acr awards

Finalists For ACR News Awards 2017

Aqua Group have reached the finals of this year’s ACR News Awards.

Shortlisted for Refrigeration Product of the Year, Aqua have been recognised for supplying a highly efficient, bespoke refrigeration system to one of the UK’s leading food industry suppliers.

The installation for Anson Packaging Ltd, part of the Danish-based Faerch Plast Group, focused on achieving ultra high levels of energy efficiency.

Aqua supplied glycol-free free cooling, Turbocor compressor chillers and took the project through from initial design right through to installation and commissioning.

Simon Davis, Aqua Cooling co-founder and Director said:“We’re delighted that one of our systems has made it through to the final stage of these awards, it’s always very special to be recognised within your industry. However credit really goes to all those involved in the project, which includes our designers, sales & projects engineers and service & commissioning engineers.”

Established for over twenty years ago, The ACR News Awards celebrate success within the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. For 2017 entries are still being judged by an independent expert panel, although for the first time the industry are being asked to get involved and vote for some categories.

Winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner on 23rd March at London’s Chelsea Harbour Hotel. Hosting the dinner will be Ed Byrne, one of the UK’s leading performers and a popular face on shows such as Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You.


Cool Apprenticeships On Offer At Jobs Fair

Aqua was delighted to sponsor this year’s Fareham Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair, organised by local Member of Parliament Suella Fernandes and held at the town’s Ferneham Hall.

Suella said:“There is so much talent right here in Fareham, with innovating and ambitious businesses like Aqua based locally. It’s great that they’re giving something back to local people, equipping them with vital skills for work through their apprenticeship programmes, and I’m proud to be involved.”

Aqua is expanding rapidly. The company opened a second Segensworth office at the end of last year and is looking to recruit apprentices to fill engineering, sales and administrative roles.

Simon Davis, Aqua Director, said:“We are proud of our continued growth and success and pleased to be investing in the future through these apprenticeships. An apprenticeship with Aqua is more than a training scheme and we hope that the successful candidates will view their roles as stepping stones to life-long careers with us.”

Aqua has previously recruited apprentices who have been offered full time permanent design and sales positions at the end of their training.

Natalee Hunt, a full-time accounts assistant at Aqua, said:“It is an honour to represent Aqua at this event, which is a great opportunity for students and job-seekers to meet a variety of potential employers. Aqua is a great place to work.”

Natalee received sponsorship and support from Aqua whilst attending evening courses at Fareham College to complete her Level 4 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) examinations. She attained her diploma in accounting and bookkeeping last year and has earned membership of the AAT.

Aqua spoke to more than 40 hopeful candidates at the event, the second of its kind run by the Fareham MP. Last year’s event was held at Fareham College.

This year Aqua joined companies such as SAAB and BAE Systems to meet educational institutions including Fareham College, Highbury College and Southampton Solent University.

uni build

An Intern’s Reflections On Time Spent In Industry

“Finding a job after graduation can be difficult in today’s competitive graduate employment market and for many students this is reason enough to undertake summer work placements. So, when I was lucky enough to be offered a month’s work experience here at Aqua Group, I jumped at the chance.

My name is Toby and I am a current university student, in the second year of a BSc physics degree. My education so far has been relatively academic so, when the opportunity arose at Aqua to apply some of my theoretical scientific knowledge in the real world — physics in action, if you like — it seemed like the perfect work-placement for me. I was not disappointed.

Working at Aqua’s Segensworth head office was great fun and very much opened my eyes. Not only was it one of my first experiences of an office environment but, thanks to my new colleagues’ strong team spirit and the buzz of enthusiasm that pervades the company, I was immediately made to feel welcome and valued.

Being surrounded by experienced engineers was inspiring — they were approachable and down-to-earth, and happy to help when I needed input and advice with the research and prototype testing tasks I’d been set. I especially enjoyed applying the knowledge of theoretical physics that I’ve gained so far at school and uni to devising and carrying out a variety of tests, and then to interpreting the results in a way that hopefully will be commercially significant. My grounding in scientific basics helped me reach what I hope were useful conclusions that, in turn, may help to inform some of Aqua’s business decisions in the future.

For myself, working as part of such a dynamic team in such a fast-paced sector, the month I spent at Aqua was invaluable. Every day brought a new learning experience and I was able to see at first hand some of the myriad ways in which scientific theory learnt in lectures can be applied to solve real-world challenges, from pipes to pumps, cooling to heating, and in industries as diverse as manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical, packaging, power generation, food/beverage, and education as well as, of course, IT and computer data storage.

I’m now in the middle of preparing for my winter exams, fired with renewed enthusiasm for my subject and its relevance outside pure academia. I am enduringly grateful for the support I was given during my time as part of the Aqua family, and hope that in some measure I have paved the way for more student interns to contribute to this exciting business and, in doing so, benefit from their own Aqua experience.”

iop awards

Aqua Cooling Pick Up International Science Award

Aqua Group have been recognised by the international Institute of Physics (IOP) for its pioneering Leak Prevention System (LPS).

