Through its International Awards Program, the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) acknowledges the important achievements being made in energy and shines the light on the work being done in energy by individuals, organizations, agencies, and corporations.
Recently, Mr. Randy Buckner, C.E.M., C.E.A, was recognized as Energy Innovator of the Year at the 39th World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, DC. Mr. Buckner is Director of Research and Development for Avion Solutions, Inc. headquartered in Huntsville, AL. According to Mr. Albert Thumann, Executive Director of AEE, “this award is conferred to individuals and organizations that have achieved national and international prominence in promoting the practices and principles of energy engineering and energy management.”
Mr. Buckner, in just three years has transitioned from a newcomer in the energy field to a professional energy engineer in the Huntsville Community who is instrumental in virtually every aspect of the nascent yet evolving energy market. His passion has changed the landscape for Avion Solutions, Inc., and the City of Huntsville and surrounding community.
Mr. Buckner leads energy education efforts in the community demonstrating real-world energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energy at his employer’s site. As the Huntsville AEE Programs Chairman, he seeks speakers and demonstrators of a wide array of both sustainable and emerging technology.
His personal outreach includes hosting plant tours to school-age groups where they learn the power of energy efficiency to how the solar energy PV array will lower the energy bill while supplying sufficient power for their facility and even supply the power grid with their 50KW solar array. He also volunteers on school advisory boards where he can contribute directly to high school students aspiring to be energy engineers.
His home is also a renewable energy research project. Mr. Buckner lives on a farm where he has converted it into a renewable energy center supplying extra power to the grid. The site is also a learning center where students can test and develop projects. He supported a wind tunnel set-up in a barn for the 2015 Switchblade Competitions sponsored by Alabama Center for Clean and Sustainable Energy (ALCSE). The competition was sponsored by the US Army Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), ALCSE, and Avion Solutions, Inc.
The experience with ALCSE was so satisfying that Randy now serves on the Board of Directors for ALCSE. By doing so, he intends to find support for an organization that is all about cultural change and clean energy. He also stepped up to other voluntary roles and is part of the Leadership team for Energy Huntsville Initiative (EHI). During the recent Energy Summit sponsored by EHI, Randy chaired a session attended by high levels of Department of Defense Energy Leadership.
Mr. Buckner continues to energize his community by leading the Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) for the City of Huntsville at many facilities including the US Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) and Huntsville City Schools (HCS) to join the DOE BBC as Community Partners and to identify showcase facilities. Randy applied his building optimization strategies introduced to AEE in 2014 to help channel aspiring partners to accept the DOE BBC. His skills and experience has saved Avion Solutions over 50% of their annual energy bill. In fact their Energy Star score went from 2 (yes 2) to 77 in less than three years.
Mr. Buckner capitalized on the experience to vocalize a challenge to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and local utilities to review the technical requirements for renewable energy connections to the grid. His challenge landed him another speaking forum entitled “View from the Customers- Solar and Energy Efficiency Panel” at the POWER_UP Energy Forum in Birmingham, AL.
Mr. Buckner does not seek recognition of his endeavors but just wants acceptance of his challenge. “You want to save energy, just do it. You cannot save tomorrow what you did not save today, you just get better at it.” However, Mr. Buckner has been recognized on many levels--The Nexus Energy Center honored Mr. Buckner with a “Champions of Energy” Award. Mr. Buckner was recently featured in a documentary produced by the Southern Environmental Law Center. The documentary covered the 50 Kw solar array at Avion Solutions and the 20 KW array at his home and farm. Mr. Buckner also was awarded Energy Innovator of the Year for Region 9 on his way to becoming the winner of the International award.
The Association of Energy Engineers is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit professional organization with over 18,000 members that specializes in training, membership development, chapter development, and certification for professionals practicing in the fields of energy management, energy efficiency, energy service and commissioning, power and gas, sustainable and renewable energy, and building and electrical systems. The mission of AEE is to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for sustainable development.
About Avion Solutions, Inc.
Avion Solutions, Inc. is an aerospace corporation, delivering a broad range of quality specialized engineering, software development, logistics, and technical services to the U.S. Army Aviation community. They support the U.S. military and provide rewarding careers for innovative technical professionals including engineers, ex-military aviation experts, logisticians, analysts, and computer systems professionals; and provide technical expertise to support Army rotorcraft weapons systems, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and associated subsystems.
Avion also supports state, regional and local Government organizations as well as the commercial sector for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training and Support, Energy Solutions, asset tracking, Inmate Tracking and Control (INTACT) Jail Software, and fleet data analysis. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, with more than six business locations across the country, Avion provides “Innovation That Matters….Experience You Can Trust”.