Excellence in engineering—a concept that isn't new, not by a long shot, but something that rarely is recognized outside of academic and association/society circles. And though many engineers remain tied to societies and universities, the work they do every day for clients rarely is recognized in a national forum.

That is about to change.

In the HVACR industry, the daily work that goes into the design and engineering of mechanical systems that meet customer requirements, resolve industrial-process issues, and sustain environmental conditions in our health-care and educational institutions is vital to the comfort, safety, security, and success of our citizens, our businesses, and our country.

But what is excellence? The dictionary definitions seem stale. They use terms like excelling, doing your best, standing out from the crowd—all true, but somehow limiting in their scope. Excellence, from where I stand, includes integrity, service, communication, relationship building, and the like. It's the base upon which to build ongoing improvements. Former NBA coach Pat Riley said it best: "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."

So, it is with great pleasure that I formally announce HPAC Engineering's inaugural Engineer of the Year award program, designed to recognize individuals serving the HVACR industry who personify excellence. The idea is to share what they do with the rest of the industry, to show what is possible, what can be strived for in an effort to improve, to go the extra mile for the industry, the customer, and the community.

Here's how it works: Each nominee must be a mechanical or professional engineer engaged in the HVACR and/or building-automation disciplines. "Engineering work" may include design, analysis, and/or other engineering functions performed directly by the nominee or such work that has been accomplished under the direct responsible charge of the nominee.

How does someone get nominated? They can be nominated by peers, by customers, and/or by equipment manufacturers/suppliers. Self-nominations also are allowed.

One note: All nominees must be residents of the United States.

Nominees must have accomplished significant engineering achievements over the last two calendar years (i.e., Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010) to be eligible for the award. Significant achievements are broken down into three areas:

  • Technical contributions to the nominee's company and customers.
  • Professional contributions to the HVACR industry.
  • Community contributions.

We've created criteria as well as application (nomination) forms, both of which you can download from HPAC.com. Just go to www.bit.ly/EofYAward to grab the PDFs.

A panel consisting of members of HPAC Engineering's Editorial Advisory Board and the editors of HPAC Engineering will select the winner, who will be announced in the September issue of the magazine with a profile story and be presented the award during the magazine's Optimum Buildings Conference, part of HVACR Week, in Indianapolis in September.

All entries must be received by July 15. They can be sent to me at HPAC Engineering, The Penton Media Building, 1300 E. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114-1503 or mike.weil@penton.com.

I'm looking forward to seeing some excellent nominations.