GEA Regfrigeration Technologies / IOR

Women in Coolings: Include me in the International network for Women in Cooling

I was one of the lucky few who grew up in a home where cultural stereotypes were not prevalent, a household where both my mum and dad had careers in engineering. I learned from an early age that I could be anything I wanted to be. A career in engineering wasn’t what I had in mind when I was growing up, I’d always dreamed of playing in an orchestra and travelling the world, after all I’d been studding classical music since the age of five. Things didn’t quite go to plan, and I found myself lacking in direction. It was at this point my mother encouraged me to consider a career in engineering, and I’m really glad she did.

My refrigeration career started in the drawing office at Heating and Cooling Coils. I quickly moved from the drawing office into the Coil Sales team. This move proved to be the making of my career in refrigeration. With no formal qualifications, I picked up the essentials quickly and a passion that has lasted for my entire career to date.

Keen to progress I accepted a position at Searle where I was put through an apprenticeship program. I studied for a Level 3 BTEC in Building Services Engineering (specialising in refrigeration) on day release. Using my working days to learn more about the fundamentals of refrigeration and to gain some hands-on experience in the factory, brazing and assembling commercial coolers.

The apprenticeship chapter of my journey closes with me being awarded with a Double Distinction, finishing top of the class. I received a Governor’s Award from Eastleigh College and made the final top 10 for RAC/IOR Student of the Year awards 2004.

After 16 years with Kelvion Searle designing and specifying airside products, I decided it was time to try something a little different within the industry. I moved to Aqua Cooling, where my knowledge was extended and refined. I learned to design complete chilled water systems as well and project manage my own installs. The skills I learned with Aqua Cooling helped to set me up for the next leg of my journey. I later moved on from Aqua Cooling to J&E Hall where I had the opportunity to be involved in industrial projects, furthering my skill and knowledge.

Fast forward to today and I’m now with GEA Refrigeration Technologies in the Service Division as Key Accounts Manager. While my role and employer has changed over time, my passion for the industry has not. I am active in many roles and areas of the industry including the IOR, the IOR Women in RACHP steering committee, the Women’s Engineering Society, as a STEM Ambassador and as a STEMazing Women.