Scholarships Provide Multiple Learning Opportunities for Recipients

The Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation, which supports research and education programs benefiting the industrial refrigeration industry, is currently accepting applications for IIAR’s Founders Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded annually to collegiate juniors exhibiting exceptional character and interest in pursuing an engineering or related technical degree leading to a career in the refrigeration field. Awards provide $4,000 to students during their junior year and $9,000 in their senior year for those who attended IIAR’s Annual Natural Refrigeration Conference and Expo during the spring of their junior year. Students who cannot attend the annual conference receive $4,000 during their senior year.

“In addition to financially rewarding academic performance, IIAR’s scholarship program serves to expose applicants and their network of friends to a richly rewarding opportunity to work in an industry that is having a real impact on the future of our environment,” said Mark Stencel, director of business development for Bassett Mechanical and chairman of the IIAR education committee. “There are not too many scholarships that feature the opportunity to engage with a broad array of opportunities with an expense-paid participation in a national trade conference.”

Stencel said the scholarship program provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about a technical field, immerse themselves in IIAR’s national conference, be financially rewarded, and contribute to the health of the world, which will help attract very high caliber future leaders into our industry.

The industrial refrigeration industry is a multidisciplinary field that offers exciting job opportunities in virtually all engineering fields of study. Engineers working in the industrial refrigeration industry have the opportunity to help address the urgent issue of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by applying environmentally friendly natural refrigerants in energy efficient refrigeration and heat pump systems.

“It has been widely noted that students today don’t just want a job upon graduation. They want to have a positive impact on the world. They want to make a difference,” Stencel said. “The natural refrigeration field is one in which they can replace refrigerants that are contributing to global warming with ones of zero or very minimal global warming potential.”

Those entering the refrigeration industry can help conserve energy, protect the environment and reduce the carbon footprint of businesses. “Not ten years down the road, but in natural refrigeration, these results can be achieved by interns and recent graduates,” Stencel said, adding that the industry is looking for future leaders with solid technical skills as demonstrated by academic performance. “Additionally, we are seeking those who can envision a more sustainable future through the use of natural refrigerants and can articulate those ideals through the application process.”

Gary Schrift, president of IIAR, said students may be unaware of the opportunities that exist within the natural refrigerant industry. “Compared to HVAC as a whole, this is a small niche group, relatively unknown to new students and people in general. Thus, it is difficult to get students looking into the new world to get interested in ammonia refrigeration because they do not know about it, and it is not ‘sexy,’” he said. “However, with the HFC phase-down, the increasing knowledge and talk of global warming, and the idea that we can help with that through expanded use of natural refrigerants, we can get students interested.”

Stencel said great professional and career opportunities are revealed in times of change. “The truly ‘green’ future has already begun to embrace natural refrigerants and the engineering and design of natural refrigeration systems are already changing supermarkets, air conditioning, home refrigerators, and food and beverage production,” he said.

The Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation is a non-profit research and education foundation that was originally organized by members of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration to promote educational and scientific projects related to industrial refrigeration and the use of ammonia and other natural refrigerants.