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

January Research and Technology Forum: The Business of Good Social Entrepreneurship, B Corporations and the New Bottom Line

Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet a rigorous set of standards related to social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, according to B Lab, there is a growing community of more than 2,100 Certified B Corps from 50 countries and over 130 industries working together toward a single unifying goal: to redefine success in business. The forum featured Central New York entrepreneurs Kevin Stack, Josh Stack, and Kennedy Alexis Patlan, who have traveled the challenging path to Certified B Corporation status, leveraging the power of business and the markets for social and environmental good.  The forum was moderated by Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Executive Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University.


Kevin Stack, Northeast Green Building Consulting, LLC, Northeast Natural Homes, Inc.

Josh Stack, Stack, Law, PLLC, Biomimicry Northern Forest

Kennedy Alexis Patlan, Social Entrepreneurship Engagement Scholar, Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad