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Honoring Energy Efficiency Professionals at the 2019 AEE International Awards Banquet

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 2019 International Awards will be presented the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 25th at the AEE International Awards Banquet, being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the AEE World Energy Conference and Expo.

Energy Engineer of the Year
Bruce Armitage​
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Bruce is the Energy Manager for Lake Shore Gold (a subsidiary of Pan American Silver) and a representative on the Ontario Mining Association’s Energy Committee and Diesel Subcommittee. He created an Energy Incentive Program designed to promote employee awareness and engagement by rewarding ideas that reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency processes. This program led to the creation of an Energy Management Plan to create an energy management team, continue the employee awareness and reward program, implement additional measurement and tracking processes, and participate in energy incentive programs.  Bruce ensures his company is committed to continuously improving its performance and reducing energy use and costs. He strives to improve energy management within his operation and works towards energy-efficient best practices where cost-effective. Reducing the energy cost per tonne produced gives his company a competitive advantage over others in the industry. Bruce ensures that energy efficiency considerations are included in all aspects of business planning and operation, consistent with sound business management practices and responsibilities as a corporate citizen.
Corporate Energy Management
3M Company
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3M is a global manufacturing powerhouse with over 90,000 employees operating in 71 countries. 3M provides 55,000 unique products found in every household, business, and industry across 200+ countries. Since 1973, 3M has incorporated energy conservation into their business practices and company culture, and has been internationally recognized in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 19 consecutive years. 3M is ranked A- in climate change by Energy Star, a 10-time winner of the Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award and a Challenge Partner of DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program. Since 2010, 30 global sites have become ISO 50001 certified, 14 of which have Superior Energy Performance certification, providing over $13 million and 1,960,7000 GJ of savings. The 2015 company sustainability goals provide aggressive 10 year energy targets to improve energy efficiency by 30%, decrease GHG emissions by 50% below the 2002 baseline, and reduce 250 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions for customer through 3M products. The Corporate Energy Team provides online webinars, quarterly newsletters, and energy dashboards to show progress towards corporate energy goals. 
Institutional Energy Management
Lewisville Independent School District
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The Lewisville Independent School District’s (LISD) Energy Management Team was formed in 2008. The team has achieved savings in excess of $20 million since then, approximately a 22% reduction in energy use. LISD spans over 127 square miles, contains over 100 facilities, and totals 9.7 million square feet of conditioned space, making it one of the largest K-12 districts in the state of Texas. The LISD has earned the EPA Energy Star Certification Awards for 63 schools, placing the district within the top 3 energy efficiency school districts in the state. Recently implemented energy saving projects and initiatives include recommissioning a middle schools’ BAS, reducing energy consumption by 46% annually, implemented wireless thermostats to control HVAC in portable classrooms, and a LED lighting retrofit project at an aquatic center, decreasing energy use by 80%. The energy team has implemented a culture of energy conservation throughout the district, positively impacting 53,000 students, 6,000 staff members, and all tax payers in the district. 
Energy Professional Development
George (Buster) Barksdale
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Buster Barksdale, CEM, CDSM, DGCP, CSDP, CDSM, LEED AP, currently serves as the Energy Services Engineer for Government Energy Solutions where he trains and instructs energy managers at 585 installations around the world for the Army on their metering system to save energy. Throughout his 40 year career, Buster has been involved in elevating the level of energy professionals. His career in the Air Force was noted for his program of training engineering and maintenance personnel on maintenance and energy performance at 25 installations. While President of the National Capital Chapter, he revitalized the chapter and initiated many training programs for the members, CWEEL, and started two local student chapters. Under the Army metering contract, Buster has conducted 31 training seminars and trained 271 people over the past year. The training has developed an interactive program that will teach the installations how to save 20% on their program across the Army. Buster has been awarded many honors and awards and dedicated many years of professional service to the Association of Energy Engineers. He is an AEE Fellow, Hall of Fame Inductee, former Director of Government Affairs, a Chartered Legend in Energy, a member of the Advisory Board, and AEE President-Elect for 2020.
