blue banner reading 2022 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit and the heading Ask-an-Expert

Summit favorite Ask-an-Expert is back! During session breaks, visit the Ask-an-Expert station and get 1-on-1 advice from subject matter experts from the National Labs and DOE about the topics impacting your organization. View the timeslots for each topic area and learn more about our experts below.

Green banner with text Wednesday May 18, 10:30 AM to 11 AM ET

headshot of Daryl Cox

Headshot of Subodh Chaudhari

headshot of Kiran Thirumaran

headshot of Jessica Granderson


Daryl Cox
Data Collection, Pumping Systems, Metering, Motor-Driving Systems in Water/Wastewater Treatment, Submetering

Subodh Chaudhari
Waste Reduction

Kiran Thirumaran
Electrification, Water Efficiency

Jessica Granderson
 Energy Management and Information Systems


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Daryl Cox, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Daryl Cox has been a member of the research staff at ORNL since 1990. He has been heavily involved in the analysis of failure characteristics for fluid system components used in commercial nuclear power plants. He focuses on energy optimization efforts in industrial pumping systems and managing interactions with industrial program partners in DOE’s Better Plants Program. Daryl is a Qualified Specialist and Senior Instructor for the Pumping System Assessment Tool software tool and holds the Certified Practitioner Energy Management Systems – Industrial certification. Daryl is a former member of the ASME Operations & Maintenance Working Group on Air-operated valves and currently participates in codes and standards development for energy assessment of pumping systems for ASME and ISO. He was formerly employed with the Tennessee Valley Authority, where he served on the corporate staff supporting engineering design for the nuclear power program and environmental qualification of safety-related components. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. 

Subodh Chaudhari, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Subodh Chaudhari is an Associate R&D Staff Member & Technical Account Manager for DOE’s Better Plants Program at ORNL. He has participated in a total of 150 energy assessments in various roles at manufacturing plants and commercial buildings. Prior to ORNL he worked as an energy engineer with Hudson Technologies leading product development efforts for MBCx and FDD platforms for chillers, cooling towers, and plate heat exchangers. He also led BoilerMACT energy assessments for refinery and petrochemical clients. Subodh worked as an engineering scientist with the National Research Center for Coal and Energy and WVU Industrial Assessment Center to provide energy efficiency assistance to local manufacturers through federal and state energy assistance programs. He is a Certified Energy Manager and a certified Qualified Specialist in the areas of process heating, steam, and pumps using DOE software tools such as PHAST, SSAT, and PSAT. Subodh received his MS in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University.

Kiran Thirumaran, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Kiran Thirumaran is on the research staff at ORNL focusing on industrial energy and water efficiency, thermal process intensification, industrial decarbonization, and statistical analysis. Kiran has more than 8 years of professional experience which includes research at ORNL, implementing utility rebate programs as an energy engineer for CLEAResult, and as an engineering lead for DOE's Industrial Assessment Center at North Carolina State University. A seasoned researcher with an eye for detail, Kiran is interested in working to develop the next generation of energy-efficient technologies and strategies. He also provides technical support to DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program; as a Technical Account Manager, he helps partnering manufacturing companies achieve their energy, water, and carbon reduction targets by analyzing their energy consumption, identifying gaps in energy management practices, and supporting the implementation of relevant strategies and projects. He has an MS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Jessica Granderson, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL)
Dr. Jessica Granderson is a Staff Scientist and the interim director of the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Granderson holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and an AB in Mechanical Engineering from Harvard University. Her research focuses on smart buildings and building sector decarbonization. She is the recipient of the 2015 Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Award for Leadership in Research and the 2020 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. In 2021 Dr. Granderson served in a one-year assignment as the Director for Building technology on the White House climate team.


Green banner with text Wednesday May 18, 3:30 PM to 4 PM ET

Headshot of Paulomi Nandy

headshot of Mahabir Bhandari

headshot of Tom Wenning

headshot of Michael Myer

Paulomi Nandy
Carbon Accounting

Mahabir Bhandari
Building Envelope, CHP Systems

Thomas Wenning
Decarbonization Roadmapping, Energy Assessments

CHP Virtual Reality
CHP VR Training

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Paulomi Nandy, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Paulomi Nandy works for Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Energy Efficiency Research and Analysis Group. She received her master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Data Analytics. She worked as an energy analyst for commercial and industrial customers. In her role as a Sr. Building Policy Associate at Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) she assisted in residential and commercial building energy code compliance studies and researched Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings. Ms. Nandy is engaged in developing resource tools for GHG emissions accounting and reporting. She also engages with partners to help develop emissions reduction plans to help them meet their emissions reduction goals.

Mahabir Bhandari, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) 
Dr. Mahabir Bhandari is an R&D Staff member in ORNL’s Building Envelope & Urban Systems Research Group. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of building energy performance. He is LEED Accredited Professional Building Design + Construction (BD+C) and a National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) certified simulator and has actively participated in several LEED and sustainability projects and contributed significantly in building energy software product developments. Prior to joining ORNL, Mahabir worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Technical Director at DesignBuilder Software USA. In recent years, his focus has been on fenestration research, whole-building energy simulation, manual and auto-calibration, industrial energy data analysis for energy savings impact, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) deployment analysis, building energy monitoring and performance analysis, and the evaluation and integration of energy-efficient technologies in buildings. He serves on the NFRC and Attachment Energy Rating Council Board of Directors. He received his Ph.D. at the Center for Energy Studies of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India.

