The University of Minnesota Student Chapter typically organizes 3-4 events per year, which include meetings, industry presentations, industry tours, facility tours, etc. Past tours have included: Mariucci Arena, St. Paul District Energy, Thermoking, TCF Bank stadium, & the Metrodome.

Activity Photo Gallery

Upcoming/Recent Activities

Tour to the New Nanotechnology/Physics Building (ME321, Wednesday, 05/08/2013, 4:45 pm)
The construction of the new physics/nanotechnology building will be finished in Oct 2013. The pipe and duct system have been installed, as well as other HVAC units. At the begining of this tour, people from Mortenson Construction presented their modeling software, and introduced how they were managing the project. During the tour in the building, students first went to the basement to see main steam pipes and condensate return pipes, which include graviational and pressurized types. Then, students went upstairs to see the air ducts, with supply side insulated and the return side not insulated to reduce cost and the use of fiberglass material. Students also saw the new type of exhaust fan unit, which has backup fans. In the end, students saw the clean room from outside on the first floor of the building. The clean room was being constructed by a specialized group of people, and according to a special protocol. A pizza dinner was provided by Mortenson. Photos are available in the gallery.

The ASHRAE student group is having one last site tour this semester. On Wednesday, May 8th at 5pm, we will visit the new nanotechnology/physics building to see the mechanical systems. A pizza dinner will be provided. The tour is limited to 20 people, so be sure to reserve your spot ASAP. You must RSVP to ashrae@me.umn.edu by Tuesday, May 7th. Attendees should plan to meet in room ME 321 at 4:45pm on May 8th. We'll walk over to the site together. The tour will last until ~6:30pm. You must wear closed toed shoes and long pants to the site. Photography is allowed.

Past Activities

Unison Comfort Technologies (UCT) Recruitment Info Session (ME321, Wednesday, 05/01/2013, 5:00 pm)
Unison Comfort Technologies came to campus on Wednesday, May 1st to talk about the job opportunities at their company. UCT makes air handling units for commercial buildings and they're located across the river from Psycho Suzie's on Minneapolis' north side. A representative from HR and one of UCT's engineers talked with students about opportunities in the HVAC&R industry. A free pizza dinner was served by UCT.

Student Branch Updates and Tour (Dunwoody College - McNamara Center, 03/26/2013, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm)
At this annual meeting for ASHRAE student branches in Minnesota, four students from U of M, together with those from Dunwoody College and Minnesota State University in Mankato reported to ASHRAE MN Chapter our activities at the winter conference in Dallas in January. After the reports, we had a tour to the classrooms and labs in Dunwoody College, where their students could learn practical skills in HVAC. Some photos are available in the gallery.

Southeast Steam Plant Tour (Wednesday, 03/13/2013)
The southeast steam plant was built in 1903, and was bought by the university in 1976. It is currently burning natural gas to generate both heat and electrical power for the campus. Coal is used as the backup fuel. The manager of the current operation team gave a brief introduction of the background of the steam plant. Students were then divided into two groups for touring the plant. During the tour, students saw boilers, turbine generator, control room, coal reservation, and beautiful sight view from the plant. The tour helped students get basic ideas about how the plant is running. We thank U of M facility management and the operation contractor for providing this tour. We also thank MN ASHRAE chapter for sponsoring pizza and drinks. Photos are available in the gallery section.

Steam plant address: 20 SE 6th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Meet time and location: 3:40 pm in ME 321 (car pool), or 3:55 pm at the steam plant at the above address
Only 15 students can come to this tour. If you choose to RSVP, please send your full name, your student ID number OR your driver’s license number, and whether you are willing to drive to ashrae@me.umn.edu.We’ll be touring a restricted area, so close toed boots and full length pants are required. You must sign, print out, and bring the release form.No texting, cell phone use, or laptop/tablet use is allowed on the tour. Photography may be allowed on a limited basis as requested.The MN ASHRAE Chapter may be providing pizza and pop (we’re still working on this).

