Former IOR president in list produced for National Women in Engineering Day
Jane Gartshore has featured in a list of the UK’s top influential female engineers, chosen by the Daily Telegraph in collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society from almost 900 nominations.
Her inclusion in the list also provides valuable recognition of the importance of refrigeration and air conditioning as an engineering profession.
It includes many familiar senior engineers’ names such as Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of EEF the Manufacturers’ Organisation.
It includes other engineers in high-profile roles, such as Steph McGovern from BBC Breakfast, a former engineer who continues to do a huge amount to encourage the next generation into engineering, and Chi Onwurah MP – the only female engineer in Parliament.
Jane Gartshore is one of the highest profile women in the refrigeration industry, serving as the President of the Institute of Refrigeration from 2007 to 2010, having previously chaired its Education and Training Committee and is also on the Council of the British Refrigeration Association.
Throughout her career she has taken a lead in sustainability issues such as energy efficiency, deployment of natural refrigerants and reduction of refrigerant leakage. She has also built an international profile, for example working with UNEP to support the phase out of CFCs in developing countries.
Ms Gartshore said: “Engineering offers so many opportunities to work all over the world in a huge range of sectors. It’s an awesome career - every day is challenging and interesting.”
She added: “I chose to study engineering at university on the advice on my (male) physics teacher – it seemed more interesting than teaching and more attainable than being an astronaut. My entry into the refrigeration industry in 1977 was purely because I was offered a graduate trainee position by a compressor manufacturer.”
She initially worked on the design and development of commercial equipment and then moved into technical sales in a global troubleshooting role, before in 1991, setting up Cool Concerns with another engineer to provide practical training and consultancy for the industry.
Ms Gartshore added: “We have trained thousands of engineers on topics ranging from the basics to the safe application of flammable refrigerants. I have worked all over the world and most of that work has been to do with the deployment of alternative refrigerants, in which the UK leads the world. In the UK, I also work with clients to help them comply with standards and regulations and on various sustainability projects. None of this is achieved on my own – engineering is very much a team job and this is part of its attraction.”