Hpac 0820 People Pr

People: August 2020

July 29, 2020
New hires, promotions, management moves at KAI Engineering, Uponor North America, Teel Plastics Inc., Plastics Pipe Institute, Aircuity, Aquatherm North America, and the Construction Industry Round Table .

KAI Hires Nicula as Director of Electrical Engineering

KAI Engineering announced the addition of Ramona Nicula, P.E., LEED AP, as director of electrical engineering of its St. Louis office. In her new position, Nicula will lead electrical engineering project design, work planning, electrical discipline recruitment and staff development. She will provide project oversight of St. Louis-led projects and lead the overall quality control of the electrical department.

Nicula has had a successful 25-year career in the industry, having previously served as vice president of EDM Inc. and engineering manager at PayneCrest Electric, both of St. Louis.

She earned her engineering degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Transylvania University in Romania and an MBA from the University of Missouri — St. Louis. She is a member of the Electrical Board of Missouri and Illinois and is a licensed professional engineer in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Maryland and California. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional through the U.S. Green Building Council.

ASHRAE Honors Abellon with Hightower Tech Achievement Award

Devin Abellon, P.E., business development manager for engineering services at Uponor North America, was named the recipient of the 2019-2020 George B. Hightower Technical Achievement Award.

Presented May 28 during the 2020 ASHRAE Annual Conference (held virtually this year), the award recognizes excellence in volunteer, leadership and service to the organization’s technical committees, technical groups and technical research groups.

Abellon was cited for his significant contributions to ASHRAE and TC 6.5 over the past four years in his work as TC 6.5 Programs Subcommittee chair. From 2015 to 2018, Abellon chaired six ASHRAE seminars and a panel discussion with 16. In 2019, he chaired the radiant heating and cooling track at the annual conference in Kansas City, which featured 39 presentations in 12 seminars.

As TC 6.5 Handbook chair, Abellon recently developed a comprehensive plan for a consolidated handbook chapter on radiant heating and cooling.

“I am honored to be receiving the Hightower award,” Abellon said. “It is truly a testament to the hard work of all the dedicated members of TC 6.5, as well as to Uponor’s continued support of ASHRAE and its efforts to improve the built environment through smarter, more sustainable technologies and design.”

A much-decorated Air Force officer in the Pacific Theater during WWII, George B. Hightower devoted the rest of his 55-year professional life to the engineering and contracting professions. For three and a half decades, he served as co-owner of Conditioned Air Engineers, a commercial air conditioning contracting firm in his native city of Atlanta.

Hightower died Nov. 8, 2008, at the age of 91. The eponymous award was created in his honor two years earlier.

PPI Announces BCD Management Changes

The Plastics Pipe Institute has elected Kate Olinger of Uponor North America to chair and Christian Herrild of Teel Plastics Inc. to vice chair of its Building & Construction Division (BCD).

Olinger, who will also represent the division on the PPI board of directors for the next two years, takes over from Rich Houle of Reliance Worldwide Corp. He moved into the past chair role, effective June 1.

Herrild previously served on the BCD Management Committee as the communications committee chair. That position will now be filled by Bill Melvin of Legend Valve.

Other leadership spots in the BCD include Jason McKinnon of Viega who remains as the Education Committee chair, a position he has held for more than four years, and Gary Morgan of Borealis, who will continue as R&D Projects chair, managing the work of BCD’s active research group. Don Townley of Lubrizol, who served as BCD Division chair from 2016 to 2018, has accepted the role of Advisory Council Liaison & Strategic Planning chair.

Rich Houle, Gary Morgan and Don Townley also serve on PPI’s board in other roles.

Aircuity Adds VP of Operations

Aircuity has hired Tom Nasti as vice president of operations. He brings more than 15 years of operations and management experience. In his new role, Nasti will focus on both product assembly and the Assurance Services Calibration Lab in tandem with improving systems, process and quality.

Before joining Aircuity, Nasti spent nearly 10 years with Sensata Technologies, a global organization which designs and manufactures sensing solutions across automotive and industrial applications. There, he led divisional operations and program management teams, following various previous roles which included expatriate assignments.

[Editor’s note: In the July issue, we used an incorrect photo and identified it as Jim Paschel. The news item is published again here, with the correct photo. We apologize for the confusion.]

Paschal named PPI’s top BCD member

Jim Paschal, P.E., LEED AP, chief technology officer of Aquatherm North America, was named “Member of the Year” by the Building and Construction Division (BCD) of the Plastics Pipe Institute.

Paschal has been chair of the PPI Polypropylene Pressure Pipe Steering Committee since its inception in 2017. While leading efforts to update product standards for polypropylene piping systems, he is also working to develop a new ASTM test method for PP-R and PP-RCT materials. Overall, Paschal has been instrumental in defining the type of work to be initiated and in keeping members engaged.

“As chair of PPI’s Polypropylene Pressure Pipe Steering Committee, Jim Paschal is generous with his expertise about PP piping systems,” said Lance MacNevin, P.E., director of engineering, Plastics Pipe Institute. “He is instrumental in the development of technical projects and building consensus among committee members.”

Paschal said: “I’ve worked with PPI in various capacities for many years, and have always had great respect for everything this organization and the members do to promote the safe and effective use of plastic piping. I’m incredibly honored to have received this award from the PPI Building and Construction Division.”

Voting by Proxy, CIRT Announces Board Elections, New Chairman

The Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT), a national business trade association comprised of chief executives from over 100 U.S. design and construction companies, elected Wassim A. Selman, Ph.D., P.E., as chair of the organization for one year. He was elected by proxy vote, along with new directors, after CIRT’s spring conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Selman is executive vice president of infrastructure at Arcadis.

“I am most honored to serve you and this exceptional organization as the chair for the next 12 months,” Selman said. “Since our last conference back in November, CIRT, our members, our families and friends, our country, and the entire world have and continue to face the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic shutdowns. These are turbulent times that require all of us to rise to the challenge and to lead our businesses and this wonderful organization through uncharted territories.”

CIRT Board Elections

The following members were also elected as officers by proxy vote:

• Vice Chairman: Greg Cosko, president and CEO, Hathaway Dinwiddie, San Francisco, CA;

• Treasurer: Peter Emmons, CEO, Structural Group, Columbia, MD;

• Immediate Past Chairman: Paul Frazen, president, Barnard Construction Inc., Bozeman, MT;

In addition to the executive committee elections, CIRT also welcomed the following four industry leaders as new directors who will serve on the board through 2023:

Ken Aldridge, chairman, Aldridge Electric Inc., Libertyville, IL;

Tom Reilly, executive vice president, Turner Construction Co., New York, NY;

Chris Traylor, co-president, Traylor Bros., Evansville, IN;

Jim Whitaker, FAIA, FDBIA, director of government and alternative project delivery principal, HKS Inc., Dallas, TX.