Search Results | Star Refrigeration
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"With the right attitude and this understanding of what you are working on, anything is possible."

"I really enjoy the amount of exposure to different challenges and customers sites I receive on a daily basis."

Lylle Perks, Refrigeration Engineer

Star Refrigeration’s Lyell Perks was crowned National Student of the Year at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2014. Lyell began his journey with Star at the Oxford branch in 2011 and became a fully qualified engineer in the summer of 2015 after completing his apprenticeship. Here are Lyell’s thoughts on apprenticeships, becoming Student of the Year, working with Star, and what’s in store for his future in the industry.


“The main benefit is the diversity and range of staff and their knowledge and having access to them daily”

“The variety and the responsibility and autonomy I have been given; seeing the finished product of my work really rewarding.”

Nicola MacDougall, Finance Graduate


“My placement has given me valuable real life experience”

“The main thing that stands out to me is the culture…It was clear what a close knit community the Star staff are and how close the branches are.”

Mehreen Ahmed, Finance Graduate


“It was good to see in person and made me realise engineering was a good choice for me.”

“Ethos has tapped into a market with huge potential whilst having a key focus on reducing impact on the environment – which I think is very special and responsible.”

Tom Paton, Intern at SDA

While studying Mechanical Engineering at Herriot Watt University, Tom has done 3 summer placements with Star. Tom initially worked on Ethos; after this he worked a within in the design department and in 2020 moved over to SDA.


"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.


"I have received practical, hands-on training and theoretical training at a college. The practical aspect of it involved shadowing the most experienced refrigeration engineers in the company to whom I will always be grateful for their continuous support and encouragement."

Paul Newton, Service Supervisor

After breaking his ankle during the first week of his training in the army, Paul Newton joined Star Refrigeration’s Operations Group as an industrial refrigeration apprentice engineer.  His story illustrates the way careers are sometimes forged through unexpected circumstances. Paul’s first career choice was not an apprenticeship, but turned out to be the right one!.  Paul is now a Service Supervisor for Star Refrigeration’s Derby branch.


"I’ll never forget that I left the army on Thursday 28th February and entered into my new engineering job the very next day (yes a Friday)!"

“Star Refrigeration is highly renowned for innovation and for their pioneering technological developments across the world. With an award-winning engineering team, I was confident I was in good hands and was going to learn from the best.”

Dave Bartlett, Operations Training Manager

From star musician to Star Refrigeration– how Star’s Training Manager moved from the army to the office. Dave Bartlett served in the Armed Forces for 18 years. On leaving the military Dave began a career in refrigeration as an engineer with Star, before moving into management. He’s now been with the business for nearly 25 years. We spoke with Dave to find out how the transition happened and what it was like for him.


“Refrigeration has a funny way of getting you hooked. It is fast paced and no two days are the same, which is the way I like it.

“I completed my fast track training pathway in just under a year. A year later I was given the opportunity to become the Branch Contracts Manager. It has been a steep learning curve with many challenges but it is extremely rewarding. There is always someone happy to lend a hand and offer their advice."

Marc Gault, Regional Branch Contracts Manager

Marc Gault decided to transition from the military back to civilian life after serving in many operational tours. He was keen to continue down an engineering career path and had some exposure to refrigeration during his time in the Army. After some research, he reached out to Star and was enrolled into the fast track training programme he completed in under a year.


"There are lots of opportunities for career development and promotion – which I really value."

"I fancied the refrigeration sector as it’s a skilled trade and it would allow me to be mobile, hands on, along with being a fresh new challenge for me.”

Aaron Garner, Refrigeration Engineer

Aaron decided to transition to civilian life after 17 years in the Army. He looked to the refrigeration sector as a new challenge. After more research, he applied for an apprenticeship at Star, using the online learning portal and enrolling in the fast-track program to become an industrial refrigeration engineer at our Manchester branch.


"When I looked into the industry I couldn’t believe the scale of it - refrigeration is needed everywhere.”

"My eyes were firmly focused on Star Refrigeration due to their reputation and attractive employee package. I applied for Star Refrigeration a couple of months prior to leaving the Armed Forces and I was lucky enough to be offered a position at the Newcastle branch as a fast-track engineer, for which I am eternally grateful.”

Steven Abbott, Industrial Refrigeration Engineer

Steven joined Star after over 22 years service in the Army. His journey with Star began through our elearning website, leading to completing the fast-track training programme in just 18 months and becoming an industrial refrigeration engineer.


