Meet all of the 2022 Top Women in HVAC

Brigitte Busch

Title: Global Product Manager
Company: Danfoss
Educational Experience: Diploma in Aerospace Engineering from the TU Munich, Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from OSU (Oklahoma State University)
Industry Work Experience: 1998 – 2001: AAON Inc. - Design Engineer, Project Engineer, Application Engineer and Production Engineer. 2001 – present: Danfoss – Regional Product Manager for the NAM for Automatic Controls, Market Segment Manager for Commercial Refrigeration, Regional Key Account Manager, Global Key Account Manager, Global Product Manager for TXV and Refrigerant Distributors

What caused you to/when did you to enter the HVACR industry?

I entered the HVAC industry in 1998. As a foreign student, I had the opportunity to have a one-year practical training, and at the time, I chose a company that could provide me with different opportunities and different challenges. With my education in mechanical engineering and a focus in fluid dynamics and heat transfer, it seemed a good fit. I was looking for an environment where I could explore broader areas (aside from design engineering), and AAON Inc. provided this opportunity for me. My subsequent career at Danfoss was very similar.


What has been the most rewarding aspect of working in HVACR?

The most rewarding moments are when you find a solution for a customer which not only meet their specifications, but also provides the customer and, in turn, their end customers with additional benefits, be it a better performance of their system, a higher efficiency, better reliability, or a simpler installation. Many of our tasks are as much about meeting specifications as they are about solving a problem.


Describe the proudest moment in your career.

When I was marketing manager, I was very engaged with a large commercial refrigeration OEM that switched to Danfoss expansion and solenoid valves, and I received a call from the customer telling me that “since we installed your valves we’ve achieved 20% more capacity.” It was a win for us, it was a win for the OEM, and a win for the equipment operator.


What challenges do women face in this profession? Can you give a personal example?

I have been extremely fortunate to encounter amazing mentors in this industry and a fantastic work environment. I have not faced many challenges which I would say are unique to being a woman. While it is still a male-dominated industry, I have never felt undervalued or not taken seriously.


How can we increase the number of women in HVACR?

Collectively we need to promote the industry more to women. As an example, I have been visiting our local high school during career day to represent Danfoss but also the industry and show potential talent that there is so much opportunity in the HVAC industry: stability, a chance to work in a field vital to so many aspects of our daily lives and with significant innovation and a focus on sustainable solutions. This is especially true in light of digital transformation, which opens new fields of opportunities and a need for new skill sets.


What does your day-to-day job entail?

My day-to-day job is very diverse, which is one of the things I like about being a product manager. I support the sales team, as well as work with R&D, procurement, quality, and supply chain. I have end-to-end responsibility for my product. The part I enjoy the most is customer engagement and supporting the sales team with new opportunities or working on new ideas to move our industry into a more environmentally friendly direction.


What remains on your HVACR bucket list — what do you aspire to do that you haven’t accomplished yet?

I’d like to invest more time mentoring and teaching our next generation about the industry and technology.


What advice do you have for females who are considering entering the HVACR field?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions; you can learn and do anything if you have a true passion for it and you enjoy what you are doing. There are many opportunities, from marketing to chemistry. I firmly believe there are many opportunities for anyone in this field. There is always going to be a demand for skilled personnel.