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“Cool Careers” webinars planned for World Refrigeration Day

ASTON ON TRENT, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, 23 April 2021: A series of webinars focusing on the cool careers that make the world better are coming in June to celebrate World Refrigeration Day, June 26, the World Refrigeration Day Secretariat said through a Press release.

The Secretariat said it will partner with seven organisations to make students and young professionals globally aware of career opportunities in fields relying on refrigeration technology.

By way of listing the issues expected to come up for discussion in June, the Secretariat posed the following questions: Who researches how food can be preserved from its source to the table and how vaccines and medicines can be shipped around the world? Who enables data centres to function? How can climate change be stabilised while not sacrificing modern convenience? Who safely manages the processes that enable air to be cooled? How can the quality of indoor air be improved, and disease transmission prevented?

The people, “cooling champions,” and the careers that make modern life possible will be spotlighted in “cool careers” webinars over two weeks in June, the Secretariat said.

Organised as part of the day’s 2021 campaign theme, “Cooling Champions: Cool Careers for a Better World”, the webinars will be conducted by groups whose networks reach into developed and developing nations, the Secretariat said. Campaign partners are UNEP OzonAction, ASHRAE, EPEE, FAIAR, IIR, ISHRAE and U-3ARC, it added. The objective is to inspire students and those early in their career path to join the more than 15 million people worldwide currently employed in the refrigeration sector, making the world better, it further added.

“Partnering with these organizations enables the refrigeration industry to reach out globally, with particular emphasis on developing countries, to expand the workforce that supports life-giving and society-dependent technologies,” said Steve Gill, Founder & Head, World Refrigeration Day Secretariat. “Opportunities within the industry abound for young people with a wide range of career aspirations. Advanced cooling technologies provide them with a profession that improves life in their communities and in the world as a whole.”

According to the Secretariat, each campaign partner will target career opportunities with webinars in the language common within that network. Special emphasis will be given to sectors that are commonly less known, like Cold Chain, Refrigerant Management, Indoor Air-Quality, Sustainability, Heat Pumps, and Not-in-Kind Technologies. Gender equality and promoting women in cooling careers will be highlighted in this year’s campaign as well, it said, adding that the schedule of webinars and topics will be available in the coming weeks at www.worldrefrigerationday.org.

Digitalisation of cold chain assets

While 2020 will undoubtedly join the pantheon of eminently forgettable years in modern recorded history, it will be remembered as the time when we further strengthened the food sector by making use of opportunities presented by technology and other disciplines. Indeed, it would be accurate to say that the pandemic sent food retailers into a tizzy with consumers relying on e-commerce platforms more than ever.

Now, amidst the melee that ensued on the front end, very few noticed the steady rise of IoT acceleration at the back end or the machinery. With that, the need for digitalisation of refrigeration technical assets started gaining pace with the objective of improved energy efficiency.

Since October 2020, companies such as Eliwell Schneider Electric, Danfoss, Carel, Carrier, Emerson, Bitzer and Daikin vigorously started showcasing their digital solutions through such shows as e-Chillventa. The digital ‘show of strength’ highlighted the importance attached to digital transformation and its vast positive implications on operational efficiency. Based on these developments, CPI Industry, which is organising the Food Chain conference – and in doing do so, stands on the threshold of conducting the 10th edition of the event – has aptly themed it as, “Digital transformation of cold chain & food machinery technical assets”.

Apart from the topic of food safety, the conference will be a platform for brainstorming on IoT acceleration, which is one of the main pillars of Industry 4.0 in back-end technical assets. Digital transformation is the current business buzz-term in the GCC region, and I do believe there is considerable untapped market potential for this in cold chain verticals.

What is digitalisation? How is it different from digitisation? Is it technological or cultural?

Who are responsible for making it happen? How does it help the cold chain verticals? Whom does it benefit? Why do we need it? To what extent does it play a role in energy and eco efficiency and sustainability? What are the human and technology-related processes? What are the skills required and their availability in the region? Is digital transformation a bane or a boon? Do we indeed need to incorporate digitalisation to progress?

I look forward to answering these and more in the April issue.

The writer is an independent cold chain consultant after having served in the refrigeration sector in the GCC region as part of major MNCs. In May 2021, he will serve as Chairperson of the 10th edition of the Middle East Cold Chain Food Safety Conference, popularly known as Food Chain. He may be contacted at rasubra7@yahoo.com

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