engineer Alan Hoy described Lewis as “a great asset to Allcool and the air conditioning and refrigeration industry in general’’, while Jayne Stefani, General Manager (Service) added: “Lewis is a pleasure to have on the service team and is keen and eager to learn and grow in his role.’’
Ian Cross, of Practical Refrigeration Training Centre, said: “Lewis is a very driven and extremely capable engineer. Whilst undertaking his diploma, he consistently worked to a high level and was exceptionally self-motivated, staying behind after class to further his understanding and get the most out of his learning. Throughout his time with us, Lewis was always a very pleasant and affable member of the class. He could be relied on to complete work to a high standard individually and as part of a team. He actively encouraged other learners throughout their training, taking the initiative to help his peers and foster a supportive working environment.’’
Silver: Corey Surtees-Smith, J&E Hall
Bronze: Harry Gallagher, ACME Facilities Group
HEAT PUMP ENGINEER
Gold: Jordan Guy, GEA HRT
Since beginning his apprenticeship in 2020, Jordan Guy has never looked back. His learning journey has covered many areas of the industry and it is partly that variety that has developed his passion for his career.
Jordan, who studied at Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, said: “One project that really stands out was the opportunity to work on the Gateshead Mine Water Heat Pump. It is a pioneering project, with sustainability at its very heart, something that I am keen to learn more about. While I wasn't involved in the design process for the project, I did form part of the team responsible for installation, testing and commissioning. My eyes have been opened by this project to the endless possibilities available to us as an industry if we consider more wholly the complete process, allowing heating and cooling demands to be balanced, reducing waste, and drastically reducing the energy spent to cool a process or area.’’
Colleague Lisa-Jayne Cook, who made the nomination, said: “Jordan is an absolute credit to GEA HRT. He always takes pride in his work, ensuring that procedures are followed correctly and that any actions are recorded and reported to the relevant parties. He is always well turned out, punctual, polite, arrives with a positive attitude and a drive to ensure the task at hand is completed with a satisfactory outcome for both GEA and our clients. Jordan is, to put it simply, an ambassador for GEA HRT, constantly ensuring our reputation as the best in industry is maintained. I am proud to work with him and cannot wait to see where the industry will take him next (although I hope he will stay with us at GEA for a long time to come).’’
ACR INSTALLATION ENGINEER
Gold: Harvey Talarczyk, Allcool NW
Harvey Talarczyk decided to follow both his father and grandfather into the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. Colleagues and customers who supported his nomination for this award are in no doubt he made the right choice.
Allcool NW Technical Director Robert Acton said: “Harvey has always shown a willingness to learn and better himself and has grasped the industry and his chosen career with both hands, which in my opinion is a fundamental requirement for the young men and women entering our industry. Harvey is quickly becoming one of the "go-to" engineers at Allcool. He has the patience to deal with new apprentices coming through the system and has also been known to give up his own personal time to help colleagues when they have asked for help.’’
Senior Engineer Alan Hoy added: “He has excelled in training and has carried out offshore maintenance and service on various platforms, achieving accreditations for this job type. His refrigerant handling and Health & Safety understanding is excellent and offers assurance when I am assigning him his jobs, alongside the ability to put across his knowledge to the younger apprentices in a pleasant and encouraging manner.’’
Among the customer testimonials supplied was the following from Daniel Jones, of Alan Jones Chartered Surveyors in Blackpool: “I wanted to give you some feedback on Harvey Talarczyk who has recently completed two projects for me. The sites in question, Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club and Easthams Solicitors, both required extremely punctual and professional contractors, on site at all times and Harvey displayed these key skills. I was also absolutely delighted with the level of knowledge, service and professionalism that Harvey displayed during meetings with myself, clients and the feedback from site was also extremely positive and this reflects well on my own practice.’’
Silver: Adam Tweedle, Demeva Refrigeration
Bronze: Mckenzie Firth, LAC AC
SALES & SUPPORT SERVICES
Gold: Claryhs Radford, Beijer Ref UK & Ireland
As a Trainee Sales Engineer with MHI Projects, Clarhys Radford has recently been involved in a number of significant projects.
These include multiple sites for Lidl alongside contractor HAS Electrical, where she worked with the technical team as well as the local branch of wholesaler HRP to make sure all deliveries meet schedule.
She has also worked on a large AC project with contractor Summit Mechanical Services for a office refurbishment with a 3-pipe VRF system feeding individual office spaces for different tenants. The design consisted of 26 outdoor units feeding 108 indoor units which are made up of a mixture of compact and standard cassettes, and wall-mounted units. James Harding and Kris Bourne, Directors at Summit Mechanical Services, said: “We have been dealing directly with Claryhs for the last three years or so. She manages our chaotic jobs and schedules professionally and promptly and with a smile. Any issues that arise, Claryhs is quick to respond with answers, and on the occasions she isn’t sure Claryhs will be honest with you and come back with the correct answer quickly. We have total confidence and trust in Claryhs.’’
Claryhs recently completed a case study with contractor DBS Group on another office refurbishment in Guilford. She assisted with the design for a 3-pipe system feeding two floors for a travel company, to allow them to have simultaneous comfort cooling and heating. Josh White, Project Manager at DBS Group, said: “I have found working with MHI very good. Claryhs and the internal team are incredibly helpful and they always come back with the best solution for any technical query. We would definitely use them again and recommend.’’
Silver: Sam Jones, SURE Solutions
Bronze: Jessica Long, SURE Solutions
Gold: Megan Bradley, Vital Energi
Since joining Vital Energi, Megan Bradley has established herself as an instrumental member of the electrical design team and the lead on the production of essential documentation for installations.
Her employers say her work writing software for programmable logic controllers for refrigeration plant, with some heat recovery, has been far beyond the level they would expect from an apprentice. Her role has extended to pick up any errors being generated, work on improved programming and ensure KPIs are met. Additionally, She is involved in testing the products before they are sent to site, making necessary corrections and working with multiple departments.
Head of Construction Gary McKiernan said : “It is with great satisfaction that I reflect upon our decision to bring Meg on board at Vital. Since joining the team, Meg’s contributions have been invaluable and she has swiftly established herself as an integral part of our organisation. I am excited to witness Meg’s continued growth and development within our company. With her talent, motivation, and commitment, there is no doubt that she will make significant strides in her career and contribute significantly to the success of Vital Energi.”
In a glowing customer testimonial, Tom Marshall, Technical Director at JD Cooling, said: “Meg has brought great value to this project; she has been incredibly helpful and proactive in making sure everything is correct and operating as required. Meg is always available to support us with the project and help with any issues with the electrical design and the controller software. She approaches problems with a positive attitude and goes above and beyond to help solve and correct the issue, viewing it as an opportunity to learn and improve. She has been an absolute delight to work with and I expect her to have a bright future in the industry.”
Silver: Caitlan (Cat) Earle, WAVE Refrigeration
The ACR & Heat Pump Trainee of the Year Awards are made possible thanks to the generous support of headline sponsor MHI. Further backing is provided by:
- Aspen Pumps
- BITZER UK
- Beijer Ref UK & Ireland
- Lawton Tubes
- EasyAir Conditioning
- Beijer Ref Refrigerants
- DiversiTech International
- National Refrigerants
- ACR Journal
- Heat Pumps Today