"I enjoy the sense of pride at being a part of a great engineering team."

Gary McVittie, Technical Manager

Gary McVittie FInstR has been an integral part of the Star Refrigeration family since he commenced his journey as an Apprentice Refrigeration Engineer back in 2000. While working as a Refrigeration Engineer, he completed a BEng (Hons) in Building Services Engineering, transitioning from Service Engineer to Design Engineer before progressing to Technical Manager in 2010, Product Manager in 2022 and consultancy services in 2023.

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 and long for?

I completed a 4 year apprenticeship with one year at a training college followed by 3 years at Grimsby College to complete my NVQ then continuing on to study at degree level.

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

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

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

After my apprenticeship, I became a branch Service Engineer and moved into a Design Engineer role halfway through my degree studies. I then progressed to Technical Manager in 2010 and Product Manager in 2022. I worked on almost all industrial contracts and was 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 from 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 maintain the system.

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

In 2023, I moved into a consultant role with Star Technical Solutions. It’s been 24 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?

My current responsibilities include providing technical advice on design, energy efficiency audits, health and safety, and best practices to a wide range of customers. I also deliver technical training presentations, both to customers and internally to colleagues.

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 now have a very good understanding of what most customers want most of the time. This is essential to offer the best possible advice and support the customer on their journey to Net Zero!

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.

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

The growth into heating and renewable technologies.

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 that I wish I had known while using the tools, but I wouldn’t exchange that for where I am now.
Gary McVittie, Technical Manager