By JC Kreidel
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic named Thomas Norris, P.E. its top engineer Oct. 19 for efforts supporting the command's worldwide mission.
NAVFAC Atlantic Commander, Rear Adm. Darius Banaji, announced Norris as the 2018 NAVFAC Atlantic Engineer of the Year calling him the driving force in developing and refining NAVFAC's mechanical systems acceptance and commissioning program. He will now go on to compete for honors as the NAVFAC enterprise-wide Engineer of the Year.
Norris is an acceptance engineer within the command's Capital Improvements Business Line. His work has significantly improved the reliability and efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. His efforts resulted in significant operational cost savings and dramatically improved the quality of life for our warfighters.
"He also passes on his knowledge by providing training each year across NAVFAC on acceptance testing, controls, chilled water systems, dedicated outdoor air systems and building commissioning," said Banaji. "This enables our units of action to provide critical quality assurance to construction oversight and deliver a better product to all of our Supported Commanders."
With complete ownership of the mechanical acceptance program, Norris is also the primary author of the Army, Navy and Air Force total building commissioning United Facility Guide Specifications. Using his detail-oriented approach and commitment to excellence, he developed the checklists for performance design, inspection and commissioning across the entire Department of Defense.
Stephen Ericson, P.E, CEM, NAVFAC Atlantic mechanical engineering branch manager and technical discipline leader, said Norris is one of the high-energy performers in the area of facility acceptance and commissioning.
"He has been able to demonstrate through training, adherence to established guidance, and execution of actual project work that our government acceptance testing can turn around a project by providing HVAC systems that work," said Ericson, himself a former NAVFAC Atlantic Engineer of the Year. "He displayed significant leadership in training all of the facilities engineering commands in the use of acceptance testing processes while minimizing the associated travel for the training efforts."
Norris is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has been with NAVFAC since his employment with Civil Service, first with NAVFAC Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic and then with NAVFAC Atlantic since 2015. He is an alumnus of Old Dominion University where he earned a degree in engineering technology in 1987.
Additionally he is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Green Building Initiative, as well as the Association of Energy Engineers and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
He is a certified energy manager with the Association of Energy Engineers and a LEED accredited professional with the United States Green Building Council.
Norris' community interests include volunteering with the homeless and disadvantaged veterans. He is a charter boat captain, licensed by the United States Coast Guard, and enjoys providing fishing trips for disadvantaged youth. He is further dedicated to education, developing detailed field-proven control sequences for mechanical systems on his own time for training of designers and commissioning professionals and incorporation into designs.