Brett Hedge, M.AIRAH
Brett Hedge, M.AIRAH, is the national sales and marketing manager at Kirby HVAC&R.
He’s also co-chair of AIRAH’s Refrigeration Special Technical Group (STG) and has been heavily involved in developing and advancing AIRAH’s position statement on HVAC&R licensing in Australia.
Hedge provided his thoughts on the industry and the importance of change and innovation in our 100 Faces Q&A below.
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship starting in 1996 with Kirby Refrigeration.
It was one of many apprenticeships that I applied for as a school leaver. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do; I just wanted a trade. In some respects, you could say the trade picked me rather than me picking the trade.
Since that fateful day all those years ago I have been lucky to work in many roles with many great people and leaders. What started as one of many applications to a job ad that I knew nothing about ended up being a great career choice.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
I have been a member on and off since I was a student.
What's your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
Having the opportunity to help my dad fix his coolroom and freezer room systems at his butcher shop in my early years as an apprentice. Being part of a family that owned a small business, I always understood how tough things could be, and being able to assist my parents through a tough period by putting my skills (and connections) to use was rewarding and humbling.
What's something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
The thing that people should know about me is that I am committed to making change. Being better at what I do and what we can do is what drives me every day.
The most pleasing thing about my career has been the involvement I have had in accelerating the use of CO2 technologies and making them scalable, efficient, and reliable in Australia.
That legacy serves as a real opportunity to shape the future of our industry and the deployment of technologies that reduce the footprint of the HVAC&R systems that we use in the future. That is where I continue to focus my energy outside of the day-to-day.
As a vegetarian and the son of a butcher, I think it is fair to say that I was never going to be your conventional fridgie!
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
Given the impact on the environment and the demand associated with cooling and heating, the footprint of HVAC&R will become a significant focal point over the next 100 years. I can only hope that this increases awareness and highlights the importance of the industry and need for investment.
I am hoping that the recent investment in technological innovation from Richard Branson and the Global Cooling Prize is just the start of things to come.