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Congratulations to AEE’s 2022 International Award Winners!

Through its International Awards Program, the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) shines light on the important work that is being done by individuals, organizations, agencies, and corporations. These awards identify those who exemplify the very best in their fields.

The 2022 International Awards were presented on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Energy Engineer of the Year
Mr. Adam Shelly

Adam Shelly’s accomplishments as an engineer are as broad as they are deep. He is not just an engineer; he is also the linchpin that aligns project stakeholders to create the best possible energy efficiency project with his technical and communication skills. He started his career with a focus on sustainability engineering and earned his master’s degree in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University, where he specialized in life cycle cost research. Now he is certified as a PE in seven states, a CEM, a CEA, a building inspector, a licensed electrical contractor, and a licensed general contractor. At age 36, he has garnered experience in design, operations, and business development in office and construction environments. His design process is informed by his ability to think both creatively and logically, leading to innovative, high-performance designs. Because his expertise extends beyond theoretical design to application, Adam’s skill set is an asset to his colleagues in his current role as a Senior Project Development Engineer at Ecosystem. At Ecosystem, he has led several multimillion-dollar+ projects from the proposal stage. Thanks to his multidisciplinary experience, he acts as a bridge to communicate concepts between engineering, sales, and marketing.

Corporate Energy Management
Samsung Electronics America

The Samsung Electronics America (Samsung) Energy Management Program was formed in 2019 to support the company’s growing sustainability culture and the desire to drive down operating costs and improve facility operations. Samsung saw a reduction in energy consumption by 3.7 million kBtus in 2021, or 4.4%. Since its inception, the Samsung Energy Program has captured energy savings of more than 19.4 million kBtus, which is approximately a 9.2% reduction in overall energy use. Since 2020, Samsung has procured 100% renewable energy for all facilities in the United States, Europe and China.

Samsung is committed to improving energy performance in its diverse portfolio of 41 buildings through the design and acquisition of energy-efficient spaces, operating and maintaining existing facilities in an energy-efficient manner, and engaging with the employee community to promote sustainability. Working with industry experts, Samsung developed innovative electricity procurement strategies that resulted in 5% to 69% financial savings depending on the region.

Institutional Energy Management
East Baton Rouge Parish School System

East Baton Rouge Parish School System is the second-largest school district in Louisiana with an $11M utilities budget, formed the Energy Management Team in 2007 to reduce utility costs. This EBRPSS Energy Management Team developed a Comprehensive Energy Management Program covering 6.5M facility square feet on 95 campuses. Program objectives include managing energy and water utilities and engaging/educating all stakeholders to modify inefficient behaviors. The Program includes District-wide energy policy development and facility usage guidelines, energy engagement/education, utility bill auditing, energy project development, HVAC/Lighting scheduling guidelines, after-hours event micro-scheduling, unoccupied period curtailment procedures, after-hours inspections, HVAC troubleshooting procedures, utility rebate and grant utilization, design standards, and energy-efficiency certification and recognition.

Engagement and education events continue to transform the culture among students, staff, maintenance departments, and other community stakeholders. These include energy-efficiency training for maintenance staff, presentations to students, staff meetings, school fair educational booths and STEAM programs, Earth Day and Energy Conservation Month promotions, efficiency posters, and even an automated school-house display. As a pilot project, two schools produced public service announcement videos, coinciding with the 2021 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award to the school. (EBRPSS) Energy Management Program has achieved $1.1M+ in savings this year and $48M+ in savings since inception in 2007, along with a 33% reduction in energy use. A culture of energy awareness and conservation exists throughout the EBRPSS through student and teacher engagement and educational activities. The team’s passion and dedication has resulted in several awards and financial grants related to energy conservation and sustainability. Team members maintain membership and several certifications through AEE and take pride in helping EBRPSS demonstrate good stewardship of taxpayer dollars through $47M+ utility savings to date. They influence 45,000+ students, teachers, and staff to demonstrate efficient behaviors that reduce utility costs and benefit the environment whether at school or at home.

