Two international keynotes to headline AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2017 Conference   

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has named a brace of respected industry identities to speak at Refrigeration 2017, which will take place March 27–28 in Melbourne.

Monika Witt, the vice-chair of European natural refrigerant initiative Eurammon, and Bruce Nelson, Affil.AIRAH, the president of US-based Colmac Coil Manufacturing, will address the conference. 

“Securing speakers the calibre of Monika Witt and Bruce Nelson is a real coup for AIRAH’s Refrigeration 2017 Conference,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “Their keynote addresses will set the tone for this timely and essential event.”

To be held at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, the two-day conference has a wide scope. It will look at the state of the industry, how it may respond to the challenges initiated by COP 21 and the global HFC phase-down, and how this will impact upon educators, legislators, regulators, end users, engineers, consultants and technicians.

A qualified mechanical engineer, since 1998 Witt has been the managing director of industrial refrigeration firm TH.WITT Kältemaschinenfabrik, a family-owned company founded in 1896. Witt also serves on the board of directors of Eurammon, for which she serves as vice-chair.

In her presentation “The role of natural refrigerants in the future – an update from Europe”, Witt will outline the status of refrigerants in Europe, the steps required to meet climate targets, and other aspects to consider for a sustainable future.

“The F-Gas phase-down is under way around the world,” says Witt. “The international industry will have to decide which way to go – natural and/or HFOs?”
Delivering the conference’s second keynote address will be Bruce Nelson, Affil.AIRAH. President of US-based Colmac Coil Manufacturing, Nelson serves on the IIAR board of directors and executive committee. Having authored many technical papers about refrigeration and heat transfer, Nelson also holds several US and international patents. 

In his presentation “Politics, refrigeration and the Donald effect”, Nelson will discuss the developments in low-charge ammonia refrigeration systems in light of an uncertain and shifting political environment following the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Within hours of his inauguration as US President, Trump ordered all mention of climate change removed from the White House website.

“The future application of synthetic and natural refrigerants in the USA will be determined by the politics of climate change,” Nelson says. “It will also be driven by safety concerns and regulations. There has been a shift in the political landscape, where there is an expectation that the politics of both climate change and safety regulations will be impacted by the ‘Donald Effect’.”

According to Nelson, low-charge ammonia represents inherently safer technology. He says it can be applied with significantly reduced power consumption, zero direct emissions and ultra-low indirect emissions.  

Refrigeration 2017 Conference attendees can also look forward to engaging presentations from the likes of Ben Adamson, F.AIRAH (Refrigeration Engineering International); Pat McInerney (Department of the Environment and Energy); Mike Baker, M.AIRAH (AJ Baker & Sons); and many more. 

The conference is sponsored by A-Gas, Bitzer and Heatcraft.

For more information about Refrigeration 2017, go to