Friday, February 25, 2011

Engineering Week

We're at the tail end of the 2011 Engineer's Week and at lunch today at Alerton we had a little competition ("Edible Cars Contest"), open to all. Won by the women in Marketing for range past the launch ramp and vehicle durability. (Sorry, guys!) Photos and details later.

But while exploring some music videos this evening we came across a recording of Frankie Armstrong singing a Peggy Seeger song, Gonna Be an Engineer, that I remember from sometime way back when.

When I was in college, women engineering students were rare; a decade ago in China I was stunned to see that half the engineers there were women. But things are changing here. So, in the spirit of Engineering Week, I dedicate this posting to elder daughter Beth, bona-fide and degreed engineer in her own right, and younger daughter Heather, on her way.



I was talked into throwing my hat into the ring to be secretary of NIST's Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), formed in response to the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 to define and develop the Smart Grid.

That is a major effort, as one can see here.

In the last meeting, in December, it was announced that the SGIP now had 634 member organizations (572 US, 28 Canada, 34 elsewhere), represented by 1750 individuals.

I am warned this is no small task; if elected, the time required will mean I will have to give up some other committee assignments, if only for the year's term (not renewable) for this assignment.

And writing my bio for this nomination was, um, interesting. The three decades spent at NASA and developing embedded systems are over -- just a quick overview of my participation on various industry committees' executive boards took a paragraph.

But maybe I'll be lucky and there will be other nominations. The current secretary is a really tough act to follow.

If there are, please vote for the other guy, okay...? [grin]

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I guess that was inevitable... tough economic times, cities are still building "green" but are foregoing the label (LEED). Story here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tough week

I'm in a training class this week, and have to say it's not an easy go. There is a tremendous amount of material to absorb in four very full days before The Test, and between that and a battle with the state legislature (trying to keep some legislators from making an expensive mistake -- I read bills much like I do BACnet change proposals: what can go worng???), there isn't much left over. I might get to my work email in the evenings but that's about it; by 4 PM I've been approaching "dead in the water."

On the other hand I think I am "done" with Olympia for the week, or maybe they're "done" with me, so now I can focus more on the class.

The class material is fascinating. I've long had one perspective on solving certain building automation issues, and now I am seeing a second -- similarities and differences.

I'll be back when my brain clears...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BACnet International AHR Expo presentations

I just received the latest email edition of BACnet International's newsletter, Cornerstones announcing, among other things, the availability of the powerpoints from the BACnet International sessions at the AHR Expo last week. Take a look.

This is great for me because I was so tied up with BACnet and Smart Grid meetings I wasn't able to sit in on the others, only catching the tail end of Steve Tom's "BACnet to the Rescue: Interoperability Saves a Troubled LEED Project."

(And ahem, I have one up there too. If you download and find it useful, drop me a note.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Speaking of journals...

I haven't been keeping up on the publication of the various BACnet Journals, so I was a little surprised when I received a copy of the latest BACnet Middle East Journal in the mail today.  Very nice!

(Not related, but I've been working on a very curious BACnet routing issue and had hoped to post before now, but I need verification of one surmise first.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

BACnet International Journal 2

Early this week I was handed an "advance" copy, hot off the press, of the second BACnet International Journal (page link). I checked with the good folks at BACnet International and learned there's a PDF online.

It's an excellent publication; from amongst the wide variety of topics and authors (truly international in scope with its mix of North American and European authors) I highly recommend David Fisher's "BACnet: To Be is To Grow" perspective on BACnet and its standard.

And while you're there, I would suggest signing up for BACnet International's newsletter, Cornerstones.

BACnet Addenda begin public review

3 BACnet addenda begin a 45-day public review today. These are as follows:

Addendum 135-2008ad: an 11-part addendum of miscellaneous changes.

Addendum 135-2008af: a 32-part addendum (this is a record!) of miscellaneous clarifications, improvements, changes and extensions. Most changes are to BACnet's alarm generation system, resulting from several years of "Alarm Summit" meetings.

Addendum 135-2008aj: Add backward-compatible support for IPv6.

You can download and comment on them here. Anyone can comment; you do not need to be an ASHRAE member or a member of the BACnet committee to submit comments.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The really fast track

Some years ago a change proposal of mine set a record for being fast-tracked: reviewed for the first time in a working group early in the meeting, it was voted for publication formatted as a public review addendum before the end of the meeting.

Pulling together the pre-publication drafts of the addenda about to be published, I discovered a new record had been set.

Now the usual process for getting a change proposal published used to be to have it reviewed and approved in a working group, then reviewed and approved for inclusion in a poublic review addendum, then an official vote for public review of the assembled and formatted addendum (which contains 1 or more change proposals).

However, I could not find Addendum ah anywhere in my meeting files. As best as I can tell it was seen and revised in a working group, then sent to the entire committee and voted for publication review as an addendum, the (editorial) formatting to be subsequently applied. This went so fast that the committee never saw the addendum draft -- the next time it appears in the record, it had been published.