Advisory Board

Consulting-Specifying Engineer Editorial Advisory Board

The editorial advisory board members represent expertise and leadership in engineering, building science, commissioning, and business practice. Representing the diverse climates, codes, and building types found in the United States and around the world, board members—as authors, technical peer reviewers, and speakers—provide breadth and depth across the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire/life safety engineering topics. Below are the qualifications of each member. 

Anil Ahuja, PE, LEED AP, RCDD, president, CCJM Engineers Ltd., Chicago
Ahuja has nearly 30 years of experience in building systems design, design management, construction management, commissioning, and operations and maintenance. He is a registered professional engineer in several states, with project experience including commercial, institutional, educational, residential, industrial, and airports. Ahuja is a member of President Bush's “Renewable Energy Think Tank” and the AIA Chair of the MASTERSPEC Engineering Review Committee. 

Peter Alspach, PE, LEED AP BD+C, principal, mechanical engineer, Arup, Seattle
Alspach is an Associate Principal and the mechanical discipline leader in Arup’s Seattle office. He is a specialist in the design of low-energy buildings, focusing on HVAC, energy systems, thermal comfort, and the indoor environment. These areas intersect in the building façade, where the integration of systems becomes critical for project success. As a mechanical engineer, building physicist, and façade engineer, Alspach brings these skills to develop holistic solutions to the built environment.                    

Jerry Bauers, PE, national program executive, Outcome Construction Services LLC, Kansas City, Mo. Bauers has delivered building design, commissioning, and retro-commissioning services for the past 40 years. He is a NEBB Certified Professional in building system commissioning, and a NEBB president, past president, and former chairman of the building system commissioning committee. Bauers has specialized in commissioning and retro-commissioning services for pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, research and teaching laboratories, and data and telecommunication facilities.

Michael Chow, PE, LEED AP BD+C, principal, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Dublin, Ohio
Chow is an accomplished professional engineer and entrepreneur. He received a BSEE from Ohio Northern University in 1992. Chow serves on the ONU College of Engineering Advisory Board. He is the owner/founder of Metro CD Engineering LLC based in Dublin, Ohio, and is a licensed PE in 18 states. He is an officer in the U.S. Green Building Council Central Ohio Chapter. In 2009, Chow received the Consulting-Specifying Engineer and Columbus Business First newspaper 40 Under 40 awards.

Tom Divine, PE, senior electrical engineer, Smith Seckman Reid Inc., Houston
Divine has spent 16 years in the consulting engineering field, with the past 12 years designing and engineering health care facilities. He is responsible for power, lighting, and fire alarm design for hospital and health care projects. Project experience includes hospitals, data centers, light industrial plants, and campus distribution systems. He has written a number of articles on standby generation and has presented at several Consulting-Specifying Engineer webcasts. He has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Houston.

Robert J. Garra Jr., PE, CDT, vice president electrical engineer, CannonDesign, Grand Island, N.Y.
An engineering leader who understands clients and their goals, Garra applies his project leadership and industry knowledge across market segments while providing strategic direction to CannonDesign’s engineering and education markets. He effectively manages integrated projects by encouraging multidisciplinary, high-performance design teams in which contractors, clients, and CannonDesign team members work to achieve project goals. Garra is responsible for conceptual planning, design, and construction administration of medium- and low-voltage power distribution, lighting, lighting controls, building systems, emergency power distribution, and other types of electrical engineering systems. Garra was a 2013 Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40 winner.

Jason Gerke, PE, LEED AP BD+C, CxA, mechanical engineer, GRAEF, Milwaukee
Gerke has more than 12 years of mechanical design, commissioning, and project management experience. He has designed mechanical systems for a variety of project types including industrial, commercial, education, and resort entertainment facilities. His current responsibilities include team leader for mechanical and plumbing group, project management for multi-discipline building designs, and mechanical engineering design duties. He is a member of the ASHRAE – Wisconsin chapter and has served as an officer and president. His commissioning experience includes college campus student centers and physical education buildings along with other project types. Gerke is currently involved in directing sustainable building design efforts in his office in Milwaukee.

Joshua Greene, PE, vice president, Jensen Hughes, Framingham, Mass.
Greene joined The RJA Group (now Jensen Hughes) in 1997 and currently serves as Vice President, responsible for the company’s technical quality and technology applications. He has BSME and MSFPE degrees, both from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois. His experience includes performance-based design, building and fire code consulting, fire suppression and fire alarm system design, and smoke control system analyses. Greene specializes in the practical application of fire protection principles in support of unique designs.

