Some news items don’t fit cleanly on a page, and others stray just far enough off the beaten path to be enlightening (or just plain entertaining). With that in mind, we’re cranking up ES Insights this month — a one-stop blog for your extra, useful, and occasionally extra-useful bits of engineering-related content.

You’ll be relieved to know that I’m not doing it all by myself. Our ever-popular mission critical guru, Kevin Dickens of Jacobs, will be joining us with recurring commentary and questions, and I know he’s interested in some back-and-forth with you. We’ll also open with some good tips from Michaels Energy (formerly Michaels Engineering). The Wisconsin firm has contributed some features to us in the past, but they also have a knack for the internet and publish an exceptional newsletter covering a wide range of topics.

They’re just two examples of contributors, and I’ll certainly be chipping in regularly with fleeting thoughts and the occasional interesting tidbit from around the interweb. If your firm has an interest in reaching engineers online — maybe you’re already doing email or a blog of your own? — we’d love to share some of that material for our readers and steer visitors to your primary website/newsletter as well.

We should be up and running before the AHR Expo, so swing by the homepage and select the blog on that main set of quick tab choices “above the fold,” as they used to say when it was all pages and no pixels.


Speaking of AHR, here’s one more reminder that we’re presenting a special free “Planning Your Cooling In Critical Facilities” seminar right there at Javits Center on the Wednesday of the Expo: We’re presenting a special free “Planning Your Cooling In Critical Facilities” seminar right there at Javits Center on the Wednesday of the Expo.

Even better, it’s not just the seminar for free. It’s AIA credits for free. That’s on top of the lineup of pros that will be presenting: Paul Ehrlich of Building Intelligence Group, Jeff Seewald of Sebesta Blomberg, and Tom Squillo of Environmental Systems Design. This will be a great chance to get off the Expo floor for a couple of hours and earn some professional credit by hearing an assortment of project-based experience with these cooling challenges. It’ll be from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. We’re also building in some time for Q&A, and we’ve only got 75 seats in this room, so either hit the link at the top of our website or go straight to to reserve your seat today.


Finally, for those who may not have heard, W. Randall (Randy) Rawson, President of the American Boiler Manufacturers Association, died in late November, shortly after we went to press with the December issue.

Randy described himself as having a “34-year career as an enthusiastic, aggressive, future-oriented, make-things-happen executive in both trade and professional association settings, with a background in Capitol Hill operations.”

That is in line with my personal experience with him as Engineered Systems worked with Randy to publish 10 editions of Today’s Boiler  for the ABMA since 2009. Randy brought a willingness to try new ideas and a sharp eye for potential challenges to the table, a combination that served Today’s Boiler and ABMA manufacturers well over the last five years.

As those who received his ABMA newsletters can attest, Randy was also very comfortable writing (sometimes at length) about the latest industry developments and what they meant for ABMA manufacturers. Randy could deal with the inevitable challenges and minutiae of governmental regulation and process while keeping a sense of humor and an optimism for upcoming opportunities, and that’s a pretty rare skill set.

Randy had just reached 25 years with ABMA, his service divided almost evenly between VP and President. Prior to that, he had represented the American Chiropractic Association as well as other trade associations. His career on the Hill actually began as a legislative assistant for Rep. Mike McCormack of Washington State from 1971-1978.

ABMA executive assistant Diana McClung mentioned in an email to members that donations are welcome in his honor to GGREAT (, which is a golden retriever rescue and training organization in the VA/MD/DC area.

We will miss working with Randy, and we send our condolences to everyone close to him. 


Industry Events

  • January 18-22, 2014

ASHRAE 2014 Winter Conference

New York.

For info, visit

  • January 21-23, 2014

AHR Expo

Presented by Int’l Exposition Co.

New York.

For info, visit

  • January 22, 2014

“Planning Your Cooling In Critical Facilities”

Engineered Systems& Mission Critical

AHR Expo, New York.

 Register at