Women in ACR: Dr Catarina Marques

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Published: 08 August 2018


women in acr refrigeration engineering
Dr Catarina Marques (left) with Ina Colombo and Maria Gratiela Tarlea at the 24th IIR Congress of Refrigeration in Japan
​Dr Catarina Marques is the incumbent President of the International Institute of Refrigeration’s (IIR) Careers in Refrigeration (CaRe) working group. Dr Marques is the Foodservice Engineering Manager at Adande Refrigeration, where her role includes helping foodservice operators, retailers and suppliers improve the quality of their food.

She holds a degree in Food Technology and a PhD in Refrigeration. She recently presented a paper entitled ‘CaRe: IIR working group with emphasis on women in Refrigeration’ at the 5th IIR Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain held in Beijing in April 2018.
The IIR CaRe initiative was launched in 2016 and was stimulated by two IIR events held at 24th International Congress of Refrigeration in Japan: the ‘Reception for Students and Young Researchers’ and the ‘Women in Refrigeration’ workshop. The IIR CaRe programme aims to make refrigeration and air conditioning more visible to the general public and inspire a younger generation to take up careers in an exciting industrial sector. The initiative also has the objective of overcoming the predicted future shortage of engineers in the refrigeration industry. 

Dr Marques explains: “Refrigeration is a thriving industry, which offers excellent career opportunities for people with all kinds of interests and skills. Our goal is to increase cultural diversity and the number of women recruited to refrigeration and associated industries.”

Dr Marques first became involved with the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) during her CASE award and PhD at London South Bank University and her passion for the refrigeration industry was further nurtured when she took up her post at Adande. She soon became involved in the IoR Young Engineers’ Network, organising events at UK universities, including speed-networking appointments, which allowed students to meet experts from the industry. Her enthusiasm then led to her involvement in the IIR Reception for Students and Young Researchers at the International Congress of Refrigeration held in Japan in 2015. 

Innovation
Dr Marques said: “These experiences and the support I have received from industry professionals and colleagues were important factors in my involvement with the CaRe working group. During my time at Adande, I have learned a great deal about innovation, not least from the company founders Ian Wood and George Young. My participation in the IIR CaRe initiative is one way of giving something back to the industry, which has served me so well.”

Members of the IIR CaRe working group serve on a voluntary basis. Representatives currently include Vice-President Professor Judith Evans from London South Bank University and Director of RD&T in the UK; Professor Michael Kauffeld from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and Director of the Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Environmental Engineering in Germany; Professor Maria Gratiela Tarlea from the Technical University of Civil Engineering and Vice-President of the Romanian General Association of Refrigeration; and Ina Colombo Deputy Director of the IIR, who is the working group Secretary. The committee holds quarterly conference calls to plan strategy and co-ordinate events, as well as getting together at IIR conferences.

The IIR CaRe working group has organised meetings at many industry events over the last two years, including IIR and ASHRAE Conferences. In 2018 alone, CaRe has already provided workshops at the 5th IIR Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain in Beijing, the Refrigeration Exhibition at La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris and the Efficient Energy Engineering event at the CEB fair in Karlsruhe, Germany. In October 2018, the CaRe group will be hosting seminars for students and young professionals at Chillventa in Nuremberg, Germany. Typically these events take the form of networking sessions, allowing students to engage with leading industry academics and experts. They have also included informal presentations from refrigeration professionals, providing insights into their roles within the industry.

Contribution
In addition to face-to-face sessions, the CaRe group has prepared literature, promoting its activities and is currently developing its social media profile. The aim is to post case studies, highlighting the roles and career paths of individuals in the refrigeration sector, to spark the imaginations of potential recruits. Find out more here.

Dr Marques acknowledges the significant contribution of industry professionals and academics in the success of the CaRe programme: “We are grateful to the many refrigeration experts, who have taken part in our networking sessions. Their passion for the industry in which they work has engendered enthusiasm amongst countless youngsters, inspiring them to learn more about the refrigeration sector and consider a career in this challenging and exciting environment. We are building on the momentum of the CaRe programme and will be delivering our message to increasing numbers of youngsters, students and graduates.”

Dr Marques is also closely involved with the IOR Women in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heat Pump (RACHP) programme. This is a UK initiative, providing networking and mentoring opportunities, where hands-on training in refrigeration is followed by personal development activities.

She is also championing a new global initiative, organised by OzonAction in co-operation with UN Women, aimed at raising awareness of the opportunities available to females in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors. Find out more here.