2017 AEE International Award Winners

Energy Engineer of the Year
Theo Breitenstein
A native of Switzerland, Theo has spent over 32 years in the energy management and power industry sector and is a pioneer in bringing advanced energy management and microgrid technology to the US. Understanding the growing need to intelligently control, not just monitor, electrical energy, Theo saw the technology gap between Europe and the U.S. in the area of energy conservation. He founded Emacx Systems in 2001 to serve the US market. In 2003 Emacx was the first company in NYC to introduce permanent demand reduction with control technology. He currently serves as the company’s President and helped develop the Aciex Real-Time Energy Management Platform, which provides oversight and optimization of alternative-energy sources during times of load curtailment. Their advanced technology has helped customers in all kind of industries all over the world to save millions of dollars in energy costs & demand charges. He teaches, publishes papers and was recently featured in Green Building Quarterly. He has also provided executive education within the US Government, such as the Pentagon and the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as several US Army Bases.

Corporate Energy Management
Standard Bank of South Africa
The Standard Bank of South Africa is one of the top 19 global banks to be part of the Principles for Positive Impact Finance (PPIF) program developed to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) arising from COP21 in Paris. Every year through 2030, $5-7 trillion dollars managed by banks and investors go toward clean, low carbon projects. They face the challenge of operating in the continent labelled as the worst-affected by climate change with the least carbon emissions from fossil-based sources. The energy department strives to be Africa’s leading financial services organization in the management of energy and carbon. They adopted a corporate-wide Energy Management System (EnMS) based on ISO 50001 to illustrate their guarantee towards sustainable growth, continual improvement in operations, and their commitment to the continent. Their operations in South Africa had the highest energy consumption averaging an annual energy bill of approximately $22 Million. An energy reduction target of 15% by 2020 against the 2014 base year consumption of 307 GWh was set. New facilities follow the Five Green Stars from the Green Building Council (US LEED Equivalent). The initiatives implemented through ISO 50001 at a pilot facility was awarded AEE’s 2016 Sub-Saharan Energy Project of the Year which led to the systematic implementation at other facilities.

Institutional Energy Management
City of New York - Department of Citywide Administrative Services - Office of Energy Management

New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ (DCAS) Office of Energy Management (DEM) oversees the implementation of municipal building and operational energy programming and strategies, including energy efficiency retrofits, improved operations and maintenance, clean distributed generation deployment, and upgrades to the vehicle fleet, streetlights, and wastewater treatment infrastructure. DEM also manages the purchase of electricity, natural gas and steam, processes utility bills, and develops annual energy budgets for 80 city agencies and over 4,000 facilities. In 2014, as Mayor Bill de Blasio released One City Built to Last, the city pledged to retrofit every city-owned building by 2025, reduce the GHG emissions from buildings and operations by 35%, and install 250 MW of onsite renewable power on privately-owned buildings and 100 MW on city-owned buildings. DCAS DEM has instituted innovative programs to reduce energy use, foster energy efficiency, encourage renewable energy resources and enhance preventive maintenance programs.

Energy Professional Development
Dr. Fotouh Abdul Aziz Al-Ragom

Dedicated to the development of the energy sector in Kuwait, Dr Fotouh initiated the first Middle Eastern chapter of AEE in 2006 and currently serves as Assistant Director for International Membership Development for Middle East and as President. She has conducted workshops in energy efficiency and auditing. She holds the CEM, CEA and CSDP certifications, and has trained over 100 professionals and over 800 students in energy efficiency, and works with public sector entities to develop internal energy efficiency programs. Dr. Fotouh has traveled far to educate herself and bring information home to her compatriots, overcoming social prejudices against women and serving as a role model while making energy awareness and education accessible in Kuwait. She has contributed to several energy projects as a Research Scientist in the Building & Energy Technologies Department, Environment and Urban Development Division at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), and as a participant in the Energy and Buildings Research Center (EBRC). She was recognized as Kuwait’s Distinguished Female Engineer from the Federation of Arab Engineers in 2016, won the Scientific Achievement award by Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research for 2013/2014, and received the Emirates Energy Engineer award in 2008. As a Research Scientist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), and as a manager for the energy efficiency technologies (EET) program, she leads professionals involved in energy efficiency policy and planning, and improving energy efficiency (EE) in buildings and systems. Projects include the national energy conservation code and energy simulation and modeling for AC units, transportation, and residential districts and schools.  She serves on committees in Kuwait’s government, oil Company, and Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. She volunteers with INJAZ, an NGO for youth training.

