Innovator of The Year Award Winner.

Meet Steve Oakley, the managing director of Heuch Refrigeration and winner of the 2016 Innovator of the Year Award.

Oakley recently commenced commercialisation of the world’s first 100 per cent solar powered refrigeration containers, a project that was central to winning this year’s award.

Oakley first began the project in 2005.

“The time wasn’t quite right then. The project worked technically but it wasn’t commercially viable,” Oakley said.

“Now its the right time, the right people, the right product and a bit of luck.

“Our new products are still at the fringes in that context but they are now emerging as a competitor and will become increasingly so in the future.”

Oakley’s nomination was a bit of a surprise as he only found out about it when he was notified that he was a finalist.

He was nominated by the company’s business development manager, Martin Oakley, who also happens to be his son.

Martin Oakley has an interesting background he has two business degrees and completed a refrigeration apprenticeship.

“I was very proud to have my son nominate me. I was presented with a gift even without winning,” he said.

So what are the qualities of an innovator?

“A disorganised mind, a propensity to doodle on ideas in the search for new alternatives and a willingness to commit when the occasional good idea gets traction,” Oakley said. “Without innovation we are doomed to fail simply by standing still.”

The opposite of innovation, according to Oakley, is an attitude of “that’s how we have always done it.”

Heuch Refrigeration has always been involved in a diverse range of projects and with the changing landscape Oakley said the company is refocussing its efforts in the fruit and vegetable growing and processing industries.

“We look forward in the coming months to introducing some wonderful new products we are pleased to be associated with out of Europe,” he said.

“The energy and process efficiencies these systems can provide is outstanding, we are very excited about the possibilities.”

Founded by the late John Heuch in 1970, the company thrives on a ‘why not?’ culture and a willingness to adapt to change.

Two of its senior managers joined the company as apprentices in 1978. Oakley believes the HVACR industry has changed considerably since he first joined it in the early 1980s. “I think today’s industry is safer, cleaner, increasingly more mature and effective,” he said.

“I am very proud to be part of an industry that when challenged 20 years ago with consequential damage to the ozone layer we took up the challenge and adapted.

“Our industry has been at the forefront of change.

Oakley said winning the award has been great for the business. “The value to the business is difficult to understate that little glass award is potentially worth more than its weight in gold,” he said.

“As news of the award has spread so too has the peer support and encouragement for a small but vibrant refrigeration engineering company battling away in a global market.”

Original article located here.

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Heuch HVAC Leadership Awards Finalists

Winners announced for the 2016 HVACR Leadership Awards

By Sandra van Dijk
2 August 2016.


Winners of the 2016 HVACR Leadership Awards were formally announced at CCN Live, which was held earlier today at the Royal Randwick Racecourse.

The event, which was well-attended by a cross section of industry, opened with a keynote presentation on the latest trends in HVACR by Lux Research Asia Pacific managing director, Cort Isernhagen and Lux research director, Arij Van Berkel.

Attendees were given a broad overview of the changing HVACR landscape including the latest technologies gaining traction across the globe.

The first category to be announced was the award for 2016 Sustainability Leader. Sponsored by Heatcraft, the winner is Cold Logic technical director, Brad Semmler.

The Industry Rising Star Award, which is sponsored by ABB, went to Intrust Energy Solutions managing director, Michael Guli.

One of the most competitive categories in the awards program was the 2016 Woman of the Year in HVACR Award which was sponsored by Daikin.

The winner is Edefice director, Ania Hampton, the first woman to be appointed president of the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH).

The 2016 Emerging Leader in Energy Savings Award which is sponsored by the Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA) went to Scantec Refrigeration Technologies managing director, Stefan Jensen.

Well known as a pioneer of ammonia systems in Australia, Jensen is an accomplished engineer that has written extensively on energy efficiency benchmarking.

The next category was Innovator of the Year, an award sponsored by Temperzone.

With three finalists it was another competitive category that went to Heuch Refrigeration managing director, Steve Oakley.

The company has just commercialised the world’s first 100 per cent solar powered refrigeration containers. (You can view these here)

The final award was the HVACR Leader of the Year Award which recognises excellence in leadership.  Sponsored by Daikin, the award goes to a professional with a well established HVACR career, a professional that has contributed to the development of the industry.

