Finalists named for the 2017 AIRAH Awards

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The finalists have been announced for this year’s AIRAH Awards, with an elite selection of the industry’s top projects, products and individuals in contention.

In 2017 an impressive array of nominations was received across the categories, which presented judges with the difficult task of picking the crème de la crème. 

“The calibre of nominations for the AIRAH Awards this year has been astonishing,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “Collectively they have set a brilliant standard when it comes to innovation, leadership, and performance.”

Winners of the AIRAH Awards 2017 will be announced at a presentation dinner held in Sydney on November 2. 


The AIRAH Future Leader Award remains one of the Institute’s most hotly contested categories, with the industry’s brightest emerging leaders competing for the bauble. This year’s finalists are Blake Anderson, M.AIRAH, Aurecon; Brett Saunders, Affil. AIRAH, Hiflow; Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH, CSR Building Products; Julian Cook, Affil.AIRAH, SEMF; Michael Cychowski, M.AIRAH, BSA Allstaff; Peta Blight, M.AIRAH, Devlin Engineering and Management.

The Student of the Year Award – Trade recognises outstanding students at the trade level in the HVAC&R industry. This year’s finalists are Farnam Fathalian, Stud.AIRAH; Nathan Cester, Stud.AIRAH; Nathan Budarick, Stud.AIRAH; and Nathan McHugh, Stud.AIRAH

The Student of the Year Award – Higher Education recognises outstanding students at the higher education level in the HVAC&R industry. This year’s finalists are Federico Tartarini, Stud.AIRAH, University of Wollongong; and Kevin Darmawan, Stud.AIRAH, TAFE NSW Ultimo.

Recognising Australian initiatives that have improved the sustainability of HVAC&R systems or the industry, AIRAH’s Award for Excellence in Sustainability celebrates a crucial area of HVAC&R. Finalists for 2017 are Norman, Disney and Young: Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre; Aurecon and Lendlease: Sunshine Coast University Hospital; Airmaster: Energy audit optimising Emporium; Norman, Disney and Young: International Towers Sydney, Barangaroo South Base Building; and Umow Lai: Legion House/Liberty Place.

AIRAH’s Award for Excellence in Innovation honours the outstanding improvements in Australian HVAC&R achieved through innovation. Finalists for 2017 are Airmaster: 222 Exhibition St; AECOM: AirTrunk Huntingwood; Grosvenor Engineering Group: Grosvenor Ecosystem; Jacobs: Post Entry Quarantine Facility; Umow Lai: Legion House; Strathbrook Industrial Services: Freezer floor heat/liquid sub-cooler.

Finalists in the Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade category sees Norman, Disney and Young’s work on 1 O’Connell St Sydney NABERS Upgrade compete against Interior Engineering/ebm papst/Hiflow: Riverside Centre upgrade; FG Advisory/Monash University: 30 Collins St Upgrade; Frame Group: Sydney Processing Centre – Modernisation Project; Irwinconsult: CSL Global Headquarters Building Redevelopment; and Norman, Disney and Young: London Stores Melbourne Retail Redevelopment.

The Product of the Year Award, now in its third year, sees four finalists competing for the coveted gong. The finalists are Air Change: ACDHUM-LD; ActronAir: QUE; B&C Refrigeration: Aerowhip soft-serve ice cream machine; and Optergy: Proton.

A new award, the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award recognises and celebrates organisations and individuals who have shown leadership to foster truly inclusive levels of inclusiveness within their ranks. The finalists are Ura Sarfejoo, M.AIRAH: Women of AIRAH; Aurecon: Future Ready by Design through Gender Inclusion program; Ebm-papst: One ebm-papst; Norman, Disney and Young: International Women in Engineering Day celebrations; and Peta Blight, M.AIRAH: Women of AIRAH WA division.

The WR Ahern Award is awarded to the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium over the previous year. Eight papers are in contention this year.

Also, in 2017 AIRAH will be presenting the James Harrison Medal, the Institute’s highest honour, to an individual who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to the HVAC&R industry. 


Tables are selling out fast but there are still some available. Ticket prices are $190 per person or $1,800 for a table of 10. Please download the registration form to register for a table of 10, or email to register individually.

For further information about the AIRAH Awards, please contact the AIRAH office on (03) 8623 3000 or email


Event sponsor
Student of the Year – Trade
LG Electronics
Student of the Year – Higher Education and Research
Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade
Future Leader Award
A.G. Coombs
Excellence in Innovation
Standards Australia
Excellence in Refrigeration