Raymond A. Grill, PE, FSFPE, principal, Arup, Washington, D.C.
Grill served as the president of the SFPE and as a Trustee on the Board Trustees of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. He was a 24-year member and chair of NFPA 72 Technical Committee on Notification Appliance and a member of the NFPA Technical Correlating Committee for Automatic Sprinkler Systems. Grill served as the principle investigator for two contracts with NIST regarding the World Trade Center investigation.

Danna Jensen, PE, LEED AP BD+C, vice president, ccrd, a WSP Co., Dallas
Jensen has 13 years of experience at ccrd in Dallas, where she became associate principal in 2012. Most of her work consists of designing electrical distribution for hospitals; additionally, she handles some office and minor retail work. She is the project manager of major hospital projects, which includes knowledge of all mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and fire protection systems, as well as commissioning. Jensen was a 2009 Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40 winner.

William Koffel, PE, FSFPE, president, Koffel Associates Inc., Columbia, Md.
Koffel is president of Koffel Associates, a fire protection engineering design/consulting firm, and is recognized as an expert in the fire protection/life safety aspects of codes and standards. Headquartered in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, the firm provides consulting, engineering design and construction administration, codes and standards development, seminar development/training, product testing/evaluation/representation, and litigation support to public/private clients worldwide. Koffel remains active in the development process of the industry’s governing codes, standards, and design guidelines including ICC, NFPA, SFPE, and UL. A former code official with the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, he is a past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

William J. Kosik, PE, CEM, LEED AP, principal data center energy technologist, HP Technology Services, Chicago
Kosik is a Principal Data Center Energy Technologist at HP Technology Services. Kosik is the leader of “Moving Toward Sustainability,” which focuses on the research, development, and implementation of energy-efficient and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. Kosik collaborates with SC500 clients, developing innovative design strategies for cooling high-density environments, and creating scalable cooling and power models for 10sTeraFlop to 100sTeraFlop to 10sPetaFlop scenarios.

Kenneth Kutsmeda, PE, LEED AP, engineering design principal, Jacobs, Philadelphia
Kutsmeda is an engineering design principal at Jacobs (previously KlingStubbins) in Philadelphia. For 20 years, he has been responsible for engineering, designing, and commissioning power distribution systems for mission critical facilities. His project experience includes data centers, specialized research and development buildings, and large-scale technology facilities containing medium-voltage distribution.      

Keith Lane, PE, RCDD, LEED AP, principal, partner, Lane Coburn & Assocs. LLC, Seattle
Lane is a licensed General Electrical Administrator in Washington, a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI, a Network Transport System Specialist, and a Certified Telecommunications Project Manager (TPM) through the Telecommunication Project Management Assn. (TPMA). Lane is active in several professional organizations including NFPA, the Illuminating Engineering Society, and the Washington State Society of Healthcare Engineers. He was a 2008 40 Under 40 winner.

Julianne Laue, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, senior MEP engineer, Center for Sustainable Energy, Mortenson Construction, Minneapolis
Laue is a senior mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer for Mortenson Construction’s Center for Sustainable Energy. She specializes in sustainable design for energy conservation and indoor air quality and is responsible for establishing and executing sustainable initiatives. Laue is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture and is involved in many national and regional organizations that promote and study sustainability in our built environment, including IBPSA, ASHRAE, and the U.S. Green Building Council. She is a 2012 40 Under 40 award winner.

Kenneth Lovorn, PE, president, chief engineer, Lovorn Engineering Assocs. Inc., Pittsburgh
Lovorn has more than 30 years of progressive design and engineering management experience with architect-engineers and consulting engineers designing electrical systems. His work designs include single-family and high-rise residential; light industrial facilities; office buildings; institutional facilities, including renovations; and new facilities for hospitals, K-12 schools, and higher educational facilities.

David Lowrey, chief fire marshal, Boulder Fire Rescue
Lowrey serves as chief fire marshal with the City of Boulder Fire Rescue in Boulder, Colo. Lowrey has been with Boulder Fire Rescue for 19 years. Prior to his appointment to the position of fire marshal, he served for 8 years as the department’s fire protection engineer.  He oversees the life safety division including code enforcement, building and construction, fire and life safety education, and fire investigations. Lowrey has extensive experience in plan review as well as inspecting and acceptance testing of fire protection systems.  He is a principal member and current chair of NFPA 72 technical committee for notification appliances. He is also is a principal member for NFPA 13 technical committee for installation as well as NFPA 13 correlating committee an and alternate on the technical committee NFPA 3 and 4 on commissioning and integrated testing of fire protection and life safety systems. Lowrey earned a bachelor’s of science in fire protection and safety engineering technology from Oklahoma State University.

