A former HVAC construction society president and Daikin engineer has been given an award for his work with chillers and industrial heat pumps.

Thomas Watson, a onetime president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and retired chief engineer at Daikin Applied, recently received the Institute of Refrigeration’s J&E Hall Gold Medal Award.

The J&E Gold Medal Award recognizes contributions to the refrigeration industry. Watson was presented with the gold medal and a check for £5,000 ($6,092) by IOR President Steve Gill at the institute’s annual dinner in February.

His work included introducing large capacity oil-free magnetic bearing compressors and the first centrifugal chiller with zero-ozone depleting potential, officials said. He is currently working on low global-warming-potential refrigerants.

"It was certainly surprising and overwhelming when I learned I would be receiving the award,” said Watson. “Everything you do requires dependence on those around you from your co-workers and your family to supervisors and the people that work for you. This honor is not just for me. To be singled out is of course a tremendous privilege, and sometimes I don't feel totally deserving because of all the things people have done before that I have built on."