By Ntsako Khosa

“It is only by Grace that I have been able to accomplish what I have and to be where I am today.” – Johan Bekker, junior project engineer at HI Calibre Engineering.

Image supplied

Image supplied

His role includes liaising with clients to determine their requirements, design a possible solution and facilitate the procurement and implementation thereof. “My day-to-day tasks include heat load calculations, duct design, equipment specification, compiling tenders and managing site work.
“Our clients come from a variety of industries but are mainly pharmaceutical or food and beverage. These industries require environments that have cleanliness levels of the highest order and I love being part of the team to achieve exactly that,” he says.

Getting started

In the third year of his National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) he was approached by an industrial air-conditioning equipment supplying company to complete his P1 and P2 modules with them. “I ended up working as a sales engineer for the supply of chillers, air handling units and rooftop packaged units.

“After being with the company for three years, I ventured into the manufacturing industry to experience and learn how factories work. I was involved with the manufacture of armoured military vehicles where I was responsible for the fitment of the air conditioning system, diesel tanks and fuel lines, as well as the internal ducting and insulation. During this time, I completed my BTech final year project,” he says.

After spending a year and a half in the manufacturing industry he saw an opportunity for his current position and knew that was where his future lay. “I started working for HCE the first working day after my graduation ceremony,” he recalls.

For the love of the job

He shares that the niche market that HCE caters for weren’t services he was familiar with until he learnt a little bit more through research for his current position. “Once I saw the work HCE was doing, I knew I had to be a part of this spectacular team. After seeing all the work that goes into these projects, I must give credit to each member for doing exceptional work in a segment that has very low margins for error. I love what I do and strive to contribute to the team,” he shares.

He has enrolled at TUT for his Master’s in Engineering, specialising in Engineering Management and aims to complete it in 2021. He sees the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning industry as a golden thread through the future of mankind. “There will always be a need for a HVAC solution, regardless of changes and developments to the equipment being used. I would like to be a part of that. I am extremely happy to have found a specialisation field in this industry, being process clean rooms and associated services,” he adds.


Some of the projects he’s worked on include:

  • On-site training for and assisting with the construction of air handling units for the Julius Nyerere International Airport Phase 3 in Tanzania.
  • Being part of the team supplying multiple shopping centres with HVAC equipment, such as Ballito Mall.
  • Supplying air handling units for Knightsbridge WSP Headquarters.

Future plans

“I am also a committee member of the South African chapter of ASHRAE Region At Large and hope to add value to the international community.”
He is motivated by the possibility of making a positive impact in the world. “Whether that is by designing an optimal solution or just treating others with respect.”