The winner is the national refrigeration manager at Coles Supermarket, Stuart Saville.

We all know Saville from his work on the retailer’s Gas Loss Mitigation and Retrofit Program and his involvement in the very first installation of a transcritical C02 System at Coles.

CCN Editor, Sandra Van Dijk, thanked all of the nominees for taking part in the awards program as well as guest judge, RACCA president, Kevin O’Shea.

Full article here. 

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Heuch HVAC Leadership Awards Finalists

HVACR Leadership Awards: Meet the finalists

By Sandra van Dijk

With only a few days remaining until the winners of the 2016 HVACR Leadership Awards are announced, its time to meet the finalists.

The anticipation is building, as finalists prepare for the award presentation which will be held on Tuesday, August 2, at the Royal Randwick Racecourse.

The winners will be announced after a keynote presentation by Lux Research Asia Pacific managing director, Cort Isernhagen and research director, Dr Arij Van Berkel. This is your last chance to secure tickets at

The first award category to be announced at CCN Live 2016 is the Sustainability Leader in HVACR Award which is sponsored by Heatcraft. The first finalist is Cold Logic technical director, Brad Semmler.

Best known for leading edge system design, Semmler was instrumental in the creation of Australia’s first ammonia heat pump recovery plant. Semmler began his career as a refrigeration apprentice in the 1980s. Passionate about refrigeration, the hallmark’s of Semmler’s projects are energy efficiency and sustainability.

The second finalist is 100% Renewables director, Barbara Albert. After years of working with all levels of government on how to transition to renewable energy, Albert is set to launch her very first book “Energy Unlimited – Four Steps to 100% Renewable Energy” in September.

She has won awards for developing Master Energy Plans and contributing to projects creating more sustainable HVACR systems.

The third finalist is Lucisco director, James Martin. He has been with ActronAir for more than a decade and oversaw the implementation of DC motor technology and inverters, while Lucisco promotes the latest solar and power storage technologies. His Six Sigma black belt is proof of his commitment to continuous improvement. Martin takes a holistic, life cycle approach to sustainability.

The next category is the Industry Rising Star Award which is sponsored by ABB.

It has been a huge year for our first finalist, DTM Air Services tradesman, Nathan McHugh. Earlier this year he won the gold medal at this year’s WorldSkills Australia national championship and is now preparing to represent Australia overseas.

Although McHugh only completed his trade earlier this year and is only 20 years old, he is now moving on to his second trade undertaking an electrical apprenticeship as well.

The second finalist is Intrust Energy Solutions managing director, Michael Guli Since completing his Certificate III in air conditioning and refrigeration in 2012, Guli has been building his own little empire with his company that is now expanding into plumbing, building services and solar installations. He is only 25 years of age and since establishing his business last year has doubled staff numbers from two to four.

For the first time ever, CCN introduced a new category this year the Woman of the Year in HVACR Award which is sponsored by Daikin. The first finalist is Australian Refrigeration Mechanics Association president, Kim Limburg.

For more than a decade Limburg has worked tirelessly as an advocate for ARMA members showcasing a high level of resilience in a male dominated industry. It is a testament to her tenacity that ARMA now has over 1,000 active members.

Limburg’s nomination is in recognition of her ability to motivate, inspire and lead as well as her commitment to ensuring HVACR operators have a strong voice.

The second finalist is A-Gas managing director, Louise McCann. When it comes to successful women, McCann is an excellent example of how professional women can play a senior role in a global company and lead with both vision and exceptional management skills.

McCann has set high standards when it comes to corporate responsibility, company culture and personal integrity. Her nomination recognises her business prowess and ability to overcome the many obstacles that make the role of managing
director in this industry so challenging.

AIRAH president and Edefice director, Ania Hampton, is our third finalist. Since graduating with an honours degree in mechanical engineering in 2003, Hampton has been a passionate advocate for sustainability. In 2015 she joined the AIRAH board and in 2016 became the first female president of AIRAH ever to be appointed in the organisation’s almost 100 year history.
Whether she is leading sustainable design teams or balancing her role as a professional consultant with being the mother of two young boys (aged eight and three), Hampton is an outstanding example of a woman who is actively making a difference.

