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Board of Governors

Honeywell Building Solutions

Peter Turk P.Eng. 

Vice President  


Brendan McDermott

Past President
Al Porter, P.Eng.

Anne Marie Bundgard
Nailor Industries

Toronto Hydro

Smith + Andersen

The HIDI Group

Humber College


President's Message

As outgoing President of ASHRAE Toronto, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our Chapter members and volunteers for your support and dedication throughout the 2016-17 year.

As a grass roots association, ASHRAE's success is directly proportional to the contributions of our members, from students to life members, across our 170+ local Chapters around the world.

Last year, our Toronto Chapter left a lasting impression on the local HVAC/R industry. From organizing our first ever Women in ASHRAE event to achieving global accolades for our Technology Award submissions to increasing our engagement with the design community, there were no shortage of advancements for Chapter in 2016-17.

I am forever grateful to have served our Toronto Chapter members and encouraged by the level of enthusiasm and support of our volunteers. Looking ahead, I am excited to serve on the 2017-18 Board of Governors, under Peter Turk's leadership, in my new role as Research Promotion Chair.

Thank you for a wonderful year. 

Marco Ottavino, P.Eng., MBA
ASHRAE Toronto President

Incoming Board of Governors

The summer marks the transition in the "ASHRAE year". As we reflect on the wonderful fall, winter, & spring we had, the incoming board of governors is busy planning for the upcoming program.

President: Peter Turk, P.Eng (Victaulic)
President-Elect: Mike Genin (AIR)
Vice-President: Antonio Figueiredo (Modern Niagara)
Treasurer: Brendan McDermott (DMA Systems)
Secretary: Abhishek Khurana (Trane)
Past President: Marco Ottavino (Honeywell)

Board members:
Anne-Marie Bungard (Nailor Industries)
David Sinclair (The HIDI Group)
Dragos Paraschiv (Humber College)
Emma Wildeman (Toronto Hydro)
Kurt Monteiro (Smith + Andersen)
Teresa Jiang (Uponor)

Gazette Sponsors

ASHRAE Toronto Chapter is seeking gazette sponsors for 2017-2018!
Please contact Emma Wildeman for details.

Career Portal

Did you know our chapter has a portal where employers can post jobs?

If you are an employer & would like to post a job ad please contact us for pricing and details.

May Meeting Summary

Gender Bias in the AEC Industry

The final dinner presentation of the 2016/2017 season was delivered by a pair of distinguished females in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) field. Julia Keen, PE, PhD, is a Kansas State University professor specializing in Architectural Engineering and Construction Science. She also owns her own consulting company, Keen Designs, PA. Her specific areas of interest include HVAC design, energy codes, high performance design, HVAC education, and the advancement of women in the building design and construction industry. Julia is also a long-serving ASHRAE member who has held several positions including President and CRC Chair of the Cedar Valley Chapter. She has also been involved in many Society level committees including: Planning, Publications, Conferences and Expositions, and Certification as well as chaired TC6.1-Hydronic and Steam Equipment and Systems. Julia served as a Director-at-Large to the ASHRAE Board of Directors (2013 - 2016).

Fiona Cousins, PE, FCIBSE, LEED Fellow, is an Arup Principal and mechanical engineer by profession. She has spent much of her career engaged in HVAC design, with an area of specialization in thermal comfort and energy efficiency. She has extensive project experience, including the design of museums, archives, trading floors, laboratories, libraries and performing art centers. Fiona is a frequent presenter on transformative sustainable building design, very low-energy design, resilience and sustainability. Fiona has also served as the chair of the New York Chapter of the USGBC (Urban Green) from 2008-2009 and as chair of USGBC in 2016. She is also on the board of the Architectural League of New York and the Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation.

