Employee Profile - Joe Thomas ( Senior Project Engineer)
Date: 06th November 2017 | Posted by: Airedale Team | Posted in: Press release
Airedale Air Conditioning, Leeds, UK, 06/11/2017
We asked Airedale's Leeds-based Senior Project Engineer, Joe Thomas a few questions to learn more about him and his role.
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Joe Thomas (JT), 34yrs young, currently living in Bradford. I’m from India, specifically Kerala, but the UK is now my second home. So, from “God’s own country” in the East to “God’s own county” in the West.
What is your role at Airedale, and what excites you about it?
I’m a Senior Project Engineer. It is never a dreadful Monday in the life of an Airedale Project Engineer. It is always exciting to design customised solutions, the variations of which are from a single component change to fully bespoke units. This in itself has its own challenges and I believe overcoming technical challenges is a core part of an engineer’s job.
Also, this is the only job in Airedale where you are involved in all stages of a product life cycle. The role allows us to work on a wide range of Airedale’s precision to chiller products on a day to day basis. in addition, I am actively engaged in project management, team leadership as well as site and customer visits, both within UK and internationally.
My team is one of the best I have worked with to date and is like a family.
Do you have a particular area of specialisation within your chosen field?
To gain as much knowledge as possible in every area, is one of my main mottos of life, hence I would rather say I’m a Jack of all trades.
But if I have to highlight some key skills, my strengths lie in problem solving, which has helped me in my bespoke designs, and programming, which I have used to create numerous programs to speed up various engineering tasks.
Why did you choose a career in Engineering?
A curiosity, as a kid, about how things worked, which kick started while driving a screw driver through my dad’s favourite pocket radio. I was always interested in fixing broken items lying around in the house.
As a teenager I started taking an interest on customised cars. Hence as a project engineer, I really enjoy providing bespoke solutions.
What did you study at university/ college and how has your previous experience lead you to your current role?
I did my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University, India. I was campus recruited into Infosys Technologies and worked there for almost 5 years as a Software Developer and Lead Software Tester. I then did my Masters in Automotive Engineering from University of Leeds.
With my experience in the IT industry and my mechanical background, I joined Airedale’s IT department to design and develop Airedale’s only in-house engineering tool. 3 years down the line, I joined the Project Engineering Department as a Project Engineer. Over the next few months, I took on more responsibilities, leading to a promotion to Senior Project Engineer.
I have also done a short term certificate course in counselling which has helped to improve and strengthen my people and leadership skills.
What is your favourite Airedale product and why?
I am a bit biased towards our bespoke units.
My favourite is the 24 fan 1.8 MW Optichill free-cooling screw chiller. One of the top selling products of Airedale in 2016, this is Airedale’s first 24 fan chiller, designed primarily for energy saving by maximising free-cooling capacities.
It is also Airedale’s first V-coil screw chiller, and combined the screw compressor and microchannel coil technologies. I designed this unit and am very proud of it.
What is your most valued achievement to date ?
Professionally, I’d say creating our only in-house Engineering design application. It started out initially for the R&D department and is now in use with several other departments.
It is gratifying to have something that I’ve designed and developed, become an integral part in the development of Airedale’s products.
As a guy from a small village in India, I consider it as a personal achievement, that I was able to make UK my second home and work here as an Engineer.
Do you have any particular hobbies or interests that you are passionate about?
I’m an ardent badminton player and take part in various competitions in the country. I’m also an avid singer with a keen interest in choral music. I used to be my church choir leader.
Formula 1, travelling and playing the guitar are some of my other interests.
What is your favourite country visited and why?
Recently, I visited Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary islands, as part of my family holiday.
It was one of the most beautiful places I have been to; the food was amazing and the people were really nice and engaging. We never felt like we were in a foreign country.
If you could take one inanimate object onto a desert island with you, what would it be and why?
Maybe a solar powered Airedale Easicool solution, to keep myself cool!
What is the music track of your life, and what does it make you think of when you hear it?
When you say nothing at all, the Ronan Keating version. This is my wife’s and my favourite song, and will always remind me of the good times we had during our uni days.