PORTLAND, Ore. (July 8, 2020)—Resource Innovation Institute (RII) has named interdisciplinary engineer Gretchen Schimelpfenig, PE its new Technical Director. She will manage RII’s PowerScore resource benchmarking platform, facilitate Efficient Yields educational workshops, lead the Technical Advisory Council Working Groups, author best practices guidance, and direct membership and communications activities for the resource-efficiency advocacy group. Based in the Burlington, Vermont area, Schimelpfenig reports to Derek Smith, Executive Director, RII.

Since 2019, Schimelpfenig has been the project engineer of upgrades to the PowerScore Grow and Pro platforms. The energy, water, and waste monitoring tool is used by cultivators and supply-chain professionals to generate key performance indicators for cultivation operations, and ranks them against similar facilities.

“Gretchen has phenomenal expertise in energy-efficient electrical and mechanical systems, and has applied her know-how to cannabis cultivation” Smith said. “Not only that, but she writes well and explains complex subjects to lay audiences, making her contributions to RII vital as we move forward with multiple important projects in the coming year.” 

As PowerScore Project Engineer, Schimelpfenig directs RII’s software development team and develops and delivers packaged and custom data analytics. She assists cultivators, equipment manufacturers, engineers, architects, utilities and efficiency program implementers with navigating and accessing PowerScore’s benchmarking intelligence. 

As facilitator of RII’s Efficient Yields events, Schimelpfenig creates unique content for target markets in the cultivation industry and gathers subject matter experts together for panel discussions and conversations with cultivators and business owners. She leads the HVAC, Lighting, and Utility Technical Advisory Council Working Groups, and has written case studies and best practices guides for high-performance HVAC and LED lighting systems for cannabis cultivators. Her work benefits RII membership via production of industry intelligence reports using insights from PowerScore. 

As head of communications, Schimelpfenig maintains the RII and PowerScore websites, authors newsletters, blogs and press releases, implements social media campaigns, and strategizes growth for RII’s digital assets. She also assists the non-profit with branding for new markets, and outreach initiatives to recruit new members from emerging industry sectors. Schimelpfenig is the lead grant-writer and proposal author in response to opportunities from governments, utilities, efficiency programs, research organizations, and fosters partnerships that lead to strategic positioning and funding. 

“The value of resource efficiency will only grow in the controlled environment agriculture industry in the future,” Schimelpfenig said.  “In my new role, I have the opportunity to guide RII in some of its most important work to come, and mitigate climate change at an industrial and global level.”

Before joining RII, Schimelpfenig served the Burlington Electric Department and as a Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Energy Services Engineer, designing and implementing efficiency programs for customers like the University of Vermont and the City of Burlington Department of Public Works. She previously was a commissioning engineer for Cx Associates and designed and completed functional performance tests for a wide variety of MEP systems in many types of C&I buildings. Prior to moving to Vermont, she was an Associate with Exponent in Oakland, California, providing construction project management consulting services to utility companies like Pacific Gas & Electric. Schimelpfenig is a licensed professional civil engineer in the states of California and Vermont. After receiving her Master’s in Civil Engineering – Sustainable Design & Construction (energy emphasis) from Stanford, she participated in the GREEN Program in Iceland after which she conducted research for the U.S. Green Building Council on geothermal energy generation and ground-source heat pump systems. While pursuing her MS degree, she created the Parkwood Tech Centre project for Engineers Without Borders which received the USGBC’s Malcolm Lewis Impact Award in 2017. Schimelpfenig has her BS in Architectural Engineering from the University of Wyoming and is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering fraternity.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Schimelpfenig, please contact Emily Trigg at 318-564-8195 or emily@themaverickpr.com


Resource Innovation Institute: Advancing Resource Efficiency to Cultivate a Better Cannabis Future

Resource Innovation Institute (RII) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance resource efficiency to create a better agricultural future. Founded in 2016 in Portland, OR, USA, RII’s Board of Directors includes the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a former board member of the US Green Building Council and leading cannabis industry players. The organization has unique expertise on intelligence, policy and best practices related to energy use in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Its Cannabis PowerScore benchmarking tool is the world’s largest dataset on CEA energy use. RII’s Technical Advisory Council is the leading multi-disciplinary body assessing the environmental impacts and best practices associated with cultivation resource issues. In 2018, RII advised the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the establishment of the world’s first cannabis energy regulations, and it is now advising Illinois, California and other governments on CEA-related energy policies. RII’s Efficient Yields cultivation workshops are the only grower-led, non-commercial venues for the exchange of resource efficient cultivation best practices. RII is funded by utilities, foundations, governments and leading members of the supply chain serving CEA, from LED manufacturers to HVAC engineers. Visit our website at ResourceInnovation.org. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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