Centigrade conditioning technician Michael Snook has been crowned the Trade Student of the Year at the 2016 AIRAH Awards gala, held at Sydney's Luna Park.
Now established as the HVAC&R industry's top accolades, the AIRAH Awards honour the outstanding individuals, projects, and products of the past year.
"Winning the Trade Student of the Year award means a lot - it is a great feeling when you are recognised for all of the extra work you put in," says Snook.
Snook became an apprentice in HVAC&R after experiencing the industry as a trades assistant during a university break. Training through South Metro TAFE (Polytechnic West) during his apprenticeship, he excelled in his training.
In 2013, Snook entered the Worldskills Perth Regional competition for R&AC and won the Gold Medal. He also won the Airefrig Supplies Student Scholarship Award the same year.
He took out the ACMA Apprentice of the Year Award in WA for 2014, and was also recognised as an outstanding student by Polytechnic West after being awarded Apprentice of the Year out of a cohort of of 8,000. He's also a recipient of the Geoff Gale medal - the overall top student at Polytechnic West - which was contested by more than 30,000 students.
"I spent another year-and-a-half undertaking night school, which is a big challenge when you have to go to TAFE after a hard day on the tools," says Snook.
"Luckily I had the best lecturers at South Metro TAFE to get me and the other lads through it."
Looking to continue with his career in HVAC&R commissioning, Snook is enrolled in the Commissioning specialists Association (UK) learning program, which he says "keeps him busy" after work. The Association is at the forefront of career development and training in the UK, specialising in building services, commissioning and HVAC industries.
"Centigrade Commissioning is in the process of obtaining NATA accreditation, which will open us up to more opportunities in the specialised fields of cleanroom and laboratory commissioning," says Snook. "This is something I look forward to being a part of, as I believe commissioning is becoming more important in modern construction. I think I will stick with this for a while."
A proud AIRAH member, Snook encourages others in the HVAC&R trade sector to get involved.
"I identified AIRAH as an organisation that not only could provide me with important networking opportunities, but also the chance to be a part of a body that represents the interests of our industry."
Article copied with permission from AIRAH News February 2017 edition. For more information visit the AIRAH website.