Engineering & Commissioning publications

With my engineering background, I bring a technical flair to publications. I write articles that showcase engineering leaders, and the technical aspects of their work, for a wide ranging audience.

Technical papers & reports

Using my deep understanding of mechanical systems, I write white papers and technical reports outlining methods to solve mechanical system issues in commercial and residential buildings in cold climate regions.

writing samples

Porous Structures Give Metamaterial Key Properties

A combination of two types of lattices helps make this printed titanium material lightweight, heat-resistant, and strong.


Increasing Sensor Precision with the Seebeck Effect

With the help of a thermoelectric phenomenon, researchers can identify molecules down to the attogram, or a quintillionth of a gram, presenting new possibilities for quantum sensor development.


Conductive Asphalt Devices Itself

Safely clearing snow and ice from remote airfields can be challenging, especially with limited staff and resources. But a team at Rowan University’s CREATES, has developed a specially formulated, highly conductive upper asphalt layer that could offer a solution.  


Autonomous Sub for Icy Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are vast inland freshwater seas, and they still harbor many mysteries to researchers. Getting good data, especially in winter, has been a challenge. Scientists from the GLERL, a NOAA freshwater research lab, collaborated with Hibbard Inshore to test a Saab Sabertooth AUV. 


Commissioning Levels ≠ Commissioning Process

Mission critical / data center commissioning providers (CxP) have relied on commissioning levels to track the testing progress of critical equipment within the facility for many years. However, the levels offer only a partial perspective, not the complete picture.    


Rapid Construction for Emergency Care

After New York closed on March 13th, 2020, Chris Pell, a Senior Associate at JB&B in New York City, was working in his home office for a week when he received a call to commission a 1,024-bed Alternate Care Facility (tent hospital) at the athletic facilities of SUNY Old Westbury in Long Island, NY.  


Existing Building Commissioning at Scale

In 2019, McKinstry’s joined forces with Generate Capital and the Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) to commission 245 existing buildings in 18 months, focusing on energy conservation measures. Economy of scale empowered the project team to achieve more with fewer resources.


Commissioning Energy Storage Systems

Energy storage systems (ESS) store energy in batteries until needed. These systems capture generated energy and supply it to end users during off hours. The battery ESS consists of multiple battery cells, creating a large system with capacities in the hundreds of kilowatt-hours.   


New Compressore Makes Fuel Cell Aircraft Viable

Green aviation has been a focus of the aircraft industry for several years, but taking the carbon out of flying is easier said than done. Batteries—the popular choice for cars—are heavy and not terribly energy dense, while hydrogen fuel cells have been plagued with complications. 


Tiny Holes Improve Boiling Performance

Engineers compelled bubbles to jump from a heated plate during boiling to enhance heat transfer. Their research suggests microstructures could increase power plant efficiency.


Better Flaw Detection During Powder Bed Fusion

Researchers have developed a new framework for quantifying the performance of flaw detections using in-situ monitoring and machine learning for powder bed fusion 3D printing.


Geothermal System Commissioning

As electrification and decarbonization gain prominence, building owners are looking to the ground to extract and reject thermal energy, establishing their own utility. The ground serves as a heat exchanger, replacing traditional boiler and chiller plants. 


Innovative Fiber Offers New Textile Possibilities

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a material called FibeRobo that is capable of actuating through heat or electric current, shrinking by up to 40 percent, and reverting to its initial shape upon source removal. 


Ping Pong Balls Offer Acoustic Solution

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a material called FibeRobo that is capable of actuating through heat or electric current, shrinking by up to 40 percent, and reverting to its initial shape upon source removal. 


Researchers Craft Stress-Resistant Materials

Purdue University researchers draw inspiration from nature to create robust, lightweight materials capable of withstanding stress without undergoing unwanted deformation.


Leaning Into Commissioning

Researchers at the Université de Lille in France and the National Technical University of Athens in Greece have collaborated with interdisciplinary university and industry leaders to create a low-frequency sound attenuator using an everyday product: ping pong balls. 


Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS)

An EMIS is a comprehensive computer-based program to monitor, control and optimize energy usage. It differs from a building automation system (BAS) because it focuses on energy, whereas a BAS focuses on system operation and thermal comfort. 