Michael Mar, PE, LEED AP, vice president, Environmental Systems Design Inc., Chicago
Mar joined Environmental Systems Design Inc. as an electrical engineer in June 2004 and has worked on various complex and high-rise buildings both within the U.S. and Internationally. He is currently a Vice President and works on residential, commercial, hospitality, government, transportation, and institutional projects. His role consists of project management, power and lighting distribution design, lighting controls, sustainable design strategies, and life safety design. His projects have pushed new technologies and UPS applications that are innovative in the data center market, such as fuel cell technologies to support critical load and the iso-parallel topology using static UPS systems.

Brian Martin, PE, electrical engineer, CH2M, Portland, Ore.
Martin has 20 years of experience in engineering planning, project management, design, purchasing, and startup of industrial projects. His power distribution experience includes 115 kV, 34.5 kV, and 15 kV switchgear; power factor correction; motor control; 480 V substations; generators; UPS systems; and secondary distribution at 480 V and 208 V. Special system design experience includes lighting, fire alarm, and communication systems. Engineering analysis experience includes code studies, load studies, voltage drop studies, fault analysis, time-current curve coordination, and arc flash studies.

Dwayne G. Miller, PE, RCDD, AEE CPQ, chief executive officer, JBA Consulting Engineers, Hong Kong
Miller has 25 years of engineering experience and serves as CEO for JBA Consulting Engineers. In addition to providing leadership and strategic direction for the firm, he remains active in the electrical and telecommunications engineering disciplines. Miller has extensive experience in planning, design, and operations of complex power and telecommunications infrastructure for large-scale facilities and focuses primarily on the master plan development and schematic/design development phases of major projects.

Syed M. Peeran, PhD, PE, senior engineer, CDM Smith, Cambridge, Mass.
Peeran has more than 20 years of experience in the design of electrical distribution systems. He was an adjunct professor at Northeastern University, Boston. He has authored several papers in the transaction of IEEE and two sections in electrical engineering handbooks. His expertise includes design of low- and medium-voltage distribution, protection, variable frequency drives, harmonic analysis, power system studies, and electric motors.

Brian A. Rener, PE, LEED AP, associate, SmithGroupJJR, Chicago.
Rener has more than 20 years of experience in management and engineering for new and existing facilities. His specialization is in electrical power and life safety systems for commercial, industrial, governmental, and mission critical facilities, with a focus on research, laboratory, and health care buildings. He is a member of the IEEE industrial applications Chicago society where he has served as an officer and chair. Brian has published or presented numerous papers on power systems for the IEEE, Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine, and Pure Power magazine.

Randy Schrecengost, PE, CEM, Austin operations group manager and senior mechanical engineer, Stanley Consultants, Austin, Texas
Since 1985, Schrecengost has experience in design, project, and program management at all levels of MEP, Energy Consulting, and Facilities Engineering. He has experience from the perspective of both a consulting engineer and an owner's facility engineer, with emphasis on mechanical systems and specialized facilities (laboratory spaces, cleanrooms, and high-technology manufacturing plants), including HVAC design, cleanroom design, energy conservation, commissioning/start-up, cost estimating and bidding, exhaust design/abatement, piping/plumbing design, electric utility work, project management, proposal documents, central plant utilities, compressed air design, construction services, client interface/marketing, and ASHRAE/AEE.

Gerald Versluys, PE, LEED AP, senior electrical engineer, TLC Engineering for Architecture, Jacksonville, Fla.
Versluys has more than 20 years of experience in building MEP engineering design, including seven years at TLC. The majority of his experience is as a consultant project manager on healthcare projects; however he also has a deep resume' on creative lighting, medium voltage distribution and historic renovation projects. Gerald's recent experiences include MEP design of the first LEED-certified hospital in Pennsylvania; teaching lighting design; teaching ARE preparation courses; and speaking on healthcare related engineering topics. 

Mike Walters, PE, LEED AP, principal, Confluenc (AEI/Affiliated Engineers Inc.), Madison, Wis.
As the firm’s sustainable market leader, Walters provides leadership in the planning and design of sustainable and energy-efficient public, private, and government projects worldwide, including climate action plans for Cornell University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Case Western Reserve; the development of Ohio State University’s Energy and Infrastructure Plan; and the 5 million sq ft LEED Platinum King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. A popular SCUP, Greenbuild, and Labs21 speaker, Walters has been a featured lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and is a frequent lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, where he developed the sustainable building design and LEED course for the College of Engineering. Walters was a 2009 40 Under 40 winner.

Board members emeritus

J. Patrick Banse, PE, LEED AP, senior mechanical engineer, Smith Seckman Reid Inc., HoustonBanse has more than 30 years in the consulting engineering field with the last 25 years in healthcare design and engineering. He is responsible for HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection design for hospital and healthcare projects. He has authored several articles on smoke control and related codes and standards and has spoken at the ASHE P, D & C Conference and at Build Boston.

