Sam Corlett, Industrial Refrigeration Engineer – Fast Track
Sam worked in the manufacture of commercial refrigeration equipment and was looking to progress into a broader reaching industry that would satisfy his thirst for knowledge. He enjoys the mechanical aspect of his job the most, getting to replace and rebuild complex machines in small time frames, problem solving and fixing issues. His advice to engineers from other disciplines looking to train in industrial refrigeration would be to concentrate on gaining a working knowledge of the vapor compression cycle and not to be afraid to apply your own knowledge from other fields to solve refrigeration problems.
What is your educational and professional background?
I did my A levels and prior to Star I worked in the manufacture of commercial refrigeration equipment. I had worked my way up from shop floor to an engineering post within the research and development department of the business.
What attracted you to the refrigeration industry and to Star in particular?
I wanted to expand the knowledge that I had gained in the manufacturing industry and progress into a broader-reaching, more complex and technologically advanced industry that would satisfy my thirst for knowledge.
Describe your fast-track training experience with Star Refrigeration.
Due to covid, the majority of my training was split between theoretical training sessions with my training manager via Teams and on-the-job learning with my mentor and the team of engineers I work with.
During this time, I was lucky enough to spend several months with the industrial contracts team working on the installation of a new refrigeration system for a client in the temperature-controlled storage and distribution sector. This exposed me to many facets of an installation project from hanging condensate drains to watching low charge ammonia chillers being craned into position to helping the commissioning team firing up the plc for the first time.
What does your current role involve?
Now that I’ve completed my Fast-Track training, I conduct maintenance visits to customer sites and also help other engineers when we have to undertake complicated tasks.
What do you enjoy most about what you have been working on, and what are your biggest challenges?
I enjoy the mechanical aspect the most, getting to replace and rebuild complex, multi million pound cooling technology in small time frames excites me and now I have the knowledge to do so. I’m enjoying problem solving and fixing issues for our customers which if unresolved can severely impact their business operations.
How long have you been working for Star?
Since January 2021. I like the diverse nature of the work and the different sites and locations you visit daily. One day you are conducting planned preventative maintenance on a modern site and the next day you could be rebuilding a reciprocating compressor from the 1960’s.
What type of role are you looking to develop into in the future?
As career progression goes, I want to fully explore and develop my skills through Star’s internal engineering grading programme and expand my knowledge. In the future, I would look into possibly progressing into the commissioning team.
What advice would you give to engineers from other disciplines looking to re-train as industrial refrigeration engineers?
My advice would be to concentrate on gaining a working knowledge of the vapour compression cycle and not to be afraid to apply your own knowledge from other fields to solve refrigeration problems.