Vermont Tech Students Take First Place Regionally

Three Vermont Technical College graduates recently were informed they placed first in a northeast regional competition as part of an international student engineering design competition.

Caleb Bristol, John Kubacz, and William “Billy” Roberts of the bachelor degree program in architectural engineering technology, submitted their capstone senior project to the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) “design calculations” category competition in May 2016.

[Read the original article published by the Randolph Herald.]

For the competition, they were responsible for designing an appropriate heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, including equipment choices, for a mixed-used facility in Beijing, China. They incorporated energy-saving measures, including the application of roof-top solar units, and calculated life-cycle costs related to both the installation and long-term operation of the HVAC system.

The submittal was judged against others in ASHRAE Region 1 and then later competed against all national and international submittals. In previous years, Vermont Tech teams have not only performed well regionally, but have gone on to place second and third overall.

“We couldn’t have done it without the education that we received from VTC,” commented team member John Kubacz. He and Bristol had received $5,000 scholarships from ASHRAE in 2015.

Another Vermont Tech team comprising Darian Calverley, Harper Keenan, and Georgia Mealey also competed in the competition. Their project focus differed in that they attempted to select the best system for the same Beijing building, and they compared advantages and disadvantages of different options.

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF), variable air volume (VAV), and ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems were compared, with the team recommending the VRF system.

Mark Vincello, PE, an HVAC engineer with W.V. Engineering Associates in Keene, N.H., provided technical guidance to the team. Scott A. Sabol, P.E., professor of architectural and building engineering technology at Vermont Tech, co-instructed the senior capstone course.

“Our students are both aware of the importance of energy efficiency in buildings and able to engineer such buildings,” Professor Sabol noted. “They become valuable employees in today’s marketplace.”

Both the associate and bachelor degree programs in architectural and building engineering technology at Vermont Technical College prepare students for careers in the buildings and related infrastructure industry, such as engineering, architecture, design technician, construction management, or technical sales positions. The job market for graduates in the industry remains strong, as energy efficiency and sustainable engineering remain top-of-mind for building owners.