energy (n): Power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources, especially to provide light and heat or to work machines.
Our obsession with energy, how to harness it and how to use it efficiently is not a new thing. After humans first warmed themselves with the sun, they eventually discovered fire. Early humans used wood fires to cook food and keep warm. Modern humans still do it in home fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and during camping adventures.
But people began to need more energy. They built homes and then larger industrial buildings. Coal began to replace wood as the primary source of energy around the Industrial Revolution. In 1859, the first oil well was drilled in Texas to launch the petroleum industry. The first nuclear power plant came online in Pennsylvania almost 100 years later in 1959.
We've spent thousands of years focused on creating, harnessing, and distributing energy to fill our demands for heat, light, production, and entertainment. More energy is a constant requirement in modern life. Ideally, however, we want it to be extremely efficient, clean, and inexpensive. Engineers are tasked with designing HVAC systems that incorporate all those things into our commercial buildings.
Which brings me to the World Energy Engineering Congress coming to Charlotte, NC October 17 through October 19. You've still got time to register for the expo and for conference sessions! Here's why you should consider attending:
- There's something for everyone. If you were just looking for a one-size-fits-all conference, this is not the one. There are actually a total of 14 tracks with over 300 speakers. Participants who attend all three days can earn 1.0 CEU or 10 PDH or 2.0 AEE credits toward re-certification. Tracks include Energy Policy & Programs, the Better Plants Program, Renewable Energy & Sustainable Development, High Performance Buildings and Communities, and more.
- Keynote speakers who will educate and inspire. The conference begins with four keynote speakers on Wednesday, October 17 who offer a variety of energy perspectives. Lynn Good, President and CEO of Duke Energy leads the charge with "Building a Smarter Energy Future." The President of Mexico Felipe Calderon then takes the stage to speak about "The Economic Opportunities of the Energy Transition." He's followed by Sheryl Connelly, Manager of Global Consumer Trends and Futuring (yes, that's her title!) at Ford Motor Company who offers "Confessions of a Corporate Futurist: Coming Trends That Will Revolutionize Your Business." The keynote concludes with U.S. Astronaut Captain Scott Kelly who will ensure us that "The Sky is Not the Limit: Lessons from a Year in Space."
- Companies you need to see. The expo hall is open on October 17 and 18 and is loaded with firms, manufacturers and vendors all with similar goals in mind: keeping energy efficient, clean and with lower life-cycle costs. They will be showing off equipment, systems and services designed to help you do your job better, make buildings more effiicient and save building owners money in the long run. As a matter of fact, some of our very own manufacturing partners will be there, including Metraflex, Yanmar and Smardt Chiller Group, Inc. Shameless plug: You should look these booths up while you're there. You may find one of our team there!
- If you live in the southeast United States, you're close to the conference. I don't know about you, but when industry conferences are within a few hundred miles of me, I try to attend. Continuing education is a critical component of ensuring that you're aware of the latest technologies available and how they fit into overall system design. Our clients expect us to know and understand what options they have in commercial HVAC equipment to help them maximize efficiency, increase sustainability and decrease life cycle costs. It's a bonus when you don't have to fly halfway across the country and certainly an easier sell to your employer since expenses incurred will be lower. As a matter of fact, you should take a few colleagues along with you!
- Multiple opportunities to learn about HVAC systems and energy management. As mentioned before, there are a wide variety of educational sessions to choose from. There are sessions on Best Practices in Chiller & Cooling Systems, Energy Management for Intelligent Manufacturing, The Development of a Carbon Neutral Campus at Dublin City University, Challenges of a Net Zero Building Design in an Urban Environment, and more. Regardless of your passions, your specific job function or your future career plans, this conference will help you understand more about energy and its applications in a variety of vertical markets.
Don't wait until it's too late. Register today to attend the 2018 World Energy Engineering Congress in Charlotte from October 17 to October 19. We will see you there!