Peta Blight, M.AIRAH
A mechanical engineer born, raised and now working in Perth, Peta Blight, M.AIRAH, is the WA committee diversity champion of the Women of AIRAH Special Technical Group. She also took home the "Future Leader" title at the 2017 AIRAH Awards – a category recognising emerging talent in the Australian HVAC&R industry.
These days Blight is part of the engineering team for CBH Group, Australia's largest co-operative. As the country's biggest exporter of grain, the company's operations encompass storage, handling, transport, marketing and processing.
At CBH, Blight provides support to the operations and maintenance team on engineering issues, and manages the engineering component of change process for the business.
For AIRAH's 100 Faces, Blight answered questions about her career and her hopes for continual HVAC&R growth and innovation.
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
My HVAC involvement always came from good people taking a chance on me.
Initially, I did engineering vacation work in building services with Steve Bowins (BCA Consultants) and then post-graduation I had the privilege of being employed by Nick Devlin (Devlin Engineering and Management) where I developed as a consulting HVAC engineer.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
It must be nearing five years now.
What's your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
Using "it's education" as justification to have our work Christmas party at an indoor skydiving centre.
What's something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
Fundamentally, being an engineer in HVAC taught me that we need to understand the wider system to make things better and that you will never have consensus on “comfortable”. I’ve found these fundamental skills and general understanding are applicable across the board. The HVAC industry relies on us working together to solve problems and I think that enables us to collectively benefit society.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
We will continue to grow and innovate, though my greatest hope is that we question what a reasonable comfort level is. I think this conversation will contribute to us truly achieving long-term sustainability.