Energy Manager of the Year
Mr. Michael Hofmann

Michael Hofmann currently serves as the Director of Utilities & Technical Support at the University of Cincinnati, where he provides overall leadership to Utilities and greater University energy procurement, production, distribution, and management. Mike has trained and mentored hundreds of students and coworkers at the University and has had a direct impact on students by creating opportunities for the students in the form of internship positions, developing and sponsoring Senior Year Capstone Projects at the UC Power Plant, and advising the Society of Environmental Engineers (SEE) but most of all providing an ongoing path to providing reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy to students and campus. A devoted member of the energy industry for thirty-plus years, he continues to drive innovation at every opportunity, from technology to motivation and teamwork. Mike has personally orchestrated projects exceeding $29M in savings and significant CO2 reductions.

Energy Professional Development
Adam Romano

Adam Romano, CEM, is currently a Principal Building Systems Consultant with Steven Winter Associates, Inc. focusing on the design and implementation of energy retrofits, energy analysis, research and development, and instructional design and delivery. Adam has been committed to supporting professional development at all levels for more than 15 years. He has led many training and workforce development initiatives during his career which have been designed to support, advance and expand the international talent pipeline for energy engineering and clean energy technology. He has educated tens of thousands of engineers, architects, contractors, building operators, and entry-level job seekers in energy management and operations and maintenance. Most recently, Adam leveraged his experience designing and evaluating clean energy technologies to lead the development and delivery of a suite of training modules addressing net zero HVAC strategies for commercial and multifamily buildings, providing over 1,000 energy engineers with the best practices and knowledge they needed to design and implement heat pump solutions for space conditioning and water heating applications. Adam has developed and delivered customized O&M training to over 3,500 operators who are responsible for over 150 million sq. ft. of residential and commercial real estate.

Energy Project of the Year: National
Flowers Foods

Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the U.S., operating 46 highly efficient bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery foods for retail and food service customers. Flowers Foods joined DOE Better Plants program in January 2019 and committed to improving energy efficiency by 25% in 10 years.

From February to October 2020, Flowers Foods upgraded its Lynchburg VA bakery to meet the rising demand for organic products. The total cost of this project was about $25M. The engineering team incorporated many sustainability features into the bakery’s new design, including heat recovery, electric blowers in place of compressed air, a VSD air compressor for the trimming machine, LED lighting, new scrap recycling process, and refrigeration upgrades. Based on the operation data from Jan to Dec 2021, these sustainability features translated to an energy savings of 22.6%, water savings of 64.1%, and landfill waste savings of 37%. Due to the success of the energy savings measures implemented in Lynchburg, Flowers Foods’ engineering team will continue to incorporate these types of energy efficiency projects when planning facility upgrades and new lines across its network. With 46 manufacturing facilities and over 900 warehouses, these best practices will make a significant impact on reducing energy consumption and GHGs.

Energy Project of the Year: International
Berry Global

In 2021, Berry Global committed to a strategy of investing over $30 million in energy reduction. The goal was to eliminate 100 million kWh across 300 sites located in 39 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Berry integrated kWh reduction within the capex justification process and engaged a team of over 900 engineers, technical leaders, and maintenance teams from across the globe in this initiative. This occurs through daily communications, webinars, and on-site energy events and the teams are completing over 1,100 energy projects. They are sharing their energy projects through a daily rhythm of best practice sharing, project translation, and the creation of an energy best practice library. In its first year, this contributed to over 142 million kWh being eliminated. The total impact over the 24-month project life will eliminate over 183 million kWh. The estimated impact is 130,000 MT CO2 reduction.

This project was originally started by Berry’s AEE Certified Energy Manager to increase energy engagement and awareness in a localized 1 million kWh Challenge. Based on the success of that initial project it became a global program and has grown to become the 100 million kWh Challenge.

Innovative Energy Project of the Year
Battery Energy Storage System

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a collaborated project designed to replace conventionally adopted “polluted” diesel generators as an initiative to support the carbon neutrality goal by 2050. CLPP, Chinachem, Gammon, and AMPD started this project and are now setting successful examples of energy efficiency and emission-free solutions for construction sites in the construction ecosystem.

