The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0 – November 2021


The National Chapter of ASHRAE

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The ASHRAE Digital

Lighthouse and Industry 4.0

December 2021

President’s Corner

To the National Capital Chapter of ASHRAE,

April marks the final Monthly Meeting of the NCC ASHRAE 2020-2021 Year. There appear to be many things coming to an end, which I am very excited about for our Chapter, Families, and Community. I hope everyone had a nice Easter and enjoyed the perfect weather. Now, for a little preview of what the NCC has lined up for April.

Please join us from 12pm – 2pm on April 14th for a presentation on Energy and Infrastructure. We all witnessed the level of vulnerability and exposure of power grids to drastic weather events as well as the effects on other critical infrastructure such as water filtration and wastewater treatment plants. This roundtable discussion will focus on grid and building systems reliability, building electrification, and higher-ed systems management. The three panelists will be:

  • Dr. Payman Dehghanian – Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Washing University
  • Smita Chandra Thomas, LEED AP, CPHC – Found and Principal at Energy Shrink
  • Andy Ludwig, PMP, CEM, LEED AP O+M – Manager of “Better Building Solutions” at ThinkBox Group, LLC

Thank you to our March 17th webinar presenters on Approaching Net Zero: Energy, Water and Waste. Neal, Steve, and Brice from CMTA along with Patrick from Vanderweil and our very own Patti from Home Innovation Research Labs, gave a well-attended presentation with continuity from start to finish. We appreciate all the attendees’ questions during the meeting as well as the follow-up afterwards. Your Board and Committee Chairs always strive to enhance your experience and direct feedback is a vital part of the process.

Although this is the last official meeting of the year, please stay tuned for a May Newsletter highlighting upcoming events, announcements and some exciting changes coming to the NCC (spoiler alert – pertains to Website and Directory). In closing, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any suggestions you would like to see implemented next year and as always, thank you to our sponsors, members, and volunteers!

Best Regards,

Ryan Westlund

President, National Capital Chapter, 2021-2022

RyanW Headshot
2021-2022 Board of Governors
President Ryan Westlund
President-Elect Nick Barrett
Vice President Mike Morder
Treasurer Jonathan Rumbaugh
Secretary Michael Spencer
Sr. Governor Stephen Niez
Governor Drew McPheeters
Governor Mikelann Scerbo
Governor Lauren MacGowens
Governor Patti Gunderson
2021-2022 Committee Chairs
Annual Social Bradey Jump
Laura Morder
CRC Mikelann Scerbo
Directory Morgan Stevens
Facility Tour TBD
Finance Nick Barrett
Ryan Westlund
Jonathan Rumbaugh
Mike Morder
Golf Outing Mike Morder
Gov't Affairs Roger Chang
Historian Drew McPheeters
Gary McKee
Honors/ Awards Steven Niez
Membership Lauren MacGowens
Drew McPheeters
Newsletter Morgan Flynn
Reception Stephanie Gonzalez
Catherine Jones
Research Promotion Chris Able
Student Activities Dante Freeland
Sustainability Ryan Westlund
Tech Awards Ryan Westlund
Website/ Electronic
Michael Spencer
Lauren MacGowens
Morgan Stevens
Women in ASHRAE Bailey Estes
Young Engineers in ASHRAE Zach DeLuke
Programs Zach DeLuke
Adam Mirabelle

Thank you to our 2021-2022 Corporate Sponsers!


Gold - Boland


Gold - H+B Engineered Products
Gold - Vertiv
Gold - ATS
Gold - AECOM


This past summer, the NCC Chapter traveled to State College, PA for the ASHRAE Region III CRC Conference. In addition to the award recipients highlighted in the September newsletter, there are more members who also received awards at this conference. They are recognized below.

Hall of Fame Award - Roger Jones

This award is presented to an individual who, in the eyes of the DRC, has shown outstanding commitment to Region III through years of service.

