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Madison, Wisconsin Chapter 

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February 09, 2015

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February 2015 Meeting
February 09, 2015
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Candlewood Suites
5421 Caddis Bend
Fitchburg, WI 53711
How to Assess Risk in Engineering Estimates

$20.00 Member Registration

$30.00 Guest (non Madison ASHRAE member)

$0.00 Cafeteria Plan - Local Member

$0.00 Student Ticket

Technical Session - 5 pm (optional) - Review of Basics: Statistical and Probabilistic Analysis, James R. Brachtl, P.E.

Dinner - 6:15 pm

Main Presentation - 7:00 pm - How to Assess Risk in Engineering Estimates, James R. Brachtl, P.E.

Technical Session Highlights: Review of Basics:  Statistical and Probabilistic Analysis


This technical session will attempt to acquaint you with - or to refresh your knowledge – in a non-rigorous approach - of some of the basic concepts we work with in statistics and probability studies.  These are useful general principles that engineers need to keep in mind when dealing with concepts, issues, problems that are hardly ever delivered to us in nice, neat, well-defined packages. 

Main Presentation Highlights: How to Assess Risk in Engineering Estimates

At the conclusion of our chapter's November 10th program, "Energy Modeling Earlier: Conceptual and Schematic Design," an interesting question was posed to our presenters from the audience, namely – and paraphrasing, "what is the probability that your model will produce accurate results."  The fact is, engineers have well-accepted methods for answering that question.  And they are available in very neat software packages that can be easily understood – even if you hated, loathed, didn't pass, etc. - your senior course in probability and statistics.  From Jim Brachtl's point of view, besides being the basis of services your firm can offer - for additional compensation - to potential clients, these tools can have a place in the risk management protocols of even small engineering firms.

In this session, we will discuss – in an informal and non-rigorous style – what these tools are, how they can be utilized – and why you shouldn't leave such tools solely to the province of the MBA's, financial types, and attorneys that hang around the fringes of the engineering industry.  You will love becoming acquainted with Monte Carlo simulation, also known less glamorously as stochastic sampling.


James R. Brachtl, P.E., Principal, Building & Process Engineering, Inc. (Middleton WI)

Jim began his career in this industry with the Trane Company after receiving an MBA in 1967 from the UW – Madison.  This education, on top of his BSME from the Illinois Institute of Technology (January, 1965), was preparation for a variety of assignments and career adventures that diverged considerably from the pure engineering path, including industrial real estate brokerage (Chicago, mid-70's), stock brokerage (Boston, Merrill Lynch, mid-80's), and general management (Rhode Island electrical contractor, Chicago piping contractor, etc.).

Through it all, Jim finds one aspect of our engineering industry has remained fascinating through all of his experiences:  Identifying and dealing with risks we face daily as engineers – and estimators! - and which can be quite serious.

Incidentally, Jim claims to be 39 years old.  What appears to be gray hair is actually scar tissue growing out of his head.


Future Meetings

August 10, 2020

Golf Outing

August 10, 2020
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Stoughton Country Club

Annual Golf Outing