Smarter choices and systems are key for this junior project engineer from VMG Consuntants, Chad Langdon.
Langdon was born and raised in Johannesburg where he attended King Edward VII School in Houghton to matric. During those years he enjoyed playing various sports, his favourite being hockey. He was selected to play in the first hockey team in grade 10 and captained the team in his matric year. He also played provincial outdoor and indoor hockey until the end of his matric year whereafter he moved on to play first team hockey at the University of the Witwatersrand. It was here that he subsequently completed his mechanical engineering degree and is currently studying his masters degree part-time.
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Getting into the HVAC sector came about though his studies where he enjoyed subjects such as heat transfer and fluid dynamics the most – both of which have a natural progression to the HVAC industry. “It was, however, not a smooth path getting into the sector, especially during the Covid 19 pandemic! First, I endured months in the defence and metallurgical testing industries, partaking in sales, marketing, business development and web design…not exactly gripping stuff for a recently graduated mechanical engineer. Eventually, after months of job hunting, I was put in touch with VMG Consultants, and the rest is history”, he says.
Outside of work, Langdon has always been a fitness enthusiast and in his spare time enjoys playing badminton, squash, tennis and hockey. He also enjoys going on hikes, playing golf with friends and family, sitting down for an enticing Formula 1 race, or spending the afternoon at the shooting range. “Other than that, one of my greatest interests is the study of green hydrogen and the potential it has for changing the energy sector and achieving the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050. I am currently completing my master’s at Wits in this regard, and look forward to using my knowledge to change the way the built environment thinks about energy”, he notes.
Langdon has also recently completed a course through UCT in energy efficiency and sustainability and looks forward to broadening his knowledge in environmental, social and corporate governance in an effort to support a just energy transition.
Considering what he enjoys most about his work, he really likes (and appreciates) meeting and working with people who have an invested interest in the industry. He enjoys being able to solve problems which he knows will ultimately benefit the client through energy savings while at the same time contributing to reducing emissions. He has a passion for learning new things such as managing projects and best practices for HVAC design – and especially being onsite, seeing the designs on paper come to life.
Langdon considers his graduation with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering with distinction in engineering design and energy conversion and utilisation systems to be one of his most significant achievements to date. On top of that, his commitment and efforts have rewarded him a bursary from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) or more commonly the German development agency for his masters in green hydrogen production in South Africa. “This opportunity will allow me to present my work at conferences held by the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies in Stellenbosch”.
With a view on the future, Langdon believes that technology in the built environment is certainly becoming more orientated towards energy efficiency and sustainability. The HVAC system of a building can use in excess of 30% of the building’s energy consumption and therefore provides a lot of opportunity for improvement. “I am part of the generation of engineers which has seen the removal of largely inefficient water-cooled systems being replaced with smarter and more energy conscious VRF systems. Energy management in a building has become a topic of intense discussion – providing the opportunity for landlords to save money and contribute towards saving the environment”, he concludes.