Next Chapter Meeting

NOTE: This month's presentation continues with the webinar format, due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, and will be held during lunch time on April 14th.  After registering on the National Capital Chapter website, all registrants will be sent follow up email(s) with the information to access the Zoom meeting.


** All Student Members please contact the registration chair, or make payments at the door.

Professional Education Seminar (PES) Webinar
Topic: Energy & Infrastructure Panel
-Speakers: Dr. Payman Dehghanian, Smita Chandra Thomas, and Andy Ludwig

Please join us for the final webinar of National Capital Chapter ASHRAE’s 2020/2021 season:
April 14, 2021 – Wednesday Noon to 2 p.m.
Register at

The recent crisis in Texas and neighboring states revealed the vulnerability of power grids to extreme temperatures and weather events which will be more and more likely as climate change deepens. When the electricity grid went down it brought with it other systems, including water treatment plants and residential plumbing distribution systems – interrupting industry, putting lives at risk and costing millions of dollars in damage. What can be done to prepare power grids and other systems against such failures in the future? What can communities and building owners and operators do to be more energy resilient and survive these events while minimizing long-term damage? Join Dr. Payman Dehghanian, Smita Chandra Thomas, and Andy Ludwig in a roundtable to discuss grid & buildings systems reliability, building electrification, and higher-ed systems management. Learn from both current research and tried-and-true examples about opportunities to stabilize and protect your building’s future, both with new design strategies and retrofit approaches.

Dr. Payman Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Washington University, Washington DC, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University in 2017. Prior to that, he received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees both in Electrical Engineering respectively from the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran in 2009 and the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2011. His research interests include power system resilience and reliability assessments, renewable energy integration in power grids, and smart electricity grid applications. Dr. Dehghanian is the recipient of the 2016 Best Engineering Graduate Student in the State of Texas, the 2015 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer Award, the 2014 and 2015 IEEE Region 5 Outstanding Professional Achievement Awards, and the 2015 Best Ph.D. student award in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University. In 2015 and 2016, he was also selected among the World's Top 20 Young Scholars for Next Generation of Research in Electric Power Systems.

Smita Chandra Thomas

Smita Chandra Thomas is the founder and principal at Energy Shrink, a consulting practice focused on decarbonization in the buildings sector. Dedicated to enabling energy efficiency in buildings through building science, Smita is a subject matter expert in energy efficiency in buildings at the cutting-edge of green technology and energy management strategy. Smita has more than two decades of experience performing and managing techno-economic analysis for individual buildings, programs and policy. Smita has a master’s degree in building science and is a LEED AP and a CPHC. Smita is a published author, blogger, and speaker on Integrated Design and Net Zero. Smita is also an active member of the community of DC energy professionals.

Andy Ludwig

Andy Ludwig is a Manager of “Better Building Solutions” that improve building infrastructure while reducing operating costs, frequently for nothing out-of-pocket for the owner. He works with ThinkBox Group, LLC to upgrade affordable housing and the DC Housing Authority. He has over ten years of experience developing energy programs and managing energy efficiency projects. He holds a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University and Bachelor of Science in Economics from Duke University, as well as Certified Energy Manager (CEM), LEED AP O+M and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications.

If you have attended any of our previous virtual meetings and still need a certificate, please email [email protected] and request a survey link. Your completed responses will qualify you to receive your certificate as a pdf via email.

Thanks to all who have presented, planned, and attended our series of webinars during this unprecedented year. Our hope is that by next fall we will be able to safely welcome you back to in-person gatherings. This has been a learning experience for us and we hope we’ve been useful. Your comments after each presentation help us to improve educational offerings in the future.

[email protected]