Marius La Grange: problem solved!

By Ilana Koegelenberg

Marius La Grange of Refrigeration Solutions was elected as the new SAIRAC vice-president (and future president) at the association’s AGM in August — but who is Marius La Grange?

marius webMarius La Grange of Refrigeration Solutions.
Image credit: RefSols

According to La Grange, his official job title is something like manufacturing manager / engineering manager at Refrigeration Solutions in Cape Town. This means he is predominantly responsible for the design and manufacture of equipment for the retail and commercial refrigeration sectors. But he also fulfils a strategic role in developing equipment and skills to meet current (and future) needs. He is also developing a central source of information to benefit and grow other functions within the organisation. “Basically, finding ways to leverage anything with a handle!”

GETTING STARTED

His first job was very hands-on and La Grange worked in a sheet metal and machine shop in “freezing hot Paarl” in the Western Cape. “That exposure was massively helpful in terms of practical skills, manufacturing system skills and of course, working with the complete spectrum of the labour force,” he explains. “You don’t always like the start of your career but it was very good exposure,” he says.

La Grange holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Cape Technikon and more recently, an EMBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

His favourite part of his job is “probably the rapid prototyping of something new and applying it before the ‘peanut gallery’ even spots the change,” according to La Grange. This means blou draad: terminal blocks and tack welds to test the function before the ‘sexy’ design details. He also likes gathering information from a wide array of sources and narrowing it down to what counts most “and then strangely it becomes widely applicable in many cases,” he says.

STAYING MOTIVATED

As to what motivates him, La Grange says, “Solving old problems that everyone had gotten so used to that they had to grow extra fingers to cope with it.” This includes solving problems or problem areas for good (in that specific context), so the work is done and one can move on to something new (hopefully). “Things can get boring, but if you dig around, you can find things and processes that have room for improvement.”

He enjoys working with new young talent and helping them grow their careers where possible. “Every day is a gift!”

SAIRAC THINGS

When asked about the South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning’s (SAIRAC) role in the industry and the part he intends on playing as new vice-president, La Grange had the following to say: “I want to build on what is existing and add value where possible. A rising tide lifts all boats in the harbour and our industry has a massive amount of experience and expertise to share to make it sustainably world-class in many ways.”


Click below to read the November 2017 issue of RACA Journal

RACA Nov2017

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