Design Engineers Team Wins at ASHRAE’s 2023 Decarbonization Challenge

Design Engineers’ long-standing commitment to sustainable design was highlighted this past month through the team’s involvement in a winning application of ASHRAE’s 2023 Decarbonization Challenge. The award included a $7,000 grant presented by ASHRAE President Ginger Scoggins that will be used for a project in 2024 that promotes decarbonization efforts. 

The winning application was submitted by a team of DE employees representing the Cedar Valley ASHRAE Chapter and the Iowa State’s Engineers Without Borders chapter who proposed the implementation of a solar water heating system for Ullo High School in rural Ghana.  Serving over 1,500 students, Ullo High School currently uses wood-burning fires to heat water for cooking, cleaning, and dish sanitizing.  This practice has led to immense financial strain and deforestation in the local community.   

With the newly awarded grant funds, the project team hopes the solar water heating system will relieve the Ullo community of these effects and introduce a form of sustainable technology for water heating. Design efforts are planned to transpire throughout the spring, with construction in Ullo planned for the early summer. 

Sam Stinson receiving $7,000 grant cheque from ASHRAE president Ginger Scoggins and Region IV Director and Regional Chair Susanna Hanson.

From Left to Right: ASHRAE Region IV Director and Regional Chair Susanna Hanson, ASHRAE President Ginger Scoggins, and Design Engineers Mechanical Engineer Sam Stinson


The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is a professional association comprised of members from various branches of the HVAC sector.  With more than 50,000 international members, ASHRAE serves as one of the most prominent organizations in the commercial construction industry.  

This award reflects the exciting work that has come to life through DE’s ongoing collaboration with students in ISU’s Engineers Without Borders Chapter.  To learn more about this partnership, see DE’s recent blog highlighting the team’s efforts to design a new clinic to be constructed in Ullo, Ghana!