Paul Bearn, PE, associate electrical services engineer, KlingStubbins, Philadelphia
For 20 years, Bearn has been responsible for the engineering and design of electrical power and lighting systems for data centers, process facilities, laboratories, and commercial installations. He has most recently focused on mission critical facility projects for JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Amtrak. He has drawn on this experience to create the article, “EPO: Emergency Power On” for the December 2008 edition of Pure Power magazine, which was also used as a segment in Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s webcast “Blackout Blues,” describing business strategies to determine on-site generator needs.

Thomas Brown, PE, executive vice president, RJA Group Inc., Laurel, Md.
Brown joined Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc. in 1987, and currently serves as Executive Vice President of Practice Development. He has more than 25 years of experience in fire protection. The experience includes building code consulting, fire suppression system design and evaluation, fire alarm system design and evaluation, post-fire forensic analysis, construction management, and construction claims resolution. Brown has served as Project Manager for Rolf Jensen & Associates on numerous multi-building fire alarm and reporting systems evaluation and design projects. In addition, he has served as a technical resource in dozens of projects performed by the other RJA offices around the world.

Douglas Evans, PE, fire protection engineer, Clark County (Nevada) Building Dept.
Evans’ knowledge of fire protection includes suppression systems, detection and alarm systems, elevators, fire-resistive construction, exiting, hazardous materials, fire testing, fire modeling, secondary power supplies, and an understanding of the appropriate codes and standards. His specialization is review of code alternates/performance-based designs, smoke management systems, grease duct enclosures, product listings/applications for use within structures, foam plastics as building materials, and unique interiors.

Raj P. Gupta, PE, LEED AP, president, Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD), Chicago
Gupta oversees all operations and strategic planning for the firm. He joined ESD in 1984 as a mechanical engineer and became president in 1998. Gupta is a registered professional engineer in 33 states and a member of ASHRAE, BOMA, Chicago Building Congress, and Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings.

Gersil Kay, president, founder, Conservation Lighting International and Building Conservation International, Philadelphia
A past member of the IESNA Board of Directors, Kay is a member of several professional affiliations and societies including IESNA, IAFI, AIA's Historic Resources Committee, and International Council on Art Deco Societies. She served as the U.S. Chair of Professional Education for International Council of Monuments and Sites in 1990 and was the first recipient of the President of the United States' Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

Tim Kuhlman, PE, RCDD, electrical engineer, CH2M Hill, Portland, Ore.
Kuhlman has more than 20 years of experience in the field of communications infrastructure. His experience includes the design and construction of telecommunication infrastructure for microelectronics manufacturing facilities, data centers, laboratories, testing labs, office buildings, petrochemical plants, hospitals, and university campuses. His project experience includes facilities designed or constructed in the United States, Ireland, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel, and India.

Ali Mahmood, PE, senior mechanical engineer, Stanley Consultants Inc., Chicago
Mahmood has more than 20 years of technical experience. His reponsibilities include project engineering, project management, and mechanical engineering task lead. His work is primarily for institutional, industrial, and utility clients. Mahmood's project experience includes quality control and quality assurance of bid documents, including analysis, engineering, and designing mechanical systems encompassing HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection.

Erin McConahey, PE, associate principal, Arup, Los Angeles
McConahey works in mechanical engineering at Arup, where she focuses on multidisciplinary design approaches and integrated technical solutions grounded in extensive engineering analysis. During her many years with Arup, she has worked internationally and is now a lead engineer on a wide variety of project types including educational facilities, offices, high-end retail, laboratories, museums, and high-rises. She was a 2008 40 Under 40 winner.

Mickey Reiss, PE, FSFPE, president, CEO, RJA Group Inc., Framingham, Mass.
Reiss has more than 30 years of experience focusing on fire protection safety through new technology, codes and standards development, and the proper application of fire protection systems. Reiss served on NFPA technical committees such as the National Fire Alarm Code, Life Safety Code, Building Code, and Cultural Resources Committee and as the Chair of the NFPA Board of Directors from 2000 to 2002.

David Sellers, PE, senior engineer, Facility Dynamics Engineering, Portland, Ore.
Sellers' background includes more than 30 years of experience with commissioning, design engineering, facilities engineering, mechanical and control system contracting, and project engineering in a wide array of facilities. The facilities range from hospitals and semiconductor clean rooms to commercial office buildings to research/pilot projects in the energy efficiency and sustainability arena. He provides technical training and develops technical guidelines on retro-commissioning and commissioning field techniques.

Peter D. Zak, PE, principal, GRAEF, Milwaukee
Zak directs GRAEF's mechanical, electrical, and plumbing projects and the firm's design engineers and more than 30 years of experience with the design of mechanical systems. He has also been an adjunct professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he developed and taught a series of courses on the design of mechanical building systems.