Architectural engineering's Bahnfleth honored with ASHRAE Holladay award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — William P. Bahnfleth, professor of architectural engineering, has been named ASHRAE’s 2018 recipient of the Louise and Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award.

ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, is a global 56,000-member technical society dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration and allied arts and sciences to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. The accolade, initiated by a gift from ASHRAE Presidential Member Bill Holladay, honors an ASHRAE Fellow for continuous preeminence in engineering or research. Bahnfleth will receive his award at ASHRAE’s Annual Conference in Houston on June 23.

Bahnfleth joined ASHRAE while an undergraduate student in the late 1970s. He was elevated to Fellow grade in 2004. During his time as a member of ASHRAE, Bahnfleth has contributed in many ways to the organization’s technological programs for the benefit of both the architectural engineering industry and the general public and has served in many leadership roles.

Bahnfleth has had the opportunity meet the Holladays and studied Bill Holladay’s 1968 ASHRAE presidential address entitled “Lifelong Learning.” Bahnfleth said he finds its emphasis on the need to continually expand and update one’s professional knowledge very contemporary and relevant today.

As one of ASHRAE’s most prominent awards, the Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award is only given to one Fellow per year and is sometimes not awarded at all.  As this year’s honoree, Bahnfleth is following in the footsteps of his father, the 1993 Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award recipient.

“To be recognized as an outstanding member of a group — ASHRAE Fellows — that is the technical and scientific elite of the organization, is a very significant honor,” he said.

Bahnfleth has served on more than 20 ASHRAE committees and councils, has been the principal investigator for four ASHRAE research projects, and has placed more than 50 of his nearly 200 journal articles, papers, and book chapters in ASHRAE publications. He has served as a chair of numerous standing and technical committees and a director and officer of the society. He is the recipient of a first-place ASHRAE Technology Award, Distinguished Service and Exceptional Service awards, and a conference paper award. He is in his 10th year as an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecture and has delivered over 150 presentations around the world through that program.

Bahnfleth said that serving as the president of ASHRAE from 2013 to 2014 has been his most important contribution to the organization. His father also served as ASHRAE president from 1985 to 1986, making them the first father-son duo to lead the organization. ­­

However, Bahnfleth believes serving as the adviser to the Penn State Student Branch of ASHRAE is of comparable importance.

“It has been a source of great enjoyment and satisfaction to me, particularly when I see former students rising in the organization and making important contributions to the industry and the public through their service,” he said.­­­­

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Last Updated April 26, 2018