April R&T Forum: Personalized Environmental Control Systems

In 2015, a team of researchers and engineers led by Prof. H. Ezzat Khalifa at Syracuse University was one of 11 teams selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDoE) to develop technologies that regulate the thermal environment around building occupants, rather than the entire building. The DoE has determined that doing so would save the US approximately 15% of the large amount of energy used for building HVAC. Prof. Khalifa and his team have developed an advanced micro-environmental control system, named μX, that is compact, efficient, quiet, and ergonomic. Developed as part of the DoE’s ARPA-E program, μX can enable local climate control to keep a desk occupant comfortable and facilitate expansion of thermostat setpoints, significantly reducing energy consumption for building HVAC.

This R&T Forum featured presentations on multiple aspects of this innovative micro-environmental control system, as well as a discussion of the history and opportunity offered by personal environmental control systems.


Dr. H. Ezzat Khalifa, NYSTAR Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University College of Engineering & Computer Science

Michael Wetzel, P.E., President and CEO, Air Innovations

James W. Bush, Principal, Bush Technical, LLC