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Finalists have been named across 11 categories for the AIRAH Awards 2020, which will be announced in an online event slated for November 10.

“Despite the considerable impact of COVID-19 this year, nomination numbers were healthy, and the people, projects, products and initiatives put forward were most deserving of the judges’ consideration,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH.

“Although 2020 will mostly be remembered for the way it changed our world, it should also be recalled for reaffirming the importance of HVAC&R. During Australia’s long-lasting COVID-19 restrictions, our industry ensured we had access to fresh food, it provided controlled environments for treating patients, and it kept householders comfortable while many of us worked or studied from home.

“So, this year it is especially relevant that we celebrate the contribution of Australia’s HVAC&R sector. It’s also a landmark occasion for the Institute – in 2020 AIRAH turns 100, adding a special significance to our industry accolades.”


Student of the Year Award – Higher Education or Research

·         Nima Izadyar, Affil.AIRAH

·         Yunlong Ma, Affil.AIRAH


Future Leader

·         Grace Foo, M.AIRAH

·         James Goard, Affil.AIRAH

·         Steven Williams, Affil.AIRAH


Excellence in Innovation

·         Norman Disney & Young and Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre)

·         McClintock Engineering Group (University of Queensland, Gatton Campus)

·         A.G. Coombs, Steensen Varming, and Wood (UTS Central)


Excellence in Sustainability

·         Norman Disney & Young and Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre)

·         Ample Tech (InterContinental Sydney Double Bay)

·         Plenary Group (Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre)


Denis Joseph Award for Innovative Use of Solar Energy in HVAC&R

·         Veolia and McClintock Engineering Group (Innovative solar thermal water battery) 


Product of the Year

·         Breezair Extraordinaire – Seeley

·         OPA Eco Ultra – Temperzone

·         Precise Control Units – Air Change


Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade

·         McClintock Engineering Group (Advancing HVAC in healthcare)

·         IT Critical Systems (BHP Olympic Dam: DR site upgrade)


Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

·         Norman Disney & Young


Excellence in HVAC&R Research

·         Dr Xiaolin Wang, Affil.AIRAH, ANU. Carbon dioxide hydrate-based cold thermal energy storage and carbon capture

·         Dr Vahid Vakiloroaya, Innowate. Towards Green Buildings


James Harrison Medal

This is the highest honour bestowed on an individual at the AIRAH Awards. The winner will be announced during the Awards ceremony.

WR Ahern Award

This prize is awarded to the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in Ecolibrium.

Eight papers were eligible in 2020, with the three below rated the highest by our judge.

·         “Energy performance of low-charge NH3 systems in practice,” by Stefan Jensen, F.AIRAH, August 2019 Ecolibrium

·         “Improving pump efficiency. A combination of regulation and good design,” by James Spears, M.AIRAH, December 2019 Ecolibrium

·         “Principles of split mass flow and heat-shifting psychrometrics towards efficient comfort management,” by Peter Phillips, F.AIRAH, July 2019 Ecolibrium

The AIRAH Awards 2020 will be held as a free-admission virtual event on Tuesday November 10 at 4.30pm (NSW, Vic, ACT, Tas) | 4pm (SA) | 3.30pm (Qld) | 3pm (NT) | 1.30pm (WA).

For more information and to register for the Awards ceremony, go to

Thanks to our sponsors:

Event sponsor

Future Leader Award sponsor
A.G. Coombs

Excellence in Sustainability Award sponsor

WR Ahern Award sponsor

Product of the Year Award sponsor

This story and the accompanying image were provided courtesy of AIRAH Communications.

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