Australia News

Armacell Director Wins W.R. Ahern Award for Best Technical Article

(L-R) Marc Sneddon, Country Manager of Armacell Australia, Dr Cameron Chick, Acronem Consulting Australia and Tony Gleeson, AIRAH CEO

Sydney, 2 Nov 2017 – The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has presented the W.R. Ahern Award to Dr. Stephen Hodson, Armacell’s Global Director for Demand Generation. This annual award recognises the best technical paper by an AIRAH member published in the journal Ecolibrium. The award is judged by a panel of peers and considers many factors including clarity, originality, reliability and technical merit.


This award was presented to co-authors Dr. Stephen Hodson and Dr. Cameron Chick (Acronem Consulting Australia), for their paper: “Mitigating the risk of fire spread from pipe insulation”. The paper discusses short-comings in test methods used in Australian building regulations and proposes a new alternative that may improve safety.


The fire safety of building materials has received increasing public interest following several fires in tall apartment buildings. This has highlighted the ongoing challenge for regulators and building designers to ensure the best means of evaluation (testing) are used to select products that are safe and fit for purpose. As discussed in the paper by Dr Hodson and Dr Chick, it is important to recognise too, that building regulations are minimum standards, and there is no barrier for engineers to include additional requirements when new options are available. By including additional requirements in design specifications, engineers can achieve higher standards of performance and influence manufacturers of materials to improve their technology.

The AIRAH Awards honours individuals and companies who have delivered significant contributions to the HVAC&R industry. The Awards presentation dinner applauds the industry’s high achievers, stand-out projects and ground-breaking research. “We are honoured that our paper was well-received by the HVAC community and look forward to continuing our efforts to make a difference,” says Dr Hodson.


About Armacell

As the inventors of flexible foam for equipment insulation and a leading provider of engineered foams, Armacell develops innovative and safe thermal, acoustic and mechanical solutions that create sustainable value for its customers. Armacell´s products significantly contribute to global energy efficiency making a difference around the world every day. With 3,000 employees and 25 production plants in 16 countries, the company operates two main businesses and generated net sales of approx. EUR 560 million and adjusted EBITDA of approx. EUR 100 million in 2016. The Advanced Insulation business focuses on insulation materials for technical equipment. The Engineered Foams business develops high-performance foams that are used in high-tech and lightweight applications.

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