Christopher Ward, M.AIRAH
Why is HVAC&R important?
The HVAC&R industry has played and will continue to play a critical role in the advancement of humans as we step through the decades. To put it simply, HVAC&R has allowed humans to push the boundaries of our existence – permitting us to survive and excel in adverse environments which would otherwise be out of our reach. We have colonized the polar landscapes, pushed ever deeper into our oceans, risen higher into our stratosphere and even extended our reach to the solar system in the last 200 years.
HVAC&R has allowed humans to maximise our effectiveness and productively by tailoring the built environment to our thermal needs. We’ve also stimulated our cognitive processes by minimising airborne pollutants and promoting effective ventilation rates.
The influence of HVAC&R hasn’t been limited to the direct perception of our environment either. It has had a significant impact on our proliferation across the planet by allowing humans to thrive in areas of little resource through the effective management of food storage and transport. This has meant that humans are no longer solely dependent on their local farming communities for survival and has allowed cuisines that were traditionally restricted by the boundary of distance to be explored without leaving the comfort of your home.
HVAC&R has not only provided a solid future for our families, it has also enabled us to better preserve the past. Tightly controlled environments now protect some of history’s greatest treasures, allowing future generations to explore and understand the cultures of the past. At the same time, similar facilities are preserving strains of our current culture by archiving and storing samples of our environmental diversity to ensure the continuance of our food sources should a natural disaster occur.
Finally, HVAC&R has allowed humans to advance technologically by effectively and efficiently transferring waste energy (heat) away from everything from the smallest microchip to the largest nuclear reactor cooling tower. It is this advancement in technology that has separated us from the natural order, allowing us to prosper as a species above all else.
What do you do, and what is the most satisfying aspect of your work?
As a consulting mechanical engineer in the commercial buildings industry, I assist clients in making their spaces work through the effective implementation of mechanical systems. This can range from simple variable refrigerant air-cooled DX (direct expansion) systems to much more complex waste heat co-generation plant.
The most satisfying aspect of my role in the industry is assisting clients to realise the aspirations they have for their project. I’ve found it’s only through the critical role of consulting that the engineering can be effective.
What will you be doing to celebrate World Refrigeration Day?
I’ll be celebrating with a cold drink and an air conditioned office.