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2018 RAC Cooling Industry Awards winners unveiled

This year’s judging panel selected a range of innovate projects ranging in size and scope that sought to tackle environmental and skills challenges across cooling

The RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2018 were held at the London Hilton Park Lane Hotel yesterday (September 26) with 22 prizes awarded to innovative projects that included new focuses concerning training, energy efficiency and waste recycling during the event.

RAC Magazine editor Andrew Gaved said this year’s judging panel, which was drawn from every corner of the industry looked at how industry was facing up to a range of challenges such as F-Gas legislation and changing customer expectations.

After face to face sessions with the judges, a range of companies, individuals and collaboration projects were selected as worthy winners amidst strict competition in areas such as cold chain innovation and low carbon achievement.

A full list of the night’s winners is available here with a full breakdown of their work appearing in October’s RAC Magazine.

Among the night’s winners was John Austin Davies, who took the RAC Gold Award, which is supported by the night’s headline sponsor, Wolseley.

John was selected for this year’s prize, which recognises significant long-term progress in working to tackle major environmental issues in the industry, based on 40 years of work where he has sought to push good training practice, as well as raising the profile of natural refrigerant dating back to the 1990s.

John Dye of JD Cooling was unveiled as this year’s recipient of the Fred Jamieson Award for Industry Achievement was given to

The Retail Project of the Year category went to Aldi for its work in rolling out CO2 across 147 stores in the country that includes both new and existing buildings.

The category was described by judges as being closely fought between differing new approaches to natural refrigerant uptake. Carter Synergy and Tesco were given a highly commended rating for their multi-rotary compress packs project at its Shaw Express store.

National Student of the Year

The RAC and IOR National Student of the Year award, sponsored by Chemours, was also presented on the night, with this year’s ten finalists invited to a special ceremony to recognise their success.

Steve Smith of Ascott Analytical, who was trained by Chillair Training Academy, took the top prize with the Gold Award.

Tom Woolston of Star Refrigeration, who was trained at Eastleigh College received the Silver Award and Ryan Walton of EC Solutions Group took home the Bronze Award. Mr Walton was trained by Ellis Training.

John Skelton, chair of judges for this year’s student of the year prize, noted that industry faced significant challenges resulting from an ageing demographic, advances in digital technology and wider uncertainty around how Brexit will impact business and supply chains.

He said, “It’s going to take forward-thinking companies and individuals to ensure that we have a workforce that is fit for the future. We need employers who understand the benefits of investing in individuals, developing individuals and encouraging the right calibre of individual to come into our industry.”

Mr Skelton added that judges had thus year been impressed by three recurring themes that included the commitment of successful entrants to undergo ongoing training and skills development.

The ten finalists were also praised for their ability to demonstrate professionalism under pressure to ensure best practice in their work. Finally, the judges also expressed encouragement in the number of individuals passing their skills onto colleagues.

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