Energy Manager of the Year
Sharon Nolen
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Sharon Nolen is the Manager of Global Natural Resource Management at Eastman. Through her leadership, Eastman’s Worldwide Energy Program has been recognized by DOE’s Better Plants and EPA’s Energy Star Programs. Under Sharon’s leadership, Eastman received Energy Star’s Partner of the Year award  8 consecutive years and is the first chemical company to receive the higher award of Sustained Excellence. Based on Sharon’s recommendation, Eastman adopted three guiding principles – ensuring the accuracy of information, maximizing existing assets, and incorporating energy efficiency in capital investments. From these guiding principles, Sharon led the effort to establish an energy strategy and program focused on five key components – energy awareness, measurable goals, knowledgeable resources, site wide initiatives, and energy efficiency projects. Beginning in 2011 with a $4.2 million investment, the energy program has been funded to help Eastman save tens of millions company-wide. In 2016, Sharon’s role and program expanded to include natural resources, such as water and renewables. Eastman estimates it would have spent more than $40 million more on energy in 2018 alone if energy intensity has remained unchanged since baseline at current energy prices and at current production. 
Energy Project of the Year: National
Nissan Chiller Optimization
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While implementing its ISO 50001 energy management system in its Canton, MS vehicle assembly plant, Nissan identified its chilled water system as a Significant Energy Use. Based on a 2014 energy baseline, the chilled water system consumed 15% of the facility’s electric consumption. Through benchmarking with ENERGY STAR partners at the World Energy Engineering Congress®, Nissan learned of chiller optimization and began implementation of the project to help meet the Nissan Green Program – Nissan’s midterm environmental program – and US Department of Energy Superior Energy Performance goals. The upgrades to the chilled water system included adding VFDs to pumps, adding a real-time energy performance tracking dashboard, altering the cooling tower controls to vary pump and fan speeds based on cooling loads, and altering the chiller sequence for more efficient operation based on part-load data at different condenser and evaporator water flows and temperatures. The pilot phase has resulted in a 28,828 MWh reduction in energy consumption since startup of the system. After witnessing positive results from the pilot phase and in pursuance of its global CO2 reduction targets, Nissan deployed similar chiller optimization programs at its sites in Decherd and Smyrna, TN.  Through implementation of the chiller optimization project to improve energy efficiency across all 3 plants in the US, Nissan has saved 32,489 MWh in electric energy consumption since the beginning phases of the project. In 2018, the project generated a savings of 12,954 MWh = enough energy to drive a Nissan Leaf to the moon and back 101 times! 
Energy Project of the Year: International
Burj Khalifa Energy Management
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The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, pays enormous attention and consciousness to its energy consumption and achieved astonishing results over the past years with no/low cost energy conservation measures. The Energy Management Process at Burj Khalifa is developed based on ISO 50001 PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) Approach and is divided into four phases providing a continuous improvement and potential to achieve organizations energy conservation goals. Several energy conservation measures were implemented during 2018 resulting in almost 90% savings. The building has a sophisticated daily energy dashboard, circulated to the entire facility management team, that gives detailed view of energy consumption of each utility consumed by different sub-systems. The dashboard allows for continuous monitoring of energy usage.
Innovative Energy Project of the Year
PS 62 – Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground
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The Kathleen Grimm School achieves its remarkable 50% reduction in energy use over a typical new public school in New York City due to its aggressive design approach to sustainability. This net zero designed 68,000 square foot public school has over 2,000 photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine, heating and cooling systems powered by underground geothermal wells, a green roof to reduce heat gain and minimize cooling needs, skylights and reflective ceiling panels angled to maximize natural light, motion sensor energy efficiency indoor lighting, a specially designed precast concrete building envelope acting as a rain screen, and underground tanks to collect precipitation and runoff. In addition to its regular classrooms and sustainability nodes, the Kathleen Grimm School features art and music facilities, a science lab, gymnasium, a library, an outdoor playground, a running track and pathways around the property that encourage walking and feature displays that teach students about the environment. Energy dashboards in the second-floor common areas are surrounded by seats so teachers can use the spaces – known as “sustainability teaching nodes” – to teach science and math lessons incorporating the building’s energy data. Students can even ride stationary bicycles that produce energy for the building. Outdoor gardens and a greenhouse in the second-floor courtyard will produce food for the cafeteria, not only helping children make healthy food choices but also teaching them about life cycles in nature. 
