Designing With Passion and Helping People: Meet Zsófia Szőllősy

22. November 2023 | 6 min read

In the world of engineering, women are still a minority, but Zsófia Szőllősy, Heating and Cooling System Designer at Pipelife Hungary, proves that the tables can and should be turned. We interviewed Zsófia about her career journey, the intricacies behind energy-efficient housing and the importance of having a healthy work-life balance.

Heating and Cooling System Designer at Pipelife Hungary

A Rising Star in Construction Design

Having joined the company just a year ago, Zsófia Szőllősy is one of the youngest members of Pipelife Hungary's team, but she has already proven herself as a talented and highly committed professional. In 2021, she received a master's degree as a construction engineer from the University of Debrecen, but her interest in the field emerged already in high school.

"As a student, I worked in a big printing house and loved it so much. I found the printing machines fascinating and wanted to know — how do they work? How are the prints made? That's when I chose to be a mechanical engineer," she recalls with a smile.

During the study years, one of the professors noticed Zsófia's talent and interest in design and planning, encouraging her to specialize in HVAC systems. After graduation, she quickly found her first job as a designer and gained hands-on experience with drawing plans and using 2D/3D modeling software.  

Zsófia's next career step was joining Pipelife Hungary's in-house design team based in her hometown, Debrecen. Her day-to-day responsibilities entail preparing plans for hydronic heating, cooling and siphonic roof drainage systems. Apart from being near her family and her boyfriend, Zsófia appreciates the close-knit team spirit in her new workplace.

"I like being here so much. We are a very strong team and always support each other. Most of the time, we focus on our own projects, but if anyone needs help, they are always backed up. I do enjoy working on my own, and here I'm given the space to do that while feeling part of the team at the same time."

Heating and Cooling System Designer at Pipelife Hungary
Heating and Cooling System Designer at Pipelife Hungary

Creating Energy-Efficient Homes

What Zsófia appreciates about her job is the opportunity to help people make their dreams of a modern, energy-efficient home come true. No two buildings and no two customers are the same, so being in touch with the clients is part and parcel of her workday.

"Pipelife has a very strong customer support system. Clients can always reach us to give feedback or ask for advice regarding the maintenance, repair, or installation of their system," Zsófia emphasizes. "In the beginning, it was hard to speak to customers; I was nervous to say something silly. But my colleagues really supported me, and after a while, I felt confident to consult clients on my own. Sometimes, I still can't answer all questions, but professionally, I have gained a lot of knowledge."

Zsófia's expertise covers both residential and commercial projects. When asked about the current trends in the HVAC industry, the young designer firmly believes in adopting green technologies and switching away from non-renewable energy sources. She also confirms that the interest in smart home applications is on the rise.  

Once installed, hydronic heating and cooling systems are completely invisible and inaudible, but a lot of work goes into the system's design to ensure its flawless operation. The final result must also be compatible with other systems installed in the house and the customers' design preferences.

"We start with heat load calculations to determine the needed size and number of panels. Then, we plan for the optimal location of panels, manifolds and, ultimately, piping. Once everything is done, we send the plans to our regional sales partner. It's important to find a good balance between the customer's wishes and high system reliability and performance."

Heating and Cooling System Designer at Pipelife Hungary

Balance, Commitment and Inspiration

Having a healthy work-life balance is another thing Zsófia appreciates at Pipelife. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking for her family, listening to music and traveling. While Zsófia says that she does not bring her work home, her passion for bringing joy to others and her design skills shine through — she often prepares special cakes for her loved ones.

When asked what advice she could give to other young women passionate about a career in the construction industry, Zsófia emphasizes believing in one's own capabilities.

"I have personally not experienced discrimination because of my gender as an engineer, but I know it is a problem that many women face. My advice to them is — stay strong and don't let anyone take you down. Achieve your dreams and prove that you can be as good as the others." 

Heating and Cooling System Designer at Pipelife Hungary

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