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ELECTRI International Hosts Summer Council Meeting July 24-25, Toronto, Canada

Aug 01, 2014

Competition Finalists, Early Career Award Winners Announced + Leadership and Project Reports

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)'s Foundation for Electrical Construction, ELECTRI International held their summer council meeting July 24-25, at the Park Hyatt Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The primary focus of the two-day event was to launch ELECTRI’s Student Passport Competition and select a winning NECA Student Chapter team. The Council also chose the recipients of the annual Early Career Awards and kick-started the major research projects that had been selected in January 2014. 

At the end of this article is a link to all of the presentations from the Council meeting. We hope the information will be particular interest for those who were unable to attend the event.


ELECTRI Council Chair, Dan Divane (Divane Bros. Electric Company) welcomed participants and recognized all of the 2014 new contributors and those who have upgraded their ELECTRI commitment: Acuity Brands Lighting, Gerald Schulz, E 2 E Summit, Mayer Electric Supply, Santa Clara Valley Chapter NECA, Southern Tier Chapter NECA, Greater Cleveland Chapter NECA, Zenith Systems, Washington DC Chapter NECA, Inland Empire Chapter NECA, Western New York State Chapter NECA.

The Council also heard a brief industry update from ELECTRI Board Chair, Dennis Quebe, (Chapel Electric Company).


The first ELECTRI International Student Passport Competition was launched at this Council meeting with project presentations from the two finalist NECA Student Chapter Teams:

  • Kevin Clement from Penn State University presented the proposal for a water pumping station project in Roatán, Honduras.
  • Purdue University’s proposal for a health care facility for the elderly in Managua, Nicaragua, was presented by Juan Lacayo.

The ELECTRI Council selected the Penn State project and the team will receive an award of up to $20,000 to execute the project. Purdue lost by a marginal point difference. That project, however, was so compelling that several ELECTRI Council members decided to make individual contributions in support of this project. We would like to thank David Mackay (Edward G. Sawyer Company, Inc.) and Donald Campbell (Northern California Chapter NECA) for taking the lead in raising the additional funds required to fund both projects.  


We want to thank the Program Review committee, chaired by Greg Long (Long Electric), for its time and effort in evaluating 13 Early Career Award proposals and selecting three projects which were presented at the Council meeting. We would also like to thank Professor Jerry Rounds, our Academic Liaison, for working with and advising the researchers.

The Council voted to fund the following two Early Career Awards:

  • Using BIM to Conduct Feasibility Analysis of Pre-fab & Modularization
    Rogelio Palomera-Arias, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Best Practices for Journeyman Transition to CW/CE Supervisor
    Donna Hollar, East Carolina University

Each project receives a $9,000 award from ELECTRI plus matching funds from the researcher’s home institution.


Council members participated in several sessions with senior researchers as they launched their 2014 projects (awarded in January 2014).

The project teams included:

  • Measuring Productivity and the Impact of Prefabrication on Productivity
    Mark Federle, Marquette University
  • Characterizing the Impact of Prefabrication on Productivity in Building Electrical Construction
    Phil Lewis, Oklahoma State University
  • From Field to Office: A Management Training Program
    Susan Bogus, University of New Mexico 
  • Smart Energy Academy for the Electrical Construction Industry
    Dave Riley, Penn State University.
    NOTE: This project received final approval for funding at the meeting.


On Friday morning, the Council received summaries from investigators for ongoing research projects as well as feedback from the research project Task Forces.

  • Next Steps in Portability as a Means to Improve the Industry and Benefit IBEW Membership
    Justin Reginato, California State University Sacramento
  • Change Order Guidelines for Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors
    Matt Syal, Michigan State University

Matt Syal held a post-meeting session about his Change Order Guidelines project for Task Force members and other Council members who were interested in discussing the project.

Heather Moore and Perry Daneshgari from MCA, Inc, gave the Council a brief update report on the planned Industrialization white papers that will be made available to the ELECTRI Council within the next two years.


Thomas E. Glavinich Fellow

Council Chair Dan Divane announced that ELECTRI International will designate one Early Career Award winner each year as the Thomas E. Glavinich Fellow, in memory of Tom Glavinich who passed away in April 2014. Tom was among the first academic researchers to receive an ELECTRI grant in the early 1990s and his investigative studies continued to be among the most outstanding projects accepted for ELECTRI research. Friends and colleagues who wish to support this tribute may make a contribution to the ELECTRI International Research Center in memory of Thomas E. Glavinich. The first contribution received for this initiative has come from the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association. ELECTRI extends its thanks to the members of the CECA Board for their generosity.

High Priority Topics Committee (HPTC)

Russ Alessi presented a newly created sub-committee of the Program Review committee, the High Priority Topics committee (HPTC). The HPTC will review all topic suggestions related to high priority topics, and will recommend to the Program Review committee a shortlist of topics to be highlighted in ELECTRI’s Requests For Proposals. Membership on the HPTC is voluntary. The chair of the Program Review committee will select members from the pool of volunteers from the ELECTRI Council.

Green Energy Challenge (GEC) Finalists Announced

Russ Alessi announced the finalists for the 2014 Green Energy Challenge (GEC) competition - Colorado State University, Iowa State University and San Diego State University.  He also thanked the judges for evaluating 15 proposals in this first round of review, and for their continued service at the upcoming finals at the NECA Convention in Chicago (see details below).
Learn more about the 2014 GEC

GEC Poster Competition

Russ Alessi invited ELECTRI Council members to serve as judges for the Green Energy Challenge Poster Competition which will also take place during the NECA Convention in Chicago. Download 2014 GEC poster competition guidelines »
Learn more about the GEC Poster Competition


NECA 2014 Chicago, Convention & Trade Show:

McCormick Place WEST, Chicago, IL
Learn more at necaconvention.org »

  • 6thAnnual Green Energy Challenge
    September 27 - 9:30-11:00 am 
  • Green Energy Challenge Poster Competition
    September 27 - 11:30 am -12:00 pm
  • ELECTRI Council Meeting
    September 28 - 1:00-2:30 pm
  • ELECTRI Reception, Union League Club of Chicago
    September 28 - 7:00-8:30 pm

ELECTRI Council January 2015 Meeting

Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA
January 21-33, 2015

ELECTRI Cross Border Meeting 2015

Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
March 25-27, 2015

ELECTRI Council July 2015 Meeting

Fairmont, Chicago Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
July 13-14, 2015


To access all presentations from the ELECTRI Council July 2014 meeting please visit the ELECTRI website, electri.org. 
Click to view presentations & reports

About ELECTRI International

ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction was established in 1989 by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the voice of the $100 billion electrical construction industry responsible for lighting, power, communication and low-voltage, energy efficient and sustainable systems in buildings and communities across the United States.  

ELECTRI International works to help electrical contractors meet today's demands and tomorrow's challenges by funding, conducting, coordinating and transforming research results into meaningful, useful educational and consulting programs. On the international scene, the Foundation conducts seminars, briefings and studies on cross-border relationships to encourage business and cultural exchanges among contractors. Learn more at electri.org.