Archive for the ‘Industry Events’ Category

Big Ten & Friends Utilities Conference

Big Ten & Friends Utilities Conference

Applied recently joined with some of our University partners to discuss campus utilities, energy processes and energy distribution at the Big Ten & Friends utilities conference at Purdue University.  The event kicked off on a Sunday afternoon with a golf scramble at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Course, which we sponsored. The weather cooperated and there was great fun had by all. Sunday night wrapped up with a welcome reception and dinner. Networking between vendors, universities, facility engineers, and design professionals took place.

Monday and Tuesday brought subject matter experts together to discuss how to improve energy distribution, save money on the production of steam and chilled water, and help create a green environment and better place for us all to live.

Jim Lowe, Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning and Management at Ball State University, provided an update on BSU’s conversion from steam to geothermal water distribution. Jim noted that BSU has been seeing a consistent annual payback of $2.2M, which puts the project payback at 10-12 years.

Amanda Doenges, Director of Engineering and Administration at Butler University, and Taylor Smith, a graduate from Butler University’s Engineering Dual Degree Program, presented on electric sub-metering and energy management. The two discussed how metering can help provide knowledge on where energy inefficiencies can be reduced. Through data, a facility manager is able to review utility demands to find ways to increase energy efficiencies of processes.

We at Applied enjoyed seeing many friends and clients visiting our exhibit booth! Our firm regularly engineers utilities projects for local universities, in addition to our mechanical, electrical, and plumbing designs. It is always wonderful to make new connections, and sharing our knowledge of utilities for higher education environments with the network of facility individuals at the conference was very rewarding. Hopefully Big Ten & Friends will return to Indiana soon!

Purdue Technology Center Aerospace Building Dedication

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Purdue Technology Center Aerospace Building Dedication

We recently had the honor of attending the building dedication for the new Purdue Technology Center Aerospace Building. Applied was responsible for engineering the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing for this new 55,000 SF, two-story facility, with a $12 million construction cost. Rolls-Royce is occupying approximately 60% of the space, and we helped design their test cell facility where jet engine components will be designed, developed, and tested. The Aerospace Building is also the new home to Purdue’s Physical Facilities Department. Dan Hasler (President, Purdue Research Foundation), Mitch Daniels (President, Purdue University), Marion Blakey (President and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America), Senator Brandt Hershman, and Mayor John Dennis (City of West Lafayette) all spoke during the dedication. Adding to the excitement of the day was the flyover and landing of an MV-22 Osprey.

Purdue Bound Career Day 2017

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Purdue Bound Career Day 2017

Loren & Mike attend Purdue Bound Career Day

Last Saturday, Applied once again participated in the annual Purdue Bound Career Day event at Dow AgroSciences on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Mike Jamieson and I talked with Indianapolis Public Schools students about the impact an engineering career can create for both the individual and the community.

Mike and I described some of the projects we have worked on, noting that Applied focuses effort in four markets: Higher Education, Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Government.

When describing university projects, I noted that at Applied, we create environments and design systems which positively impact people. Previous project designs have helped students collaborate on problems with multiple outcomes. Through our positive design, students have access to white board walls to construct a design outline, large monitors to share ideas and expose group members to videos which articulate concepts, wireless data so that they can connect with resources outside of the space, and a comfortable environment without distractions. Through providing this environment, Applied is playing its part to create a better world where there is more interaction and better solutions for tomorrow.

Mike commented that being a professional engineer (PE) is a great responsibility. PEs must take the safety of the employees, visitors, neighborhood, and public into account on every project. Being a professional engineer, we strive to turn our clients’ goals into realities while creating a safe environment for everyone involved.

The students were engaged and asked many questions such as, “What do you like most about being an engineer?” and “Why do you like working for Applied?” I shared that I enjoy working for Applied because of the variety of work – that in any given week I could be creating a telecom design, creating a power distribution system, visiting a new project site, and assisting contractors during construction. The ability to wear many hats and interact with people from different backgrounds helps me broaden my perspective and feel like I’m making an impact in my community. Mike stated that he enjoys the design challenges that come with being an engineer. Through designing dust collectors to steam systems, every project has unique goals that must be achieved through diligent calculations and design.

We thought that this group of students was highly engaged, had great communication skills, and were high achievers. Their intelligent questions and ability to understand power distribution, HVAC controls, and the design process within a short time shows that the future is bright for engineering and the world.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Purdue Bound, please check out https://www.purdue.edu/purduebound.

