Indianapolis, Ind.

ASHRAE Sets Goals for Workforce Development

July 1, 2024
More than 80 sessions were offered at the ASHRAE Annual Conference. Favorite sessions included three livestream presentations.

ATLANTA (June 28, 2024) — More than 2,000 registered HVACR and building science professionals and supporters convened in Indianapolis, Ind. last week for the 2024 ASHRAE Annual Conference. More than 80 sessions were offered within eight technical tracks, on topics that included legislative initiatives, building decarbonization and artificial intelligence (AI).

The top attended sessions as reported by ASHRAE were:    

  • Seminar 19: LIVESTREAM: Farewell VRP: Paving the Way for Indoor Air in the Future of Ventilation and Air Quality
  • Seminar 41: LIVESTREAM: Advancements of Low GWP Refrigerants
  • Seminar 39: Simplifying the Electrification of Hydronic Systems
  • Seminar 42: LIVESTREAM: Changing World for Electric and Thermal Batteries
  • Seminar 12: How High Can You Get with High Temperature Heat Pumps?

In addition to the Annual Conference, registrants also had full access to the 2024 ASHRAE Conference For Integrated Design, Construction & Operations (CIDCO), held June 24-26 in Indianapolis. CIDCO Seminar 1: AI and Building Performance: An Overview and Practical Application drew strong attendance.

Registration is still available for virtual access to both conferences, which includes technical session quizzes and PDH certificates.

M. Dennis Knight, P.E., BEMP, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE was installed as 2024-25 ASHRAE Society President. During his inaugural address as president, Knight introduced ASHRAE’s new Society Year theme, “Empowering Our Workforce: Building a Sustainable Future.” He highlighted the importance of identifying and attracting more professionals to the HVAC&R industry in order to meet growing demand precipitated by world events.

“Over the last several years, we accepted the challenge of being vital players in addressing the most severe threats to our planet in our lifetimes: The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis,” said Knight. “That said, our industry is facing its own crisis. One that will hinder our ability to meet the challenges we’ve accepted, the targets we’ve set and the commitments we’ve made. That crisis is with our workforce – or more appropriately, the lack of skilled people like you who have the capability and desire to choose a career in Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVACR). The truth is, we need more people like YOU. Your skills, your passion and your commitment are what will drive our industry forward and ensure its viability for years to come.”

Knight’s full address manuscript and presentation can be found at

A highlight of the conference was a the 2023-24 Decarbonization Challenge Project Review. Through the Decarbonization Challenge, introduced by Presidential Member Ginger Scoggins, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, and administered by the Young Engineers in ASHRAE (YEA), selected chapters were awarded grants to assist with the implementation of community-based decarbonization projects. During the livestreamed review session, the nine awarded chapters shared updates and project lessons learned. The Challenge awarded a total of $65,850, with additional matching funds from partnering organizations of the selected projects and is expected to save 2.3 million kilograms of CO2. Details and photos are available on the Decarbonization Challenge projects.

The outstanding achievements of ASHRAE members were highlighted during an honors and awards program. In her final State of the Society address, Presidential Member Ginger Scoggins provided an overview of the accomplishments made during the 2023-24 Society Year.

“Reflecting on the past year, we have made significant strides in our efforts to advocate for expanded decarbonization of buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Scoggins. “We wanted to provide an understanding of how climate change affects building planning, design, construction and operation and how building decarbonization will be necessary to properly execute projects going forward. I’m pleased to say that ASHRAE committed - YOU committed - to equipping yourselves the knowledge and tools needed to design and operate low-carbon buildings. ASHRAE members worldwide have accepted the challenge of providing meaningful leadership, action, resources, and advocacy to the global built environment. I am very proud of what we have accomplished during this Society Year.”