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I2SL Distinguished Speakers

I2SL HQ has compiled the list below of informative, engaging speakers in the I2SL Community from which chapters can choose a speaker for an upcoming event.

If you are interested in inviting a speaker to your event, please contact I2SL HQ and we will pass the message along to the requested speaker who will then be able to discuss interest and availability directly with you.

Gordon Sharp
President, International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories

Gordon Sharp is the President of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), a non-profit organization dedicated to decarbonizing and making laboratories more sustainable across the world. Gordon is also the inventor of many important, widely applied technologies that have had a significant impact on lab sustainability and energy efficiency such as sash sensing VAV fume hood and laboratory airflow controls, the electronic venturi airflow valve, and demand based control of lab ventilation. He is also the founder of two major companies in the lab sustainability field: Phoenix Controls, a well-respected laboratory airflow controls company, and Aircuity, a leader in healthy and energy-efficient ventilation for laboratory and commercial buildings. The many technologies invented by Gordon at Phoenix Controls and Aircuity are today saving well over $2.5 billion annually in energy use and cutting over 7.5 million metric tons annually in carbon emissions from thousands of commercial and laboratory facilities around the world. 

Gordon has over 35 years of experience and over 35 patents covering energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, laboratory controls, and even airflow-based kinetic artwork. Along with his efforts to decarbonize lab buildings, Gordon also founded and is the President of Airflow Kinetics, which creates large, airflow-based kinetic sculptures that are mesmerizing, educational, and designed to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of airflow and building ventilation.


Gordon is an MIT graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. He has been an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, and has served as a voting member of the ASHRAE Standard 170 on Healthcare Ventilation, the ANSI Standard Z9.5 on Laboratory Ventilation, the ASHRAE TC9.10 committee on Laboratories and the TC9.11 committee on Clean Spaces. He has also testified before the U.S. Congress on the topics of climate change and energy efficiency.

Wendell Brase
University of California, Irvine

Wendell Brase co-chairs the University of California’s President Janet Napolitano's Global Climate Leadership Council and leads an award-winning sustainability program in his role as Associate Chancellor-Sustainability at the University of California, Irvine. Under his leadership, UCI was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a 2014 Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change.

Brad Cochran
CPP, Inc.

Brad Cochran has over 25 years of experience conducting wind tunnel and numerical modeling assessments related to laboratory exhaust design. He is a registered Professional Engineer with the state of Colorado; serves on the ASSE Z9.5 Laboratory Ventilation sub-committee; primary author of Chapter 9 – Exhaust Stack Design in the 2015 ASHRAE Laboratory Design Guide, and is the current chair of the ASHRAE TC-9.10 Laboratory Ventilation Technical Committee. He is also the lead author on the 2011 edition of the Labs21 Best Practice Guide "Modeling Exhaust Dispersion for Specifying Acceptable Exhaust/Intake Design". Mr. Cochran also served on the AMCA Induced Flow Fan CRP Committee that developed AMCA Standard 260-07, "Laboratory Methods of Testing Induced Flow Fans for Rating."

In 2011, Mr. Cochran received an individual Go Beyond Award from I2SL.

During the past decade, Mr. Cochran has focused on defining new design and control techniques to minimize the energy requirements for laboratory exhaust systems. In 2005, Mr. Cochran developed the first laboratory exhaust system that utilized local wind data to minimize exhaust fan horsepower requirements, and in 2008 introduced the concept of monitoring chemical constituents within the exhaust manifold to reduce volume flow rates when measured VOC concentrations are below an established threshold. Since then, Mr. Cochran has implemented VAV controls in over 150 laboratory exhaust systems throughout the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Mr. Cochran has authored and presented several papers on the subject of energy-efficient laboratory exhaust design for Sustainable Labs Canada (SL-Can); S-Labs (UK), DELabCon (India), Australasian Laboratory Management Association (ALMA), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc. (ASHRAE), I2SL, R&D Magazine, Lab Manager Magazine, LabWize, the International Facility Management Association, Air Movement and Control Association International, Inc., and the Air and Waste Management Association.

