Improving productivity, reducing waste, and saving energy at manufacturing plants can go a long way to boosting competitiveness of the nation's small- and medium-sized manufacturers. The Energy Department's Advanced Manufacturing Office Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) initiative helps manufacturers identify energy-efficiency upgrade opportunities through technical assistance provided by local university engineering departments and students. For years, IACs throughout the country have trained the next-generation of energy savvy engineers, more than 60% of whom pursue energy-related careers after graduation.

To recognize IAC students, past and present, who have made significant impacts through their work in energy efficiency, as well as for their outstanding accomplishments in promoting practices and principles of energy engineering, the Advanced Manufacturing Office is pleased to announce the winners of the first IAC Outstanding Student and Distinguished Alumni awards.

These energy service professionals have demonstrated exceptional ability as engineers and advanced energy efficiency in the small- and medium-sized manufacturing community. This year's winners are:


Distinguished IAC Alumni Awardees


Distinguished IAC Alumni Awardees

  • Cameron Lancaster - Distinguished Alumni Awardee (Early Career Category) After graduating from Purdue University in 2014, Cameron joined Siemens Building Technologies Energy Services Group, which completes projects ranging from small service contracts ($30,000) to large complex facility improvement measures ($2,000,000).  As an Energy Engineer, he is responsible for conducting site visits, analyzing current facility situations, and developing facility improvement measures and energy conservation measures.  He has also successfully graduated from the Siemens Industry, Inc. Operations Development Program, and is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers and the US Green Building Council’s Indiana Chapter.
  • Lizzie Grobbel - Distinguished Alumni Awardee (Early Career Category) Lizzie currently serves as Director of Sustainability for Graham Partners, a private equity firm. In this role, she is actively works with Graham Partners’ portfolio of manufacturing and industrial companies to promote energy management. Already, she has facilitated efficiency projects that identified millions of dollars in potential annual cost savings; developed educational webinars on energy efficiency and energy management for 20+ portfolio company operations professionals; and engaged portfolio company facilities and operations teams in piloting eGuide – a DOE-sponsored energy management system software tool. Lizzie graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014.
  • Steve Mulqueen - Distinguished Alumni Awardee Steve began his career in industrial energy efficiency at Cascade Energy, a leader in industrial energy efficiency located in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2011, Steve has worked as an energy engineer in the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) component of the Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) program, helping large industrial end-users reduce electrical energy use. Since its start in 2009, the ESI program has resulted in savings of more than 967 million kWh of electricity. Steve has been instrumental in the over 68 million kWh of savings achieved through SEM. Steve was the project lead for ESI’s Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Integration Pilot. This pilot evaluated the impact on energy efficiency from demand response events and provided end-users with site-specific recommendations to reduce electrical demand costs. Steve graduated from the University of Dayton in 2009.
  • Dr. Eric Woodroof - Distinguished Alumni Awardee Dr. Eric Woodroof has helped over 400 organizations and governments save over $150 million in energy expenses. Dr. Woodroof served as president of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and has initiated many scholarship programs that attract young professionals into the field. During the past five years, he has presented roughly 130 seminars/keynote speeches on five continents in an effort to advance the field and a better energy future for society. Dr. Woodroof also created two certifications – Carbon Reduction Manager (CRM) and Performance Contracting and Funding (PCF) professional – and contributes heavily to the technical content of the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) program. Dr. Woodroof graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1998.
  • Chandra Gopalakrishnan - Distinguished Alumni Awardee As Vice President & Regional Director of Energy & Sustainability for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Chandra delivers programs and services for corporate clients with large portfolios across the world. He was instrumental in establishing programs, tools and processes that deliver energy and waste reduction, managing utility bureau services and reporting performance across thousands of sites for clients such as HSBC. In 2015, those efforts resulted in a savings of over $5M in utility costs and also resulted in achieving zero waste in several sites.  Prior to JLL, he developed over $350 million in guaranteed savings energy performance contracts for K-12 school districts, universities, hospitals and government in the North East US. Chandra graduated from West Virginia University in 2005.


Distinguished IAC Alumni Awardees

  • Dustin Pohlman (University of Dayton, 2013): Dustin founded Energize Engineering in Lima, OH – a start-up company that specializes in residential and commercial energy efficiency engineering and consulting. In addition, working with the City of Lima, Dustin helped recruit more than 750 commercial and residential customers to participate in the Community Energy Savers program. Due, in part, to his efforts, the City achieved its annual goal in only six months. Dustin also helped the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity design and build its first Energy Star certified home in 2014.
  • Kevin Ng (San Francisco State University, 2009) Since graduating, Kevin has worked on both private and public sectorenergy efficiency projects, including the planning, design and construction of utility and community scale buildings. In particular, Kevin designed a photovoltaic microgrid system on Alcatraz Island that reduced the island’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent. He has assisted a number of Federal agencies in meeting Presidential mandates relating to energy independence and achieving zero net energy. While at Berkeley, he has focused on promoting campus-wide operational and behavioral changes of 50,000 plus students and faculty by providing real-time energy management dashboards and daily messages.
  • James Eggebrecht (Texas A&M University, 1994) James is Assistant Director of the Texas A&M IAC and has served as the Executive Director of the Industrial Energy Technology Conference since 1997. He oversees an award program that recognizes individuals and corporations that adopt energy efficiency practices. During his tenure as both a student and faculty member, he has participated on nearly 360 assessments and has played a central role in recruiting IAC clients, mentoring students, and improving assessment results for nearly two decades.


Distinguished IAC Alumni Awardees

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