News Release

ORNL’s Brian Fricke named ASHRAE Fellow

Grant and Award Announcement

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Brian Fricke

image: ASHRAE selected Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Brian Fricke as one of 25 members elevated to fellow grade during its 2022 winter conference. view more 

Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, selected Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Brian Fricke as one of 25 members elevated to fellow grade during its 2022 winter conference.

ASHRAE recognized Fricke, a building equipment group leader who joined the association in 2001 while a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, or UMKC, for making substantial contributions in education, research, publications, presentations and mentoring. Over the past 20 years, Fricke has served in numerous leadership roles with ASHRAE, providing guidance by chairing technical committees focused on commercial food and beverage cooling, display and storage. Fricke was awarded the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award in 2014 and an Exceptional Service Award in 2016.

“It’s an honor to receive this level of distinction from ASHRAE,” Fricke said. “I’ve experienced the benefits of professional organizations as a student and researcher, and there is no better avenue for developing collaborations that can have real-world impact for generations.”

Fricke joined ORNL in 2010 as a research and development staff member in building equipment technologies and was promoted to senior researcher in 2016 and group leader in 2017. He has led collaborations with industry to develop refrigeration that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lowers energy consumption, including proving the viability of the environmentally friendly N40 refrigerant.

“Brian is a recognized leader in refrigerants, and his ability to work with industry to solve some of the greatest energy efficiency challenges facing the building equipment community has long been valued by ORNL,” said Melissa Lapsa, ORNL’s building technologies program director. “It’s good to see Brian’s work continue to be applauded on the international scale with ASHRAE.”

Fricke earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering from UMKC. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the International Institute of Refrigeration.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

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