By Benjamin Brits

Jean-Claude Makanisi notes that HVAC&R plays into almost everything related to human activities today.

January 2023 personality profile sponsored by:

Makanisi grew up in Johannesburg where he also carried out his primary and secondary schooling before moving to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal for his undergraduate studies at Mangosuthu University of Technology. He then moved back to Johannesburg where he completed his degree and specialisation through the University of South Africa, that resulted in obtaining a BTech in mechanical engineering.

As he recalls, “Mechanical engineering is something that I loved from an early age, and on top of that I had the benefit and inspiration to pursue such a career owing to the people around me as I grew up which essentially led me into the sector, but in all reality – I always knew that I wanted to be an engineer.”

Image ©J Makanisi

Image ©J Makanisi

Getting into the HVAC&R world was also a targeted choice as at the stage of specialisation in his studies, he already realised the importance of those functions in many facilities and that proved a great attraction when narrowing down his scope. His first job (at HC Heat Exchangers) allowed him to apply everything he had learnt and in 2021 he made a shift to his current employer where he fulfils the role of mechanical engineer at Phunya Consulting.

When asked about what he likes most about his work, his response was without hesitation: the HVAC&R sectors are exciting because they directly impact many industries and so through engineering technology literally anything is possible!

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“Today we can give clients anything they desire, from the correct conditions in hospitals to the creation of what users consider to be their ideal weather conditions, and even in the produce industry we can preserve foods to allow the longest time possible in keeping goods fresh thus reducing waste. HVAC&R systems can even produce water by means of extracting humidity from the air. Most people don’t know how much they rely on these functions. Even in death this technology and design is essential in places like mortuaries and forensics laboratories. The list is endless.”

Makanisi’s greatest achievement in his view is his professional development and subsequent ability to give his clients exactly what they need, delivering the perfect solution and the best service in anything required through solving problems.

In his spare time, he loves playing tennis and basketball, and is also an enthusiastic chess player. Being very into his career and trade, at every moment he has spare he engages all opportunities to discover more about air conditioning and refrigeration to know where the market is going and then being able to extend his insights of these markets.

Pondering his view on sustainability of these sectors, he notes, “Having HVAC/R equipment doesn’t come for free. It comes at a cost like everything else but moving to green energy, providing the best and most economical technology will enable numerous people to use HVAC/R systems at their fingertips at an affordable rate. If we consider air conditioning alone, that not everyone has access to at this point in time because of costs, sustainability which ties directly into green technology needs to grow in demand to reduce costs and therefore expand availability,” he concludes.

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