Winter Conference at Dallas, TX (01/26/2013-01/28/2013)
Four U of M students went to the 2013 ASHRAE winter conference. Thanks to the student program of the conference, we had a great time with student members from other universities, and met with HVAC professionals from all over the world. We learned about new HVAC technologies and products in various technical sessions and the AHR Expo. We also went to a social event sponsored by Unison Comfort Technologies (a Minneapolis company), and visited the historic Sixth Floor Museum, where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly assassinated John F. Kennedy. We thank the MN ASHRAE chapter for funding our trip to Dallas and giving us a great opportunity to learn and network. Photos can be found in the gallery.

Information Session of Unison Comfort Technologies (4-5pm, 11/28/2012, Wednesday, ME321)
Unison Comfort Technologies is an HVAC&R company in North Minneapolis. In this information session, Unison's President Jay Althof gave a presentation (DOWNLOAD) on his personal work experience and how to become a better engineer for students of U of M ASHRAE group. After the presentation, Unison representatives enthusiastically talked with students on a wide range of topics from HVAC engineering to career, and to industry. Students also signed up to receive future recruiting informaiton and the company's update. A free pizza dinner was provided, courtesy of UCT.

HVAC System Tour in the New Residence Hall on 17th Ave & 4th St in Dinkytown (5:20 pm, 10/24/2012, Wednesday)
We gathered at 5:20 pm at ME 321 and went to the tour to the construction site of the new residence hall in Dinkytown to see the HVAC&R and other mechanical systems being installed there. Before the tour, we saw the 3D computer model of the building and systems provided by Mortenson, the general contractor, and had a pizza meal in one of their trailers. The engineers of record for the mechanical design were present to answer our questions about the systems. Safety gears (reflective vests, hard hats, gloves, protective eye glasses, etc.) required by the tour were kindly provided by construction engineers, pizza meal was sponsored by ASHRAE MN Chapter. This tour gave students the construction insight and a vivid image of the living environment for the future students at the U of M. Photos are available in the gallery section.

Hearts & Hammers Work Day (8:00 am to 3:00 pm, September 22nd, 2012)
In this event, participants landscaped and painted a home for an elderly woman in St. Paul. U of M ASHRAE students worked alongside members from the MN Chapters of ASHRAE and ASPE (American Society of Plumbing Engineers). Photos are available in the gallery section.

Pizza and Penthouse Tour (ME 321, 5:30 pm, September 19th, 2012)
The ME penthouse tour was a successful kick-off for the fall semester. This event consisted of a short introduction to ASHRAE student group by current group president Brian Jennissen; a short technical session on the HVAC system in the ME building by George Rothenberger, liaison between MN ASHRAE chapter and related student groups; a tour to the HVAC system in the ME building by Professor Thomas Kuehn and a pizza supper. We also collected sign-up sheet and activity survey, which are very helpful for planning and organizing future activities. Photos of the event are posted in the gallery section.

Unison Tour (4/23/2012, 4-6pm)
Unison Comfort Technologies hosted University of MN students at their manufacturing facility in Minneapolis. The evening consisted of a tour of Unison's facilities, a pizza dinner, and a chance to talk with engineers from Unison. It was a great way to learn about the many opportunities in HVAC, from sales through manufacturing, at this rapidly growing company headquartered in Minneapolis.

MN ASHRAE Chapter Meeting (4/10/2012, 5:30-7:30pm)
The Minnesota ASHRAE Chapter held its monthly meeting at the U of M. A free, catered dinner was provided to ASHRAE members and students in attendance. After a few topics were addressed by the ASHRAE Chapter members, student ASHRAE officers from the U of M, Dunwoody, and Minnesota State-Mankato gave short presentations on their time spent at the 2012 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Chicago. The MN Chapter sponsored each group's trip to the conference. Following the presentations were tours of the lab facilities and various ongoing projects in HVAC&R within the ME department. The meeting was a great opportunity to see the inner-workings of the Minnesota ASHRAE Chapter and to network with local HVAC&R engineers. Click here for more information about the MN ASHRAE Chapter.

