Sheila J. Hayter

ASHRAE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Energy

Why is HVAC&R important?
The HVAC&R industry has an opportunity to serve as a catalyst to building owners and designers to encourage the achievement of sustainability goals. The path to global sustainability is forcing our industry to seek considerable energy performance improvements by studying design and building technology. ASHRAE is providing leadership to the built environment, developing new tools through research and facilitating the use of new technologies through training. When research is paired with innovation, we are better equipped to collaborate across industries to create a future where buildings are healthier, more comfortable and more energy efficient.

What do you do, and what is the most satisfying aspect of your work?
I am a senior research advisor within the Integrated Application Center (IAC) at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). I work with a team of technical and policy experts who support international, federal, state and local entities on energy efficiency and renewable energy topics.

My role as 2018–2019 ASHRAE President and my career with NREL have both help me stay involved in protecting our energy and natural resources and make the world a better place for all. ASHRAE is a global buildings industry society. NREL focuses entirely on advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. While NREL has me looking constantly to the future – working in the buildings industry to find opportunities to advance cutting-edge research and make our new energy future a reality – ASHRAE keeps me firmly planted in the now. My ASHRAE colleagues work with realities in our profession every day, while my NREL colleagues work every day to dream up a better future for all of us.

My career in the HVAC&R industry began when I was an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering during the 1980s. My father Richard Hayter was active in ASHRAE throughout his career and served as the ASHRAE president from 1995–1996. I was driven to find a path where I feel I can give back; protect our energy and natural resources; and make the world a better place for all. ASHRAE has actually been part of my history for my entire life.

What will you be doing to celebrate World Refrigeration Day?
ASHRAE is pleased to endorse World Refrigeration Day. We have partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to develop educational and awareness activities for engineering societies around the world to communicate to the important role refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps play globally across many aspects of modern life. We also want to highlight the important efforts underway to transition to lower global warming potential refrigerants.

ASHRAE has a longstanding history of supporting refrigeration research and technology. To emphasize this commitment, we recently launched a new refrigeration webpage that features resources, including items for World Refrigeration Day; information; and publications concerning refrigeration and refrigerants such as standards, design guides, ASHRAE courses and more.

Our endorsement of World Refrigeration Day strengthens ASHRAE’s profile in the refrigeration community.