Extreme Heat in the UK - Impact of the warming world on how we design refrigeration systems

14 Nov 2023

extreme heat shutterstockDetails 

Date: 14th November 2023

Venue: Edgbaston Park Hotel & Conference Centre, 53 Edgbaston Park Rd, Birmingham B15 2RS


Join us on 14th November in Birmingham for this one-day event to discuss the impact on the cooling sector of the increasing frequency of extreme heat events, already rising ambient temperatures and the risk to providing reliable, efficient RACHP system design.

The IOR International Refrigeration Committee is bringing together experts who can share their experience of designing for greater variance in temperature and balancing environmental objectives with higher load demands for a one-day business briefing, to discuss these challenges and what more the industry can do to prepare for the future and provide effective solutions.


09:30 Registration 

10:00 Welcome from Conference Chair Andy Pearson, Chair of the International Refrigeration Committee

Keynote presentations

10:10 Adapting industry to withstand rising temperatures and future heatwaves. Laura Kent, IMechE and Ruth Shilston, Mott MacDonald

10:40 The economic impact of extreme heat.  Leyla Sayin, Centre for Sustainable Cooling, University of Birmingham

Lessons from hot places - What can the UK learn?  

11:10 The development of Jordan's national cooling strategy. Sawsan Bawaresh, Royal Scientific Society 

11:40 The impacts of designing refrigeration equipment for warmer climates. Yosr Allouche, International Institute of Refrigeration

12:10 Lunch 

13:00 What practical measures can businesses take to mitigate extreme heat?

In this panel discussion, experts will share practical measures the RACHP sector can implement and the importance of maintaining net-zero objectives in planning for extreme heat events.

Chaired by Andrew Bowden, Managing Director of J&E Hall. 

  • How can energy demand management be utilised to achieve net zero? Anastasia Mylona, CIBSE
  • How should we improve design? Conor Eaton-Smith, K2 Engineering Cooling
  • What is the role of maintenance and servicing? John Bonner, City Facilities Management 
  • How can academia support businesses in tackling extreme heat challenges? Catarina Marques, London South Bank University

Adapting to extreme heat - paving the way forward 

14:00 New blend refrigerants for higher ambient temperatures. Koura Global

14:30 How refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment design will need to adapt to cope with climate change. Kashif Nawaz, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

15:00 The Heat Action Platform - reducing the human and economic impacts of extreme heat. Owen Gow, Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center.

15:30 Conference Close - Lessons from the Briefing. What happens next?


Site tour 

Optional post-conference site tour of the Mondelez-Cadbury UK factory at Bourneville. The tour will include a visit to the refrigeration plant.  

Places on this tour are limited and delegates booking to attend the business briefing will be asked to register for the tour if they wish to attend. 


Keynote speakers

Adapting industry to withstand rising temperatures and future heatwaves

Laura Kent, IMechE

This presentation will give an overview of the findings of the recent IMechE Report that explores the effects on industry and its workforce of increases in ambient temperatures and more frequent, severe, prolonged heatwaves and how engineers should respond.

Dr Laura Kent joined the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in June 2022 as a Public Affairs and Policy Advisor. She works with the Engineering Policy team and IMechE’s expert member groups to develop policy positions for the Institution and help shape the debate across the field of engineering policy.

Prior to joining the IMechE, Laura held roles at the Government Office for Science and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy working on policies and advice to support innovation in the UK. Before starting a career in policy, Laura was a scientist at the National Physical Laboratory working on electronic reliability studies with a particular focus on coatings and harsh environments.


Adapting industry to withstand rising temperatures and future heatwaves

Ruth Shilston, Mott MacDonald

Ruth is a Technical Director at Mott MacDonald where she leads specialist engineering on major construction projects.  She works with design teams globally to create buildings and infrastructure which are sustainable, designed for people and adapted to their specific climate. To quantify the success of a design she is an experienced user of computational fluid dynamics, thermal and solar analysis tools as well as physical wind tunnel testing. She has a degree in Engineering Design from the University of Bristol, is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow and Trustee of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


1 Day Ticket (Tuesday)

One day ticket (IOR members/Non members)

Three tickets - Group booking all delegates from the same organisation


International Refrigeration Committee (IRC) organisation