Julia began the evening's presentation by presenting and discussing some of the facts of the AEC industry and the roles that women take on in the industry. It has been shown that Architecture, Engineering and Construction have some of the highest job vacancies in recent years. This trend is only expected to worsen, according to the US Social Security Administration, which estimates that 22% of the U.S. workforce will retire by 2022. This could result in a serious shortage of employment shortage, which Dr. Keen suggest will be hard to fill, especially in an industry that has been largely dominated by white males in the past. In order to combat this labour shortage, the industry will need to seek alternatives to the traditional hire in the AEC industry. Dr. Keen believes that women should be a part of the solution. Not only would this benefit the industry in terms of labour-force, but will help to reflect the changes in customer composition and society as a whole as more and more women continue to influence the diversity of the AEC industry. A diverse workforce will also help to broaden perspectives in the workplace and increase effectiveness in problem solving, said Dr. Keen.

Currently, women compose approximately 11% of the engineering workforce. This has been a relatively stagnant statistic as it has increased by less than 5% over the last 20 years. This is an insignificant change when compared to other professions where women in the workforce have increased by more than 40%. This can be a surprising fact to hear, especially when some studies have shown that companies employing women in large numbers have been shown to out-perform competitors in profitability. So why has there been so little change in the demographics in the engineering world? One study completed by L.M. Frehill et. al., researched what women do with engineering degrees and found that nearly 20% of women enter the workforce with an engineering degree each year. This leads some to believe that retention of women in the AEC fields is an issue. Other studies have also found that compared to other professions, women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are eight times more likely to leave their field compared to other professions. Even more startling is that an estimated 1 in 4 women leave engineering after the age of 30, compared to 1 in 10 men. It was also found that nearly 70% of the STEM women who leave are working in another industry, suggesting that the choice to leave was not due to external factors (i.e., starting a family, supporting others).

Dr. Keen suggests that all these facts point to an employer issue, as opposed to a women issue. This can be a large cost for a company, as each employee lost costs money through training, recruitment, knowledge, relationships and skills, among other factors.
From here, Julia went on to discuss what she believes are the three main barriers for women in AEC industries.

Image - There is a certain stereotype that comes along with the engineering industry (read: Nerds!!). While each of us may be happy, albeit, proud of our professions, it has an unattractive view to the public and carries certain connotations with it. Additionally, engineering is a male dominated industry and this leads to a lack of female role models for aspiring young women to look up to.

Work Culture - Since engineering is a male-dominated industry women often get a sense of isolation or lack of belonging. Often in the consulting industry, the only other females are clerical, which can be problematic for their career (i.e., relationship building, social events and a lack of a support network). A lack of women in the workplace can also lead to unclear rules for advancement. A small percentage of the workforce means that women's voices may not be heard, communication may be stifled and the majority of the management positions are held by white males who may have more "traditional" views.

Women often feel they have to work harder than men to be recognized at competent and are judged to be less competent than men in "male" jobs unless they are clearly successful in their roles. However this can be a fine line to walk, as successful women in "masculine" jobs are sometimes considered to be less likeable. Women that are assertive or aggressive may suffer consequences of being disliked.

Women also lack confidence, which can result in self-doubt and underestimating one's abilities. A review of personnel records at Hewlett Packard found that women only applied for a promotion when they fit 100% of the qualifications while some men who applied only met 60% of the qualifications.

Balance - Women and men define success differently. While both need a balance between work and life, both feel that having a family hinders success at work. Women are more likely to forgo or delay marriage/children. While both women and men identify interest in another career as the primary reason to leave the industry, women are much more likely to cite time and family issues as a reason for leaving than men.

