My name is David Sellers and I’m a Senior Engineer with Facility Dynamics Engineering.  Our core business is building commissioning and control system design but we also do some forensic engineering, mostly to diagnose and correct problems with building systems, typically on the mechanical side.

I’ve been working in the buildings industry for about 34 years now and have had the benefit of working “all sides of the fence” having been during my professional career:

  • An airframe and power plant mechanic in general and corporate aviation while attending school,
  • A field technician, designer, and project engineer for a field savvy consulting engineering firm,
  • A systems engineer for a major control contractor,
  • A field and control engineer for a mechanical contractor,
  • The system owner or co-owner for the HVAC, Fire Protection, Process Exhaust, Chilled Water, and DDC Control systems at a semi-conductor wafer facility, and
  • A senior engineer for PECI, a not-for-profit that, among other things, develops infrastructure to support and promote building commissioning, efficiency, and sustainable operating practices.

I find this background gives me a valuable perspective as a commissioning provider.  It also exposed me to some wonderful mentors along the way, to whom I owe much of my success.

This blog got started when Michael Ivanovich, a friend of mine, who, at the time, was Editor-in-Chief for Consulting/Specifying Engineer Magazine asked me to consider writing a technical blog on the CSE website.  That idea evolved to A Field Guide for Engineers, which I started writing in May of 2007.

I found that writing the blog was beneficial on a number of fronts.

  • It allowed me to share things I have learned via experience with others, just as my mentors had done for me.
  • It forced me to really understand things;  it’s one thing to apply a technical principle yourself on a problem you are focused on.  Its a far different thing to explain that principle to others in a way that allows them to apply it to the problems and challenges they face.  I discovered this early on in my career when I was teaching flight line maintenance as a lab assistant;  I think I learned a lot more about airplanes as a teacher than I did as a student.
  • I teach technical classes for the Pacific Energy Center, SMUD, and the University of Wisconsin on a fairly regular basis and found that the blog content was a valuable resource to refer students to when they had questions.

Unfortunately, the current tough economic times have resulted in the closure of CSE and its website.  But after thinking about it, I decided to continue my blogging efforts by opening A Field Perspective on Engineering.

6 Responses to About

  1. Jim Pease says:

    David, I really enjoyed the economizer class at least the last part when we were looking at the components and trying to get the damn thing to work. As I mentioned I have spoken with a dozen or more HVAC techs and after a brief period when they try and impress me with their in depth knowledge of economizers, it is apparent that most don’t know how or why they work or don’t. admittedly when I was a tech I wrestled with them and then gave up after find little usable info and repeated failures with old corroded dampers and linkage. I look forward to seeing a clear insight into the failure points and how to get them working and keep them working. thanks again Jim Pease

    • Thanks Jim; glad the class was helpful. I’m on the verge of beginning a string of posts on my experiments with the W7212 so stay tuned. Bottom line, based on the experiments we did later in the week at the EBCx workshop and soem that I have done since then is that you can make it work but there are some subtleties that you need to pay attention to. And then, of course, there are all the issues like damper and linkage problems that you mention, that are beyond the little controller itself.


  2. David,
    I’m working on a training program for engineers, and would like to use some of the photos you’ve put in your blog. Could you send me your email address?

    Mike Toecker

  3. Phil Zito says:


    This is Phil Zito from Building Automation Monthly .com. Are you still posting on this blog, I see your last post was in March. There’s very few blogs related to the building space so let me know.


    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for checking in about this; others are probably wondering too. But yes, I still intend to post. I have just been totally slammed the past couple of months; I sort of fit it into my spare time and there has not been much of that lately. But things ease up a bit next week and I actually am hoping to finish the post I am working on about using scatter plots to assess economizers.

      Thanks for supporting the blog,


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