The fourth finalist is Staycool Heating and Air Conditioning sales manager, Lisa Dainty She has come a long way since joining Staycool Heating and Air Conditioning as a receptionist in 1999.

Since then she has worked in all areas of the company, showcasing her passion and dedication to the industry.  Dainty was nominated by her peers for being a constant source of inspiration and for her ability to design heating and cooling systems
for Melbourne’s largest home builders.

A popular category in the awards program is the Emerging Leader in Energy Savings Award which is sponsored by the Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA).

This year’s finalists includes Blygold Oceania owner and managing director, Mark Weir, who is in the business of energy efficiency.

He operates one of the largest corrosion prevention coating suppliers to the HVACR industry in the world by protecting condenser performance.  Weir said it is his passion for sustainability and energy efficiency that led him to his current business venture with Blygold, a company which is operational in 50 countries across the globe.

The next finalist is Scantec Refrigeration Technologies managing director, Stefan Jensen

Well known for his expertise in energy efficiency, Jensen has pioneered the commercialisation of central, low charge ammonia refrigeration systems.  By the end of 2016, Jensen said there will be nine of these systems operational in Australia and one in China.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1978, Jensen began his career with Danfoss in Denmark.  Since then his career has been extensive. He co-founded Scantec in 1996 and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) in Washington, USA.

The third finalist for this category is Air conditioning Air Purification Technologies engineer, Lindsay Pelser.

With 40 years experience as both a tradesman and engineer in the HVAC industry, Pelser could be described as an energy savings veteran.

He is best known as a pioneer of hydrocarbon systems and was involved in one of the first installations of hydrocarbon chillers at a dairy farm in Victoria. More recently Pelser said he has been involved in a world-first shopping centre installation south west of Sydney.

He has designed and installed a hydrocarbon air conditioning plant which is producing energy savings in the range of 35 per cent.

Another category that is always highly competitive is the award for Innovator of the Year, which is sponsored by Temperzone.

There are three finalists including Samsung Electronics national project engineer (air conditioning division), Deepika Naicker. Working for large corporate companies such as LG and Samsung requires plenty of creative thinking and forward planning, according to Naicker. She describes her contribution to being innovative as “process driven” because “smooth rollouts” is key to showcasing innovative technology.

The next finalist is Heuch Refrigeration managing director, Steve Oakley. This is the man behind the world’s first 100 per cent solar powered refrigeration containers suitable for remote area, off-grid and disaster management applications. Heuch Refrigeration has just completed trials and commenced commercialisation of this clean, green and innovative solution. (You can check them out here)

The third finalist for this category is Optergy product manager, Marc Abdelahad.

For Abdelahad, innovation is all about transformation. For him it is about being in control with minimal effort so it’s not surprising to learn that he works with building management systems that combine intuitive technology that can be used on the smallest, mobile devices.  Abdelahad is a big believer in ‘continual product improvement’.

The final award to be presented next week is the HVACR Leader of the Year Award. This award recognises overall excellence in leadership and will go to a professional that has a well established HVACR career. Sponsored by Daikin, there are four finalists vying for this award.

They include Minus 40 managing director, Michael Bellstedt. Before showcasing his skills at Minus40, Bellstedt was well known for his expertise as a refrigeration design engineer.

He has an impressive resume highlighting energy efficiency projects from Germany to South Africa and beyond.

Bellstedt was the founder of the Green Cooling Council in 2003 and since then has become a technical leader and mentor, especially when it comes to natural refrigerants.

Another finalist is Coles Supermarkets national engineering refrigeration manager, Stuart Saville. Since he began his career as a technician in his early teens, Saville has proven himself as a leader in innovation and design.

Before joining Coles Stuart realised his deram of establishing his own refrigeration company. He has been involved in a number of landmark projects at Coles including the implementation of the supermarket’s first transcritical Co2 system and developed a successful Gas Loss Mitigation and Retrofit program.

The next finalist is AIRAH government relations manager, Phil Wilkinson. With a Masters of Engineering and a profile in this industry that is unparalleled, Wilkinson doesn’t really require much of an introduction.

