November/December 2020 Print

Webinar Update

Can Humidity Lessen Presence of Infectious Aerosols?

The November 10 monthly webinar addressed “The Role of Humidity in Healthy IAQ.” It updated HVAC professionals on new research findings upon studying the effect that varying humidity levels might have on the movement of airborne coronavirus in an enclosed space. The evening’s presentation was led by Dr. Stephanie Taylor, M.D., a physician and  accomplished Architectural Engineer. Dr. Taylor’s research discovered a significant reduction in airborne contaminants as relative humidity reached the 40 percent level, providing another tool that HVAC engineers should consider when helping building owners ensure their indoor air is safe again to work in. You can view a recording of the Nov. 10 webinar – as well as other recent webinars – at the Illinois ASHRAE website.

The November webinar joined a series of earlier monthly programs that explored ways to ensure that our buildings’ indoor air systems work to reduce, and not facilitate, the spread of infection when normal operations return.

The next monthly webinar is planned for January 12, 2021. It will look at opportunities for promoting greater diversity in today’s engineering workplace. Planning the January event are members of our Women in ASHRAE (WIA) group. The discussion will be facilitated by Kenya Jacobs, Director of Diversity Recruiting & Workforce Development at Trane. Look for more details about this interesting topic and bring your ideas and suggestions.

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Scholarship Update

Now Accepting Applications for IL ASHRAE Scholarships

While the 2020 pandemic has redefined the way college courses are taught and attended, the pursuit of a college degree remains as expensive as ever. Tuition, fees and books are costly, and many students can use a little financial help to keep rolling along.

The Illinois Chapter offers annual scholarships for future engineers. In early 2021, it will award up to four $1,500 scholarships to deserving college students pursuing studies in engineering, science or mathematics that are fundamental for a career in the HVAC field. It's quick and easy to apply for one of these scholarships. Applicants do not need to be ASHRAE student chapter members. The application deadline is January 31. Scholarships will be presented to winners in the spring. A (newly revised) application form may be downloaded here.

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Women in ASHRAE

Focus on Diversity, Mentorship & Networking

The Women in ASHRAE Happy Hours are going well. Consider joining us! Contact Nancy Kohout, [email protected], with questions. The monthly Virtual Happy Hours, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., occur on the fourth Thursday of each month (except on Dec. 17). Women engineers and other industry members are invited to log in to meet and network with peers, discuss current issues and plan future activities. Find upcoming dates and Zoom link here.

We have just rebooted the Women in ASHRAE Mentorship program and are arranging first connections this month. We are also planning the next CTTC webinar meeting, on January 12, with the working title “Diversity, What’s in it for Me?” This meeting will be facilitated by Trane’s Kenya Jacobs, Director of Diversity Recruiting & Workforce Development.

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Calendar of Events

Calendar of Monthly Tech Talks

CTTC Chair Elizabeth Zakelj and her committee members are developing the following group of monthly Illinois Chapter technology talk topics for 2020-21. All presentations are planned as webinars as members opt for virtual gatherings while the pandemic remains. Mark these dates on your calendar and watch for more details about each topic as the dates draw nearer. We hope you will participate in several of the late-afternoon webinars.

January 12, 2021 — Diversity Topic
February 9, 2021 — Sustainability Topic
February 9-11, 2021 — ASHRAE Winter Virtual Conference
March 9, 2021 — HVAC Fundamental (Series)
April 13, 2021 — Communications/Management Topic
May 11, 2021 — Healthcare Topic
June 8, 2021 — Fire Alarm/Protection in HVAC

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Region VI News

Vision 2020 – What a Ride!

As we have just proven in spades, it's the people that make the event. Vision 2020 was not what anyone could have foreseen, even with perfect vision (Ha!), but because of the amazing people in the Central Illinois Chapter, Region VI and ASHRAE in general, it was still a fantastic event!

To all the Vision 2020 attendees, for showing up with positive attitudes and a willingness to learn along with us. To our CI-ASHRAE CRC Committee and their families, friends and companies, for giving of their time to plan, re-plan, all-but-lose-hope-for, and then re-imagine and execute this conference all while experiencing the general craziness of 2020 in their personal and work lives. To our speakers,for adjusting to date, time, and extreme venue changes. To our sponsors, for sticking with us and showing their support through more than just their monetary donations, even as we changed our promises on the fly.


There was record-breaking attendance at the Chapter Training Workshops! Thank you to all the RVCs and Chapter Officers and Committee Chairs that made the workshops a success!

Tech Sessions

We had a host of wonderful speakers and topics and great attendance, to boot! With all the webinars available this year, we appreciate the turnout! And we think everyone appreciated the opportunity to see some truly fabulous "quarantine hair styling."

Keynote Address

We were very lucky to have this year's President-Elect, Mick Schwedler, as a Region VI member, and even luckier that he agreed to speak to us during the Keynote Address. Mick gave a very timely presentation on "VISION 2020 – Looking Back, Moving Forward." Unexpectedly, Mick's finale moved many of us to tears. If you missed it, be sure to check out the recording when it's released.

