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Sinclair Community College HVAC Students Present Innovative Project at National Conference

Sinclair Community College Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) students recently shared their knowledge and skills to an international audience at the 2023 American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference hosted more than 3,000 HVAC and refrigeration industry professionals from across the globe. 

During the conference’s poster session, the students presented their innovative capstone project that involved installing an 8-ton Mitsubishi Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system with two heads in the HVAC lab at Sinclair. The system can heat and cool at the same time in different zones of a structure. In 2022, Sinclair submitted the project for an ASHRAE Undergraduate Program Equipment Grant and earned first place over more than 80 other schools. The top two schools receiving grants are invited to present at the ASHRAE Winter Conference.  

“When I entered Sinclair’s program, I had very little knowledge of HVAC systems. With the education and hands-on training I have received, I am now working in the HVAC industry while finishing my degree and sharing my knowledge and skills with students and industry professionals from all over the world,” said James Wright, Sinclair Community College HVAC student. 

Allied Supply, an HVACR wholesale distributor in Dayton, donated the equipment for the students’ project. Industry professionals from Heapy and ElitAire provided mentoring to the students throughout the project. 

“Sinclair’s HVAC students receive exceptional hands-on training in the classroom and with support from community partners, they gain additional guidance to prepare them for rewarding, in-demand careers,” added Professor Charlie Setterfield, Sinclair Community College Built Environment Department. “Sinclair was the only community college invited to present at the ASHRAE Winter Conference. That is an incredible accomplishment for our students and HVAC program.” 

Sinclair Community College is a member of the ASHRAE Dayton Area Student Branch, along with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Cedarville University, and Wright State University. The Dayton Area Student Branch operates from Sinclair Community College under the guidance of Professor Russell Marcks as the Student Branch Advisor (SBA) and the current Chapter Student Activities Chair (SAC). 

Sinclair currently offers an associate degree in Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology and a one-year HVAC Light Commercial & Residential Service Technical Certificate. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 5 percent through the year 2031, with more than 40,000 job openings projected each year.  

“There is so much opportunity for good-paying careers in the HVAC industry. The education and hands-on training I am receiving at Sinclair is exposing me to the most cutting-edge technology that gives me the competitive edge I need to get the job I want,” said Nathan Rogers, Sinclair Community College HVAC student. 

To learn more about Sinclair’s HVACR program, visit


Photo Caption:
Back row (L to R):  Sinclair Community College HVAC students Robert Durham, Gordan Clark, Isaac Maurer, James Wright, and Daniel Benjamin. Kneeling (L to R): Sahil Rajan and Nathan Rogers.