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CIAR-in-Colombia



Shown (from left) Alvaro Tapias, Bill Bahnfleth and Victor Goldschmidt

President Bahnfleth Follows Presidential Member Footsteps in Colombia

by Victor Goldschmidt, Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE; Director-at-Large, 1998-2001, and former chair, International Activities Committee

CARTAGENA, COLOBMIA – ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth had a formal role as keynote lecturer at the 12th conference of CIAR  hosted by ACAIRE (an ASHRAE Associate Society Alliance member in Colombia) in Cartagena from July 22-24. Coincidentally, the first CIAR (Ibero-American Congress of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) took place in Cartagena more than 20 years ago, with Presidential Member Don Bahnfleth representing ASHRAE.

The genesis of CIAR was a shared dream between Alvaro Tapias (founding president of ACAIRE) and Victor Goldschmidt (at that time chair of ASHRAE’s International Activities Committee), during an ASHRAE meeting in Dallas. The intent was to have a congress, similar to ASHRAE conferences, but smaller and with Spanish as the main language. The desire was to develop more collegiality amongst HVAC&R engineers in Latin America, and to see that ASHRAE members in those countries were better served in meeting ASHRAE’s mission. 

Following Congresses were held every two years, and hosts rotated among associations in Latin America (and in turn also Spain) with purposes similar to ASHRAE’s.  Many of these were already ASHRAE Associate Society Alliance members with others joining since then. The dream has been realized, and continues to grow. The most recent CIAR had over 639 present and 20 countries represented.

A Colombia Chapter meeting was also held on July 22, where President Bahnfleth provided a formal welcome, Chapter President Gerardo Alfonso gave an overview of the year and Goldschmidt, an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, gave two presentations. ASHRAE’s global influence is being realized!