The company was presented with an IOP Commended Innovation award during a celebratory evening at the Lancaster Hotel in London. The event follows a parliamentary reception during which the winning companies were invited to showcase their innovations alongside leaders in business, politics and academia.

The IOP’s Business Innovation Awards are the only awards to recognise companies in the UK and Ireland that have built success on the innovative application of physics.

Aqua Group’s patented LPS is the first commercial product of its kind to use a basic suction principle – the Venturi effect. It works on the scientific premise that water under negative pressure cannot escape through a hole or breach in a pipe, hose, or joint. The application of this basic scientific principle represents a cooling breakthrough for data centres and other facilities, allowing them to benefit from all the advantages of water-based cooling systems with none of the risk.

By incorporating the LPS into its range of water-based cooling systems, Aqua can guarantee optimum efficiency and continuous 100 per cent leak-free performance, making its products ideal for installation and operation in sensitive environments.

The ground-breaking technology has already won the Hampshire-based cooling specialist industry recognition in the form of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation), which it received in 2015.

Aqua Group Directors Simon Davis and Kevin Lancaster received the Commended Innovation award from IOP President Roy Sambles.

Simon said: “We’re thrilled to have been recognised as being at the cutting edge of engineering innovation in the UK. Our team’s mission has always been to use our expertise to meet the unique needs of our customers.”

“We know from the success of our products and the ongoing relationships we have built with clients that we are achieving this. To receive this award and have the opportunity to introduce our technology to policy-makers and the wider scientific community has been an honour.”

This year’s IOP winners included Ikon Science, Jaguar Land Rover, Kromek Group, The Technology Partnerships and Ultra Electronics. Other companies to receive the Commended award alongside Aqua were Airbus Defence and Space, e2v technologies, Endomagentics and Tesla Engineering.


Aqua Cooling Receives Recognition in Parliament

Hampshire-based specialist cooling engineers, Aqua Group, has been praised by Government ministers in the House of Commons following its recent success at the Institute of Physics awards.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes used a Treasury Question Time opportunity to ask Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, to join her in congratulating Aqua and its directors Kevin Lancaster and Simon Davis following their recent Commended Innovation Award from the Institute of Physics.

Ms Fernandes said: “Kevin Lancaster and Simon Davis started their business, Aqua Cooling, from scratch in Fareham in 2000, and it now generates £1.7m in profit and is a leading industrial cooling firm. Last week, the Institute of Physics awarded Aqua Cooling its business innovation award for its innovative application of physics to generate jobs and profit. Will the Chancellor join me in congratulating Aqua Cooling and outline what the Government are doing to support research and development, so that other self-starters like Kevin and Simon can grow their businesses?”

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jane Ellison responded on behalf of the Chancellor and said: “I think that all Treasury Ministers would be delighted to congratulate Aqua Cooling on the innovation award it has won.”

Aqua was presented with a Commended Innovation award for its patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) that puts a basic scientific principle to work in a commercial application for the first time.

Aqua Cooling Sales Director Simon Davis said: “We are delighted to have received valuable recognition from the scientific community and now in Parliament too. It further highlights the enormous potential of our LPS within the data centre industry and the difference our work is making.”

Aqua’s LPS uses the Venturi effect and the basic scientific premise that water under negative pressure cannot escape through a hole or breach in a pipe, hose, or joint.

The unique system has previously been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2015.



Aqua Win Prestigious International Science Award

Hampshire-based specialist engineering firm Aqua Group has been honoured by the international Institute of Physics (IOP) during a parliamentary reception at the Palace of Westminster.

The team was presented with a Commended Innovation award for its patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) that puts a basic scientific principle to work in a commercial application for the first time.

Picking up the award at the event, which was sponsored by Alok Sharma, Member of Parliament for Reading West, were Aqua directors Kevin Lancaster and Simon Davis, with Fareham MP Suella Fernandes.

Suella Fernandes said: “The UK’s innovative businesses, in physics and beyond, are solving major challenges in areas from healthcare to defence and manufacturing, and they will be a major driver of the UK’s future economic success. It was particularly inspiring to learn about the work of Aqua Cooling and I was very pleased to be able to congratulate the company’s directors on their success.”

Aqua Cooling Sales Director Simon Davis said:“This exciting Commended Innovation award from the Institute of Physics is extremely rewarding for the whole Aqua team. It represents valuable recognition from the scientific community and highlights the enormous significance and potential of our LPS within the data centre industry.”

By incorporating the LPS into its range of water-based cooling systems, Aqua can guarantee optimum efficiency and continuous, 100 per cent leak-free performance — which makes its systems ideal for installation and operation in sensitive environments such as data centre and on-chip cooling.

