It’s of little surprise that Collins Dictionary made its word of the year “lockdown”. With the coronavirus touching every aspect of our lives, it was the obvious choice. Yet the lexicon publishers could well have chosen “pivot” as the focus of its attention. Everyone pivoted in 2020.
For AIRAH, adjusting to COVID-19 and the measures taken to deal with it meant that the “jewel in AIRAH’s crown” – the Institute’s annual award presentation dinner – became an online event.
Held as the culmination of AIRAH’s Outlook 2020 international HVAC&R conference, the awards celebrated the leading people, projects and products in Australia’s HVAC&R industry across 11 categories.
The winners’ list features some of Australia’s most sustainable buildings and innovative upgrades, as well as young researchers and rising stars of the sector. Phil Carruthers, F.AIRAH, earned AIRAH’s highest honour, the James Harrison Medal, for his contribution to HVAC&R over a career of more than 50 years.
The ceremony was sponsored by Daikin, hosted by comedian Harley Breen, and included messages from industry figures, both local and international.
“We’ve all had to adjust and adapt during 2020,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “But I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to maintain some traditions – such as the AIRAH Awards. In 2020 we are celebrating our Centenary, so it was especially important we hold the event this year.
“It’s also fitting that we wrap up our major event of 2020 by celebrating HVAC&R, because without our industry, Australia may not have survived the pandemic. Through this year’s lockdowns, we relied more heavily than ever on heating, cooling and refrigeration to keep our cold chains working, keep our data centres running, and keep our hospitals and healthcare facilities operating.”
Excellence in HVAC&R Research
Dr Xiaolin Wang, Affil.AIRAH
Australian National University
Carbon dioxide hydrate-based cold thermal energy storage and carbon capture
Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade
IT Critical Systems
BHP Olympic Dam: DR site upgrade
Denis Joseph Award for Innovative Use of Solar Energy in HVAC&R
Veolia and McClintock Engineering Group
Innovative solar thermal water battery
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion
Norman Disney & Young
Student of the Year – Higher Education or Research
Nima Izadyar, Affil.AIRAH
Queensland University of Technology
Excellence in Innovation
McClintock Engineering Group
University of Queensland – Gatton Campus