The biggest category of this year's awards program is for Male and Female Rising Stars.
The high number of entries made it a tough category to judge as every nominee is a future champion of the HVACR industry. Sponsored by ABB, the three female finalists all represent different sections of industry.
For example, the first finalist, Jessica Teodoro, is a graduate engineer from the Grosvenor Engineering Group. She went straight from school to the company's HVAC design team with her peers describing her as a “gun” in the engineering team.
The next finalist is Heatcraft branch leader, Shane Boyle, a refrigeration mechanic with a passionate resolve to succeed.
Although there are still very few women in the trade, Boyle believes gender is irrelevant when it comes to being a skilled and reliable technician.
The final rising star contender is an application engineer at Bueno Systems, Jessica Thomson. Although she only joined the company last year, Thomson is already a key player in developing root cause analytics for the Bueno product. Her employer, managing director, Leon Wurfel, is a former recipient of the CCN Rising Star Award.
There is certainly a long list of finalists for the Male Rising Star Award including Northrop Consulting Engineers sustainability consultant, Ian Van Eerden, who began his career with the Clean Energy Regulator to ensure compliance with the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
His interests include sustainable development, internal comfort and occupant wellbeing. The second finalist, Automated Air general manager and engineer, Anton Holmes, is making a name for himself by taking the reins of a start up company in the HVACR controls market.
Another finalist is Crest Air Conditioning mechanical engineer, Brian Lieu, who undertakes engineering design and calculations for projects in HVAC and building services. Lieu joined Crest Air last year after working at Allplastics Engineering.
Next up is Temperzone's warranty and commissioning technician, Sean Hart, renowned for keeping up with the latest technologies within the HVAC industry.
It means he has an outstanding ability when it comes to fault finding, diagnostics, and supporting not just mechanical issues but electricals, controls and complex HLI and BMS related problems.
The fifth finalist is Airmaster state manager, Jason Harrison, who has risen through the ranks of the industry at a rapid pace.
He completed his Cert III in 2010 and is currently in his final year of an engineering degree. In 2015 he was promoted to BMS and controls manager before becoming state manager for the NSW branch of Airmaster in August 2016.