Unison Meeting, 2/24/2012
Representatives came to campus and shared information about employment opportunities at Unison Comfort Technologies. If you missed the meeting and are interested in Unison, check out their website for more information: Unison's Website

Chicago Winter Conference, January 2012
Three Univeristy of Minnesota ASHRAE student group officers attended the 2012 ASHRAE winter conference in Chicago, Illinois. These students attended both the conference (held at the Palmer House Hilton) and the AHR Expo (held at the McCormick Place convention center). The winter conference provided opportunities to meet other engineering students from around the world, network with engineers in the HAVC&R industry, and learn more about the benefits of involvement in ASHRAE. Attending the AHR expo gave students a chance to learn about state-of-the-art technology in the HVAC&R industry and ask vendors questions about new products on display.

TCF Bank Stadium Lecture & Facilities Tour, 11/22/2011
The U of M ASHRAE student group took a field trip to TCF Bank Stadium to learn about the stadium's HVAC systems and LEED certification. The lead systems design engineer, Nirmal Jain, led the tour and presentation along with the current head of facilities management at TCF Bank Stadium. In addition to touring the penthouse and other mechanical rooms, students were given a chance to see the home locker room, press box, food-prep areas, and employee-access tunnels. A pizza supper was served during the lecture.

Southeast Steam Plant Tour

TCF Bank Stadium Presentation
A presentation of the new TCF stadium was held at the MacNamara Alumni Center on September 30, 2008.  The presentation consisted of detailed information regarding size, cost and estimated date of completion.  Other areas of interest such as power and energy conservation methods were also addressed.  The presentation concluded with 6 story climb to the roof of the MacNamara Alumni Center where an excellent bird's eye view was taken of the current state of the TCF Bank Stadium.  Also, a brief tour of the boiler room of the MacNamara Alumni Center was conducted, which supplies a lot of the heat and energy to the buildings at the University of Minnesota.

Northwest Tour
The ASHRAE student group took a tour of Northwest Airlines on February 29th, 2008. The tour was conducted by Amber Krchnany and Robert Pekarek, two engineers at Northwest Airlines.
First the Students were taken to the boiler room of Northwest. Here they saw the boiler which supplies a lot of the heat and energy to the buildings at Northwest.
The students then went into an empty hanger and were shown how the direct fire natural gas heating systems worked in the hanger.

Next the students went into the engine test cell and saw several different jet engines. Several components of the jet engine were explained in detail. They were shown the test cell were the engines are tested. An engine being tested was going to be observed, but there was a fuel leak.
From the test cell the students were led into a hanger with an A330 jet in it. The students were allowed to go up into the jet and play around in first class, view the cockpit, and go underneath the seating area and view the pilots sleeping quarters for the other crew. For jets that take long direct flights such as the A330 it requires two crews.

Mariucci Tour
On November 15, 2007 the U of M student ASHRAE chapter helped organize a tour of Mariucci Arena. The group of students met at the Mechanical Engineering building at 2:45 PM and walked over to the Arena. Once the tour began the group was first introduced to the history of the Arena. Then they were taken to the basement of the Arena. From there the group was informed on how the ice for both Ridder Arena and Mariucci Arena were maintained. Things such as how the compressors are run, how the cooling tours of the building work, and how the ice is maintained at a constant temperature were observed.

The tour concluded with the students getting to go out on the ice of Mariucci Arena and walking around a little bit.

Xcel Energy High Bridge Combined Cycle Plant
On October 5, 2007 the U of M ASHRAE chapter participated in a tour of the Xcel Energy High Bridge Combined Cycle Plant. The tour was put together by the Minnesota Chapter of ASHRAE.
The group met at the mechanical Engineering building at 4:00 and then drove to DeGidios Restaurant in St. Paul. From there a bus was taken to the power plant.

Once at the power plant the ASHRAE members were split into groups and led on the tour. On the tour it was shown how the power plant will run off a combined Brayton and Rankine cycle to produce energy. All aspects of the power plant were observed from the steam generator to the turbines, condensers and the pumps.

After the tour of the power plant was done the group went back to DeGidios Restaurant for a dinner which was provided by the Minnesota Chapter of ASHRAE. During this dinner the student ASHRAE members listened to the Minnesota Chapter of ASHRAE meeting.

Tour of the NRG Minneapolis District Energy Center:
The District Energy system provides steam, hot water, and chilled water to 130 square blocks of downtown Minneapolis with a total of eight boilers and eighteen chillers.For more information, see http://www.nrgthermal.com/Centers/Mpls/sysm.htm