FairHeat is committed to developing young engineering talent and creating opportunities for young people to grow and thrive, one of our core principles is to develop the industry leaders of tomorrow.

FairHeat has 37 employees, 70% of which are either in or have been through the graduate programme within the last five years. It is an honour to be recognised for a third year as the Employer of the Year – small and overall category winner at CIBSE Young Engineers Awards 2022. Let us tell you all about our award-winning scheme!

FairHeat Graduate Engineers 2022

The FairHeat Graduate Scheme has been developed in a structured way that enables graduates to gain solid knowledge and experience in all aspects of heat network development. The programme includes six-month rotations across each of FairHeat’s four business areas, covering all aspects of building and operating heat networks from design and delivery to performance improvement and monitoring.

FairHeat absolutely has an idiosyncratic working culture. I was astounded at how friendly and sociable all of my colleagues were when I first joined. One of the benefits of working for a small consultancy is that you can get to know all members of staff, and often see them more as friends rather than just colleagues. Everybody is so friendly and is always up for a chat during or after work.

It has been exciting to join both a rapidly growing business in a rapidly growing industry. It has been a brilliant opportunity to already see some of my work be implemented into the performance of heat networks, helping decarbonise the environment.

FairHeat offers me a platform at a high-quality heat network consultancy to be able to continuously work at my best and contribute to projects that are making a difference to our planet and assist with gradually approaching our target of net-zero carbon by 2050.

Part of the graduate scheme and associated technical competencies ensure that I get exposed to all areas of projects and scopes of work throughout the scheme. This helps with my development as I can be confident that I won’t be focussed on one particular project or area, and that I will continue to expand my knowledge of heat networks more broadly.

A particular highlight for me is the support you are given throughout the scheme. My colleagues are always available for technical questions as they inevitably arise throughout project work. Frequent meetings to talk about my development, strengths and weaknesses, and to ensure I’m being exposed to the right kinds of work are helpful and incredibly supporting.

Feedback from current graduates is always welcomed with the intent to use this to benefit future recruits and their experience of FairHeat. For example, I have been involved with what content we should be exposing new graduates to in their first few weeks to ensure they aren’t being thrown too far into the deep end, whilst also maintaining requirement to absorb the fundamentals of heat networks that they will use on a day-to-day basis.

Jake Adamson, Graduate Engineer, FairHeat

Training & Development

FairHeat has three main departments, the New Build team led by Michael Ridge, the Delivery team led by Neil Mason, and the Operations Team led by Tom Naughton. Collectively, the heads of department and Senior Engineers, play a hands-on role in the development, mentoring and training of young engineers.

FairHeat Senior Leadership Team and Senior Engineers

FairHeat is dedicated to growing future leaders of the industry, this is a learning environment for all young Engineers to enhance their technical knowledge and practical experience of heat networks. The environment is supportive and positive, where mistakes are an opportunity to learn and all are collectively responsible for the development of each individual. To provide structure to the personal and professional development of our young Engineers, we have developed a mentoring scheme where technical and personal mentors are assigned to each young Engineer. The mentoring scheme, which is run by Consulting Engineers, provides a safe space for Graduate Engineer’s to self-reflect and discuss how to best set out clear objectives for their professional and technical development. The format of the session is in the hands of the graduate engineer, which can range from a chat over coffee or a structured constructive session.

FairHeat not only guide future leaders within the organisation but also actively encourages external mentoring programmes to ensure knowledge transfer and upskilling is applied throughout the industry. FairHeat is involved in the Heat Exchanger Mentoring program, offering mentors and encouraging young engineers to sign up as mentees.

Over the last year, FairHeat has experienced rapid growth and exposure to new projects, there has been more opportunity to share insight and wider contacts e.g., different types of suppliers. To ensure the team are receiving adequate level of trainings, internal trainings provided has increased by 45%. Dan Staunton comments:

“I have personally been tasked with putting in place a program to support the young engineer’s technical development, to work at a personal level and as a wider group, assessing their competencies and planning specific training programs to improve their knowledge and understanding. I have worked to create an empowering and positive environment for our engineers to learn and develop within, where no question goes unanswered, and which emphasises knowledge sharing between the engineers and reinforces everyone’s understanding.
We undertake formal assessment of graduate’s technical progression across several competencies on a 6 monthly basis, but more importantly have an open and relaxed atmosphere, where people can ask questions, identify their individual and groups areas of weakness, and feedback. In combination these provide a power process for driving improvement in our engineer’s technical progression. We encourage further progression and learning in areas of interest through our graduate research projects, with our Consultant and Lead Engineers becoming industry experts in specific areas of heat network design and operation.”

