Megan Dinsdale-Jones, who joined Auckland, New Zealand-based wholesale supplier Patton Refrigeration in January, is the latest woman to be recognized for expertise with natural refrigerant systems.
A 12-year HVAC&R industry veteran, she began working in supermarket refrigeration early in her career, according to an article published at https://www.pattonnz.com in line with International Women’s Day on March 8.
She furthered her experience with another large supermarket supplier, working with transcritical CO2 refrigeration, commissioning supermarket racks and gaining valuable hands-on experience with controls and different systems. This included carrying out usual service-tech duties, as well as fully commissioning transcritical CO2 plants, cabinets and controllers, including RDM, Emerson and Carel.
At the beginning of this year, Dinsdale-Jones became a sales engineer with Patton, acquired by Beijer Ref in 2015.
“Megan brings to us an ideal combination of both general and specialist CO2 knowledge as well as a great work ethic,” said Alddon Mackay, Patton Auckland Branch Manager. “She has fit in seamlessly and we are all very pleased to have the opportunity to welcome her to the Patton team.”
Dinsdale-Jonesis one of only seven New Zealand women with this type of qualification, and is part of a small group of women worldwide who have made an impact on the natural refrigeration industry. (See “Women in Natural Refrigerants,” Accelerate Magazine, January 2020.)
Dinsdale-Jones believes that refrigeration has a promising future, with the potential for improvement. “We are already moving into more sustainable and eco-friendly options, and technology is waiting for no one. We will be licenced in the near future, which is a huge step in the right direction to getting the recognition the industry deserves. The possibilities of what our industry could do, moving forward, are endless and all I can really say is I am looking forward to being a part of some of those upcoming changes.”
She appreciates the variety and opportuntity her work offers. “There are so many opportunities to advance within this industry, whether it be on the tools or in an office type role. You can never know everything about this trade, which makes it all the more exciting.”
Since transitioning from a service engineer to a sales engineer, she spend time in the office part time, building customer relationships and doing quotes for clients. But “I also get the chance to go out on the road and visit clients to ensure we are keeping up with their needs,” she said.
As one of a handful of women in this role, she has experienced some push back. “You often feel you have to prove yourself to every single person you work with,” she said. “Sexism is still very much prevalent, which is disappointing, but on the flip side of that I have met some incredibly supportive people who I will forever be thankful to and who I will always refer to as my friends.”
In order to keep progressing, she has found it is important to be fairly thick-skinned. “It makes it all the more satisfying when you do succeed.”
In her previous role as a service tech, the mother of twin four-year-old boys found the work/life balance a challenge. “Being part of an on-call roster and doing supermarket refrigeration takes a lot of your spare time (and energy),” she said. But in her current job, “I am able to go home, put my phone down, spend time with my family and actually wind down. The work life balance is pretty much perfect right now.”
Megan began as an apprentice in her uncle’s refrigeration business,where she worked with a wide range of refrigeration equipment, from ammonia to refrigerated trucks and large cool stores to domestic appliances.
Initially, she was unsure if this was the trajectory that she wanted her life to take, but it wasn’t long before she began to enjoy the work, and make use of her natural mechanical aptitude.
“Even on the slower days, you’re still learning more about the industry,” she said. “It is a huge learning curve and there are lots of intelligent people in the business who specialize in certain areas. We are all always learning.”
Dinsdale-Jones recently decided to take her learning to the next level by studying for a Bachelor of Business, extramurally, via Massey University. “I don’t like to stay stagnant and always believe in upskilling,” she said.
We are already moving into more sustainable and eco-friendly options, and technology is waiting for no one.Megan Dinsdale-Jones, Patton Refrigeration