We’re fine tuning our lineup as the calendar flips. Shall we pencil you in?

Before we get to some notes about the first-ever EE Global Forum I attended last month, let me start with some news about our “Building Automation” column. Ken Sinclair has been writing that column for us nearly as long as I’ve been in this position atEngineered Systems. In that time, he has built a consistent body of work, prodding the industry to pay less attention to where it is and more attention to where it could be.

Sinclair’s birds-eye view of things has allowed him to spot then-nascent trends and opportunities, ranging from simply incorporating Web browsers into everyday performance to the more complex enterprise-level building system integration taking place today. After over seven years, this month marks Ken’s final “Building Automation” column. While we thank him heartily for such an extended tour of duty, we’re pleased that he will not be disappearing. Expect occasional feature articles from Ken - starting with a year-in-review piece next month - featuring the same array of industry interviews and personal perspective you’ve come to count on here and at Ken’s “day job,”www.automatedbuildings.com.

Meanwhile, January will mark the debut of Paul Ehrlich, P.E. and Ira Goldschmidt, P.E. at the helm of our “Building Automation” column. Ehrlich’s name is familiar to you by now, from both feature articles and our editorial advisory board. Founder of the Building Intelligence Group, he has also been invaluable in establishing our series of conferences as a vital part of the ongoing automation and sustainability discussion. Goldschmidt, who has also written forESpreviously, comes to the column with over 25 years of experience and credits that include being co-author of an ASHRAE guideline titled, “Specifying Direct Digital Controls.”

These days, Ehrlich and Goldschmidt are colleagues at Building Intelligence Group, busy with an array of project, including helping owners realize the benefits of the intelligent buildings concept in their business plans as well as their facilities. Between this in-the-field expertise and Sinclair’s more macro-oriented reporting, we believe this coverage will provide a powerful balance of information and opinion to improve your own performance and that of your buildings.

Speaking of Those Conferences ...

We’ve done a bit of brand unification. Our quarterly supplement and our controls and sustainability conferences are joining under theGreen Intelligent Buildings(GIB) banner. With a continued focus on optimal coordination of all building systems and a mantra that energy efficiency is good for both business and the environment, it only made sense to join these print and in-person endeavors.

Be sure to check out this month’s GIB supplement, including its own column debut, penned by another advisor and good friend, Gridwise guru Jack Mc Gowan of Energy Control, Inc. Our next Green Intelligent Buildings conference is headed back to the Hyatt Regency Baltimore on April 2-3, 2008. You can get the early scoop on that - including how to take advantage of the early-bird discount - atwww.greenintelligentbuildings.com/conference.

Don't Let Your Byline Go By

All this author talk reminds me … at least once a year, I like to take a minute and invite you to please consider writing for ES, too. Our columnists and feature authors are not superhuman. They’re smart, and they’re busy, but they just manage to carve a little time out of their schedules to share what they’re learning as they work.
Working consulting and facility engineers are our ideal source of editorial content. Readers look to ES for practical information, and the best way to serve that up is to work with men and women who are creating today’s solutions. Think about a design or maintenance topic of particular interest to you, or a noteworthy recent project. These are the things that make for good articles, and your decision to tell that story or make that case could help one of the thousands of other ES readers work through a problem in his or her own job.
Not to mention having your name and contribution immortalized in print and online! Fresh engineering perspectives and ideas are critical for both of us, so drop me a line at beverlyr@bnpmedia.com with an idea or two, and let’s get 2008 off to a good start. ES