Thomas Wenning, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Thomas Wenning is a program manager for industrial energy efficiency at ORNL and an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He manages ORNL’s domestic and international industrial energy efficiency technology assistance and deployment activities. He supports the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program and the Federal Energy Management Program by providing industrial sites with technical assistance activities, energy assessments and training, and energy management guidance. In addition, Tom is leading DOE’s effort to modernize their energy-system software tool suite and associated training resources. He has led numerous international industrial energy efficiency workshops, trainings, and assessments on behalf of DOE. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Practitioner in Energy Management Systems, a SEP-Performance Verifier, and a DOE Qualified Specialist in the areas of steam, pumps, and fans. Tom was recognized by the Alliance to Save Energy in 2018 with their "Rising Star of Energy Efficiency" Award and by the Association of Energy Engineers with their 2019 "International Young Energy Professional of the Year" Award.

CHP Virtual Reality
Under the DOE Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAPs) Program, a CHP Virtual Reality (VR) web tool was developed by the Southcentral CHP TAP based out of HARC.  The tool supports education and understanding of CHP technologies. It is available to the public and has a web-based version for those that don’t have VR hardware.  End-users and engineers are invited to join this demonstration to “see” what CHP systems and components look like, as well as learn more about the design and operation of CHP in a virtual environment via the Oculus platform.  Patti Garland, CHP TAP Coordinator, and selected Regional CHP TAP staff will be available to assist you as you wear the oculus hardware and “walk-through” the University of Texas Medical Branch’s CHP Facility.

Green banner with text Thursday May 19, 12 PM to 12:30 PM ET

headshot of Prakash Rao

headshot of Michael Myer

headshot of Sachin Nimbalkar

headshot of Paul Torcellini

Prakash Rao
Electrification, Water Efficiency

Michael Myer

Sachin Nimbalkar
Decarbonization, Process Heating

Paul Torcellini
Electrification, HVAC, Photovoltaics

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Prakash Rao, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL)
Dr. Prakash Rao is a Research Scientist within the Buildings and Industrial Applications Department at LBNL. He conducts research and analysis into the potential for reducing the energy consumption and water use impacts of the U.S. manufacturing sector while maintaining its productivity. He also conducts analysis of large-scale desalination, focusing on its energy implications and reduction opportunities. Prakash received his doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University and his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Michael Myer, Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL)
Michael Myer joined PNNL in 2007 as a lighting researcher. He currently supports a variety of programs at DOE including the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), Commercial Buildings Integration, U.S. GSA Green Proving Ground, Building Energy Codes, and Appliance and Commercial Equipment Standards (ACES). Within ACES, Michael has contributed his technical skills to test procedures for compact fluorescent lamps, metal halide ballasts, and other lighting technologies, as well as the non-lighting commercial pre-rinse spray valves and pool pumps. As an ACES project manager, he has been the PNNL lighting lead for energy conservation standards related to HID lamps, metal halide lamp fixtures, and fluorescent lamp ballasts. Michael also supports the commercial and federal adoption of high-efficiency lighting equipment and controls. He brings hands-on skills to the project, previously working in lighting design for Naomi Miller Lighting Design and Hayden McKay Lighting Design. He has authored or co-authored many technical publications/reports and made several presentations at national conferences.

Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Dr. Sachin Nimbalkar leads ORNL's Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Research & Analysis Group. He has more than 13 years of professional experience which includes working as an R&D staff member at ORNL. He and his group conduct research; analyze and disseminate knowledge on energy, water, and material efficiency in the manufacturing sector; and develop, deploy, and promote impactful practices, tools, and technologies in the field of energy, water, and material efficiency. Sachin provides technical support to DOE's Better Buildings, Better Plants Program partners through energy roadmap development, baselining analyses, in-plant trainings, and field visits to investigate feasible measures to reduce process energy requirements. He conducts life-cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis in the areas of sustainable manufacturing, circular economy, smart manufacturing, and water-energy nexus. He also assists DOE's international activities through technical program management support and planning and development of tools and materials. Sachin has held several training workshops and webinars covering energy efficiency in process heat systems and waste heat recovery from industrial process heating equipment and DOE’s Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool. He is an active member of Sigma Xi, the Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has achieved “Qualified Specialist” recognition in three DOE energy efficiency software tools: the Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool, the Pump System Assessment Tool, and the Steam System Assessment Tool.

Paul Torcellini, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) 
Paul Torcellini is a Principal Engineer for Commercial Buildings Research at NREL and a faculty member at Eastern Connecticut State University. Paul has authored more than 50 papers and is a key contributor in the development of the DOE Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings as well as the ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides. He chaired the technical committees that produced the Zero Energy Design Guidance for both K-12 Schools and office buildings. He is a registered Professional Engineer with a PhD from Purdue University. 


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