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Meet the men vying to be President Elect of the Institute of Refrigeration

Two candidates are seeking to become President Elect of the Institute of the Refrigeration. RAC invited them to introduce themselves and their aims to the industry at large

Two candidates are seeking to become President Elect of the Institute of the Refrigeration. Voting has now started, open to IOR members only, with a closing date of February 28. The successful president elect will serve alongside current IOR president Graeme Maidment for a year before taking on the full presidency for a three-year term.

Bob Arthur (left)

I believe my experience and activities within the industry provides me with the ideal background to meet the challenges the role presents. I hope the IoR members will give me the support and opportunity to undertake this important role.

My career began in the refrigeration industry in 1968, with Prestcold, and continued, but for a two-year gap, through to 1985.

I moved to Marks and Spencer in 1986, where I was initially a regional engineer, and part of an 18 strong team! I continued as Refrigeration Manager in until my retirement in 2012.

I have been active within The British Refrigeration Association over an extensive period, initially as chair of its End user group, then as President.

Since leaving Marks and Spencer I have operated as an independent consultant. Having no further involvement with the BRA, I looked toward the Institute of Refrigeration and I was elected to The Institute Council in April 2013.

I believe our industry needs to achieve a higher profile in engineering terms and to be recognised for the important impact it has on life in general. I am currently involved with the Institute’s marketing committee and I can see this will be an important challenge in the coming years.

We face major challenges with the development of new refrigerants, the introduction of alternative technologies and the F Gas regulation, so I want to be instrumental in moving the IoR forward to support the refrigeration industry, helping it to improve its environmental efficiencies.

Within the industry, there is a delicate balance between academia and the commercial world. They are both important to the future of our industry and need to be working cohesively together.  We need to build on the successes achieved in recent years by the IOR’s SIRACH networking group, by its technical conferences and by the wider approach to technical papers. I want the IoR to be the first choice when members need access to information and technical guidance.

The commitment shown by IOR secretary Miriam Rodway and her team and the enthusiasm they all show is fantastic and they continue to deliver consistently. I look forward to the opportunity of building on that with my experience in the industry and bringing a different perspective with my experience as an end user.

I would also like to encourage more people from the industry with specific skills to become involved with the IoR and to see the values it brings.

Stephen Gill (right)

I have been aware of the Institute of Refrigeration from the time I first joined the industry.  I was encouraged to join by my first boss. I worked my way through the IOR grades from ‘Student’ to ‘Fellow’ and have been actively involved in committee work for almost 20 years.  I was both delighted and humbled when I was invited by the Executive Council to stand for President.  It is something that earlier in my career I would never have dreamed would be even remotely possible.  I consider it a great honour.

I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a wide and varied career in this industry. It has given me the opportunity to work with some quietly amazing people on many interesting projects.  Refrigeration is an international language and the skills I have learned in the trade have enabled me to work in many countries around the world.  I hope to bring my domestic and international experience to the role of President.

The Institute is doing a great amount of good work.  It must continue to speak with authority, and influence. It is heartening to see the IOR’s Education Committee up and running again as this is an area of importance for everyone in the industry. The technical evening papers are now reaching a wider audience with the advent of webinars, and the Technical committee and Service Engineers Section has long been a source of quality, reliable, impartial and often invaluable information.

But quality alone is just the beginning.  The real challenge that the Institute faces today is getting attention for its excellent products and services, and for its members; the real challenge is getting noticed in an increasingly noisy world.   I believe that creating an effective platform will be the key to the Institute’s success in the changing communication landscape that we live in.  

This industry is wonderfully rich in the diversity of those working within it, and the challenges that they face in their working lives.  The Institute must remain relevant to them, at whatever stage they are in their career, in whatever role they are in, and whatever sector they work in. The key is to understand what is ‘relevant’ and important. The only way to do that is to engage with our members.

Professional bodies were born in a different time, and while their values and the common interests of their membership may remain the same, those in modern industry no longer have to pay fees to find the latest information; Websites, blogs, apps and search engines have removed the role of information gatekeepers

Social media technologies have changed everything and while navigating its complexities may be daunting to many, the opportunity to reach an enthusiastic global audience is an exciting prospect.  The potential for engaging with our own members in new ways has never been greater and is something we need to explore.  It is essential that we continue to explore new ways to deliver value to our membership.  This desire to evolve has been a driving-force of the current Presidency and is something that I hope to continue.  

Readers' comments (1)

  • Just to note that we have put this online in a bid to introduce the individual candidates to the wider industry.
    It is not the place for a discussion on the Institute's merits or for people to say which is their preference!

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