Gil Carlson (1922 - 1994), one of the founding fathers of hydronic heating was a remarkable man who understood fluid dynamics like no other. He spent most of his career at Bell & Gossett and retired there as Director of Technical Services.
As of 2004, Gils
'stuff' has been used to teach over 175,000 designers.
2010/2012 Recipient : Ken Webster
Robert Bean (l) and Dan Holohan (r) with Gil's Wheel at ISH America
Thanks to the efforts of Award Winning Journalist and Consulting Editor, Jim Olsztynski the
Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence will be carried forward by the BNP Media Group.
When past and present keepers of the award gather around the wheel people want their picture taken with it....so the picture taking has become a fund raiser at industry events.
Airline personnel across America have learnt about the award when asking the holder, "just exactly where would you like to put the artifact for the flight?" (It won't fit under the seats or overhead bins).
Ordinary citizens, especially in social situations like bars and restaurants are curious about the award and always leave educated about hydronic heating systems.
The guardian of the Wheel is unusually blessed with an increase in speaking engagements and business contracts.
Words from Dave Yates from the 2012 ceremony
The B&G System Syzer is used worldwide by
hundreds of thousands of engineers and trades people. Shown
above is the mass produced handheld version - Gil
Carlson created the original version that this tool is based
Naturally the modern version is available
free of charge as a
software tool from the Bell & Gossett site.
Some have compared the
Carlson-Holohan Industry Award
Excellence to the NHLs' Stanley Cup though its more like a combination of the Hart Memorial Trophy awarded to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team and the
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy to the player exhibiting sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
It is industry recognition for what an individual has done for the game of steam and hydronics.
Criteria for nomination:
current or past record for raising funds
for industry causes
proven volunteer activities in association
and committee work
demonstrated leadership in industry as an educator and mentor
Conditions with the award:
The recipient is the sole guardian of Gil's original wheel…it is never to be sold, traded, loaned or owned by any one individual or company. The recipient is required to carry the award to each seminar or public speaking engagement he or she delivers and is required to tell the story of Gils Wheel.
During the two-year guardianship period (beginning the first of January and ending the last day of December in the second year) the recipient must search for a suitable candidate to carry on the story and with consultation of past recipients select a new keeper. Each new holder must make
some investment to protect the originality, and physical condition of the wheel so that its life journey will be preserved for all generations to see.
Dave Yates (R)
with Dan Holohan (L),
Mark Eatherton (R) Instructor, Writer,
Solar Decathlon Mentor,
Extraordinaire with 2006/2008 Recipient
Dave Yates (L)
2010/2012 Recipient : Ken Webster
(R), director of sales and marketing for Viessmann-Canada,
presenting the award to Webster is Jean Eslick (L), Regional Sales Manager including Eastern
Canada for BNP Media Co.’s family of plumbing books.
Ceremony held at CMX.CIPHEX 2010.
BNP Media Press Release
2010/2012 Recipient : Ken Webster
(R) with Robert Bean presenting on behalf of the past
January 23rd, 2012: John Barba
of Taco HVAC
becomes newest recipient of the
Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence
2012-2014 Award: "Through the review
and sponsorship from BNP Media, the nominations committee
and industry supporters…this year’s recipient meets and
exceeds all of the criteria necessary to become the awards
newest guardian. John Barba is one of the businesses most
well known voices in mentoring and teaching hydronics to
thousands of students across North America. In addition, Mr.
Barba is a participant in fund raising events in his support
of worthy industry causes. Never one to lose an opportunity
to make each moment memorable, John has touched many lives
in his career and received a record number of nominations in
this year’s event. In recognition of his contributions to
the world of keeping the human race healthy, well and
comfortable through selfless giving of his time and talents,
teaching and mentoring to raise the benchmark of
professionalism and in raising awareness and funds for
industry causes, the legacy of Gil Carlson and Dan Holohan
forever hereby includes, Mr. John Barba.”
Below is a video of the ceremony
(starts at 9:40min) which followed the Taco HVAC press
conference. We're grateful for Taco's John White and his
team for providing this opportunity.
Additional stories about Gil Carlson:
History By: Ron Spencer, First published in NEWSLETTER of the NORTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA CHAPTER of the AMERICAN SOCIETY of HEATING, REFRIGERATING and AIR-CONDITIONING ENGINEERS, INC.
While at lunch with Jack Tumilty, we were reminiscing about some of the impact various individuals have had on our Society and our industry. Pete Wingate came to mind during this conversation which led to the abbreviated, Bell & Gossett “Little Red School House” seminars he had arranged in Tulsa. These lasted
for one day, but when Gil Carlson was the speaker, we felt we had experienced a semester of Fluid Flow courses. Gil was a rare individual, who was “at one” with the system he was evaluating. He could answer ANY question about a fluidics problem and could back up his answer with the math to prove it. But when
asked how he instinctively knew the answer, he would reply “it FELT like the right answer”. I was told the story about how the Bell & Gossett System Syzer came into being. Gil was working in his office on some system problems when an individual from marketing came in to ask a question. He noticed the
cardboard back of a paper pad with another circular piece of a pad held in place by a rivet, similar to a circular slide rule. He asked Gil “What is that device?” Gil responded “Just a little short cut I made up to deal with fluid flow.” Gil had not even considered the potential of such a device. Gil chain
smoked and everyone in the audience would watch the ash on his cigarette grow to incredible lengths before falling to the floor. Gil never seemed to realize how much in awe we were of his incredible knowledge, he was always completely humble and would spend whatever time it took to answer some of the most
fundamental questions. Every time the seminar was held, I made a point to be there and each time I learned something new. I came to know Gil and as time went on, he would flatter me, if during the course of a seminar, someone would ask a question pertaining to a chiller application, by referring the question
to me. He called me his resident chiller expert. Such praise from such an individual overwhelmed me. Great men are like that, unaware of their standing. He was truly one of the giants of our industry.
time colleague Bob Dilg shares this, “Gil believed in the power of education, and encouraged others to be all they could be. “I had no
degree and Gil wanted me to progress,”, “He constantly encouraged me to further my education by taking night courses. When I told him that any degree would be years away, he just smiled that unique smile and said, 'But you'll be smarter every day!'” So is the legend
of Gil Carlson.