Mikaila Ganado, M.AIRAH
As of May 19, 2020, and for the first time in our 100-year history, AIRAH's board will achieve gender equity at the election. This comes through the election of Mikaila Ganado, M.AIRAH.
Based out of Sydney, Ganado – who is also the Associate Director of AIRAH's NSW committee and Chair of the Women of AIRAH Special Technical Group – is a mechanical engineer and one of the owners of GWA Consultants.
In her spare time, she tells us that she likes to keep active with kung fu and hiking. Above all else, though, is her passion for empowering and supporting women in HVAC&R.
With two daughters to keep her on her toes, Ganado undoubtedly has the impetus to inspire them – just as her father did in introducing her to the industry from an early age.
She shares insights into her experiences with AIRAH and how she sees HVAC&R developing in our 100 Faces Q&A.
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
My father actually! He is an HVAC engineer, and he used to bring his work home when I was young. He'd spend a lot of time colouring in ductwork (pre-Bluebeam days) so I thought that was engineering. As I got older, I really enjoyed maths and science. Having been exposed to engineering from such a young age it just seemed like a logical choice.
I went straight into the water industry when I graduated, designing and building industrial water recycling plants. When I decided to try something new, it was HVAC. I've been here ever since.
What's your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
Definitely getting a phone call from AIRAH President Ian Harwood telling me I'd been voted onto the Board of Directors. That was very exciting.
Another favourite memory was attending the opening night of the Sydney Coliseum Theatre at Rooty Hill after we designed the mechanical services and controls. I'd been involved in the project for four years, in which time I'd also fallen pregnant and had a baby. My parental leave accidentally perfectly aligned with the tender period such that I didn't even miss a project meeting.
To work as lead engineer on a project that was so challenging technically and personally due to the need to juggle pregnancy, work, and a newborn was a huge accomplishment – and one that I'm very proud of.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
What's something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
I find my work very rewarding. I get to draw something on a piece of paper and see it get built. It’s very satisfying.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
In a few ways.
The demographics of the industry are going to change a great deal over the coming years.
The amount of collaboration required to find the best solution for the indoor environment without sacrificing the greater environment is creating a new kind of engineer and exposing a completely new talent pool to our industry.
It's time to start questioning our reasonable indoor air comfort set-points and control bands. I'd love to see building owners encouraging, and tenants embracing, a flexible dress code within their spaces – dressing for the seasons and controlling the indoor air temperatures accordingly.