Aqua’s LPS uses the Venturi effect and the basic scientific premise that water under negative pressure cannot escape through a hole or breach in a pipe, hose, or joint.

“We spent a substantial amount of time trialling pipework sizes and designs to ensure sufficient velocity, and spent time with Venturi designers to overcome issues of noise and vibration,”added Simon.

The ground-breaking system has already won the Hampshire-based cooling specialist industry-wide recognition. It has previously won a string of awards for its state-of-the-art development and design including a 2015 Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation), also in recognition of the LPS.

The Institute of Physics is the world’s leading international scientific membership society and works tirelessly to advance physics for the benefit of society; its annual IOP Awards recognise substantial contributions to the global reputation and development of physics.

Award recipients hail from the most successful and high-profile businesses in the physics world. Today there were five IOP award winners and five commendable award winners. The winners were Ikon Science, Jaguar Land Rover, Kromek Group, The Technology Partnerships and Ultra Electronics. Other companies to receive the commended award alongside Aqua were Airbus Defence and Space, e2v technologies, Endomagnetics and Tesla Engineering.

iop awards


Aqua Cooling Invests In Tomorrow’s Workforce

Behind every award-winning company there’s a forward-thinking and motivated team. Here at Aqua Group we don’t take this for granted. We are committed to investing in our work force and giving our employees the experience they need to go far.

This involves apprenticeships, on-the-job training and professional qualifications for staff across our business. Here are just a few team members who have been forging their careers with Aqua.

Right at the beginning of his journey with us is Dann Guy who has just started a three-year refrigeration and air conditioning apprenticeship with one day a week at Eastleigh College.

Dann says he chose to do his apprenticeship with Aqua because of our reputation as an award-winning company with excellent customer relations. Just a few months into his training he’s enjoying the challenge and the support he’s received.

“Aqua cooling support me brilliantly as I train,” says Dann. “They supplied me with a brand new van and I have a trainer who is absolutely fantastic at what he does and teaches me everything he knows whilst on the job. If I have any problems with college work he’s more than happy to run me through it to ensure I understand.”

By undertaking an apprenticeship with us Dann is able to develop his skills in an industry he’s passionate about and earn at the same time.

He adds: “Every day is different, so there’s never a boring day. College teaches me theory and practical skills and then out on the road things are mostly hands, which is really helpful for me because that’s the best way I learn.”

Elliott Tribbeck has just finished a two year apprenticeship and is now a trainee designer. During his apprenticeship Elliott studied on the job and for one day a week at Highbury College. The combination of work place learning and day release gave him the chance to apply his learning to real life engineering projects.

He says: “After meeting everyone at the company at the interview process I became aware of the caring nature of the team and their ability to take chances to help succeed, this was the ideal working attitude that I wanted to be associated with.”

“The best part of the apprenticeship for me was having the privilege of seeing engineering work first hand, improving my skills within a specific field and having the ability to apply the information I had learnt in the relevant applications.”

Elliott now holds a BTEC in Engineering and will be continuing with us to broaden his experience in the industry.

While our innovative products are what Aqua Cooling is known for, our organisation wouldn’t run without our office support teams, so we are just as keen to invest in their professional development.

Natalee Hunt, an assistant in our accounts team, has just completed her Level 4 AAT – a diploma in accounting and bookkeeping. Natalee came from a sales background, so required training to help her carry out her day to day tasks.

She said: “AAT taught me the fundamental principles in accounting and how to bring them into the workplace. As most systems are now computer automated, AAT brings you the knowledge behind the computer so you are able to understand the procedures happening within the workplace without SAGE just doing it all for you.”

For the past two years we have sponsored Natalee through her coursework and exams with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). This has involved her taking evening classes at Fareham College and giving her all important time off to prepare for her accountancy tests.

Now that she has earned her membership of the AAT (MAAT) we will support Natalee to keep her skills updated through continual professional development courses.

Also in the accounts team, Cherie Cordall is in her final year of the AAT. She joined Aqua Cooling in 2008.

“AAT is important in my job as I came from a none accounting background,” explains Cherie. “It gives anyone wanting to work in accounting the foundations of accounting and bookkeeping which helps me in my day to day role.”

Cherie has been working towards the diploma through a combination of evening classes and, after having a baby, online distance learning. Aqua Cooling has funded her whole course, including tuition books, membership fees and exams, as well as giving her study days and time off for the exams. Cherie is due to complete her qualification next summer.


Aqua Debut At US Super Computing Expo

Aqua Group is to make its debut at a world-leading super computer conference SC16 in Salt Lake City, USA, in November

The Fareham-based engineering firm’s Texas-based sister company, rack and Data Center Cooling specialist QCooling, will be exhibiting Aqua’s award-winning British technology alongside Silicon Valley IT client Nautilus Data Technologies at Super Computing 2016 (SC16).

