Tamworth Technical Manager wins national Student of the Year Award – 25 years after leaving school

Monday, 15th October 2018

ASCOTT Analytical’s Technical Manager Steve Smith has won a top engineering challeng award.

Steve, who works for the Tamworth-based automotive and aerospace test chamber manufacturer, was honoured at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2018, picking up the Gold Award in the Student of the Year category.

He collected the accolade in front of 600 industry peers at a ceremony at the London Hilton Park Lane Hotel.

Judges drawn from every corner of industry selected a range of innovative projects aimed at tackling environmental and skills challenges across cooling.

Twenty-two prizes were awarded to innovative projects including new focuses on training, energy efficiency and waste recycling.

Steve Smith

The RAC and IOR National Student of the Year award, sponsored by Chemours, saw 10 finalists – including Steve – invited to a special ceremony to recognise their success.

Steve, who was trained by Chillair Training Academy, took the top prize with the Gold Award.
Tom Woolston of Star Refrigeration, who was trained at Eastleigh College received the Silver Award and Ryan Walton of EC Solutions Group took home the Bronze Award.

Steve said he was delighted to be recognised, “It’s a great honour even to have been nominated for the 2018 RAC Cooling Industry Awards, let alone to win.

“I’m hugely grateful to Chillair Training Academy and Ascott Analytical for investing in me.”

Judges said Steve, a former machinist who is now pursuing a degree in engineering, had proved the benefit of training to an individual – particularly since his refrigeration training had come more than 25 years after leaving school.

“It shows what rewards can be gained by education and learning throughout your career,” they said.

Steve’s new-found skills were put into practice at Ascott when it started to build its own test chambers to achieve reliability in sub cooling and humidity control.

Steve was nominated to champion the project, starting from scratch in the world of refrigeration to oversee the chambers’ design.

Tim Hearn, Business Development Manager at Ascott, said: “We couldn’t have done this without Steve’s diligence and professionalism in his study and application of his learning.”

Now Steve uses his experience to coach others, and colleagues paid tribute to the man who is “never too busy to help”

The RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2018 saw 22 prizes awarded to innovative projects that included new focuses concerning training, energy efficiency and waste recycling.

RAC Magazine editor Andrew Gaved said this year’s judging panel, which was drawn from every corner of the industry looked at how industry was facing up to a range of challenges such as F-Gas legislation and changing customer expectations.

After face to face sessions with the judges, a range of companies, individuals and collaboration projects were selected as worthy winners amidst strict competition in areas such as cold chain innovation and low carbon achievement.


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