Energy Manager of the Year
Alfred Hildreth

Alfred Hildreth serves as GM’s global energy manager, overseeing the conservation of energy, carbon, and water, helping GM reduce the energy-carbon intensity of its U.S. facilities by 40%. Through his leadership, he has helped GM save $435 million and commit to reducing the energy and carbon intensities of its global facilities 20% by 2020. Hildreth incorporates ENERGY STAR’s energy management practices into all GM facilities, getting GM repeatedly awarded its highest honor, Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence. Hildreth patented an energy model methodology using real-time and manufacturing data to forecast future energy use.  Recognized for exceptional competence, he holds GM’s “technical fellow” status, with rigorous review by a cross-functional group of senior technical leaders, supported by internal and external endorsements. Hildreth helps NGOs and suppliers implement energy saving practices. He is a co-chair of the Automotive Industry Action Group’s Greenhouse Gas workgroup. He contributed to GM’s accession to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, as the only North American automaker to make the list, with top scores in climate strategy and operational eco-efficiency, and a perfect score in environmental policy and management. As a CEM, he encourages all GM Energy and Environmental Engineers to pursue this certification.  Hildreth’s goal is simple: “reduce the amount of energy we use at our facilities. It’s good for the environment, good for the economy. It reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, less carbon emissions, and reduced impact on climate change.”

Energy Project – International
Smart & Integrated Facilities, Amgen, Inc.
Amgen is a multinational company who discovers, develops, and manufactures innovative human therpaeutics for serious illnesses. Expenditure on energy and associated system maintenance constitutes a significant value in both cost and CO2e (369,000MT). Utility systems include numerous automation and monitoring systems, however the scale and complexity leads to inefficient equipment performance which can be hard to detect. Amgen implemented their “Smart and Integrated Facility” (SaIF) program which focuses on constant analysis of large volumes of system data to identify opportunities to improve energy & maintenance performance. The SaIF program looks beyond what the typical BMS/BAS system can see and brings together information from automation and control systems across multiple sites, to correct, optimize, and sustain peak performance in the most significant energy users. The project has exceeded expected benefits: First year savings estimate $300k/yr while the actual savings were $800k/yr. Estimated savings of the project is 14,029,935 kWh and $800k/yr.

Energy Project – National
55 Water Street Chiller Plant Modernization with Ice Storage

As the US’s second largest privately owned office building, 55 Water Street is a 3.8M sf Class A commercial building located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District. Focusing on improved safety, security and comfort for its occupants while simultaneously enhancing infrastructure resiliency and reliability, in 2014 the building completed a chiller plant retrofit that included the installation of a state of the art thermal storage chiller plant along with central plant automation and energy dashboards that allowed converting pumping and air distribution systems to variable flow to reduce the building’s impact on the environment, provide resiliency, and reduce costs for the tenants. With the building at near full occupancy and a year-round need for central cooling, significant effort was put into the project execution plan to keep the building’s daily cooling operation intact and not impact tenant comfort and/or the critical systems the central plant serves. The savings from these upgrades in conjunction with utility incentives provided payback in five years. NYSERDA recognized the project with $1.3M in incentives from the Existing Facilities Program based on its demand reduction and energy consumption reduction capability. The system features the world’s largest ice-producing chiller using Trane units and automation system backed by emergency generators.

