ASHRAE: Applied Engineering Challenge (Full details).

ASHRAE’s stated goals and objectives include extending the reach of heating, ventilating, AC and refrigeration (HVAC&R) information, connecting with others, and adapting today’s technology for tomorrow to local and global communities. Many engineering and sustainability challenges exist in the world. The 2018 Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge is intended to stimulate student-led groups to find engineering solutions for building refugee shelters as needed throughout the world.

During the ASHRAE winter conference, Tommy and two teammates accepted an award for second place in the Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge. The team consisted of five students from California Polytechnic State University and San Luis Obispo working on the project from the beginning of January to the end of May 2018. The Applied Engineering Challenge is one of the student competitions offered by ASHRAE and typically involves projects focused on people affected by natural disasters, war, or poor living conditions. The 2018 competition focused on those fleeing from places like Syria, heading into refugee camps throughout Eastern Europe. The goal was to create a temporary, portable shelter for families of 6-8 people that meets ASHRAE standards for human comfort with constraints on power, clean water, and sanitation. The team came up with a design involving accordion-style walls, portable toilet, and rainwater collection.

“The competition is open to all schools worldwide and I am proud of my team’s aptitude to achieve second place!” – Tommy Ruggles 

From Intern to Engineer: Tommy Ruggles first learned about mechanical engineering as an intern at MacDonald-Miller in 2016. His interest in the field encouraged him to follow an HVAC engineering specific path at Cal Poly. He joined the ASHRAE student chapter and began his role as Director of Special Projects. Tommy joined MacDonald-Miller as a Mechanical Design Engineer in 2018.

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