It has been a challenge for decades to replace diesel generators with a green solution. Until BESS which can be viewed as a “Power Amplifier” to supply site equipment with intermittent load requirements. Its carbon emission is 85% lower than that of diesel generators, attributed from the continuously reducing CO2e emissions intensity of electricity supplied by CLPP. (0.37kg CO2e/ kWh in 2020). Furthermore, unlike the diesel generator that keeps consuming fuel even at no load, the BESS does not operate at no load and hence 90% energy can be saved. In terms of productivity, BESS is 30 times quieter, enabling its operation on construction sites at night and on public holidays. Its zero on-site fume emissions also bring a healthier working environment to construction site workers. In addition, BESS is safer to operate because it does not require refueling on site. Potential risks associated with transportation, storage, and usage of diesel/dangerous goods are eliminated. The full potential of BESS adoption in Hong Kong is estimated at around 600 units, equivalent to 100,000 tonnes of carbon emission reduction and 435 GWh energy saving per annum.

Energy Innovator of the Year
Dr. Yousef Alhorr

Dr. Yousef Alhorr is an environmentalist and inventor who led the research and development of innovative energy-efficient solutions including the hybrid ultra-efficient patented cooling technology for fresh air, which has been published by the UK Intellectual Property Office. He is also the founder of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development and advisor for sustainable delivery and legacy of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Dr. Alhorr established the Global Carbon Council – MENA’s first and one of the right international voluntary carbon offsetting programs approved by ICAO’s CORSIE. He is also the president of the Green Building Committee at the GCC Scandalization organization.

As the Founding Chairman of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD), he is leading R&D activities of GORD Institute – a research hub dedicated to enhancing the performance of the energy sector by innovating solutions that maximize energy efficiency, exploring new avenues for existing energy systems and develop renewable energy technologies. With rich experience in working on the energy efficiency of building and infrastructure projects, Dr. Yousef has remained a sustainability consultant for a variety of projects in the MENA region, providing strategic guidance on sustainable development for projects including all the stadiums currently being prepared to host the 2022 World Cup. He has also helped draft the first version of Section 7 entitled Green Construction of Qatar Constructions Specifications (QCS). The 1800-page document is a guide setting forth the building codes and energy performance parameters to be followed by the industry.

Young Energy Professional of the Year
Ghina Annan

As a sustainability expert, Ghina is a changemaker, proactively collaborating with clients, governments, and NGOs to deliver ambitious carbon and energy reduction pathways in a solution-based approach. She is the firm-wide senior sustainability expert for Dar, providing thought leadership on sustainability issues on an international scale, supporting global sustainability targets, and pioneering high-performance design. Her work includes Kudai Towers, Lusail Residential Tower, EXPO 2023, Lusail Katara Hotels, Al Maktoum International, and manifold iconic projects. She is En-ROADS Climate Ambassador TRUE Advisor, Envision Sustainability Professional, EDGE Expert, LEED & Well & EcoDistricts AP, CEM, CGP & CEP and PQP.

Through her dedication to establishing a greater impact on the environment, student health, and student learning outcomes, she has developed a sustainability movement in Lebanon for the younger generation and further developed a teacher handbook to encourage green approaches and instill sustainable practices into the minds of teachers and young students. In addition to her research and academic contributions, Ghina is on the organizing committee of ASHRAE conferences on energy efficiency, currently organizing the fifth international ASHRAE conference on efficient building design taking place in October 2022 in Beirut. The objective of the conference is to present advanced research targeting human wellbeing and energy through design of safe, healthy, thermally comfortable, and resilient buildings at minimal energy costs.

About the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
The Association of Energy Engineers is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit professional society with over 18,000 members in more than 100 countries. AEE offers a variety of informational outreach programs including training, conferences, chapters, journals, and certification programs. The mission of AEE is to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for sustainable development.