His high profile and influence as an advocate for the HVACR industry is far-reaching. Wilkinson’s vision for the future of this industry has been translated into PRIME, which he helped create.  It is a blueprint to transition our industry to a low emissions future. He was also involved in the R22 refrigerant Phaseout Guide and the industry’s first HVAC system ratings tool, Calculating Cool.

The fourth finalist for this award is Sydney TAFE senior head teacher, Greg Riach. With such a long standing career in education, this is a man that has shaped the hearts and minds of thousands of apprentices and students.

For more than 30 years Riach has been at the forefront of education and training for the RAC industry. Ultimo TAFE is currently at the forefront of the electronic delivery of education thanks to Riach’s contribution to extending TAFE’s capabilities.

Full Article Here.

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Heuch HVAC Leadership Awards Finalists

Announced Finalists in the 2016 HVACR Leadership Awards.

By Sandra van Dijk
12 July 2016

After judging a record number of entries, Climate Control News (CCN) today announced finalists in all six categories of the 2016 HVACR Leadership Awards.

CCN editor, Sandra Van Dijk, said judging was particularly difficult due to the high standard of entries.

“Fortunately I had judging support from an industry veteran, RACCA president, Kevin O’Shea, who made the entire process so much easier,” she said.

“The HVACR Leadership Awards are only in their second year so I was surprised not just by the high number of entries but by the exceptional quality of our nominees they really have made the awards program a success.”

Although the awards were only a year old, CCN introduced a new category –  Woman of the Year in HVACR. Surprisingly, it received the highest number of entries out of all the categories in the awards program.

“This was surprising because I really wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to Woman of the Year in HVACR, ” Van Dijk said.

“We all know that there are not a lot of women in HVACR so it was wonderful to receive nominations from so many women in positions of influence. 

“Every entry was exceptional making it the toughest category to judge.”

Van Dijk said it was also hard to judge the main award category which is the 2016 HVACR Leader of the Year.

“Exceptional nominees are expected in this category but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that every finalist is of such a high calibre,” she said.

“Daikin sponsored both categories and while the leadership award is always going to be a category that recognises the best our industry has to offer, I think Daikin must be thrilled with the outcome of the very first Woman of the Year Award.”

Due to the high level of interest in the 2016 HVACR Leadership Award, CCN has selected four finalists. They are: Coles Supermarket national refrigeration engineering manager, Stuart Saville; Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Airconditioning and Heating (AIRAH) government relations manager, Phil Wilkinson, Minus40 managing director, Michael Bellstedt; Sydney TAFE senior head teacher for RAC, Greg Riach.

There are also four finalists for Daikin’s Woman of the Year award and they are: Australian Refrigeration Mechanics Association (ARMA)  president, Kim Limburg, Staycool Heating & Airconditioning sales manager, Lisa Dainty, A-Gas Australia managing director, Louise McCann; Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Airconditioning and Heating (AIRAH) president, Ania Hampton.

Sponsored by Heatcraft the Sustainability Leader in HVACR Award has three finalists. They are: 100% Renewables director, Barbara Albert; Cold Logic director, Brad Semmler; Lucisco Pty Ltd director, James Martin.

There are also three finalists for Innovator of the Year which is sponsored by Temperzone. They are: Samsung Electronics project support engineer, Deepika Naicker; Optergy product manager Marc Abdelahad; Heuch Refrigeration general manager, Steve Oakley.

The Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA) has sponsored the Emerging Leader in Energy Savings category which has three finalists and they are: Scantec Refrigeration Technologies managing director, Stefan Jensen; Airconditioning Air Purification Technologies engineer, Lindsay Pelser; Blygold Oceania managing director, Mark Weir.

The final category, which is sponsored by ABB, is Industry Rising Star. Finalists are DTM Air Services tradesman, Nathan McHugh, and Intrust Energy Solution managing director, Mick Guli.

Winners will be announced at CCN Live on August 2, 2016. International guest speakers will deliver the keynote address at this year’s breakfast event which will be held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse from 8am to 11am.

Speakers are Lux Research director, Dr Arij Van Berkel and Lux Research Asia Pacific managing director, Cort Isernhagen.

They will present exclusive research on key industry trends including new technology and changing business models including market consolidation and where the industry is heading.

Full article here.

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