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Finalists announced for AIRAH Awards 2021

AIRAH has announced the finalists for the 2021 AIRAH Awards, highlighting the leaders of the HVAC&R and building services industry across 12 categories.

Due to the uncertainty around ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, AIRAH made the decision to reschedule the Awards Gala to Thursday, February 17, 2022 (to be held at Doltone House, Pyrmont Point, NSW).

In another year marked by the pandemic, ventilation and indoor air quality have received much attention from mainstream media.

However, public appreciation of the HVAC&R industry remains relatively modest. AIRAH Chief Executive Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, hopes the Awards will play a role in making the industry more visible.

“By celebrating these projects and people, the AIRAH Awards seek to raise the profile of our industry,” Gleeson says.

The finalists this year include:

Student of the Year Award – Higher Education or Research

  • Ashfaque Chowdhury, Affil.AIRAH – Central Queensland University
  • Soha Matour, Stud.AIRAH – Queensland University of Technology
  • Craig Pickup, Stud.AIRAH – University of Wollongong

Student of the Year – Trade (sponsored by LG)

  • James Errington, Stud.AIRAH – TAFE SA
  • Jason Evangelidis, Stud.AIRAH – CFM Air Conditioning
  • Jessica Lonsdale, Stud.AIRAH – South Metropolitan TAFE

Future Leader (sponsored by A.G. Coombs)

  • Malik Awais, Affil.AIRAH – Johnson Controls
  • Iain Stewart, Affil.AIRAH – Exergenics
  • Alyce Wilson, Affil.AIRAH – HydroChem

Excellence in Innovation (sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric)

  • 25 King – A.G. Coombs and Aurecon
  • Advancing Renewable Energy with Thermal Energy Storage – Glaciem Cooling Technologies
  • Queensland Children’s Hospital – exOptima Digital Twin – Exergenics

Excellence in Refrigeration

  • ARENA-WF Montague – Glaciem Cooling Technologies
  • Fernhurst – Scantec Refrigeration Technologies

Excellence in HVAC&R Research

  • Model predictive control (MPC) to improve HVAC operation – Keivan Bamdad Masouleh

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

  • Refrigeration Teaching Section Ultimo College, TAFE NSW

Excellence in Sustainability

  • 12 Creek Street – The Annex – NDY
  • 25 King – A.G. Coombs and Aurecon
  • Armadale Aquatic Centre – PDF Engineering

Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade

  • ACT Schools HVAC Upgrades – ESBS
  • HVAC Optimisation Stage 2 – Woolworths Group
  • The Hayesbery – HDR
  • The University of Queensland AIBN Heat Pump Retrofit – NDY

Product of the Year (sponsored by HVAC&R Search)

  • Air Purifier V3R Bio-clean Gel – SAN-AIR
  • Kaire Unit – Camfil
  • The McMonty – Medihood
  • NEO – ActronAir
  • PEAK Platform – CIM

Innovative use of Renewable Energy in HVAC&R

  • Advancing Renewable Energy with Thermal Energy Storage – Glaciem Cooling Technologies
  • Advancing Solar Energy and Thermal Storage – University of Wollongong

WR Ahern Award (sponsored by Ecolibrium)
This prize is awarded to the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium.

  • “Change in carpark ventilation” – February 2020 Ecolibrium
    by Rob Lord, M.AIRAH and Emily Smith
  • “Assessing the performance of fire sprinkler systems with fast-response heads” – May 2020 Ecolibrium
    by Firas Shawash, M.AIRAH.
  • “Effective integration of polymer plate heat exchangers – A simulation study for evaluating their use in tall commercial office buildings” – June 2020 Ecolibrium
    by Arjun Adhikari; Professor Guan H. Yeoh; Dr Chris Menictas, M.AIRAH; and Dr Victoria Timchenko.

James Harrison Medal

The winner of the James Harrison Medal – AIRAH’s most prestigious recognition in honour of the highest levels of individual achievement in Australian HVAC&R – will be announced next month.

Gleeson says the finalists are selected by an expert and independent panel of judges who are ambassadors for HVAC&R and building services industries.

“We are very much looking forward to celebrating the finalists – and announcing the winners – at the AIRAH Awards Gala,” says Gleeson.

Tickets to the Gala are available to purchase here, or click here more information about the finalists.


The AIRAH Awards are sponsored by:

  • Gala sponsor: Daikin
  • Student of the Year – Trade sponsor: LG
  • Future Leader Award sponsor: A.G. Coombs
  • Excellence in Innovation sponsor: Mitsubishi Electric
  • Product of the Year Award sponsor: HVAC&R News
  • WR Ahern Award sponsor: Ecolibrium
  • Supporter: i-Hub

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