The Hydraulic Institute (HI) held its annual spring conference in Phoenix, Arizona, where the group awarded several individual and group prizes. Long-time members were recognized, as were companies that are leading the industry in efficiency and training.

About 300 members and associates attended the event, which was held at The Wigwam resort. Numerous technical meetings, several learning roundtables, panel discussions and presentations were held.

Member of the Year
Julian Atchia, director of research and development for SJE-Rhombus, was named the HI 2017 Member of the Year.

Atchia has been with SJE-Rhombus since 2000, starting as a sales engineer and earning roles as OEM sales engineer, business development manager and director of engineered products. He was promoted to his current position in 2012.

He has contributed to HI for more than 17 years, participating in technical committees, holding leadership roles, educating the industry through webinars and heading new HI initiatives.

Standards Partner of the Year
Ernest Sturtz, Pumps Systems Specialist, CDM Smith, was named the HI Standards Partner of the Year. An active participant with HI since the late 1990s, Sturtz participated as a peer reviewer for HI standards prior to his company joining as one of the initial Standard Partners. Sturtz was instrumental in working with HI to create the Standards Partner category, which allows engineering consulting firms to assist HI members in developing standards, guidelines and educational programs.

Sturtz has been active on a number of technical committees, helping advance the work of HI. PSM Leadership Award

Jim Swetye, Senior Technical Trainer, Grundfos Corporation, was named HI Pumps Systems Matter (PSM) Leadership Award recipient.

As a founding member of PSM, Swetye promotes high-quality pump systems education to a wide range of pump end-users. A long-term educator and original committee member on the first pump systems optimization course, Swetye was the first chairperson on the Educational Affairs Committee, and on the first committee for the Pump Systems Optimization Guide Book.

Respected by magazines and trade journals, he speaks with true conviction, knowledge and commitment to the public pump educational world.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Rich Heppe, retired president Industrial Motors & Systems, Nidec Motor Corporation, won the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017.

Heppe’s efforts in the leadership and direction of HI started in the early 2000s when HI opened its doors to Associate Members. His organization was one of HI’s first Associate Members, and he played an important role as both Vice Chair and Chair of the Associate Member Council. Heppe also served on the HI Board three times.

He brought his knowledge of the regulatory world to HI and helped the institute navigate a similar course and emerge on solid ground. He has supported the industry over a 45-year career, helping shape legislation and rulemaking.

Lifetime Educational Tribute Award
The Hydraulic Institute (HI) Board awarded William Livoti a special lifetime educational tribute award. The award recognizes his 40 years in technical training and instruction in a wide range of courses, webinars and e-learning programs for the Pump Systems Matter (PSM) organization.

Recently retired from WEG Electric, William provides pump system engineer consulting services and instruction for various engineering consulting firms and leading educational institutions such as PSM across North America. He is also a columnist for Pumps & Systems magazine.

Pump Industry Excellence Awards
The Hydraulic Institute (HI) presented its 2nd annual Pump Industry Excellence Awards at its recent conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The recipients were selected from a pool of pump users, owner/operators, engineering consultants and academia. Awards were given in three categories:

Energy Efficiency – awarded to the company or organization that has made a significant impact on the advancement of energy efficiency. The winner was the 850,000-square foot Carl T. Hayden Veterans Hospital in Phoenix. Using pump system optimization the facility has reduced energy consumption by more than 25 percent and has an eight-year challenge to reduce by 36 percent. Innovations such as solar power are moving the facility toward a net-zero energy footprint.

Innovation and Technology – awarded to a company or organization that has demonstrated a commitment to progress and innovation. The winner was Chevron for its efficient management of global assets and its scalable environmental programs.

Workforce Development – awarded to a company or organization that has made a significant investment in developing and training individuals by building an infrastructure devoted to improving job skills. The winner was the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating facility and its training Energy Center. Palo Verde partners with local schools to build skills and interest in power generation for students. Using live-streaming data and monitoring systems to demonstrate plan operations as well as hands-on and theoretical learning, the program is yielding dividends for the facility.