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Engineering with a trade union vocation

altIn all refrigeration or air conditioning associations in Brazil the name of Aureo Salles is well known. His fight for the expansion of knowledge and innovation make him our Professional of the Month. By Vanesa Restrepo


With few exceptions, sectoral efforts of association and union are the easiest way to make a company or an item grow and have economic weight in a society. HVAC is not an industry alien to this situation, that is why throughout the continent local associations of technicians have been created that look after their interests before governments and the private sector, as well as the training of technicians and the professionalization of all those who work in the cold chain. These benefits were understood very well by the engineer Aureo Salles de Barros, a Brazilian who since birth is linked to the air conditioning, heating, ventilation and automation industry, and who today is one of the main players in associations such as Smacna (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association) Brazil Chapter; Abrava (Brazilian Association of Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating) and Abdeh (Brazilian Association for the Development of Hospital Buildings). Aureo was born in Rio de Janeiro in early May 1939, just as the refrigeration company A. Salles & Co., founded by his father, Amando Salles, completed the first year of operation. Aureo's childhood and youth were spent in Sao Paulo, in the midst of an environment always linked to refrigeration and air conditioners. And perhaps it was that medium that influenced Aureo to choose mechanical engineering when thinking about his professional future. This is how he entered the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, where he also completed his postgraduate studies. His specialties include topics such as industrial refrigeration, central air conditioning, automation, ventilation and filters, thermoenvironmental electrical and natural gas installations. "I have been a pioneer in the use of thermo-environmental installations for cooling, exhaust, power generation and cogeneration," proudly explains our Professional of the Month. Integrating industry and academia
Much of Aureo Salles' professional work has taken place in classrooms and lecture halls. To his credit are the participation in the main fairs and seminars linked to the HVAC sector, where he has acted as a speaker and special guest. His knowledge of the industry and his technical capacity is recognized by everyone in Brazil, especially after in 1998 he inscribed his name within the records of the National Institute of Industrial Property, INPI, thanks to the development of a cooling chiller moved by a vehicular engine that works with natural gas. All this knowledge has been articulated in the firm A. Salles & Cía, where employees recognize Aureo as an attentive, strict boss and always aware of the constant updating in technical and commercial issues, as well as in the massification of knowledge.


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Trade union activity, axis of business development
The more than 70 years of experience of A. Salles & Cía. in the air conditioning and refrigeration sector, and the nearly 50 years of experience of Aureo give it sufficient authority to ensure that the sector activity is fundamental for the development and sustainability of a company. "A company in the CVACR sector must be attentive to the attention of its customers, respect its officials and suppliers, study and recycle professional training annually, in addition to being part of professional associations such as Abrava, Smacna and Abdeh, among others," said Aureo when asked about the keys to corporate success in this industry. And he not only preaches it, but also applies it. Recently his company was part of the historical book "Memory of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Brazil", written by journalist Cristiane Di Rienzo and edited by the Union of the Refrigeration Industry, Sindratar, Sao Paulo section. "The book celebrates the 100 years of history of the industry and was a project led by Mr. José Rogelio Miguel Medela," explained Aureo. To all these achievements is added the fact that Aureo's company is one of the founding partners of Smacna, Brazil chapter; an association that until today has worked together with its peers in the country and that, in addition, has served as an articulator between Brazilians and other engineers in the sector in the United States and Latin America. "Thanks to this, our relationship with other people in our segment is very good." A comprehensive professional
Owning his own company does not absolve Aureo of his daily responsibilities. Like any of its employees, it begins its day at the office at 8:00 a.m with an agenda full of managerial activities vital to the proper functioning of the firm. "I alternate my management work with the participation in the associative work, in the company of several friends," says Aureo, who also recognizes that from time to time he takes out some spaces to dedicate them to his other passion: cars. "I really like old cars and mechanics," he says as he pauses to explain that when he was young and still single he used to participate in motor racing. And that passion is not only a matter of hobby; because it was thanks to the knowledge of automotive mechanics and his love for the refrigeration sector that he managed to join two pieces and form the chiller that is registered as industrial property. Facing the front
Despite the ups and downs that the economy has had recently, and that have ended up affecting the cold sector, Aureo is optimistic about the future of the industry: "The future for companies in the sector will be extraordinary, because in Brazil a lot of development is being generated and people are preparing technically in universities and technological specialization courses." The arrival of world-class events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup in the coming years also benefits the sector, thanks to the construction of new hotel complexes, hospitals, airports, restaurants, sports venues, etc. To this is added the constant growth of the Gross Domestic Product and the local industry, whose quality begins to be recognized, even above products imported from other latitudes. These elements lead Aureo to think optimistically about the future, both personally and professionally, and consider retirement as one of the most distant options. "Five years from now I see myself again as president of Smacna, Brazil chapter and as vice president of the Commercial Association of Rio de Janeiro, ACRJ," he says. He adds that he also hopes that his company will continue with the technical and commercial development and that his family, made up of his mother, two sisters, his wife, four children and six grandchildren, will maintain the union and fraternal spirit that he has had until today.




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