Dan Staunton, Senior Engineer, FairHeat
Peter Horne, Lead Engineer, carries out on-site training for Graduate Engineers.

With the increase of retrofit works, FairHeat have acquired more people with experience in large scale delivery projects. Health & safety has always been a top priority, and in the last year there has been an even bigger emphasis on this, with the establishment of additional internal groups (policy and Incident group), the launch of an incident reporting app, and the increased training provided to the team. 10 people are currently undergoing CDM qualifications and 3 are working towards SSSTS accreditation.

“FairHeat’s business activities have expanded from making recommendations and working underneath the safety rules of others, to fulfilling the role of Principal Contractor and managing the safe delivery of construction projects aiming to improve district heating performance and reliability. With this development comes the potential for increased risk, but the culture FairHeat encourages of identifying, escalating and resolving health and safety risks is helping to keep our employees, our partners and the general public safe. Examples include detailed discussion of observed undesired circumstances, near misses and accidents during monthly company-wide meetings; the willingness to support employees with relevant training to support them in their roles (such as SSSTS and First Aid); and organising practical Toolbox Talks alongside our delivery partners to learn how to identify and protect against potential risks on sites”.

Andrew Reynolds, Lead Engineer and H&S Champion, FairHeat

Bringing in a diverse group of young engineers is key to developing the skillsets we require. Sylwester Luty, Graduate Engineer at FairHeat, was brought in late 2021 to join the Graduate Scheme. Where the majority of Graduate Engineers enrolled into the scheme have been from a Chemical Engineering background and recent graduates, Sylwester is an experienced Mechanical Engineer who is continuing his higher education at the London South Bank University. Sylwester, brings a fresh new perspective to the team and exposure to digital building services tools such as AutoCAD. Sylwester first obtained knowledge of AutoCAD in 2013 during his studies at university, his practical experience started in 2018 during his employment at an M&E firm. Over the last 5 years, Sylwester has honed his experience in AutoCAD and uses it as a regular tool in his daily work. Sylwester Comments:

“When I joined FairHeat I used my AutoCAD skills to develop 2D drawings on projects, working with the team on designing Energy Centres and district heating networks. I was the first in the team with the practical experience in AutoCAD, however, in the last year I have managed to upskill over 6 people to use the AutoCAD design tool and will be continuing my support to upskill many more. AutoCAD is an essential tool in our industry and has proven very helpful in FairHeat for design. We often share our knowledge and work with clients via technical drawings. The team now understand AutoCAD, which has eliminated the need to create designs manually, thus saving time and enabling the team to prepare more accurate drawings in an industry recognised format (DWG).”

Sylwester Luty, Graduate Engineer, FairHeat


FairHeat’s Graduate Scheme is designed to guide young Engineers professionally and recognise them through every step of their journey – even after they have completed the scheme. Over the last year, we had 3 of our Graduate Engineers promoted to Consulting Engineers and 2 Consulting Engineers promoted to Lead Engineers. Tom Burton, one of the two who was promoted to Lead Engineer this year, comments:

“I Joined FairHeat as a Graduate Engineer straight out of university and I have really enjoyed watching the company grow over the last few years and benefitting from the development opportunities. It has been quite rewarding to work on the design, delivery and optimisation of heat networks, especially recent projects that have been recognised for industry awards, such as the Equipment Works development that won a CIBSE BPA. During my time in the graduate scheme, I completed two different projects and FairHeat supported and encouraged me to present these to the wider industry. Both research have been presented across several industry conferences and referenced in industry publications. My new role as a lead engineer allows me to play a more active part in further growth of the company and the industry.”

Tom Burton, Lead Engineer, FairHeat

A major step up in the way we recognise young engineers has been the announcement of FairHeat’s Enterprise Management Incentive Scheme. This year, the company became wholly owned by employees of the business. Employees that demonstrated a long-term commitment and contribution to FairHeat were invited to join the scheme, those being Principal Engineer, Michael Ridge, and Senior Engineers Dan Staunton, James Gallimore and Freddie Valletta.

“It is incredibly gratifying knowing that FairHeat recognises the work that their long-serving engineers have carried out in getting the company to where it is today. Having been with the company since its early stages and being employee number four, shares were always something that I strived for and now that the company is in a position to offer shares as part of its reward scheme, it will encourage others to push on and work towards achieving some for themselves, something which can only benefit the company in the long run. Being a shareholder also means that I am able to contribute to the direction the company is going and offer my opinion and desires as to where I see the company in years to come.”

Freddie Valletta, Senior Engineer, FairHeat

Industry Exposure

All young Engineers in FairHeat are CIBSE or IChemE graduate members, this is supported and encouraged by FairHeat.

