Professor Graeme Maidment has used his IOR President’s Speech to urge the cooling industry to help bring in more engineers.
Professor Maidment told the audience that the cooling industry had good potential for growth, but that this growth would create a need for engineering resources.
Mr Maidment said: “With growth of key sectors there will be more cooling demand and this will require more engineers with greater skills. They will be increasingly required to be more environmentally proactive, play a leadership role in sustainable development, work across disciplines to deliver large scale resource and carbon savings, implement a raft of new environmental legislation and utilise many new and commercially available technologies as and when they come to market.
“But to ensure our industry is prepared to meet these demands, it needs a future supply of engineers with the right skills.”
Mr Maidment identified a range of factors that could see the cooling industry growing, including government policies to increase UK manufacturing, boosting the food cold chain, and incentives for the take-up of low carbon technologies such as heat pumps.
Other drivers would include increased demand for cooling in medical applications and for air conditioning in the developing world, along with the continuing need for cooling of electronics in data centres, aerospace and military applications. Meanwhile, home shopping would see a massive boost to chilled distribution and transport.
Mr Maidment added that the industry must do more to attract the next generation: “With the possibility of a skills shortage, it is important that we attract more young people into our industry as well as inspire those already involved in it. It is critical that we attract more females and people from different backgrounds in to our industry. We need to have clear career development routes for both those employed and those leaving school with an interest in engineering.”