ASHRAE uncovered

New Ashrae president Tim Wentz talks future plans for the organisation

New Ashrae president Tim Wentz
New Ashrae president Tim Wentz

Ashrae’s new president Tim Wentz has spoken about his admiration for the Middle East after a recent visit to the region. American-born Wentz was officially elected president of Ashrae in July.

At a meeting of the UAE Falcon Chapter in Dubai, Wentz gave a keynote speech entitled ‘Adapt Today to Shape Tomorrow’.

He said: “I have been very impressed with the passion people have here to conserve energy and to conserve water. There are some real challenges here. One of the challenges is that energy costs are artificially low due to government subsidies and this acts as a disincentive for people to save energy. Countries like the UAE are addressing this of course.”

He added: “Even the United States has the exact same problem. We like to consider ourselves a market driven country but the truth of the matter is that we subsidize energy too.”

Wentz said Ashrae was making a tangible difference in the region. Prior to his meeting in Dubai he visited the Ashrae chapter in Kuwait which has worked with the Kuwait Government to develop a new Ashrae energy-efficiency standard for low-rise residential buildings.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said. “We worked with the Kuwait Government to adapt one of our standards – Ashrae 90.2 – for Kuwait; so now the country can use that as their residential code. So now we publish Ashrae 90.2 - Kuwait.”

He said Ashrae was trying to expand that process to other countries in the region, mentioning Lebanon, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“I think Ashrae can have a tremendous impact here. We are a technical society. We are research based,” Wentz said. “What we do is bring together practicing professionals, academics, manufacturers all in the same room at the same time to address the common issues,” he added. “The secret to success is taking that global view but coming up with a local solution.”

Wentz said people can make a difference to society by joining organisations such as Ashrae.

“You can become involved in a chapter. You can become involved in the Ashrae region for this area. You can hire an intern. You can visit a school and talk to schoolchildren about the joys and responsibilities of our industry,” he said. “We can do this, we can make this work. We have to let go of the old ways and embrace the new ways. Adapting today to shape tomorrow.”

What is Ashrae?

Ashrae (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) is an organisation devoted to the advancement of indoor-environment-control technology in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry.

Who is Tim Wentz?

Tim Wentz was awarded a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and a master’s in business administration from the University of Nebraska. Upon graduation, Wentz went to work for his family’s mechanical contracting firm. As the fourth generation to join the firm, he had the opportunity to develop an expertise in mechanical design, estimating and construction management. He spent 19 years in the industry, working on a wide range of mechanical projects throughout the Midwest, including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, factories and other large commercial enterprises.

Since entering academia, Wentz has received numerous awards and honours for his teaching and service to the HVAC industry. He is the recipient of an Exceptional Service Award, a Distinguished Service Award, the E.K. Campbell Award of Merit, a Region IX Regional Award of Merit, a Region IX Chapter President of the Year and a Regional Energy Award.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) has named Wentz its national “Educator of the Year” on three occasions and in 2009 awarded him its highest honour, the Distinguished Service Award. He also has received the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction’s Outstanding Educator Award and the College of Engineering’s Holling Award for outstanding teaching and mentoring.

Wentz previously served as president-elect, treasurer and two terms as vice-president on the Ashrae board of directors and also as Region IX director and regional chair.

Adapt Today to shape Tomorrow

Directive 1 - Adapt Ashrae resources

• Initiative#1- create a dynamic, energised educational platform. Ashrae University will have a one-stop portal so members can easily locate educational opportunities that focus on their interests coupled with an online dashboard to allow members to track progress toward a professional goal, thus completing the university educational experience.

• Initiative #2 - impart cutting edge skills necessary to excel. Application-based education (Consulting Engineering Essentials I&II, HVAC Certificate programme). First instalment of the Consulting Engineering Essentials course to be available by June 2017.

• Initiative #3 - Develop and implement an internship programme. Website operational by January, 2017. Populated by student members.

Directive 2 - Adapt Ashrae investments

• Initiative#1 - Create a chapter opportunity fund. Chapters will invest funds to energise their chapter and improve their communities by demonstrating the impact of Ashrae.

• Initiative#2 - Form a Ashrae Leadership Academy. The leadership academy will be an annual summit where Ashrae’s up and coming grassroots leaders can meet, share best practice and learn from seasoned leaders. The first leadership academy will to be held in the spring of 2017.

• Initiative#3 - Adapt bEQ (Building Energy Quotient) for use by student branches. Make bEQ global. Online course material. The course to be available to universities worldwide by January 2017.

Directive 3 - Adapt Ashrae technology

• Initiiative#1 - Create a technology portal linking Ashrae technical content to members. Ashrae, since 1959, has invested over $150m in today’s money in research that impacts the HVAC industry. The portal is expected to open by the end of 2016.

• Initiative#2 - Develop application guides written specifically for practicing professionals. The publications committee will generate the list of application guides by January 2017 with the first application guide to be delivered by June 2017.

• Initiative#3 - Create a series of apps giving members direct, immediate access to Ashrae applications.

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