FairHeat actively encourage its young Engineers to engage in external activities to enhance their professional development and support the wider industry. Lucy Sherburn, Consulting Engineer, was encourage by the team to pursue the CIBSE ASHRAE Young Engineer of the Year Award 2021 and won it!

“Winning the Graduate of the Year award 2021 provided me with a huge platform that has come with lots of opportunities. FairHeat have supported me throughout this past year in enabling me to take part in all the opportunities that have come my way, including attending conferences, speaking at events, and taking part in industry groups. Since, I have been promoted from a Graduate to Consulting Engineer. This is as a result of finishing the graduate programme, which gave me the skills and technical knowledge to be promoted to the next level. As a consulting engineer, my role includes more responsibility through leading of projects throughout the whole lifecycle of a new build heat network”

Lucy Sherburn, Consulting Engineer, FairHeat
CIBSE Young Engineer Awards 2021 – Team Celebrating Lucy Sherburn winning Young Engineer of the Year 2021.

FairHeat submitted and was selected to present 4 research papers at the CIBSE Technical Symposium 2022. Three of these presentations were based on Graduate research projects carried out by young engineers. Ryan Harris comments:

“FairHeat encouraged me to submit a paper to the CIBSE Technical Symposium on our Heat Load Testing process, which I had worked on developing as a Graduate Engineer. We set achievable deadlines for the work, and I had support with writing and reviewing the paper. Attending the Technical Symposium was the first time I’ve had the chance to present my work in person, so I’m very grateful for FairHeat’s support to enable me to develop my presentation skills. I look forward to engaging in further opportunities in 2023 that will contribute to supporting the wider industry.”

Ryan Harris, Consulting Engineer, FairHeat
Tom Burton, lead Engineer, presents research at the CIBSE Technical Symposium 2022.

FairHeat encourages all young engineers to actively participate in industry groups and mentors them throughout their journey. Part of the ethos at FairHeat is collaboration, as we believe the industry’s sustainability goals can only be achieved if all stakeholders work as a collective. FairHeat collaborates with over 9 key industry groups, working towards redefining industry standards and regulations on heat networks.

One example is Freddie Valletta, Senior Engineer at FairHeat, who was encouraged by FairHeat to join the BESA HIU Technical Committee and took over as Secretariat on the BESA HIU Technical Committee in April 2021. The group, along with the HIU Steering Committee focus on the development on the BESA HIU Testing Standard – the recognised testing standard for HIUs within the UK. His role involves attending the monthly Technical Committee meetings, taking minutes and contributing to the technical discussions within the meeting. Recently during the development of the new major revision of the BESA HIU Testing Standard, he had to put together and manage the process of releasing the new standard. This has entailed collating a vast body of supporting reference evidence for decisions, authoring supporting documentation and organising and analysing the responses which came back from a market consultation exercise.

“My work at FairHeat over the past 6 years has led me to encounter a vast array of HIUs, which has given me suitable expertise for this role. The HIU technical knowledge I previously had has been further developed within the context of the industry and allows me to engage with other industry professionals from varying disciplines (e.g. consultants, manufacturers, test houses) and work together to achieve the goals set out. The new revision of the Test Standard will allow a wider specification of HIUs to be tested under the regime and also sets out minimum performance standards for the HIUs to achieve. These will encourage HIU development to achieve greater performance with knock on benefits to improved heat network performance through lower heat losses and improved HIU control.”

Freddie Valletta, Senior Engineer, FairHeat

Dan Staunton, Senior Engineer at FairHeat, was also encouraged to contribute to the CIBSE Design Guide – Heat Networks. He reviewed the design guide to ensure compliance with CP1 2020, other CIBSE guides and design practices. He Inputted knowledge and best practices built up from operational schemes and ensured the design guide would remain applicable through the electrification of heat generation. Dan comments:

“The new Guide provides clear detail and a process on how best to undertake and optimise heat network design and controls. Previous guides had laid our requirements, but not stated how to do things. I was fortunate to be supported by my colleagues at FairHeat, who encouraged me to get involved in this initiative and provided me with ongoing peer reviews and input.”

Dan Staunton, Senior Engineer, FairHeat

Promoting the Industry to Future Generations

In 2022, twelve of our young engineers reached out to their universities and presented the graduate scheme, encouraging involvement in building services as a career. This was a successful initiative not only to drive fresh talent to FairHeat but to expand awareness of the industry. Of the eight universities our young engineers engaged with, five have reached out for further collaboration and partnership. As a result, FairHeat has hired 9 new graduates to enrol in the 2022 Scheme, which is more than double the usual intake.

