Industrial Refrigeration Systems, Services, Plant and Equipment Design & Manufacture - Star Refrigeration

Gary McVittie

Gary McVittie has worked for Star for 16 years, starting off as an apprentice, then moving into Design before progressing to his current role of Technical Manager.


How did you start working for Star?

I had worked in the factory during my school work experience and for a summer placement before applying for an apprenticeship. I was told to submit my application to the Bellshill office and I started my apprenticeship in October 2000.

What attracted you to the industry or Star in particular?

 A passion for engineering and my Mum working for Star at the time.

What kind of training did you receive from Star?

 I completed a 4 year apprenticechip with one year at a training college followed by 3 years at Grimsby College to complete my NVQ.

 Did you do any further studying after your initial apprenticeship/qualification?

After my apprenticeship I was fortunate enough to be allowed to progress my training to become a Design Engineer and Star sponsored me to attend university to get my Building Services Engineering degree.

What role did you move into after your apprenticeship/qualification?

Service Engineer after my apprenticeship and Design Engineer when half way through my degree studies.

How did you progress to your current role? Has this particular career progression been a long term goal?

It's been 16 years in the making, so far.

What do you specialise in now, or what kind or projects do you work on? How different is it to your previous role?

I work on almost all industrial contracts, plus get to be involved in most development projects in some way. I use a lot of my service knowledge and try to pass on that knowledge to the existing and graduate engineers in the design department. It's very different to working on the tools, and much harder as you have to be able to analyse and understand the data to diagnose problems and not just be able to maintain the system.

How has being in different roles been of benefit to you and the job you do for customers?

I have experience in installation, commissioning, maintenance and service work. I have been dealing with customers face-to-face and over the phone for many years now. I have a good understanding of what most customers want most of the time, but not all unfortunately.

What do you enjoy most about your job, and what are the biggest challenges you face?

I enjoy the satisfaction of being involved in great engineering projects and the sense of pride at being a part of a great engineering team and having great engineering minds to consult with when you are in need of help. 

Where do you see your role progressing?

Growing into the role I currently occupy and then we will have to wait and see.

What excites/interests you about the industry and your part in it now?

The growth into heating and renewable technologies.

Are you a member of any industry associations?

 I'm a member of the IOR and currently working through my CIBSE CEng membership application.

What do you know now about the industry which you wished you had known before?

There are certain things I understood better after being at university or in the design office I wish I knew whilst on the tools, but I wouldn't exchange that for where I am now.

What advice would you give to young people who are just starting a similar career to you?

Keep working hard, you're not at school anymore.

Gary McVittie - Technical Manager