The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) provides advice and analysis to assist public facilities within the State of Illinois in achieving energy efficiency savings and reducing the Illinois energy footprint.
SEDAC Executive Director
Dr. Brian Deal is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois. He is actively engaged in teaching and research on issues relating to energy systems and sustainable planning. His scholarship includes the study of planning from an energy conservation perspective, urban land use transformation and modeling, planning for climate change, and approaches that enable communities to make better (more sustainable) decisions. He is the Director of the University’s Smart Energy Design Assistance Center; Director of the LEAM laboratory; and active in number of University and community sustainability initiatives; he also collaborates with several international Universities on comparative approaches to planning and urban sustainability. His work has been supported by a host of regional, state, federal, and international agencies. Brian Deal is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois. He is actively engaged in teaching and research on issues relating to energy systems and sustainable planning. His scholarship includes the study of planning from an energy conservation perspective, urban land use transformation and modeling, planning for climate change, and approaches that enable communities to make better (more sustainable) decisions. He is the Director of the University’s Smart Energy Design Assistance Center; Director of the LEAM laboratory; and active in number of University and community sustainability initiatives; he also collaborates with several international Universities on comparative approaches to planning and urban sustainability. His work has been supported by a host of regional, state, federal, and international agencies.
More information on Brian Deal
Karen Winter-Nelson manages program tracking and reporting for SEDAC. She oversees the design and operation of data collection, management, and analysis for all SEDAC activities.
Karen has over twenty years of experience conducting research and analysis for policy and program use. She has experience in the areas of research design, project management, data management, analysis, planning, survey work, and editing. She started at SEDAC in 2008. Her past work includes research and analysis related to affordable and low-income housing for local, state, and federal governments and organizations.
Karen has a Master of City Planning degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Robert Nemeth is a Building Energy Specialist for the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). He consults with Illinois businesses to help them identify cost effective improvements to their planned or existing buildings and equipment to increase energy efficiency. Studies examine insulation levels, the effects of different glazing types, roof characteristics, mechanical system alternatives, lighting systems and controls, and more.
Robert has also worked at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USACERL) for eight years as a researcher in the Energy Systems Division performing many of the same functions as at SEDAC.
Robert has his own architectural practice and also works for the Building Research Council (BRC) at the University of Illinois. BRC projects include investigating mold in Native American Housing for ONAP/HUD, and energy related work. He has been to approximately 36 Reservations to investigate moisture related housing problems, and provide on-site technical assistance. Robert also was the technical consultant on two videos addressing mold issues and building practices in Native American Housing.
Robert is a licensed Architect in the State of Illinois. He has been involved with the design and construction of buildings since 1975. He has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, a Masters of Architecture, and Master of Science in Civil Engineering, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has taught building technology courses at the University of Illinois in the School of Architecture and at Parkland College in the Building Sciences Department.
Director of Operations
Todd Rusk is a Senior Building Energy Specialist at the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), and he manages the Mini-Retro-Commissioning (Mini-RCx) program and conducts energy assessments for public sector, commercial, industrial, institutional and not-for-profit facilities. Two particular areas of energy efficiency specialization include industrial processes and HVAC systems. Todd holds a B.S. Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been recognized as a Certified Energy Manager™ by the Association of Energy Engineers since 2002.
For the past 15 years, Todd has served in various roles related to technical assistance, technology development, and applied research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In these roles he developed expertise in sustainability for manufacturing processes, specifically the reduction of energy, water, waste, and chemicals, in diverse settings ranging from heavy industry manufacturing complexes to small fabric dye shops. In his current role at SEDAC managing the Mini-RCx program, Todd works extensively with public sector facilities smaller than 120,000 square feet, helping these facilities realize significant energy cost savings through low-to-no-cost investments in HVAC system control measures.
In addition to his work at UIUC, Todd serves as a commissioner on the City of Urbana Sustainability Advisory Commission, where he helped to develop the City of Urbana Climate Action Plan and the City of Urbana Water Plan.
Ann Campbell has been with SEDAC since 2005. She takes care of web content for sedac.org, organizes and keeps track of the outreach and training opportunities for the UIUC-SEDAC team, monitors the project flow, and coordinates production of the monthly SEDAC newsletter. She interacts with partner organizations to facilitate exchange of information and ideas.
