ARF Targets $3 Million Funding Goal Amid Leadership Transitions


The Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation (ARF), the research and education foundation organized by IIAR, said it was on track to complete new research projects, award scholarships and raise existing funding levels this year.

“ARF projects allow us as an industry to go after the issues that are faced by a broad cross-section of our market, issues that we all have interest in resolving, but may not individually have the resources to address,” said ARF Executive Director Tim Facius. “The research we sponsor answers some of the big questions in our industry, and the scholarships we award will become an investment in the future of the industrial refrigeration industry.”

Currently, ARF is focusing on finding new ways to bolster its funding efforts so that it can continue to support those two initiatives, research and education, said Facius. The foundation, which has already successfully collected over $1.25 million dollars in contributions, announced that its next funding goal is to reach the $3 million level.

“This is a significant goal because it really will allow us to fund research at the level we want to reach. We always have a greater list of research projects that need to be done than can be accomplished with the funding we have,” said Facius. “On an immediate basis, we prioritize the most urgent needs of the industry, but the greater the funds at our disposal in the future, the more projects we can complete.”

Projects that have been recently completed by ARF include: a study that was co-funded with ASME on low temperature piping criteria; development of a bench test procedure for post-mortem testing of safety relief valves; a statistical analysis method for predictive valve replacement frequency; as well as a quantitative risk analysis for various ammonia release technologies. These research projects have each been the topic of workshop sessions at past IIAR Annual Conferences, and published papers on these topics are available in the IIAR e-Library. The Research Committee is in the process of working on software and other vehicles to enhance the availability of this work to the industry.

Meanwhile, additional projects as recommended by the IIAR research committee are under review.

In a regulated environment, ARF’s research goals make a lot of sense, because they allow the industry to structure operational parameters around proven concepts, said Facius.

“As an industry, we must take our practices beyond the ‘this has worked in the past’ mentality. Regulation is going to be based on standards, and documented proof of concept makes the best foundation for standards,” he said. “We have to have a definitive understanding for why something works.”

As ARF focuses on funding its new research goals, the organization is also going through several transitions, said Facius, including a complete leadership transition. Joe Mandato has just assumed the role of ARF Chairman, and Peter Spellar has assumed the role of Chairman, ARF Board of Trustees.

We are getting some excellent traction,” he said, adding that past ARF leaders Adolfo Blasquez and those before him have set the organization up to grow in the next several years.

“We’ve got several excellent research projects lined up, we’re working with targeted schools on our scholarship initiative, and we’ve formed a finance committee to focus on finding ways to expand the funding of our industry research goals.”

“ARF is about thinking on a bigger scale,” said Facius, who urged all IIAR members to find a way to contribute to the organization or get involved in its work. “By supporting ARF, you as a member help this organization make the advancements that benefit everyone.”