Alejandro Rivas is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering working alongside Dr. Li Song. Recently, Alejandro received a joint scholarship from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and the Central Oklahoma American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He is the current President of the ASHRAE student chapter at OU, and he also attends many Central Oklahoma’s ASHRAE meetings and activities in Oklahoma City.
His research interests are in the field of energy efficiency, such as enhancing heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems’ performance with new control techniques that provide high accuracy with lower cost, and also airflow measurement for variable air volume (VAV) systems under field and testing conditions. Alejandro is currently working with Dr. Song, Dr. Gang Wang, Jesus Elizondo and Wesley Thomas on a research project at Tinker Air Force Base, which is sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD). The project is testing new technologies in flow measurement.
“With this research, I am looking forward to improving and updating the current airflow measurement industry methods and standards,” said Alejandro. “The final goal is to build a robust and accurate measurement method for HVAC researchers and contractors taking full advantage of what a VAV System has to offer in terms of energy savings.”
With plans to graduate with his M.S. degree in December 2016, Alejandro hopes to find a full-time job as an HVAC Design Engineer in the U.S. He also hopes to acquire the Professional Engineering License, as well as the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Certification. Furthermore, his long-term goal is nothing short of vast.
“I would like to have enough experience and knowledge to start my own HVAC Consulting Engineering Firm either in the U.S. or Venezuela,” said Alejandro. “In the future, I would like to be the leading HVAC Engineer in Venezuela by introducing all the latest technologies and ASHRAE standards that the Venezuelan HVAC industry has not yet implemented.”
Alejandro is from Caracas, Venezuela. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Reliability of Industrial Systems from the University Simon Bolivar in Caracas. After that he began working as an HVAC&R Engineer. Not long into his career, he realized there was a breach of information and experience that he wanted to fulfill through academics, which brought him to the U.S. in January 2015. He chose the University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering due to Dr. Song’s research.
“During my program search, I found Dr. Li Song’s research work at OU, and I felt that her research interest contained everything that I was looking for,” said Alejandro. “A global vision of the building where the architecture, materials of the envelope, heat load calculation, selection of mechanical equipment and design of the HVAC system are all important factors that need to be considered for improving the energy performance of the building.”
In addition to Alejandro’s research and academics, he enjoys spending time outdoors, especially at the beach and hiking in Venezuela. He also enjoys watching and playing sports. One of his favorite sports is baseball; he even played in college. Alejandro has a love for animals, especially his dog, Danna.