"If I had known how diverse and bespoke the refrigeration systems were, I would have joined the industry earlier."

Bruce Smeaton, Senior Consultant at STS

After graduating from Glasgow University, Bruce worked initially with heat exchangers, fans and compressors. After this, he moved to work for Star within in design department and in 2014 moved over to STS where he has progressed further to Senior Consultant.

Tell us about your education background

I went to the University of Glasgow and studied Mechanical Design Engineering I chose Mechanical Design Engineering because I was always interested in physics, technology and creating new designs. I learned a lot of theory about thermodynamics, mechanics and fluid dynamics. I finally graduated in 2001 from the University of Glasgow.

What attracted you to this industry?

I have always been interested in engineering, especially design. I found that my background in compressor technology gave me transferable skills for a career in industrial refrigeration.

What was your first contact with the industry?

I worked with heat exchangers, fans and compressors for Howden Group between 2001 and 2008.

When did you join STS and what was your first role within Star?

I joined STS in April 2014 after spending five years as a senior design engineer in the design department of Star Refrigeration.

What type of projects do you work on?

There is quite a good variety of work in STS which keeps things interesting. I have written specifications for new plant, investigated operational issues, evaluated system efficiency and conducted hazard assessments.

How does your job as a consultant relates to your previous job in the design department?

Working in the design department has given me a good foundation in Star systems and a network of useful contacts. I can conduct all the required calculations and select all the necessary components to design a robust, reliable and compliant refrigeration system.

What type of training have you received when you join Star and now STS?

I have been on a number of short courses such as “pressure vessel design” and “Mentor training”. Since joining STS, I have been able to assist with site commissioning to learn more about plant operation in the field.

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

The refrigeration industry is always changing. New environmental legislation has forced the industry to change and innovate. This seems likely to continue. New refrigerants and new systems are always coming into the market and each new technology comes with new challenges and a new learning curve. If I had known how diverse and bespoke the refrigeration systems were, I would have joined the industry earlier.

In your opinion, what are the biggest industry challenges?

Under investment, poor maintenance and short-sightedness with regard to efficiency and the total cost of ownership.

What are the benefits of being in your role?

The work is always varied. I work on small batches of work that get done quite quickly. This keeps the work interesting because it is satisfying to finish each batch of work and move on to the next project.

What makes you feel good in your job?

My colleagues in Star have always helped and supported me and made me feel welcome in the team. I am happy to have the opportunity to work and engage with a very diverse range of customers from different sectors, learn what matters to them most and understand their business specific needs
Bruce Smeaton, Senior Consultant at STS