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Staff Biographies

Michael Pate

Dr. Michael Pate, Professor Director, Riverside Energy Efficiency Laboratory Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department Texas A&M University Dr. Michael Pate graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1970 and served as a U.S. Naval Officer aboard nuclear submarines for 5 years. He later pursued and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arkansas and Purdue University, respectively. In 1982, he joined the faculty as a professor at Iowa State University, where he taught classes and performed research in HVAC, refrigeration, heat transfer, building energy, alternative energy, and compressed air systems for 26 years. In 2008, he became a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University where he also serves as the Director of the Riverside Energy Efficiency Laboratory (REEL). His total research funding level in the building energy and HVAC area since 1982 has been in excess of six million dollars from 90 separate research projects representing 25 different funding sources, including 10 different ASHRAE funded projects. In addition, these research projects have supported 90 graduate students, including 62 M.S. students and 28 Ph.D. students. In fact, six former graduate students are now tenured professors at other universities, with all of them being significantly involved with teaching and research activities in the HVAC and energy areas. His research work performed to date has been published in 130 articles. Over the years other publications have been in book chapters and project reports. In the case of ASHRAE funded projects, the research results have been used to update technical information in the ASHRAE Handbooks.
 

James (Jim) Watt

Jim Watt is an Associate Director and Senior Research Engineer at the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL). He is in charge of Continuous Commissioning® project development and delivery. He is a member of several organizations including American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Building Commissioning Association, Association of Energy Engineers, and Texas Energy Managers Association.

Jim’s area of expertise includes automatic control systems solutions development and design for large complex central utility production and distribution systems as well as energy efficiency improvement analysis and solutions development for commercial buildings, public, and private institutional facilities. With over eighteen years of experience, he has developed a passion for assisting clients in identifying and implementing practical and effective energy efficient solutions.

Jim has completed numerous projects that have saved millions of dollars for major companies. Some major projects include commission and retro commissioning for some of the Houston metropolitan area independent school districts such as Cy-Fair ISD, Klein ISD, and Spring Branch ISD. He has worked on the central utility plants, cogeneration plants and utility distribution systems for major universities like University of Colorado Health Science Center, Rice University, Midwestern State University and University of Missouri. Jim has written many publications and participated in presentations that help keep the public aware of energy consumption and cost reduction opportunities.

Jim received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer.
 

Joseph (Joe) Martinez

Joe is an Associate Director, Research Engineer, and the Project Manager for Continuous Commissioning® at Energy Systems Lab (ESL). He is in charge of the communication between ESL and the Continuous Commissioning® Licensees. He is the Principal Investigator for the Continuous Commissioning® projects for the United States Army Medical Command. He serves as the liaison for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

Joe’s field of expertise is in energy analysis and energy management. He has had over twenty-two years of experience in these fields in both the private and public sector. He has provided research engineering services and led many research projects that have saved millions of dollars. Joe has demonstrated his excellent leadership skills after serving two years in the United States Army Reserves, where he participated in the simultaneous membership program.

While at Energy Systems Lab, Joe has managed many of the Continuous Commissioning® projects, specifically the Alamo Community College District for over ten years. He has designed and developed the Trend Data Analysis tool (T_DAT), which is an innovative software Commissioning tool that increases field engineer productivity. Joe is also one of the top trainers participating in the training program that teaches select graduate students about the Continuous Commissioning® process.

Joe received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University.
 

James (Jim) Eggebrecht

James Eggebrecht is an Assistant Research Engineer at the Energy Systems Lab (ESL). He is the Assistant Director of the Texas A&M University Industrial Assessment Center, the Executive Director of the Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC). He also assists the Texas A&M University System in its purchase of electrical energy for the System’s various campuses and agencies.

Jim’s area of expertise is in energy efficiency and energy management in industrial plants. As the Assistant Director of the TAMU IAC, he has performed over 340 industrial assessments at various industrial facilities. He has over thirty-five years of experience in both the public and private sector, twenty years of experience with Conoco oil and gas production, and eighteen years with the Energy Systems Laboratory.

While at the Energy Systems Lab, Jim has directed the IETC for seventeen years. Currently in its 35th year, the IETC is the second longest running TAMU-sponsored conference. Jim has been the Assistant Director of the TAMU IAC for eighteen years. The IAC at TAMU has recently completed 630 industrial assessments through the US Department of Energy IAC program. Since Jim’s involvement in TAMU IAC, savings of over $32,000,000 have been found per year by the IAC at TAMU and over 200 students have been trained in industrial energy management.

Jim received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
 

Charles Culp

Dr. Charles Culp is a Professor in the Department of Architecture and an Associate Director of the Energy System Laboratory (ESL). At the ESL, he is responsible for the development and implementation of Continuous Commissioning® tools used to improve energy efficiency in hundreds of large buildings including higher education facilities, medical facilities, office buildings and airports. He has proposed and secured over $14 million in funding from federal, state and industry while at the Energy Systems Lab. Dr. Culp has conducted sponsor-supported research in low energy use commercial and residential building design, software control algorithms, energy studies, low velocity air movement studies, air movement in ducts, measurement and verification technology, serious gaming technology, and energy codes.

He has had over thirty years of experience in the HVAC&R field, both in the private and public sectors. During his employment at Interand, Dr. Culp designed interactive video systems. At Honeywell, Dr. Culp was a Honeywell Fellow and designed and led the development on two major energy management and control system designs, Honeywell’s Delta 2500 and Delta 21. During his time at Emerson Electric, he was the Deputy Director of Emerson’s Advanced Material Center, the Director of Emerson’s Advanced Development Center, the Director of Engineering for Alco Controls, and the Director of Research for Fisher Controls.

At Texas A&M University, his teaching in the Department of Architecture encompasses high performance building design and simulation, environmental design, and HVAC courses in which both architecture and engineering students attend. Dr. Culp is active in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a Past President of ASHRAE’s College of Fellows and currently the Chair of the Technical Activities Committee at ASHRAE. He also advices ten Texas A&M Architecture graduate students.

Dr. Culp received a B.S. in Physics with highest honors from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and a Ph.D. in Solid State Physics with an Electrical Engineering minor from Iowa State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, has a LEED-AP certification from the US Green Building Council, and has a High Performance Building Design Professional certification from ASHRAE.
 
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