In a world that seems ever-focused on the negative, we here at HPAC Engineering magazine work very hard to learn about the things changing the HVAC Industry for the better and share them with you in all the media formats you wish to consume them in.

We created the first industry-wide Engineer of the Year program to recognize individuals who go above and beyond in contributing to the HVAC industry, their customers, and their communities. This year, we will launch the HPAC Engineering Design Awards to recognizing engineering firms that use creative design expertise to produce mechanical systems that address the needs and comfort of their clients.

These programs highlight excellence in the engineering community and companies that are really making things happen in the HVAC industry. If you know of individuals or projects that you feel are a step above the rest, we invite you to submit a nomination. Just go to hpac.com/awards to view the criteria for both programs.

I’d like you to take a moment to consider the incredible program lined up for you at the 2012 Carrier Global Engineering Conference (GEC) which will be held March 18-20 in Las Vegas. As I announced previously, HPAC Engineering is pleased to partner with our friends at Carrier Corp. to produce and host this event. We invite you to join us to sit down with some of the industry’s most progressive thought leaders to learn about the changes confronting us all.

The slate of speakers and keynoters represents a wide variety of experts in a number of disciplines (including a number of this magazine’s advisory board members). The program is geared toward helping you stay on top of your professional credentials. The total continuing education units available at GEC are 17.5 professional development hours (PDHs) or 2.1 continuing education units (CEUs). Seminars presented at this meeting are approved for International Association for Continuing Education and Training credit. Each 90 minute seminar is 0.2 CEUs or 1.5 PDHs. The GEC will also help you with your Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design credential maintenance program requirements.

More than 20 speakers will address topics including building commissioning, quality assurance, the refrigerants of the future, data center design strategies, understanding existing buildings through building information modeling, and much more.

Keynoters include leaders of the green building movement such as Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council; William Browning, principal, Terrapin Bright Green, LLC; Robert F. Fox, Jr., AIA, Partner, Cook+Fox Architects; and David Gottfried, founder of the World Green Building Council.

The opening plenary address will be given by Geraud Darnis, president and CEO, UTC Climate, Controls & Security Systems.

But it’s not all work. There is a tremendous entertainment show planned, the “Legends Tribute Show,” as part of the welcome reception on Sunday, March 18th.

This event is a great opportunity for you to network with the industry’s finest. For more information on the speakers, the costs, and hotel information, please visit bit.ly/HPAC_GEC.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Global Engineering Conference, and eagerly anticipate your nominations and entries for our Engineer of the Year and Design Awards programs.