Last year the companies signed a multi-million dollar contract to design, supply and in-stall the innovative cooling system on Nautilus’ ground-breaking waterborne floating data centre concept.

SC16 provides the perfect opportunity for the companies to showcase their innovative data centre storage solutions to the international super computing community and US markets, as both rear door coolers and the leak prevention system (LPS) will be on show at booth #4259.

Aqua Cooling’s LPS technology, which won a 2015 Queens Award for Enterprise: Innovation, offers game-changing cooling systems to the international Data Centre market.

It provides the world’s highest liquid cooling rack-based solution, ideal both for new builds and retrofit, as well as hot spot removal. The system can be tailored to fit any rack and completely bespoke versions are available.

Central to the Aqua product offering is its unique and patented LPS, which enables clients to benefit from all the efficiency advantages of a water cooled system but with a 100 per cent leak free guarantee.

Mike West, Data Centre Projects Manager for Aqua Cooling, said: “We are delighted that QCooling is exhibiting with Nautilus at SC16. Our combined storage solutions are world-class and I believe that together we have one of the most innovative data centre storage offers available on the international market.

“This conference is the ideal showcase for our technology and will help build QCooling’s existing business in the US and beyond.”

Energy efficient solutions are at the heart of the Aqua ethos. Its rear door cooling system can use natural, renewable resources such as river, sea and bore-hole water. This feature was particularly attractive to Nautilus, whose prototype launched in the iconic San Francisco Bay – an area susceptible to drought. The system recycles river water by passing it through a heat exchanger to cool the data centre equipment and then returns 100 per cent pure water to the source.

SC16, billed as “The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis”, takes place in the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, from 14 to 17 November. QCooling and Nautilus will be in booth #4259.



We’re Expanding! New Office Opening For Aqua Group

We’ll shortly be opening a third office to help accommodate our expanding workforce and burgeoning business.

The newly-acquired office space in Hampshire is a short distance away from our Head Office in Fareham and will become the home of the administrative side of our business, housing our purchasing, operations, accounts, health and safety, and quality teams. Meanwhile, sales, service, projects, customer service, telemarketing and projects will remain at Unit D4, Segensworth Business Centre.

This expansion is all part of our plan to grow as a market-leading cooling solutions company. In recent years we’ve had awards successes, won major new national and international contracts, and have grown our team in the UK and abroad.

One of the targets is to expand our headcount to 100 team members, and to allow for that we must add to our current property portfolio, which currently includes an office in Fareham and another in York, so that we can accommodate all our staff in appropriate business environments.

Indeed, we’ve already outgrown Unit D4, so this new office gives us the extra room that we need now to make our employees more comfortable, plus room for potential new starters. In the immediate future this will include a UK Sales Manager, a Northern Senior Sales Engineer and additional telemarketing personnel.

In the meantime, we have the keys, the electric car charging points have been fitted and decorating is well underway.. We hope to open our new office later in the autumn, although you can continue to contact us on the same numbers and email addresses. We’ve already added the new address: 18 Little Park Farm Road, Segensworth West, to our ‘contact us’ webpage and look forward to opening for business very soon!

Kevin Lancaster

Director, Aqua Cooling Solutions

james russ

Busy Times For Laser Sailor James Russ

It’s been a busy few months for local youth Laser sailor James Russ as he’s juggled training, competing AND studying for his GCSE exams! Aqua have sponsored James over the last few sailing seasons and here he tells us in his own words just how busy he’s been…

“I have competed in two main events in the past few months, the Youth Nationals in Pwhelli and the Nationals in Weymouth, whilst also fitting in time for revision for my GCSE’s.”

“The Youth Nationals were defiantly an event to remember as we had every type of condition possible throughout the week, from no wind to gale force and the wind came from all sorts of directions! Nevertheless I made it through the week, finishing 22nd out of around 60 in the radial boys class, my best results being two 11ths. A long journey home concluded my last large event before my GCSE examinations.”

“After all of the exams were over I was looking forward to the Nationals in Weymouth, a short journey there and a long week awaited me. Weymouth was one of the most consistent events I have ever been too; with a good sea breeze filling in every day from the south west. With these high and consistent winds it was survival of the fittest! I had another good mid fleet result finishing up 24th out of 65 radials with some good consistent results, excluding my two black flags!! Not my best week for starting I must say!”

“After a long summer of sailing and relaxing my results came in and it’s fair to say I was over the moon! The hard work and balance of studying and sailing was just right and I got the results I needed (and more) to do everything I want to do at college.”

“Now coming up to the end of September college is in full swing and I have an action packed October containing training, racing and, of course, more studying!”

James is now studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Psychology at Bay House Sixth Form in Gosport and everyone at Aqua wishes him all the best with his studying and sailing over the coming months…