Ann graduated from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom in geography and economic history. After graduation she worked for the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in public housing research and development. She came to Champaign-Urbana in 1977 to pursue a Master of Urban Planning degree at the University of Illinois. She worked in the UI Housing Research and Development program on housing needs studies and housing for the elderly. She has served on several boards of volunteer organizations in leadership positions. She designed and maintained content for websites for these organizations.
Director of New Construction
Sumi Han is a Building Energy Specialist for SEDAC. She conducts energy assessments for public and private buildings with special focus on lighting and new construction projects. In 2009 and 2015, Sumi taught Environmental Technology: Lighting for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
Sumi has been a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional since 2006 and is also a Lighting Certified Professional (the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions) since 2001. In addition, Sumi has been an International Association of Lighting Designers Associate since 2008. She has a M.S. in Lighting from Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; M.A. in Art Education from UIUC; and M.E. in City Planning from Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.
dashboards, design assistance, RCx
Design assistance,Training and Outreach
Andy Robinson is the Program Director for Training and Education and is responsible for SEDAC’s internal and external education efforts. This includes the new staff and intern training program, public workshops, professional development courses, and development of online training materials. He has performed numerous energy audits and building energy modeling for public and private clients, along with public outreach and consultation for civic and community groups in Illinois.
Previous teaching experience includes five summers teaching environmental science at Boy Scout Camp, teaching LEGO robotics to at-risk youth in Hartford, and lecturing at various university courses. As a course instructor for UP466: Energy and Planning in the Built Environment, Robinson teaches the world energy outlook, building energy analysis, and building energy modeling to students from disciplines across campus, including Urban Planning, Architecture, and Mechanical Engineering.
Robinson attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT as an Illinois Scholar, graduating with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, and a concentration in City Studies. His first career work was with an East-coast marine survey company, where he processed data from side-scan sonar surveys of underwater sites for wind turbines, power cables, and pipelines. After a trip to the 2007 Solar Decathlon on the mall in Washington, Robinson signed up for a LEED certification course with a local green architectural firm. He is a LEED accredited professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and member of AEE (Association of Energy Engineers).
Design assistance, New Construction
Design assistance, RCx
Chief Executive of 360 Energy Group
Wael El-Sharif is Chief Executive and founder of 360 Energy Group, an international energy consulting firm. He plays a major role in the strategic development and oversight of the Smart Energy Design Assistance Program. Prior to 360, he was Executive Director at the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium a $100+ million public-private emerging technology market transformation collaborative. He develops, implements, and directs internal and external strategies, policies, operations, business planning and business development activities, technology deployment initiatives, and market mobilization programs for corporate clients, electric utilities, energy services companies, and government agencies (state, federal, international). He is an expert in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology, assessment and commercialization.
Wael is a skilled policy maker and has helped influence public legislation, regulation and rulemakings in the United States, Canada and Europe. He has helped many energy companies and businesses increase profits.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and a Master of Engineering Management in Marketing of Technology from the George Washington University.
Bryan has over ten years of experience driving strategic planning initiatives, overseeing the development, implementation, and marketing of multiple innovative programs and/or projects. He is particularly effective in leveraging stakeholder relationships, understanding customer needs, and completing rigorous analysis to maximize performance and ROI across operations. Previous to his employment at 360EG, Bryan worked as the Director of Operations at a clean technology - sustainability consulting firm overseeing a wide range of sustainability projects. He received the 2015 Institute for Supply Management Sustainability Bronze Award for his work developing and implementing electric vehicle expansion strategies and led the City of Highland Park to being awarded Honorable Mention in the 2013 National Mayor’s Climate Protection Award for his work advancing energy efficiency throughout the City. Bryan received his Master of Science in Environmental Management and Sustainability as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing Management from Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business.
Bryan manages SEDAC’s Enhanced HVAC Optimization Program. Additionally, he helps the SEDAC program by recruiting and delivering outreach communications to clients.