A Road Map for the Spinal Cord

A multi-institutional research effort seeks to improve a flexible probe system that will uncover how signals travel the spinal cord, holding promise for improved therapies.


Common Energy Conservation Measures

Depending on the existing systems, type of occupancy, and owners’ goals for the project, there are likely several different energy conservation measures suitable for the building. This article explores a few of the commonly implemented measures explored through EBCx projects. 


Magentic Beads Quickly Identify Harmful Bacteria

Two research labs at MIT have come together to magnetically isolate and detect bacteria in samples. Using Raman spectroscopy and immunomagnetic beads, they were able to detect the bacteria using the beads’ unique Raman optical signature. 


A Case Study in Resilient Microgrids

Despite being located on the mainland, Cordova is only accessible by plane or boat. Its isolated access means Cordova’s electricity system is fully self-sufficient, operating like an islandic state. 


The World’s First Net-Zero Cruise Ship

Hurtigruten Group and 12 maritime partners are working together to develop, design, and build a ship with retractable solar panels, artificially intelligent steering, and 60 MWh batteries that display the charge levels on the external sides of the ship. 


Taking the Noise Out of Expansion

Researchers designed, tested, and recommended strategies that successfully reduced the noise caused by noisy floating bridge expansion joints on the Evergreen Point Bridge connecting Seattle and Bellevue Washington.


Decarbonizing Through EBCx: An Energy Analysis Overview

An overview of the energy analysis process and the importance of utility bills and weather data to help commissioning providers and owners identify the low hanging fruit opportunities to reduce energy.


Optimized Electrodialysis for Wastewater

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Beckman Institute have developed a new approach to electrified water purification through desalination.


Playing it Cool

LSU football uses helmet technology to help players breathe and stay cool. Air drawn from inside the helmet and blown across the player’s face or visor uses adjustable tube outlets.


Show Me the Data: The Value of Commissioning

There is value in commissioning. Not just in project delivery and occupant comfort, but there are quantifiable results in energy savings and operating costs when commissioning projects are implemented on any building.  


Using Fluids to Control Energy Use in Buildings

A University of Toronto research prototype uses layers of channels filled with fluid to filter solar energy and light into buildings. This product has the potential to significantly reduce heating and cooling costs in buildings.


Enclosure (Envelope) Commissioning vs Enclosure Engineering

Within the context of the building enclosure, there are often two separate expert parties involved, each with different — and sometimes similar — scopes of work. One party is the building enclosure commissioning provider (BECxP) and the other is the enclosure engineer.


Beat the Heat Without AC

My article was published in the workshop section of the August 2023 issue of Cottage Life Magazine. (Subscription required.)


Staying Comfortable with Less

The Passive House model uses five key techniques to achieve comfort while using very little energy. Architects and engineers work closely together from day one of design to limit the amount of energy the building will use through improved insulation, high performing windows, and airtightness.


A Commissioning Provider's Work is Never Done: The Transition to Ongoing Commissioning

The distinction of Ongoing Commissioning from other forms of commissioning is its application as the continuing and sustaining process of investigating, monitoring and implementing facility performance measures over time. 


The OPR of the EBCx World

Much like an Owners Project Requirments (OPR) in New Construction Commissioning (NCCx), the Current Facility Requirements (CFR) for Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) sets out to document how the facility functions and how the space is used.


Integrated Systems Testing (IST)

What is integrated systems testing and how does it impact the owner, engineer, and consultant for a construction project?


Getting the Most Out of Your Toolbox

Despite their importance, Owner's Project Requirements (OPRs) are often tucked away on a shelf, never to be seen again. This checklist article discusses how to use the OPR effectively throughout a project and get more out of the most important tool in your commissioning toolbox. 


Winter is Coming; Designing HVAC Systems for Every Season (White Paper)

A deep dive into how extreme temperature changes throughout the year can impact heating and cooling design and why system flexibility is an important part of HVAC design.


Fluids Move Us Forward

Fluids flow all around us, moving in small and large scales—from 

the air we breathe to the fuels that drive our energy sector.


Engineering's Biggest Problem

By failing its women, engineering is failing itself. On the 9th annual International Women in Engineering Day, 

let's talk solutions - and the roles each of us could play.