In my view: Primož Černigoj FCSI

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The consultant manager of PROprima explains how he brings the expertise he gained in his background as an engineer into his project work

As an authorised mechanical engineer, recognised by the Slovenian Chamber of Engineers, I specialise in designing professional kitchens in restaurants, hotels and hospitals.

I advise my clients and propose technical solutions on the logistics of food transport and the implementation of professional equipment. I cooperate in the development of new equipment for the transport and preparation of food, such as food trucks, kitchen and trailer mobile solutions.

During my mechanical engineering studies, I worked in a small company that designed and supplied technological equipment. At the time, computer aided design (CAD) support was quite rare. But, even in 1993, I realised the advantages of CAD drawing and 3D modelling. After graduating, I was taken on full-time and worked a lot on construction sites installing equipment.

The main focus of my job now is design, liaising with architects, chefs and visiting numerous kitchens. Good food and design seem a great combination to me. I have learnt that everything is possible – you just need time and will.

Being accepted to join FCSI was a great personal success and privilege. When I meet fellow designers from all over the world at events such as the EAME conference, I am impressed by the projects members are involved in.

The biggest challenge for the foodservice equipment industry is definitely producing multifunctional devices. As a designer I am confronted with the fact that, in a small space, we have to make a ‘real’ kitchen with high capacity.

I learnt a lot from my mentor Alenka Hrovatin of Gasting, for which I am very grateful. But knowledge needs to be upgraded every day. I learn a lot out in the field, for example just listening to a service technician or a dish washer.

My advice to younger consultants is to never give up. If they cannot find a solution to a project on the first or second day, it is necessary to persist. Make sketches, compare different variants, review solutions offered by not only the foodservice industry but other sectors. Combining different skills can be the way to find a solution.

The separation of my business and private life is difficult – I almost never leave the office without my computer. But I enjoy cycling, even in the cold and rain. I’m also creating speaker cables from an exhausted induction coil from a professional range.

Michael Jones