360EG Program Director
Ashley has more than 15 years of experience in environmental management and policy. Her experience includes supervising and overseeing energy efficiency programming, developing and implementing media strategies, and performing presentations to a wide range of audiences. Previous to her employment at 360EG, Ashley worked for several leading local and national environmental organizations where she worked to advance clean air, renewable, and energy policy and has successfully pitched and been featured in over 75 media stories including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and ABC/CBS/NBC Chicago TV news. Ashley received a B.S. in Environmental Science from DePaul University in Chicago and M.A. in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy from George Washington University in Washington DC.
Ashley is responsible for overseeing 360EG’s SEDAC design assistance and retro-commissioning projects and implementing communication strategies.
Senior Energy Engineer
Chris Benson is a mechanical engineer, professionally licensed in the state of Illinois. He has experience in a wide scope of fields, including power generation, pipeline design, product research and development, manufacturing, MEP/HVAC design, and energy audits and benchmarking. During the most recent years, Chris managed commissioning projects and performed the tasks required for compliance with both the Illinois Energy Conservation Code as well as ASHRAE Guideline 0. He has experience with many facility types, including health care, residential, college/university, warehouse, and mixed use/retail. Chris completed degrees in Political Science from Carleton College and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) – Honors College. Additionally, he has completed the Certificate in the Management of Public Organizations from UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.
At 360 Energy Group, Chris manages retro-commissioning programs, provides technical evaluations, and stewards new and existing client relationships.
Senior Energy Engineer
Simon Nowak is Professional Engineer and has over 10 years of experience in the Mechanical and Energy Engineering Field. Simon has provided clients with a variety of services including commissioning, retro-commissioning, energy audits, and LEED consulting. Simon has participated and led projects in a diverse set of sectors including residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and government. As a contractor for Com Ed, Simon provided consulting services for the City of Chicago energy reduction program, recommending strategies that could result in an energy savings of over five million kWh. Simon completed his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
At 360 Energy Group, Simon provides technical assistance to clients and manages technical aspects of SEDAC design assistance and retro-commissioning projects.
Alex is a Motivated Mechanical Engineer with expertise in energy engineering and consulting. With his background in Mechanical Engineering, Alex has been a asset in performing building energy calculations. At 360EG, Alex has performed energy savings calculations on over 50 projects to date. Additionally, he has assisted public entities by completing state incentive applications for over 100 projects under several energy efficiency programs. Through this vital role, Alex has helped public sector entities save more than half a million dollars in annual cost savings. Alex received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Valparaiso University.
At 360 Energy Group, Alex provides technical assistance to clients and manages technical aspects of SEDAC design assistance and retro-commissioning projects.
Matthew is an Energy Engineer and joined 360EG’s engineering team after receiving his Masters in Energy Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before his employment at 360 Energy Group, Matthew worked for an Energy Efficient Lighting Company. Matthew has experience in developing energy efficiency projects for industrial and commercial sector clients. With his Engineering background, Matthew assists 360 Energy group in providing energy assessments for SEDAC clients, identifying opportunities for improved building energy efficiency, and calculating potential project energy savings. He provides additional support in determining applicable project rebates and providing technical information at the client’s request.
At 360 Energy Group, Matthew provides technical assistance to clients and manages technical aspects of SEDAC design assistance and retro-commissioning projects.
Zydre has over ten years of experience in the office management, HR, accounting, and finance fields. Zydre is the Accountant/Office Manager at 360 Energy Group and has two undergraduate degrees. One is Civil Engineering from Kaunas Technology University in Lithuania and other one in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.
At 360 Energy Group, Zydre manages company HR and accounting, as well as, office management duties. Additionally, she assists the SEDAC program in program management and issuing and processing contracts.
Project Management Coordinator
Taylor is a detail-oriented outreach specialist with over four years in various customer service, data collection, and environmental fields. At 360 Energy Group, Taylor manages a collection of energy assessment projects and oversees a network of pre-approved Design Assistance Experts. Additionally, Taylor is responsible for designing and executing company’s social media strategy, developing marketing and outreach materials. She also leads in the development of the company’s website content and manages a coordinated review process for the approval of the company’s network of Service Providers. Taylor’s experience includes data coordination for science, technology, engineering, and math non-profits associated with the department of education, National Science Foundation, Chicago Public Schools, and Milwaukee Public schools. In addition to her work experience Taylor is a leader within her community volunteering weekly at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as a naturalist. Taylor received a B.S. in environmental science with a minor in sustainability from Bowling Green State University.