Ian Harwood, F.AIRAH
Ian Harwood, F.AIRAH, is a mechanical consulting engineer and the director of HDConsult. He is also AIRAH's current – and longest-serving – national President, coming to the position in 2017.
Harwood is based in Perth, WA – about a three hour drive from Corrigin, the small wheatbelt town his parents were originally from.
He says that as a result of his work as a consulting engineer, he has been able to travel the world. This includes an early posting at Norman Disney and Young in London involving projects across Europe.
Now a member of AIRAH for over 20 years, he tells us how he found himself working in HVAC&R; what some career highlights have been; and where he sees the industry going.
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
I originally wanted to be a mechanic and follow in my father's footsteps. Instead, my parents worked hard to send me to a good school and encouraged me to further my studies. So, I ended up studying electrical engineering, electronic engineering, and then later on mechanical engineering. I ended up being offered a job in the industry purely by chance.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
I first became a member of AIRAH in 1997.
What's your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
Standing on top of a project I was working on in London – Paternoster Square, which is the set of new buildings immediately adjacent St Paul's Cathedral.
The builder invited the team to a “topping out” ceremony on the site. We were standing on the top of the incomplete concrete shell of the building, within a stone's throw of St Paul's Cathedral's dome top – in London, with a beer in hand, in the snow. It was amazing.
What's something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
Some contractors believe that engineers sit behind a desk and don’t understand the real world. I believe that the minority has tarred the reputation for the rest of us.
Those who know me well will know that I am very much hands on. I performed my own office fit out (on the tools myself – within the allowable constraints of compliance and licensing of course!) and I am not afraid of getting involved.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
Energy efficiency and buildings with net zero emissions will be where it continues to head. Evolutions of this and tighter constraints in terms of the regulations will be par for the course.
We already know of many innovations in HVAC that haven’t yet become mainstream, which will mature as time progresses.
I would like to believe that more passive forms of air conditioning will ultimately be more commonplace.