Loren Horan is a Shareholder and Project Manager at Applied Engineering Services.

Purdue Bound Career Day

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Purdue Bound Career Day

The Saturday morning started out cold, but the Purdue Bound (formerly Science Bound) Career Day kicked off with great warmth as the excited students learned about jobs and opportunities within STEAM (science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and math) fields. Applied Engineering Services served as a corporate sponsor for the event, along with Purdue University, Raytheon, Bowen Engineering, Rolls-Royce, Dow AgroSciences, and Eli Lilly and Company. Each firm gave the students a quick “day in the life” of an engineer, scientist, designer, researcher, or programmer.

Mike Jamieson and I talked with students about the type of work Applied does within the consulting engineering industry. We described how Applied utilizes engineering knowledge to provide HVAC designs, plumbing design, power distribution, and telecommunications connectivity, and how our work utilizes math, science, and engineering, and technology to create warm and inviting environments. We gave a broad overview of healthcare design to the students, touching on how HVAC designs can be best implemented to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals. Power distribution from the utility company down to the receptacles was also generally described.

The students were actively engaged with some of the hands-on devices that we demonstrated. Mike described energy efficiencies in the HVAC realm by showing how a small ventilation recovery device works and how sensible and latent energy is transferred through the cross-baffle heat recovery membrane. The plate and frame heat exchanger spurred several questions from the students. On the electrical side, the manual motor starter and medium voltage cable drew the most interest. I helped break down the electrical concepts behind the equipment, which allowed the students to better understand how the parts and pieces all work together to create a complete building system.

The morning included a panel discussion with previous Purdue Bound graduates describing their college and life experiences, and wrapped up with a motivational speech by Purdue All-American Running Back LeRoy Keyes and his wife, Monica. The students and career volunteers noted that it was a great experience, and everyone appreciated Rolls-Royce’s hospitality in hosting the event at their facility.

Loren Horan is a Shareholder and Project Manager at Applied Engineering Services.

Mike Jamieson speaking with Purdue Bound students

Mike Jamieson speaking with Purdue Bound students

Science Bound Parent Meeting

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Science Bound Parent Meeting

Applied Engineering Services is a long-time partner of the Science Bound program, a Purdue University/Indianapolis Public Schools partnership where a student who successfully completes the program is given the opportunity for paid tuition at Purdue University. We have supported Science Bound for nearly a decade as an advisory board member, at the annual career fair, through summer internships of rising high school seniors, and financially.

Recently, I met with the parents of Science Bound students to describe what it takes to be an engineer. We discussed the various types of engineers, the importance of writing, spelling, and communications skills in addition to the typical math and science courses, good study habits and time management, and the importance of being a leader through extracurricular activities.

The meeting wrapped up with a discussion on the commitment required to be successful in the engineering program at Purdue University (ranked 6th in the nation and 26th in the word for engineering schools according to US News and Word Report). Engineering school requires hard studies and every student has to want it/earn it. Getting practical experience during college, through internships and co-op programs, is also a must for the graduating engineer.

Ralph Power is an Owner and Principal at Applied Engineering Services.

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IU Kokomo Golf Outing

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IU Kokomo Golf Outing

We recently supported Indiana University Kokomo at their annual golf outing at the Wildcat Creek Golf Course. Applied served as an event sponsor as well as a participant, fielding a seasoned foursome consisting of Frank St. John, John Yoder, Tim Anderson, and Dave Marshall. A damp start gave way to mild temperatures that saw players changing from jackets to sunglasses as the sun came out midway through the outing. We had a good showing coming into the clubhouse at 4 under par, but alas finished well off of the podium. Although the team struggled with lackluster performance on some of the shorter par 3 holes, they struck well and true on the longer fairways. All in all, it was a great day to be out on the links supporting Indiana University.

Applied’s work can be seen on the Kokomo campus in the Nursing Simulation Labs in the East Building and in the current renovation of the campus’ Main Building.