As part of our graduate recruitment strategy for 2022, FairHeat have pursued more diverse activities to engage with a wider pool of talent. Participating in events such as the Association of Black and Ethnic Minorities Engineers 2022, allowed us to reach a wider set of talented engineers and drive further awareness of the industry.

Two of our young engineers, Lucy Sherburn and Simran Chaggar, are STEM ambassadors. FairHeat has supported both in their STEM engagements for the last 2 years. In 2022, FairHeat has enrolled both in the STEMAZING Inspiration Academy which supports women in STEM to shine as visible role models, change outdated perceptions and leave a legacy by delivering engaging online STEMAZINGKids sessions to inspire the next generation.

To tackle our current and future global challenges we need a bigger, stronger, and more diverse STEM workforce. FairHeat are proud co-founders (board members and champions) of the newly founded Diverse Heat Network (DHN), which is a collective of organisations with a shared ambition to enable change within the sector through partnership and collaboration, working towards attracting a diverse workforce into the sector which is representative of society and reflects a diversity of skills, experiences and perspectives. A first initiative by the DHN was contributing to See it, Be it’s ‘green energy series’, which engages with schools and youth groups to shine a light on the industry and showcase a diverse group of people on all levels of the industry.

Exchange Programme For Young Engineers

Over the last year, we have continued our secondments with our client, Ballymore. The secondment allowed for our engineer to learn different skills within the construction industry and gain insights into the commercial aspect of a large construction company. Aaron Caffery, Technical Director at Ballymore, commented on the secondment opportunities:

“Ballymore have now undertaken 3 secondment opportunities with Fairheat and their graduate engineers. The final secondment is ongoing and, in our view, has been an enormous success for both employers and the seconded engineers themselves. The quality of the engineers and their work has been extremely high. This has allowed us to start harnessing their skills almost immediately upon arrival into the Ballymore business. We have been conscious to give the seconded engineers a mixture of workload moving them outside of their core skillset to show them how diverse a construction business can be, whilst still getting them to work on areas closer to their core knowledge base. The feedback from the engineers informs us that they found the process hugely beneficial as it gave them opportunities to experience very different type of working methods and see another side of the same industry. They have been very interested to be involved and get visibility of work in such a different business to Fairheat. We think these secondments are incredibly beneficial to both businesses and more importantly to the graduates.”

Aaron Caffery, Technical Director, Ballymore
Kishan Amin and Emma Tremellen, Summer Interns 2021

Our Summer Internship Programme has been active for two years, it has been developed based on the programme of the Graduate Scheme and customised to fit an accelerated timeframe, giving each individual a full experience of the business and the opportunity to produce research. In 2021, two fourth-year university students were welcomed for a 3-month internship. Emma Tremellen successfully completed the internship and received an offer to join the Graduate Scheme 2023 in recognition for her contributions and effort.

” My summer with FairHeat has been enriching, varied and engaging. I have learnt so about the district heating industry and with their support have developed a real passion for it. I am very excited to have been offered a graduate job with FairHeat and can’t wait to be working with them from next year!”

Emma Tremellen, Summer Intern 2021, FairHeat

In 2022, Aiden Sulway, a bright fourth-year student at Imperial College, was welcomed to the Summer Internship Programme. When asked about his experience as a summer intern at FairHeat, he commented:

“I found out about FairHeat through my friend who completed an internship last year. He told me about the aim of the company in working towards a net zero future and how the internship was a great opportunity to learn about this sector. I chose to do a summer internship at FairHeat because the company aligned with my ambitions as a young engineer. I always wanted to work towards a better future and net zero is currently one of the biggest challenges that engineers face. FairHeat is the perfect environment for me to develop my skills as an independent thinker; all ideas are welcome and supported. FairHeat has created a culture where everybody has their own responsibilities no matter how experienced and places emphasis on everybody working towards the same goal; net zero. My experience has been great so far. I have partaken in projects that I was surprised to be given the trust for. This has only strengthened my sense of belonging within the company and I am excited to see what is to come. Already I feel like one of the team, everybody has been extremely forthcoming with answers to any questions and are available to help at any time. The culture of FairHeat is exactly what I was looking for to start my career. As previously mentioned, everybody is very helpful and you can tell that everybody loves what they do, this level of enthusiasm to produce solid engineering work is something I haven’t seen before. At the same time, outside of work everybody is very friendly, and they make sure nobody gets left out. I feel very privileged to work for a company like FairHeat, the drive towards network heating in the UK is only just beginning and I feel like this is the perfect place to be. With it only being a relatively recent company, working amongst a smaller team fills me with a sense of importance and that if I persevere and absorb the knowledge of my peers, I can really make a difference.”

Aiden Sulway, Summer Intern 2022, FairHeat