HVACR Student Team Demonstrates Excellence in International Design Competition

Annie Vanderstelt
Annie Vanderstelt, a member of Ferris State University's team competing in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' 2018 HVAC System Selection competition, participates in the presentation of their entry. The Ferris team of HVACR students finished third in the international competition.

A team of Ferris State University Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program students recently placed third in the 2019 HVAC System Selection competition, organized by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

The purpose of the international competition is to recognize outstanding student design projects and to encourage undergraduate students to become involved in the profession by applying their knowledge of practical design within a team structure. The 2019-20 building project called for analysis and design specific to a four-story acute care hospital in Budapest, Hungary. The students had to submit a report of up to 30 pages and prepare a 15-minute presentation that covered the complete design of an HVAC system for the project building. Ferris’ student ASHRAE branch had to demonstrate excellence at the local and regional level to qualify for the international competition.

The student team, comprised of Anirudh Baliga from Mumbai, India, Michael Cain, of Niles, Michigan; Seth DeGraaf, of Grand Rapids; Irawat Singh, of Norton Shores’ Annie Vanderstelt, of Big Rapids; and Konner Wolter, of Lawrence, will receive the HVAC System Selection award at the 2020 ASHRAE Winter meeting in Orlando, Florida next February.

HVACR Associate Professor Mike Korcal, in the College of Engineering Technology, is the ASHRAE student chapter advisor. He noted that the competitors were all top program graduates who have moved into their first professional roles in the industry.

"In my opinion, this was one of the more challenging projects an HVACR student team was asked to address in the ASHRAE design and equipment selection competition,” Korcal said. “Our students did an amazing job on a very difficult building and should be commended.”

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of 57,000 members. The society’s sole objective is to advance the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education to serve the evolving needs of the public.