Student of the Year Award – Higher Education or Research – AIRAH Awards 2021 finalists

Open to all AIRAH members, recognising work carried out during 2019/2020.

This award is given to a student demonstrating outstanding commitment to their studies and/or research at any level in the HVAC&R industry. Nominations can only be made by a third party, and are restricted to AIRAH members only.

Ashfaque Chowdhury, Affil.AIRAH

With a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters of Engineering (Research) to his name, Chowdhury undertook a PhD at the School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, completing his thesis in 2020.

Chowdhury has focused on the numerical, theoretical, and experimental aspects of sustainable and resilient energy technologies. This has been applied in low-emission climate-resilient cooling, building system performance enhancements, and thermal energy conversion.

Recognised by his peers as a great mentor of undergraduate engineers, and an excellent advocate for STEM in high schools, Chowdhury has also been involved in developing flexible learning pathways for regional students.

Soha Matour, Stud.AIRAH

A PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology, Matour has focused on designing a building facade that save energy and reduces cooling load in warm climates. Although double-skin facades (DSF) have shown promise, in subtropical zones they can cause overheating. Matour has explored a new DSF design that can take advantage of external slat-type shading devices and wind-induced ventilation for the DSF's cavity.

Using her knowledge and skills in CFD simulation, Matour intends to extend her PhD research to the next level, investigating the effect of the proposed facade on the indoor environment and occupants’ thermal comfort.

Craig Pickup, Stud.AIRAH

A research student at the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, Pickup has accumulated skills in renewable energy in buildings, advanced HVAC&R systems, and thermal energy storage technologies. He also has direct industry experience, with three years of working experience as a production engineer at Daikin Australia.

Pickup was part of the Team UOW Solar Decathlon Desert Rose house project that won second place in the international Solar Decathlon competition in Dubai in 2018.

Through his Honours thesis project, he has also carried out research on phase change material thermal energy storage. His current Masters project is on renewable energy in cold storage warehousing.