Jim Coogan
Siemens Building Technologies

Jim Coogan, P.E., is a Principal in product development at Siemens Building Technologies. For 30 years, he has designed controls for mechanical systems. Jim has chaired several ASHRAE Committees and is listed by ASHRAE as a Distinguished Lecturer. Jim is a member of the committee that revised the Laboratory Ventilation Standard: ANSI Z9.5 and participates in work groups with the International Institute for Sustainable Labs. Jim earned his SB in mechanical engineering at MIT.

Dan Doyle
Grumman/Butkus Associates

Mr. Doyle is chairman of Grumman/Butkus Associates, a firm of nationally recognized energy management consultants and design engineers located in Evanston, Illinois. For the past 35 years, Mr. Doyle's career has focused on energy conservation and efficiency improvements in new and existing buildings, especially energy intensive and mission critical facilities, such as laboratories, hospitals, data centers, and specialized manufacturing facilities. 

Mr. Doyle has received more than 30 local, regional, and national design awards from organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Illinois Department of Energy for energy conservation retrofits in existing buildings. Three of these award-winning projects include upgrades to laboratory buildings at the Amoco Research Center in Naperville, Illinois, the Kraft Foods Technology Center in Glenview, Illinois, and the Rice Plant Conservation Science Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Within ASHRAE, Mr. Doyle has served as President of the Illinois Chapter and chair of the Chapter's Energy Committee for two years.

Alison Farmer
International Institute for Sustainable Labs

Alison is a former research astrophysicist who is dedicated to saving our home planet by bringing energy efficiency to lab buildings. Alison has worked in both consulting and lab owner's roles and serves as Secretary of the I2SL Board of Directors. She was a 2018 recipient of the I2SL Go Beyond Award.

Alison earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the University of Cambridge in England and a PhD in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Punit Jain

A LEED Fellow and leader in the science, technology and sustainability practices at CannonDesign, Punit Jain brings extensive experience in the integration of systems, spaces and experiences for higher education, corporate and federal clients. Having designed over 25 LEED projects in the life sciences, engineering and physical sciences, he is responsible for generating innovative solutions in regenerative and net zero design for complex scientific facilities at a campus and building scale. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a Masters in Architecture and Construction Management, Punit has taught at the School of Art & Design at Maryville University and St. Louis Community College and frequently presents at national and international conferences. He has served on the national board of the U.S. Green Building Council and was honored with the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories’ 2010 Go Beyond Award for his sustainable laboratory design efforts. He now serves on the national board of I2SL and the advisory board of the Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association (SEFA).

Kathryn Ramirez-Aguilar

Kathryn Ramirez-Aguilar, PhD, has a doctorate in Analytical Chemistry and 15 years of laboratory research experience. Since 2009, she has created, grown, and managed the CU Green Labs Program at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder). The CU Green Labs Program works to advance sustainability in laboratory research for the CU Boulder campus and the greater community to maximize the positive impacts of research investment for people and the planet while minimizing the negative effects resulting from significant resource use and waste generation. She chairs the I2SL University Alliance Group (UAG), and through UAG, leads the Bringing Efficiency to Research (BETR) Grants effort to connect efficiency expectations and sustainability to research funding.

Tom Smith

Thomas C. Smith is the president and CEO of 3Flow, formerly Exposure Control Technologies (ECT), Inc. Mr. Smith has more than 30 years of experience helping research facilities design, build, operate, manage, and maintain laboratory hoods and ventilation systems. He founded ECT, Inc. in 1994 to help research facilities achieve safe, energy-efficient, and sustainable performance laboratory ventilation systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (industrial hygiene) from the University of North Carolina. Mr. Smith has served as chair of ASHRAE TC9.10 Laboratory Systems, chair of the ANSI/AIHA Z9 Standards for Ventilation and Health, and vice chair of the ANSI/ASHRAE 110 Fume Hood Testing Standard. He serves on the board for the International Institute of Sustainable Labs (I2SL) and was recently inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. Mr. Smith has participated in hundreds of laboratory ventilation projects and helped optimize performance of thousands of laboratory hoods and ventilation systems.

Otto Van Geet
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Otto Van Geet is a principal engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); most of his work is in the Federal Energy Management Program. Otto has been involved in the design, construction, and operation of energy efficient research facilities such as labs and data centers as well as office and general use facilities. He was one of the founding members of Labs21, a member of I2SL, ASHRAE and ASES, a Certified Energy Manager, LEED Accredited, and has authored many technical papers.

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