Certificate of Appreciation - CRC General Chair - Laura Morder

Certificate of Appreciation - CRC General Chair - Stephanie Mages

Certificate of Appreciation - RVC Government Affairs - Kinga Hydras

Chapter Service Award - Laura Petrillo-Groh

Chapter Service Award - Morgan Stevens

Regional Award of Merit - Stephanie Mages

The Regional Award of Merit is awarded to individuals who have shown their commitment to ASHRAE through many years of service in support of their ASHRAE Region.

Membership Promotion - Blue Ribbon (High PAOE in Region) - Drew McPheeters

This award recognizes the Region III Membership Promotion Chair that has shown real effort in all areas of the committee's goals. Three basic requirements to be considered for this award include: attendance at the CRC and Centralized Training; goal setting with the RVC; and regular communication with the RVC.

Young Engineers in ASHRAE - Shining Light Award - Stephanie Gonzalez

YEA Chapter Chair who goes above and beyond in developing strong and creative YEA events and programs for their chapter. As well as increasing YEA members and participation.



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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.

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 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 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 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 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.


Net Zero Energy Neal Taylor, Steve Torre, and Brice Watson, all of CMTA, Inc., made the case for a well-rounded
kit bag of strategies for successful design of Net-Zero public school buildings:

  • Early goal-setting and discipline coordination
  • Parametric modeling of
    • loads and energy end uses
    • shading and glazing
  • Studies of occupancy, daylighting, and the site’s seasonal solar resource
  • Robust commissioning – including both visual inspection and test procedures such as:
    • building infiltration
    • distribution system flows, temperatures and leakage
    • equipment performance optimization
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According to the New Buildings Institute, the last two decades have seen a seven-fold increase in ZeroEnergy projects, and schools lead all sectors.
(graphic courtesy New Buildings Institute)

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Good design takes into account the practical and procedural hurdles that can limit the number of successful Net-Zero Energy Projects
(graphic courtesy CMTA)

Learn more about one of CMTA’s case studies, Discovery Elementary School in Arlington VA:

Net Zero Water

Patrick Murphy, Director of Sustainable Design at R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, LLP. shared the sobering news that low-flow fixtures alone cannot get us to net zero water when other process water uses are so thirsty and ubiquitous.


ASHRAE relies on YOU for support. If you are interested in donating, please visit

The Research Promotion Committee manages and supports both the Society‐level fundraising and Chapter‐level fundraising of the RP Campaign. Traditionally supporting just research, the RP Campaign was expanded 10 years ago to include support of Education & ALI, Endowed Research through ASHRAE Foundation, YEA programs, ASHRAE Scholarships, and the General/ Unrestricted fund. Research, the backbone of ASHRAE, remains the primary fund of the program with over $2 million raised for this program annually.

Ways You Can Contribute:

Online at WWW.ASHRAE.ORG. On the top of the page click ‘make a gift’ and select ‘ASHRAE RP Campaign’. Fill in all the required info. Please remember to put NCC CHAPTER in the Assigned ASHRAE Chapter area so your chapter can receive credit.

Or, make your checks out to ASHRAE RESEARCH FUND. Please remember to  add NCC CHAPTER to the memo line, and send to:

180 Technology Parkway

Peachtree Corners, GA 30092.

Have questions? Please contact our NCC Chapter RP

Chair Chris Able at 410‐353‐3060 or

Thank you so much for your support last year and we hope we can count on you again this year!

5 - Research Promotion Image


A special thank you to this year's generous donors!

Eric D. Goodman

Marty D. Borenstein

Edward A. Durell

Laura G. Petrillo-Groh, PE

Christopher Able

Paul H. Levy

Phillip R. Mace

James M. Grant

Mikelann Scerbo

Ryan Westlund

Nicholas Barrett

Michael Morder

Catherine L. Jones

Jonathan R. Rumbaugh

James M. Grant

Michael Spencer

Dr. Drury B Crawley, PhD

Gerard Nolan

Roger K Jones, PE

Henry Francis Canova