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A team of Nebraska architectural engineering students took first place in the HVAC System Selection category at the 2020 ASHRAE Student Design Competition, which drew many teams from across the U.S. and the world.
ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers) is a technical society with over 55,000 members worldwide.
The Nebraska team consists of students Ashley Everitt, John Kramer, Jessica Lee and Mitchael Sieh, each of whom will begin work on master's degrees this fall. David Yuill, associate professor of architectural engineering, was the faculty advisor and Joe Hazel, a retired senior mechanical engineer and Nebraska Engineering alumnus, was the industry mentor.
"I'm so impressed with the students that I get entering these competitions. They show up with a great deal of technical knowledge, but ready to learn more. Even more impressive to me is the professionalism that they demonstrate. This year we went into quarantine before our first team meeting, and I wondered if we'd be able to even enter the competition, but the students carried on via Zoom, completely unfazed."
The 2020 ASHRAE student competition focused on building a new 17,500-square foot document storage and archive center in Mumbai, India. The facility stores rare documents, books, manuscripts, photos, and audio recordings in a manner that will ensure the preservation of historical items for future generations.
HVAC System Selection is considered the most advanced technical category in the competition, and the runners-up were in the category were University of Hong Kong, Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt and City College of New York.
Teams submit a written document and a video presentation describing their design, and an analysis showing how the design will perform in terms of energy consumption, cost, environmental impact, and indoor environmental quality.
The team spent the second half of the spring semester working through multiple designs, modeling the energy usage and cost of each, and dealing with the challenges of social distancing and connecting remotely.
"The ASHRAE Student Design Competition was a great way for me to put my technical skills to the test," Everitt said "One challenging aspect of the design, given the climate of Mumbai, was the tight temperature and relative humidity requirements of the building. (We) concluded with a winning design containing air-handling units, air-cooled chillers, an energy recovery ventilation unit, a desiccant air-handling unit, and VAV boxes with reheat."
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