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NEWS 26 / 05 / 2022

Spotlight on Peter Harper

Meet Peter Harker, not to be confused with Peter Parker aka Spiderman. Peter is our superhero draughtsman and is responsible for client specific drawing requirements for each and every IWC project.

Peter has been with IWC for over 12 years and has been instrumental in providing design drawings for most of our super impressive projects.

When asked what problems our industry encounters and how he would deal with them, Peter explained.

“What I have seen in the industry related to IWC in particular, is that some people on the sites do not understand the value of looking after their cooling towers. Water quality and maintenance are often ignored and cause problems down the line. The other issue is that clients use contractors to maintain or repair the cooling towers and often the contractor does not know how a cooling tower is meant to function ,and they end up restricting the air flow or in extreme cases, setting the cooling towers on fire. The way to solve this issue is by educating our clients and maintenance workers, however, with older towers this might not help as the information is often not passed on to the new teams on site”.

In keeping with the theme of superheroes, Peters favourite quote is “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” As said by Jack Napier aka The Joker to Bruce Wayne AKA Batman. Peter explains why this quote resonates with him.

“Yeah its corny and its from a movie I saw as a 12 year old but to this day, I have not forgotten the words. I have no idea what it’s supposed to have meant in the context of the movie, but for me, it was always something to think about at various points in my life when I have had to deal with disappointment. The decision to either let those moments define your life or to learn from them”.

When asked why he enjoys working at IWC, Peter responded, “I really enjoy what I do and especially when a new project comes in. One of the most exciting things about working in a design/manufacturing environment, is when the team sit around a table and start throwing ideas around until a workable solution has been found.”

Peter was born in Pietermaritzburg where he lived for all of 5 days. His parents moved around for a few years and eventually settled in Welkom. Jokingly, Peter said this is likely the cause of his obsession with people in Gauteng using traffic circles incorrectly. ☺

“My first real job was for a place that built heavy goods vehicles in Bloemfontein and after that, I took the leap and moved to Gauteng. I then worked for Sappi and was introduced to piping and structural detailing. As I wanted to focus more on project driven work, I changed tack and worked as a contract draughtsman for various consulting engineering companies before joining IWC in 2010. The rest is history”. says Peter.

Knowing Peter as I do, I decided to answer the question I posed on values for him… Peter is a solid individual (literally and figuratively), he has a heart of gold and a somewhat strange sense of humour. It takes a while to get to know Peter but he is he guy you want on your team… so in light of this, I can conclude his values are stability, loyalty and tenacity amongst others.

As keen petrolhead, it’s no wonder that the only podcast Peter has ever listened to is called “Car Throttle” Unfortunately this podcast is no longer available. Peter also watches a YouTube channel called Practical Engineering. The host of the channel covers many topics that are relevant to the work we do at IWC and what Peter likes about it, is that the host often has solutions to engineering issues he may encounter in his day to day work.

Peter is an avid reader, so when asked what his favourite book was, he said it was quite difficult to decide, but went with “The Land God Made in Anger” by John Gordon Davis.

When Peter isn’t reading war novels, he can be founding hiking and spending time in nature. “A good mountain road in a car with a decent amount of power is one of the most rewarding experiences for me” says Peter.

Friday afternoons are sacred to Peter, and this is when he catches up with his brother, “we talk about all sorts of nonsense and laugh until we can’t breathe” say Peter. What a great way to end a week.


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