Heating engineer wins Undergraduate of Year Award

With his knowledge of heat pumps, boilers and kilowatt hours, young engineering whizz Basem Pilar is a useful man to know in the current home energy crisis!

The Class of 2022 graduate is already a qualified heat pump installer and achieved a First Class Honours degree in his MEng Architectural Engineering with well over 80%.

Now, he has been chosen as Best UK Undergraduate by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

He was selected on the strength of his final year project “Making the most out of heat pumps”, which proposed a combined system of heat pump and boilers as a part of refurbishment plan for LJMU’s enormous James Parsons Building.

The CIBSE judges said they were impressed by “the relevance of his subject and the depth of his research pertaining to key elements of design.”

Accepting the prize from CIBSE President Kevin Mitchell, Bas, from Newcastle, (pictured above with lecturer Laurence Brady) said: “I’m very excited to that I have won the Undergraduate of the Year award 2022!! 

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank my partner Becca, for her support throughout my Masters. Not sure what I'd do without her!

“Thanks also to my lecturer Dr Hu Du from LJMU, who was of immense help with my final year heat pump project, as his supervision and feedback was key to making my entry as detailed as I wanted it to be.”

Dr Du said: “Bas chose a fantastically relevant area for his project. Heat pumps are up to three to six times more energy efficient than the traditional gas boiler and a promising option if we are to achieve Net Zero targets.

“However, as his project outlines, replacing existing gas boilers with heat pumps involves significant capital investment. Bas tested different scenarios of combining heat pumps with gas boilers to achieve optimal balance between capital investment and operational carbon emissions. 

Bas also thanked colleagues at Taylor Grace Air Conditioning where he worked while completing his studies, and to AC supplier Mitsubishi Electric for sharing the technical and costing information necessary to carry out the project.

John Oldknow, a director at Taylor Grace said: “Well done Bas, great achievement and fantastic recognition of your abilities. This is just the start; I’m sure more will follow.”


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