“Engineering is about creativity, innovation, hands on practical work and problem solving.”

women in engineering 2018

“I work with a really good team of people at Star who are passionate, knowledgeable and ambitious in what they do…There are opportunities to enhance your career, help gain chartership and attend industry training courses and events. It is rewarding being part of company that provides top quality products and services to secure a better future for staff, customers and environment.”

Claire Syme, Design Engineer

After completing her Masters in Chemical Engineering and trialling a few industrial placements and a graduate programme, Claire came across the refrigeration industry. After some research, she applied for a position within Star and joined the Design team in 2016. Read more about her career highlights.


"I admire the active involvement Star have in the development of the refrigeration industry"

“I have undertaken three summer internships and will start a design engineer position after my graduation this summer.”

Brooke McKenna, Chemical Engineer Graduate

Brooke is a student at Strathclyde University, she is close to finishing her Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. After graduating she will start her career as a design engineer with Star.


"Star gave me the opportunity to return to the industry after a long career break – it is fantastic to be back"

"I have benefited from spending time in contracting, consultancy and design. It helps to understand everyone’s different roles in a project and appreciate their individual challenges and objectives. A view of the whole picture is especially helpful in a sales environment."

Anne Flanagan, Business Development Manager

Anne works in Business Development and has a Mechanical Engineering background. She enjoys the balance of sales and engineering within her role. After a career break she returned to Star working on Energy Management System, Ethos.


"There are great opportunities for development and career growth”

"I really enjoyed the practical, hands on aspect of the apprenticeship and I gained lots of onsite experience from seasoned engineers who were happy to share their knowledge and offer encouragement."

Dean Thompson, Service Manager

Dean Thomson started his apprenticeship as an industrial refrigeration engineer at 16 after completing his GCSEs at secondary school. He now serves as a Service Manager for Star Refrigeration Operations Group in Derby.


"In particular, I was attracted to Star because of their high industry standards and their year on year success with apprentices.”

“I started my apprenticeship with Star and almost immediately an individual training plan was set up for me...I also had monthly meetings with my mentor and quarterly meetings with the training manager to measure progress and assess key areas for development.”

Tom Woolston, Refrigeration Engineer

Now a fully qualified industrial refrigeration engineer at Star Refrigeration’s maintenance and service branch in Bristol, Tom Woolston started his career as an apprentice. Tom received the silver prize at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2018 and was crowned ACR Trainee of the Year 2018.


“Being able to apply what I am learning at university in the workplace is also very satisfying."

"I have been working at Star for over 3 years and feel I am a valued member of the team. The most enjoyable thing about working at Star is that there is always someone happy to spend time with you and help you, whether that be with a work problem or university coursework.”

Craig McIntosh, Projects Trainee

Craig McIntosh is currently undertaking a Graduate Apprenticeship at Star Refrigeration. Two years after he joined Star as an Assistant Site Engineer for the contracts department, Craig was offered the opportunity to continue his further education and obtain a degree. He is now in the fourth year of a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University and attends university one day a week on a day release basis.


"Refrigeration shapes the world we live in - from the internet, computers and ice cream to medicines and beer!”

"I have been working for Star since 2007 and I have most enjoyed working for a company that is fully supportive of your development, both as an individual and also in developing specialist skills to be applied within the Industry. I have enjoyed working as part of a team and consider myself lucky to be surrounded by kind, supportive people."

Chris Druce, Service Manager

Chris Druce is Star Refrigeration’s Oxford branch Service Manager. He shares his journey from apprentice to engineer since joining Star nine years ago. Starting off as an apprentice, Chris worked his way up through the company at Oxford branch as an engineer and has since moved to the Service Manager role.


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

Gary McVittie, Technical Manager

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.


“I like the fact that at Star, people matter– they make a difference and are well looked after.”

"My role as a consultant engineer has allowed me to travel the world…Since joining Star Technical Solutions I have had the privilege of working in Barbados, Mauritius, Kenya and the USA."

Pat Stacey, Consultant Engineer STS

Pat Stacey has spent his working career in industrial refrigeration, joining Star Refrigeration in 1984. Starting as an apprentice, Pat went onto win the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ Award from Basford Hall College.


“I have always been a very hands-on and creative person. I am fascinated by how things work and how engineering feats have changed the world.”

Sophie Hoggan

"I feel grateful to be given the opportunity to really challenge myself and be part of a great team which give support and guidance with my endless questions.”

Sophie Hoggan, Design Engineer

Sophie studied Product Design with Mechanical Engineering and then went on to gain Chartership with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 2018. She has been a design engineer with Star since 2019 at our Thornliebank branch.


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