Presidential Address

We were also very fortunate to have President Chuck Gulledge give us the long version of his presidential theme address, "The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0." Despite the attempts of hurricane Zeta to thwart his plans, President Gulledge persevered and delivered a fantastic presentation! Again, if you weren't able to attend, please be sure to check out the recording when it's released.

Welcome Party

Sixteen people participated in the Trivia Challenge (plus some graders and call-in only participants). After 4 rounds with 8 questions each, it was determined that Illinois Chapter member Mallory Schaus, despite a self-proclaimed lack of sports knowledge, is the person to have on your trivia team! It should be noted, though, that she only beat out Matt Jesson by 1 point. After the Trivia Challenge, our Welcome partiers joined some of our sponsors (Daikin/Thermosystems, Dewberry, ENTEC, E.I.P., and Victualic) in Zoom breakout rooms. Each sponsor gave out a code word and those participants that collected all 5 code words were entered into a raffle. The lucky sponsor booth raffle winner was Mark Miller! Congratulations to Mark and Mallory!

Awards Celebration / Costume Contest

Halloween Day started off for many of us with the conclusion of the Business Meetings and then the Awards Celebration with a one-time-only Halloween costume contest AND the time-honored tradition of passing along the Region VI DRC box of memories to our newest DRC, Rick Hermans!

Costume Contest Winner

Illinois Chapter’s Liz Zakelj as pre-Makeover Mia from The Princess Diaries

We all had a blast and we hope you did, too!

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ASHRAE Society Update

ASHRAE Releases New HVAC Design Training Schedule

Registration is now open for HVAC Design and Operations training through the ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI). The online training will run from December 2020 through June 2021.

HVAC Design: Level I – Essentials provides intensive, practical training ideal for recent technical or engineering school graduates and engineers new to the HVAC field. Developed by industry-leading professionals selected by ASHRAE, the training covers the fundamentals and technical aspects of HVAC design, installing and maintaining HVAC systems. The knowledge gained can be put to immediate use.

HVAC Design Level II – Applications provides instruction in HVAC system design for experienced HVAC engineers and those who have completed the HVAC Design: Level I – Essentials. The training covers the technical aspects of HVAC design and methods to increase energy savings through innovation.

December Course Schedule:

ASHRAE HVAC Design Training
December 7-11, 2020 – Level I – Essentials
Instructors:      Julia Keen, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, HBDP
                       Joel Primeau, Eng., ASHRAE Member, HBDP LEED® AP

December 14-18, 2020 – Level I – Essentials
Instructors:      Donald Brandt, Life Member ASHRAE BEAP, CEM
                       Julia Keen, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, HBDP

To register, visit the HVAC Design and Operations page at


New Alternative COVID-19 Response Guidebook Available

Available to Help Respond to the Rising Need for Hospital Beds due to COVID-19
As many communities are setting up alternative care sites (ACS) in response to spikes in COVID-19, the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force announced the availability of the Alternate Care Site HVAC Guidebook, which was developed by the ASHRAE Alternate Care Sites Task Force.

The task force was convened upon request to the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide engineering recommendations, solutions, and guidance to address the HVAC systems for ACS. ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force healthcare team member David Eldridge, PE, BEAP, BEMP, HBDP, GGA, LEED AP, and Alexander Zhivov, Ph.D., FASHRAE, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineer Research and Development Center, co-chaired the Task Force.

“Our work over several months has resulted in a guidebook that will be useful in current and future efforts to address the demand for additional hospital beds in combatting COVID-19,” said Eldridge. “This has been a collaborative initiative from the start and we want to thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as military and private engineering experts who came together to develop this timely resource.”

The ACS HVAC guide is primarily applicable to host sites with large open spaces such as convention centers and other large spaces. It is also applicable to the conversion of smaller facilities with open areas such as school gymnasiums.

Specific recommendations include guidance for design requirements, air flow, filtration, space conditions and methodology for identifying which mechanical system approaches may be pursued knowing that most ACS must prioritize certain features due to limited time, budget, and site characteristics.

To view the complete Alternative Care Site HVAC Guidebook and other COVID-19 resources, visit

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ASHRAE Certification

Why Become an ASHRAE Certified HVAC Designer?

ASHRAE’s CHD certification, managed under ISO/IEC 17024 requirements for ANSI-Accredited Personnel Certification Programs, validates competency to design HVAC systems to meet building/project requirements, including equipment, equipment sizing, load calculations, mechanical equipment room design, duct and piping design and layout, and develop HVAC plans for permit and construction.

  • Elevate your reputation among peers, in the workplace and among clients
  • Demonstrate competency in critical HVAC design knowledge, skills and abilities
  • Employers want to recruit the most-qualified professionals

Learn more about the professional enhancement benefits of CHD.

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Welcome New Members

Christopher Beller
Leo Gabrek
Michael Galliani

Rick Freund

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This web site is maintained by the Illinois ASHRAE Chapter. It does not present official positions of the Society nor reflect Society policy. ASHRAE chapters may not act for the Society and the information presented here has not had Society review. To learn more about ASHRAE activities on an international level, contact the ASHRAE home page at