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Photos courtesy of Dave Marshall and IU Kokomo

 

IUPUI Events

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IUPUI Events

I attended several IUPUI events (a quarterly DIAC meeting and the Dallara announcement) last week, and I continue to be impressed by the students, Dean, staff, and faculty at the IUPUI School of Engineering & Technology. I am currently fortunate to serve as the Chair of the DIAC (Dean’s Industrial Advisory Council), which is composed of many accomplished individuals from more than 30 companies and facilities, mostly from central Indiana. The DIAC typically meets four times per year and is composed of four subcommittees, which are all working to enhance the relationships between the DIAC member companies and the School of Engineering & Technology students and faculty. You can visit the DIAC website to learn more about the members and the mission.

I believe that three recent events/announcements continue to prove that the school is on the right path:

  • A Siemens grant (announced on May 20) of in-kind software Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software for IUPUI research and student use is a major gift representing more than $500 million in value. Students and faculty will be allowed to use this proprietary software learn more about the “real world” of product development.
  • The dedication of the new Dallara driving simulator at the Dallara IndyCar Factory at the Speedway on May 22. This event was attended by numerous dignitaries including Governor Pence, IMS President Mark Miles, Mr. Gian Paolo Dallara, and David Russomanno, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology. IUPUI’s motorsports degree program (part of the School of Engineering & Technology) is very involved with the Dallara facility and its mission.
  • The award on May 19 of a nearly $500 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the development of a research and training program for high school STEM teachers within low income school districts in the Metro area. This will hopefully help to encourage under-represented high school students to enroll in science and engineering college degree programs.

The new IUPUI is not your father’s IUPUI! You are truly missing out on the transformation if you have neither visited the campus nor interacted with students and faculty recently. Feel free to contact me if you wish to know more.

Thoughts on Industry Trends

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Thoughts on Industry Trends

Back in late January, I attended the ASHRAE Winter conference and AHR show – right in the middle of when the polar vortex was unleashing its fury on the northeast! As I look back on the messages that our industry is pushing, a few topics really popped out.

The phrase “conservation is our best energy resource” – we see ways to conserve energy every day, yet still get stuck in the “I can’t do anything about that” mode. Mention to a client that window upgrades may be a more feasible alternative than upgrading the boiler installation.

In a session on ASHRAE 90.1, one of the speakers pointed out this: Why do we stick to the usual temperature rises on water systems? A chilled water system design temperature is 12oF, always has to be 12oF. But shooting for the higher temps of 16oF or even 20oF is achievable. I can take that idea one step further. An existing chilled water system is designed for 12oF, but you can add to that system with loads that are designed for a higher rise. We’ve all heard the horror stories of low delta T on a chiller, but it’s the opposite if the load comes back at higher than design! If you can change the loads so the peak temperature rise is 14 or 16 or more, the existing chiller can handle it more efficiently. Plus you get the benefits of lower pumping cost.

Another sector of our industry which has received little attention, the rooftop unit (RTU), is hitting the energy radar screen. Keep in mind that almost 40% of space in the USA is cooled by an RTU. Efficiencies are going up, and the manufacturers have made it easy to retrofit by providing roof curb adaptors to fit the 1980s RTU you are replacing. I don’t do a lot of RTU work, but realized that the energy bar is still pretty low in ASHRAE 90.1, (EER of 11). There is talk of setting minimum SEERs of 15, and that is coming from outside of ASHRAE (DOE, I think). In many cases across strip malls in this country, the energy use in an existing space can be cut by 40% with a new RTU coming out in the next year.

It’s an exciting time to be in the business of heating and cooling, with many opportunities to make a lasting difference in energy consumption. I try to not get stuck in the usual ruts of design philosophy, and challenge everyone out there to do the same.

Sustainable Laboratories

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Sustainable Laboratories

Darryl Beals and I recently attended the 2013 I²SL (International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories) conference (formerly Labs 21 conference) in Minneapolis, MN. It was a pleasure being back in Minneapolis where I went to college at the University of Minnesota. The weather was perfect in the high 70s and I had a chance to catch up with some old friends in the evenings after attending seminars all day.

As you can imagine with a conference focused on lab sustainability, much of the 3-1/2 days of seminars and workshops was focused on saving energy in laboratories. As much as 2/3 of the energy usage of a typical research campus is from the laboratory space that is typically less than 1/5 of the buildings on campus. There is a lot that can be done to improve energy efficiency in new and existing laboratories, but one area that is of special interest to me is to reduce airflow. Electricity is our highest cost driver these days, with natural gas prices being historically low across the country. As most engineers are aware from the fan laws any reduction of airflow amounts to a reduction in fan energy to the third power. For instance, a 25% reduction in CFM will reduce fan power usage by 58%. This is savings you can get excited about!

