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Thinking beyond the conventional: Mischa Tessendorf

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With her focus on energy-efficient solutions for commercial and industrial applications in the HVAC&R sector, this enthusiastic young engineer also has a great passion for sustainability.

March 2021 personality profile sponsored by:

Currently business development manager at Klaus Engineering Group, Mischa Tessendorf, a mechanical engineer (B.Tech. Mech. Eng.) also holds a masters in business administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) – University of Pretoria, submitting her dissertation: Assessing Sustainability Strategy Implications in an Organisation.

Tessendorf started her career in Bloemfontein as a consulting engineer at a mechanical engineering firm where she chose to specialise in HVAC&R. Moving to Gauteng, she held other positions before joining her current employer where she notes quality is of utmost importance.

With already over eight years in the engineering manufacturing industry, Tessendorf loves every opportunity she gets to be challenged – especially where a lot of innovation is required thus driving a continued thinking beyond the conventional.

Tessendorf believes that even though women make up only a small portion in the industry, they are actually essential as they provide advantageous diversity to any organisation.

Further, a member of the South African Institute of Refrigeration and Airconditioning (SAIRAC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Tessendorf is currently serving as the diversity chair for the South African Chapter of ASHRAE.

In her spare time, Tessendorf loves to travel (pre-covid of course), being outdoors and spending time with her family and friends. She has a particular passion in her life – sport. “I love playing golf and tennis when I have free time. I actually played golf full-time after school which taught me a lot about having grit and putting in the hours to master a skill. Unfortunately, I don’t get much time to play anymore, but still enjoy it very much when I do!” she says.

Over an above the fact that it’s not very common for women to be in the mechanical engineering field and pursue a successful career in the industry, what finds its way onto Tessendorf’s list is that she considers her most significant achievement to be completing her MBA in 2018, which she notes “was a considerable mind-opening learning experience”. She has also worked on some major industrial projects with large organisations that have offered many learning opportunities through implementing cutting-edge ideas, new technologies and processes, allowing the customer the most efficient solution and product.

Fast-forwarding her career visions, Tessendorf sees herself in a more senior role, having a greater impact on sustainability within an organisation and leading a group of people. She also rightly sees herself making a meaningful impact and contribution to the HVAC&R industry as a whole over her career.

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