In May I had a much overdue opportunity for a return trip to Purdue University, where I completed my Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering over 20 years ago now. I was somewhat shocked by the much younger version of me that was shown on the pictures of Herrick Labs grad! I completed my research thesis at Ray W. Herrick labs, working for Dr. Jim Braun. Looking back, there’s no doubt that my time at Herrick Labs has more significantly influenced my career and reinforced my early decision to work in the energy management field than any other period of my life. My contacts there have led me to numerous positions as my career has expanded and my research on HVAC optimization and diagnostics continues to provide a great foundation for the technical work we take on at Burton.
The expansion of Herrick Labs to now include a new research facility which now houses the Center for High Performance Buildings was truly remarkable. Brent and I had the privilege to hear about the original vision, fund-raising process, construction, and got a tour of the very impressive facility by Dr. Braun. The vision of the university/industry partnerships being formed to help guide ongoing research in the state-of-the facility was exciting, providing a great foundation for keeping the work in the facility focused on important problems and helping students grow in ways to solve these problems. We look forward to seeing all of the great work coming out of Purdue that will not doubt continue to significantly influence the field of energy management and optimized buildings.