Victor W. Goldschmidt, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
P.O. Box 423
Northport, MI 49670-0423
United States
(231) 386-9058
Region: V
Honorarium: None
Victor W. Goldschmidt, Emeritus Mechanical Engineering Professor, served at Purdue University from 1964 through 2000. He is currently serving as a Leelanau County Planning Commissioner as well as a facilitator and engineering consultant. During his 36 years at Purdue University, Mr. Goldschmidt was responsible for educating mechanical engineering students, including the direction of graduate research in the HVAC area. Most of his service with graduate students was with the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories with heavy support from the HVAC industries. During early stages of his career, he served as Director of the Engineering Purdue Fellows in Latin America; during later stages he served as department head for Freshman Engineering. Prior to his academic involvement, he worked in Applications Engineering and Development Engineering with Honeywell. Mr. Goldschmidt has taught almost every course in thermal sciences offered at Purdue, as well as a special upper level technical course on the “Creative Process in Engineering.” He is trained as a Synectics (special brainstorming) facilitator and is currently engaged in the development of strategic plans and problem solving sessions. A past ASHRAE Director-at-Large, he also has served as a member of Publishing and Technology Councils. He is an ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award recipient and Fellow, as well as Honorary Member of IIR, ACAIRE, ASURVAC and AAF. He resides in North Michigan, above Traverse City.
Air Conditioning: A look Into the Past and a Guess Into the Future

Starting with a brief historical review, and some of the trends in research, predictions are made as to what the future might be in air conditioning for human comfort. The presentation could be considered “technically entertaining.” Suggesting the fallacies of predictions, it shows the historical delays from defining a concept to the marketing of an actual product. The implications to our industry are noted as well.

Releasing Individuals’ Own Creativity

Growth requires change; change is aided by new ideas; and new ideas require creativity. The potential to be creative is within all of us. The lecture is intended as a means for individuals to attempt to realize their own potential to be creative. Theories of creativity, blocks to creativity, and exercises to develop creativity are presented. Examples of engineering students awakening their creativity will be presented. These will be from a decade of facilitating a course on engineering creativity. To the extent possible, the lecture will include some audience participation.

Differing Perspectives Into Global Warming

A different approach to the usual formal presentation on these topics will be presented. It is the consequence of attempting to analyze the available data to demonstrate the reality of anthropogenic global warming. Unfortunately the analysis led to the conclusion that the only reality is in the uncertainties of these areas. A review of the data and predictions from climate change models will first provide evidence as to the culpability of CO2.  Following that, through careful analysis of the data, consideration of solar and astronomical large scale effects, and the nature of computer modeling, the second perspective will raise serious doubts on the culpability of CO2 as a greenhouse gas threatening the welfare or even survival of future generations.  The closing message will be a challenge to always “think as engineers”.

Active Listening and Styles of Communication

Role-playing by the audience will assist in visualizing aspects of adverse responses. This will set the stage to define and exercise active listening techniques. Active or empathetic listening is essential to effective communication and group dynamics.

Principles of Leadership and Group Dynamics

Effective leadership is essential in ASHRAE committee work. The distinctions between management and leadership are brought forth, together with major concepts defining effective leadership. Concepts of group dynamics, including non-verbal communication styles are also presented.

Principles of Leadership and Change

Leadership is directed towards change. The nature of leadership, processes for change, and conflict arising from change are addressed.

Problem Solving in Engineering

A review of different problem-solving techniques, from well defined (textbook-type) problems with a single solution to typical engineering problems with multiple and alternative solutions is discussed. The latter require ideation and free-thinking. Blocks to creativity are presented together with actual examples demonstrating these impediments to problem solving.

Sustainability and Implications in the Context of Power Plants

The industry at large has been challenged with the concept of sustainability.  While some consider this to mean “leaving our environment in exactly the way we found it”, it is quite more subtle than that.   Broader definitions will be reviewed and the nature of sustainability will be presented with the recognition of the importance those environmental, social, and economical effects should all be considered. Examples will then be given in which sustainability is not met, while yet assumed.  The presentation will then focus on various methods of generating electricity, and their relationship to sustainability. The purpose is not to provide specific answers but to encourage the listeners to be challenged and to question as to what proper stewardship might imply.  The lecture will end with a sharing of myths and dreams, and a statement of what sustainability is in the context of ASHRAE’s mission.

Problem Solving and Creativity

There is a dramatic difference between the problem solving techniques presented to us in formal engineering courses, and the skills that are called for in actual practice. These differences will be outlined, leading towards a special focus on the need for cooperation between creativity and problem solving in engineering applications. The lecture will present the general steps in problem solving of definition, recasting, ideation, convergence, and validation/implementation. The lecture will end with a listing of “pet-peeves” which will include confusing cause and effect and violating the scientific method.

Thinking Like an Engineer and Societal Challenges

After 40 years lecturing to Mechanical Engineering students the presenter has evolved and reconsidered what his purpose should have been as an educator.  It goes beyond transfer of information and mastery of a necessary set of tools. It also goes further than applying those tools in the art of problem solving.  The presentation will highlight the nature of engineering thought processes, recognizing the role in problem solving, looking for alternatives, using creativity, thinking in a pragmatic manner, considering safety, and always asking questions. Societal problems exhibiting failure in thinking like engineers will be presented. These are to be examples and challenge for critical thinking on the part of engineering professionals while responsibly serving society. 

Blessings and Curses of Computer Modeling

There is a mystique in citing results from computer models, they are granted a certain measure of authority.  The lecture will outline the types of models and their nature. The need for empirical inputs, the problems with convergence and the importance to state uncertainties and needs for validation will be presented as well.  Examples of models currently used and related to HVAC&R will be given.

Distinction between Leadership and Management and their Application

The lecture will include an overview of the nature of leadership and management skills, their differences and their inter-relationships. The distinctions within the setting of a chapter, or a committee will be addressed.

Training Sessions:

(These sessions can be offered as part of a DL visit. They can be tailored to be 3 to 4 hours in duration, and developed to include individual and group activities. Also available: Developing Creativity and Communication and Group Dynamics)