From here, Fiona Cousins stepped in to discuss the actions women can take to stay in the AEC industry and develop successful careers. The first is to make industry change. This can be started by simply spreading the knowledge and information of women in AEC industries both at an organizational level and at an individual level. This can help to develop a community of diversity that fosters inclusion for all. It is also important to ask if you work for an equal opportunity employer. Ask yourself:
  • What are the pay ratios between men and women?
  • What are the promotion ratios between men and women?
  • What are the promotion rates?
  • How are hiring pools used? (asking an individual versus open invitation application)
  • Does the employer offer flexible working?
The second action to take is learning to navigate the workplace for your own advantage. Fiona offered several suggestions including:
  • Finding allies in your career path
  • Develop techniques to be heard
  • Try reading help books for women in industry to know you belong and provide guidance
  • Know that you are a poster child for your industry
  • Get used to unwanted feedback
  • Be informed
Julia and Fiona also provided a list of the studies where the facts presented were drawn from. The list has been included here for any interested in further research:

Michael Peterson
WSP Group

May Meeting Pictures

Julia Keen speaking on Gender Bias

Fiona Cousins speaking on Gender Bias

2017-2018 CTTC Sneak Peak

Upcoming Program Schedule

We're working hard at the details for the upcoming year - here's a sneak peak of the first 3 events:

October Dinner Meeting
HVAC Design for Fish: Ripley's Aquarium
Steve Orchard, TMP
November Dinner Meeting
SMACNA Joint Trade Show
December Dinner Meeting
A Decemberfest to Remember

Golf Tournament & Cycling

2017 Toronto Chapter Golf Tournament & Cycling

ASHRAE's annual golf and cycle event was a huge success once again!  A group of outdoor enthusiasts took to their bicycles to ride the rolling hills of King.  The views were spectacular and the weather was perfect - overcast with a light breeze.
ASHRAE cycle is open to all cyclists of any ability level.  There are three routes mapped out to accommodate the various skill levels.  Cycling allows others in our community to enjoy the excitement of the day should they choose not to golf.
The group gathered at 1 pm and enjoyed a boxed lunch.  Water bottles were topped-up, brakes and tires checked, prior to heading out of Nobleton Lakes G&C.  After a warm-up ride through an old neighbourhood in Nobleton the group split into skill levels and set off for a scenic ride through farm country.  Cows, birds, horses, and flowers along the paved route made for a wonderful afternoon ride. Upon finishing, a hot shower and delicious food awaited.  Ashrae friends shared their adventures of the day over a cold brew. 
Spread the word and join us next year for a memorable ride through King Township.

Career Fair

2017 Toronto Chapter Career Fair

Toronto Chapter held the 7th annual career fair on March 29th 2017 at Centennial College. The career fair was a smashing success with over 100 job seekers attending. We hosted 15 employers in the HVAC/Building Systems industry. The ASHRAE Toronto Chapter career fair has become a staple for recruiting with value to al attendees.

YEA Brewery Tour

The last YEA event of the year was an engaging brewery tour at Amsterdam BrewHouse. Chapter members and non-members mixed and mingled over a pint and explorer the brewery.

YEA events are a great place to get the young professionals exposed to our wonderful chapter. A bit of socializing and a bit of knowledge made for the perfect evening. And who can say no to beer?

Be sure to keep your eye out for the next YEA invite!

2017 Summer Social

On July 20th 2017 the Toronto Chapter has its second annual summer social. Members relaxed aboard the Challenge. The boat cruised the harbour with epic sights of the city skyline. We toured the Toronto Island on deck, culminating in a gorgeous view on the sunset. An evening to remember!

2017 CRC

Every August the chapters of Region II gather to trade ideas and strategies for the upcoming year. This year's Chapters Regional Conference was held in Montreal. Toronto Chapter was fortunate to be able to send 11 members who will be volunteering in 2017-2018.

Montreal was a wonderful host, and the attendees gathered with members from all over Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. It was a great time catching up with old friends and making new one

Cheers! to CRC 2017


PAOE or Presidents Award Of Excellence, provides the chapters in Region II with a means of measuring success across a wide range of chapter operations. It is meant as a tool to guide the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs towards their goals.

Below is a final summary of PAOE Points for all of the Chapters in Region II - Toronto Chapter proudly came 3rd in our region for the 2016-2017 ASHRAE year.


Toronto Chapter President 2016-2017

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