Our Project Team

Project PI

Dr. Ravi Gorthala

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Department Chair

University of New Haven

Dr. Ravi Gorthala is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering in the Tagliatela College of Engineering at University of New Haven (UNH).  He joined UNH in 2012 and has more than 24 years of industry experience in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and building sciences.  He has significant experience (theoretical and experimental) in research and development related to thermal/fluid systems.  He worked on numerous research and development, and demonstration projects funded by the US DOE, US Army, NIST, NASA, NYSERDA, Long Island Power Authority, United Illuminating, Electric Power Research Institute, Gas Research Institute, and ASHRAE.  He holds four patents in diversified technologies and has recently filed multiple provisional patent applications.  He has significant experience in testing and monitoring of energy use and comfort (HVAC and airflow measurement), and expertise in numerical modeling of heat and mass transfer.  He uses commercial finite element heat transfer software and computational fluid dynamics software, eQuest and TRNSYS for building energy simulation, heat pump design software by ORNL, SAM and other related software for simulation of real world problems related to HVAC systems and buildings.  Dr. Gorthala’s research on HVAC faults dates back to 1993.  He studied the impact of various HVAC faults such as refrigerant charge, indoor airflow, and outdoor condenser airflow on the system performance [8]. In 2005, He later led the development of an integrated thermostat with temperature, humidity control and Fault Detection and Diagnosis. In collaboration with Home Automation, Inc., he developed a prototype thermostat with an integrated FDD device (refrigerant charge and airflow faults) with four temperature sensors.  In 2016, Dr. Gorthala received a grant from UI for a pilot project to demonstrate FDD tools for RTU application.  The installation of a commercial FDD device and independent performance monitoring was completed in October 2016, awaiting retro commissioning in late spring/early summer of 2017. 

Dr. Amy Thompson

Associate Professor-in- Residence

Systems Engineering

University of Connecticut

Dr. Amy Thompson joined UConn in August 2017 as an Associate Professor-In-Residence of Systems Engineering and as the Associate Director of Academic Programs with the United Technologies Corporation Institute of Advanced Systems Engineering (UTC-IASE) at the University of Connecticut. She currently teaches model-based systems engineering and coordinates the online graduate programs in Advanced Systems Engineering for the UTC-IASE. Prior to joining UConn, she received her BS in Industrial Engineering, MS in Manufacturing Engineering, and PhD in Industrial and Systems from the University of Rhode Island and she taught Systems Engineering to undergraduate and graduate students for six years at the University of New Haven. She also worked with an interdisciplinary team to create a BS and BA in Sustainability Studies at the University of New Haven and taught courses in design for environment and sustainability. Her current research portfolio includes the application of model-based systems engineering for the design and optimization of complex systems, model-based fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) for HVAC-R systems; design of smart manufacturing systems, facilities, and buildings; supply chain design; and undergraduate, graduate, and online systems engineering education development and assessment. Dr. Thompson is the recipient of the US EPA Environment Merit Award (2017) and the University of New Haven Faculty Excellence Award for Student Advising (2013).

Dr. Timothy Wagner

Associate Director, CCS Program Office

UTRC

Dr. Tim Wagner has over 30 years of experience in leading innovative programs to develop and implement advanced technology solutions for building and aerospace applications.  Dr. Wagner is currently engaged in multiple contract efforts for the U.S. Department of Energy, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security related to energy efficiency and cost effective sense and response systems for biological and chemical threats in commercial buildings.  Recent roles have included Acting CCS Program Leader for UTRC and Deputy Director for the DOE-sponsored Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI, formerly Energy Efficient Buildings Hub) in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to CBEI, Dr. Wagner led teams in research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of thermo/fluids technology and building energy systems that impacted UTC products.  He holds 10 issued patents and has received numerous corporate and publication awards. In addition to his position at UTRC, Dr. Wagner has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer at Hartford, where he has advised over 30 Master’s Seminar Projects. Dr. Wagner holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. During his doctoral program he was a NASA Fellow at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.  Dr. Wagner is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a member of ASHRAE and ASME.

Mohammed Albayati is current a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut in the Mechanical Engineering department. He is working as a graduate research assistant at the United Technologies Center Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering. He is also working on a project sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Bringing Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) Tools into the Mainstream. He received his Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Haven in 2016. During his study at the University of New Haven, he was awarded the 2016 Mechanical Engineering Award for Superior Academic Performance. He presented part of his masters thesis results, “Multi-Die, Multi-Stage Pultrusion Process for Hybrid Composites: Degree of Cure and Temperature Profiles” at the American Society for Composites: 31st Technical Conference, 2016.  He had an opportunity to work as a Building Energy and Sustainability Intern for Paguridae, LLC from February 2016 to February 2017. After his graduation, he worked as a Consultant for an FDD project for retro-commissioning and continuous commissioning of RTUs at the University of New Haven. Before coming to the United States in 2013, he served as a Project Engineer at North Refineries Company in Iraq (Oil and Energy Company) for five years. 

Mohammed Albayati

Ph.D. Student in Mechanical Engineering

University of Connecticut

Mohammed Albayati is current a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut in the Mechanical Engineering department. He is working as a graduate research assistant at the United Technologies Center Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering. He is also working on a project sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Bringing Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) Tools into the Mainstream. He received his Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Haven in 2016. During his study at the University of New Haven, he was awarded the 2016 Mechanical Engineering Award for Superior Academic Performance. He presented part of his masters thesis results, “Multi-Die, Multi-Stage Pultrusion Process for Hybrid Composites: Degree of Cure and Temperature Profiles” at the American Society for Composites: 31st Technical Conference, 2016.  He had an opportunity to work as a Building Energy and Sustainability Intern for Paguridae, LLC from February 2016 to February 2017. After his graduation, he worked as a Consultant for an FDD project for retro-commissioning and continuous commissioning of RTUs at the University of New Haven. Before coming to the United States in 2013, he served as a Project Engineer at North Refineries Company in Iraq (Oil and Energy Company) for five years. 

Annika Hacker is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Haven while working as a graduate research assistant to Dr. Ravi Gorthala. For her undergraduate she received her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Haven as well. She has been working on the Department of Energy “Bringing Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) Tools into the Mainstream” project since the start of her master’s degree. Additionally, she was able to attend the 2018 American Society of Mechanical Engineering Power and Energy Conference where she presented work on Thermoelectric Heating and Cooling System with Integrated Thermal Energy Storage (Thermal Battery) for Electric Vehicles. She will be defending her master’s Thesis results “Field Testing of Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) Tools for Commercial Rooftop Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems” in August 2019.

Annika Hacker

Masters Student in Mechanical Engineering

University of New Haven

Jane Lano has over ten years of experience in the energy sector designing program delivery models that bring energy efficient technologies to all customer sectors.  Jane is current the Manager of Conservation and Load Management for Avangrid, and oversees a portfolio of energy efficiency and demand response programs spanning New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Jane graduated magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and earned a Master of Science in Management with a focus in clean energy technologies and sustainability from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jane Lano

Manager, Conservation & Load Management

Avangrid