Energy Innovator of the Year
Joshua Lewis
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Joshua Lewis, EIT, CEM, CMVP, led the development of the Energy Group at SNP Technical Services from its early beginnings into a full-fledged division of the company. Joshua has been responsible for the identification of millions of dollars of energy efficiency opportunities for SNP’s clients, and the complete lifecycle of projects to capitalize on those opportunities, from auditing, studies, incentives, execution, and measurement & verification. Joshua has been instrumental in the expansion of SNP’s Energy Manager Program to allow large industrial facilities in Ontario to receive incentives to have full-time energy managers at their facilities to assistant them on identifying, developing and executing on energy efficiency opportunities. Joshua coordinates the training plans for the Energy Group, sending multiple employees a year to receive AEE certifications, conferences, and educational seminars. He has led monthly 1-on-1 phone calls with the Corporate Energy Group Supervisor at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles to provide feedback on short and long term energy efficiency opportunities at FCA to become the greenest automobile manufacturers in the world. He was an industry subject matter expert on the Emerging Trends in Energy Efficiency in Ontario in front of the top 5 automotive industry companies. 
Young Energy Professional of the Year
Afure Onekpe
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Afure currently works as a Senior Account Manager and Lead Energy Auditor for the Energy Efficiency Alberta Program and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition Program (NEET). She has over 15 years experience in environment, energy and engineering. She is the founder of AEE’s Alberta Chapter and currently serves as the Chapter’s Vice President. She serves on the board of Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance, influencing positive changes in Alberta through collaboration, training, and coordinated action plans. She has greatly influenced energy efficiency in Alberta through her involvement and promotion of energy efficiency programs, training and certifications. Her goal is to continue to promote energy efficiency as a resource to Albertans. As the founder of AEE Alberta chapter, Afure has successfully developed an Energy Management Hub and promoted Energy Efficiency in Alberta. Her experience and connections in the Alberta market has delivered unparalleled insights into the Energy Efficiency Alberta Programs. Afure has a record of accomplishment of influencing industries in switching to energy efficient products/programs aimed at reducing GHG emissions. She is an inspired innovator who is motivated to find new solutions to intellectually challenging problems.
Young Energy Professional of the Year
Linnea Paton
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Linnea Paton, C.E.M., is an Energy Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, working to help corporations meet their energy savings targets and sustainability goals. She is passionate about addressing climate change by reducing carbon emissions and is committed to leading and transforming the future of building energy management through innovation, education and research. She holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Environmental Policy and received her Master’s in Sustainability in the Urban Environment. She is a WELL AP and LEED Green Associate and has recently received her CEM certification. In additional to her professional work, Linnea has played an active role in the development of energy policy in New York City and in building awareness of the importance of energy efficiency in her community. Her work detailing strategies for energy managers to improve their EnergyStar scores was recently published in the Mann Report, a commercial real estate magazine, and she was a leader in 350NYC’s successful campaign to divest $5 billion of New York City pension funds from fossil fuels. For her work in energy and sustainability management, campaign leadership and academic excellence, she has received numerous awards including an Honorable Mention in the US National Udall Scholars program and has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Boston Globe, and online and print media.
Young Energy Professional of the Year
Thomas Wenning
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Thomas Wenning, P.E., C.E.M., is a program manager for Industrial Energy Efficiency at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Tennessee. Mr. Wenning manages ORNL’s domestic and international industrial energy efficiency technology assistance and deployment activities. He supports the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program and the Federal Energy Management Program by providing industrial sites with technical assistance activities, energy assessments and training, and energy management guidance. In addition, Mr. Wenning previously managed the student activities for DOE’s Industrial Assessment Center program. He is currently leading the DOE’s effort to modernize their energy-system software tool suite and associated training resources. Thomas has worked with many foreign countries looking to learn from and replicate the results of his leadership in the United States. Thomas and his team provided mentoring and conducted an industrial energy efficiency training workshop at ORNL for representatives from the Saudi government, the King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, the DOE and multiple US industrial partners.
Distinguished Service
Clint Christenson
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Clint Christenson, C.E.M., served as the 2018 AEE President. Clint is currently a consultant and instructor providing optimization services for industrial, commercial and institutional customers. He previously served as Senior Buildings Engineer for Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Senior Energy Engineer with NORESCO, Inc., and the Director of Advanced Solutions for Johnson Controls, Inc. Clint served as the Director of Oklahoma State University’s Industrial Assessment Center. His broad experience in energy management has included the conducting of over 150 industrial, commercial, and institutional energy surveys over 20 years. He has published widely in the energy field and made numerous presentations at national and international conferences.


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.  

About AEE World 
The AEE World Energy Conference and Expo is the nation’s largest energy efficiency conference and expo designed for business, industrial and institutional energy users. The conference addresses global energy policy, energy management services and strategies, innovative technologies, and emerging energy trends. In addition to the three-day conference program, AEE World features a comprehensive exposition as well as a full line-up of CEU and PDH qualifying seminars.