One big opportunity for savings in airflow is in the laboratories themselves. The first step to reducing air flow is to have a lab with Variable Air Volume (VAV) controls to allow varying the flow of air to and from the lab based on the cooling loads and fume hood sash position while maintaining safe minimum airflow during occupied and unoccupied times. With a VAV system and by sizing equipment for the actual expected loads in the space and establishing minimum Air Change Per Hour (ACPH) based on science, airflow can often be greatly reduced. Many times engineers use a minimum ACPH in the lab, such as ACPH of 6, based on a rule of thumb rather than informed understanding of the work actually being done in the lab. Ideally the facility owner would consult with an Industrial Hygienist to determine safe minimum ACPH during occupied and unoccupied times. At the conference, the University of California (UC) – Irvine presented the success they have had reviewing lab air changes with their Industrial Hygienist to reduce ACPH in 85% of 1,610 lab rooms. Often times this reduction in airflow is in conjunction with an air contaminant monitoring system that will increase airflows in the event of a chemical spill or other accident.

Some of speakers at the conference focused on how further reductions in airflow can be made by reducing the minimum exhaust from fume hoods. Assuming you have a variable flow fume hood, the minimum exhaust when the sash is closed is determined by the AIHA/ANSI Z9.5 standard. The latest version (2012) of this standard allows a minimum range from 150 ACPH to 375 ACPH. This equates to about 10 CFM/SF to 25 CFM/SF of fume hood bench top surface with a typical hood. The old ANSI Z9.5 standard required 25 CFM/SF minimum. The new standard allows significantly lower minimum exhaust air flow in less hazardous fume hoods. The facility’s Environmental Health and Safety personnel or Industrial Hygienist should be consulted to establish the correct minimum fume hood flow. Where many fume hoods are in a lab, this minimum flow can have significant affect on unoccupied and even occupied minimum supply air flow.

Reducing airflow is one area of “low hanging fruit” where lab energy efficiency can be greatly improved. If you have a facility that is currently running with a constant volume lab, you could experience significant energy savings by converting to variable volume and making the above improvements. Sometimes budget gets in the way of full implementation of variable flow in existing laboratories. In those cases, you can take a step-by-step approach as we are doing at Purdue Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry. In this case, exhaust fans have been prepared for variable flow operation and await future phases to implement variable flow within each lab. As explained at the I²SL conference, these improvements, along with some other items, allowed UC Irvine to save 50% or more in energy costs in their labs.

WTHR 465 Lab

ACEC Spring Conference

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ACEC Spring Conference

Thoughts while flying home from the ACEC Spring Conference in Washington, DC
April 23, 2013, 5:00pm

The Good

A great presentation by Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large at Fortune, emphasized that business models used by firms in many industries have a much shorter shelf life than in the past. All firms should evaluate their business model and modify it to adapt to changing conditions. He presented four key tips that successful companies use:

1. Innovate your business model.
2. Manage your business for value.
3. Invest in human capital.
4. Align with your customers.

There was good attendance at the Small Firm Council and CAMEE meetings, which yielded thoughtful discussions concerning healthcare costs, transition plans, company cars, satellite offices, technical tool development, Bachelor’s Plus 30, etc. The firms attending these meetings are very willing to help one another with sharing knowledge and experience for all to use.

The Not-So-Good

The following are my comments and observations from a variety of other sessions I attended.

Capitol Hill remains toxic. Federal and state funding for water, energy, and transportation (infrastructure) all have budget issues. Transportation has a fiscal cliff looming in 2015 if the budget is not adjusted. There are a number of bills in the works, including ones that allow public/private partnerships that could help alleviate funding issues.

Qualifications-based selection (QBS), while still widely utilized by the federal sector, appears to be under attack at the state level and is certainly in decline in the private sector. A question was raised: Is the bid process to obtain engineering services an ethical practice for licensed engineers? The registration boards in several states do not allow bidding for professional engineering services. This is a question for all of us to ponder.

Comments overheard in sessions, breakfasts, and luncheons seem to confirm that business and profitability for ACEC member firms could be better. Everyone is hoping for an improvement in funding and the economy.

Bottom Line

All in all it was an informative and interesting conference! I look forward to attending future ACEC events.