May 2021 Print

Inside Illinois Chapter

CRC in Green Bay Brings Region VI Chapters Together

The Chapters Regional Conference (CRC) took place in Green Bay, WI, April 27 – May 1, and the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter as hosts made sure not only to clear the bar set in the past but raise it a little higher. Members had the opportunity to meet either face to face or attend  events virtually from home. The hybrid conference began with the usual chapter operations sessions for incoming officers and committee chairs. On April 29, the second act opened with a welcome party, business meetings, technical sessions, and other events.

While the total attendance isn’t yet known, we’re sure there were ample representatives from each of the 11 ASHRAE chapters of Region VI. Dave Lippe and Chris Krieps were chapter delegate and alternate delegate. Both will assume their new roles as President and President-Elect on July 1. At business meetings they shared news of activities and achievements during the past year, advocated in regional discussions, and promoted chapter members for awards. The Illinois Chapter won eight awards. Honored at the awards ceremony were:

  • Fiona Martin McCarthy – Presidential Award of Excellence – Special Citation
  • Fiona Martin McCarthy – Chapter Service Award
  • Danielle Passaglia – Overall Student Activities Award
  • Laura Michel – CTTC & Technology Chair Recognition
  • Ray Fiedler – Membership Promotion Blue Ribbon Award
  • Kelly Gunn – Full Circle Chevrons
  • David Eldridge – YEA at Heart Award
  • Don Doherty – Chapter Service Award

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Student Activities

IIT Student Project Wins Solar Decathlon Design Award

Congratulations to the student team at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), which recently took top honors in the Retail Building Division included in the Design Challenge portion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Competition for 2021. The Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The combined competition features two tracks, the Design Challenge and the Build Challenge.

The interdisciplinary team of Illinois Tech architecture and engineering students designed an 82,000 sf retail building in Chicago's Goose Island neighborhood. Aiming to explore the future of retail, the team proposed an experience-based retail program including a retail space as well as spaces for the community. The high-performance energy goal was achieved through an integrated design approach. Passive and active design strategies included optimized access to natural light, a well-insulated and airtight building enclosure, high-efficiency equipment, appliances and fixtures, a ground source heat pump, radiant floor and ceiling panels, and a roof-mounted PV-system.

To download the team's project summary, video presentation, and presentation slides, .

The IIT team presented their work at the virtual Solar Decathlon Awards Ceremony, held April 19. Attending the ceremony was U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. ASHRAE is an affiliate sponsor of the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

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Scholarship Update

Scholarships Awarded to 6 Engineering Students

The Scholarship committee, chaired by Frank Moccio, announced their selections for this year’s Illinois ASHRAE Scholarships. As the usual spring meeting presentation ceremony was not possible this year, scholars were invited to a virtual presentation at the chapter’s May 4 Board meeting. In another unusual move, the number of 2021 scholarships increased to six instead of the usual four $1,500 awards. We are happy to introduce the following scholars:

Alouki Shah – Graduate student at Illinois Institute of Technology
Zahra Khuwaja – Graduate student at Illinois Institute of Technology
Xochitl (Cristina) Menchaca – Graduate student at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)
Urwa Irfan – Undergraduate student at Illinois Institute of Technology
Behzad Salimian Rizi – Graduate student at Illinois Institute of Technology
Michael Moccio – Undergraduate student at University of Illinois-Urbana

The applicants’ entries were carefully reviewed and scored by a panel of judges. We thank each of our volunteers again for their time and professional expertise and assistance:

Mike Moxon, Maddock Industries
Richard Pasquesi Thermosystems, Inc.
Kevin Summers, Boiler Equipment Co.
Cory Abramowicz, ARUP
Matt Butkus, Grumman/Butkus Associates
David Lippe, Cyclone Energy Group

Get more information about the scholarship program and download an application at

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Calendar of Events

Calendar of Monthly Tech Talks

CTTC Co-Chairs Elizabeth Zakelj and Mitch Kelly and others 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.

May, 2021 — Date & Topic TBA
June 8, 2021 — Fire Alarm/Protection in HVAC
June 28-30 — ASHRAE 2021 (Virtual) Annual Conference

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ASHRAE Society Update

2021 Virtual Annual Conference Opens June 28

Featuring new and expanded offerings in current practices and updates on research, the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference will be held June 28-30. Registration is now open. The conference will feature more than 100 live and on-demand sessions with updates from Society leaders and virtual networking events. Technical sessions will address the latest information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, along with eight other tracks on various building systems topics. Attendees will hear updates from the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force and the Task Force on Building Decarbonization. Interactive Technical Panels and Forums will allow attendees to share their experiences and to ask questions.

To learn more and to register, visit

ASHRAE Supports USGBC IAQ Schools Survey and Report

With technical support from ASHRAE, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBS) published a new report on indoor air quality (IAQ) measures that schools have taken in response to the pandemic.

The report titled “Preparation in the Pandemic: How Schools Implemented Air Quality Measures to Protect Occupants from COVID-19,” presents the survey responses of school districts representing more than 4,000 schools serving over 2.5 million students in 24 states, on the protocols and operations plans implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The report highlights what school districts have prioritized, which actions they have taken, how they have made decisions and what the consequences have been. The results of the survey show that schools have implemented some protective measures to improve IAQ, prioritizing ventilation and filtration to reduce the transmission of the virus. However, school districts still have unmet needs and face numerous challenges related to costs and outdated building infrastructure.

Additional findings from the survey:

  • The most-frequently cited challenge to implementing protective air quality measures at schools was that school buildings were not designed to support the strategies that were being recommended.
  • School districts that have been able to act have leaned heavily on their mechanical systems, such as increasing air supply through HVAC systems or upgrading filters to implement protective air quality measures for students and teachers.
  • Only two-thirds of respondents were regularly monitoring IAQ before the pandemic, indicating that providing time, staff, and funding for regular monitoring and data collection has not been a priority for many districts in the past.
  • Respondents want to continue the measures implemented during the pandemic, citing student and teacher health. Seventy percent of school districts plan to continue some or all of the strategies they’ve implemented.

To download the full report, visit

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Welcome New Members


Carl Bengtsson
Cameron Fritts
Michael Krol
Patrick McGrail
Hunter Rennels
Alec Shelley

Muntaser Albayati
Nimesh Raje
Juan Ramirez

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This web site is maintained by the Illinois ASHRAE Chapter. It does not represent 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