Ingersoll Rand Foundation donates $25,000 to WWU Energy Program

Monday, April 2, 2012 - 1:30pm

Contact: Brian Sibley, Western Washington University Campaign Communications manager, (360) 650-2273 or

BELLINGHAM –Western Washington University has received a gift of $25,000 from the Ingersoll Rand Foundation. Ingersoll Rand is a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments and includes Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and services, among its family of brands. The grant from the Ingersoll Rand Foundation will help fund the development of an energy program at WWU.

“We are pleased to help WWU pioneer this program,” said Warren Michelsen, district general manager of Northwest-Hawaii Trane district. “As a company we are committed to helping our customers reach their goals for sustainability and energy conservation. This program will prepare its graduates to be leaders in the clean energy economy. We’re honored to support the innovation and initiative they’ve demonstrated and pleased to collaborate in helping guide the launch of this ambitious program.”

The energy program will continue Western’s tradition of research innovation, environmental leadership and commitment to undergraduate education. Three colleges within the University – the College of Business and Economics, the College of Sciences and Technology, and Huxley College of the Environment – have collaborated to produce a program that harnesses expertise from throughout the campus.

In addition, Ingersoll Rand, through its Trane brand in Redmond, Wash., will offer an Energy Business/Project Development internship to a WWU student each summer. The internship program will allow a student from the energy program to spend 12 weeks working with Trane Commercial Systems energy professionals to help identify market segments and customers with potential energy projects. These students will also participate in the development of energy conservation measures.

“Our sincere hope is that the students we select for these internships will be able to compete for jobs within our growing energy service company (ESCO) business after they graduate,” said Michelsen. 

Trane recently launched a new program that will develop, engineer, procure, construct and assist in project financing of renewable energy and other power generation solutions.

“We are excited to leverage our resources and expand our offerings to help organizations better manage their rising electricity and thermal costs, and reduce their carbon footprint.  Universities like WWU are a perfect organization to collaborate with to build a greener, brighter future,” said Vince Canino, vice president of the Renewable Energy and Power Solutions at Trane.

All three colleges are nationally recognized for their outstanding academic programs and demonstrated educational excellence. This multi-college program will support interdisciplinary learning while fostering an approach to problem solving that encourages cross-discipline thinking. Research will cover a wide range of investigation related to clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Planning for the program includes future bachelor’s degrees, as well as a minor in science and technology and a minor in policy, economics and business. Students will gain core competencies in energy related science, policy, technology, economics and business and have opportunities to participate in energy research with nationally recognized faculty mentors. Graduates of the program will be uniquely prepared to enter the workforce as leaders, equipped with the knowledge, skills and applied expertise demanded by this dynamic and evolving sector of the global economy. 

 “Western has always been a university that educates people who have the ability to think across disciplines,” said Catherine Riordan, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, for WWU. “This program will continue that proud tradition.”

The grant from Ingersoll Rand Foundation will help guide the launch of this new program. While many of the program’s elements are in place, funding like this is critical at this stage, because it will help build the capacity within the institution to keep the program’s growth on track. Western has already secured funding from other regional players in the burgeoning clean energy field such as Puget Sound Energy.

Both Western and Ingersoll Rand are nationally recognized leaders in the area of clean and renewable energy. Western is now ranked 17th on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of the nation’s top 20 higher education green energy purchasers. It’s the only college or university in the state of Washington to make the list. Each year, WWU offsets 100 percent of its electrical energy consumption from green sources, by buying renewable energy credits (RECs). 

About Ingersoll Rand: Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) is a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments in commercial, residential and industrial markets. Ingersoll Rand’s people and their family of brands — including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® — work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings, transport and protect food and perishables, secure homes and commercial properties, and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Trane solutions optimize indoor environments with a broad portfolio of energy efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, building and contracting services, parts support and advanced control. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global business committed to sustainable business practices within our company and for our customers. For more information, visit