Innovative Energy Project
Enser - Morris Hybrid PV/T System

This project maximizes roof-mounted solar energy collection utilizing a sandwiched dual collector system, SDM100, from SunDrum Solar. The array combines high-performance photovoltaic panels for generating electricity with solar-thermal panels mounted on their rear surfaces to collect heat. The thermal component is a closed glycol loop acting as source for a heat pump that amplifies the collected energy to heat the home, domestic hot water and pool/storage water. Summer cooling rejects waste heat to the night sky. The subject home had a 92% efficient condensing gas furnace, an SEER 14 air conditioner, and a solar pool heating system. A closed loop circulates propylene glycol to the source side of a water-to-water heat pump whose load side heats the home via a water-to-air coil mounted above the legacy gas furnace retained as backup. Using three-way diverting valves, this load loop also delivers heat to the swimming pool which is insulated in the winter months to store solar heat for nighttime use.Wintertime energy collection is recorded on a revenue grade meter, allowing the client to participate in the Washington, DC SREC market. Cooling the home while heating the pool and domestic hot water, the system achieves a high TOTAL COP. Water heating gas consumption is minimal in the heat and cooling seasons. The fully instrumented monitoring system by Net Zero Meter provides summaries viewable online.

Energy Innovator of the Year
William P. Pannell II

Bill Pannell, CEM, has over 28 years’ experience in energy related activities. He is an educator, engineer, and acts as the US Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center’s (AMRDEC) liaison to the Energy Huntsville Initiative (EHI), creating energy opportunities for small businesses in Northern Alabama. He is also the Founder and Director of the validation and verification Environmental Lab (EL) under AMRDEC which defines energy modernization approaches and technology development for battlefield operations and domestic facilities. Bill has developed hybrid energy solutions to reduce battlefield diesel fuel consumption and thermal energy management solutions for military equipment reliability. Bill has developed partnerships with small business for Department of Energy Small Business Innovative Research projects by facilitating EL, or buildings in the Army’s research for Forward Operating Bases and for Army energy programs. EL is also working toward energy savings for a range of Army Aviation Missile systems and ground support equipment. Additionally, he has spoken at a number of energy awareness and education venues and has taught the use of HOMER software to assess energy system upgrade approaches to peers. Mr. Pannell is steward of Army tax dollars and his goal is to save energy for the Army, our country and our community. His role at AMRDEC facilitates energy innovations that support our warfighter and reduce the risks associated with energy in a war zone. Bill is collaborating on energy projects across the DOD academia and other agencies. Primary collaborators are US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Army Material Command, University of Alabama Huntsville and US Navy. Bill has grown the energy marketplace in the Huntsville area by infusion over $3M in labor and material funding.

Young Energy Professional of the Year
Tahseena Kahn

In addition to being a CEM, consultant, licensed contractor, and electrical engineer specialized in energy efficiency, Tahseena Kahn is involved in education and student development programs, teaching, and leadership within several organizations. In 2015 she became Mentoring Committee Chair of CWEEL where she has reignited the mentoring program, worked with AEE members to recruit mentors and mentees, and has documented the program’s progress and successes. Tahseena’s experience with middle and high school students at science fairs led to her promoting scholarships for STEM programs with The Engineers’ Council. She served as a judge for the Los Angeles County, California State, Broadcom Masters, and Intel International Science Fairs. She has hired students for projects and mentored them on energy efficiency in buildings and worked with 8th grade students to investigate the effects of higher R-value wall insulation. The student originally said he wanted to major in business, but now believes he will be “a great engineer in energy efficiency.” She currently participates in a pilot program by a partnership of the National Science Foundation, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and BOMA which is certifying facilities engineers and managers as High Performance Building Operations Professionals (HPBOP).

Distinguished Service
Asit Patel

Asit Patel is President of ANP Energy Consulting Services Corp.  He has over 20 years of experience in energy auditing, training, design engineering, and operational aspects of energy use and improvement in multi-family and commercial building sector of our industry.  Asit has been involved in development and delivery of various trainings to over 2,200 facility owner and management, facility maintenance and operations staff, trade contractors, as well as other energy and engineering professionals. Asit is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Certified Energy Auditor (CEA), and Existing Building Commissioning Professional (EBCP). He is the 2016 Past President of Association of Energy Engineers and recipient of International Energy Professional Development award.