Ammonia Innovator Bruce Nelson to Retire from Colmac Coil

His low-charge ammonia designs for centralized industrial systems have been widely adopted.

Bruce Nelson from Colmac Coil

U.S. heat exchanger manufacturer Colmac Coil has announced that Bruce I. Nelson, the firm’s past President and current Director of Innovation – and an innovator in the design of low-charge ammonia industrial refrigeration – will retire effective July 4th, following a 40-year career at the Colville, Washington-based company.

Nelson will continue his work through his newly formed consulting company, Bruce V. Nelson Engineering, LLC.

Nelson joined Colmac Coil in 1981 as a design engineer.  He worked to develop the company’s first industrial air cooler product line and pioneered Colmac’s first computer-based coil selection software, CoilPro. After working in engineering management roles and as corporate vice president, Nelson served Colmac as president and director from 1997-2021, responsible for overall operational and strategic management of the company.

During Nelson’s tenure as president, “he played a critical role in Colmac Coil’s growth in sales and recognition both domestically and internationally as an innovative industry leader in the industrial refrigeration market,” said Colmac Coil in a statement.

Nelson was instrumental in the development of the Advanced Direct Expansion (ADX) system, which incorporates a low-charge evaporator, for industrial central systems.

The ADX system, which has been widely adopted,  was selected as the 2018 Accelerate America Innovation of the Year. (The award was given by shecco, publisher of this website.) 

Everybody enjoys working with Bruce because he is so passionate about his work, and he is always eager to share his knowledge with others.” - Joe Fazzari, Colmac Coil.

“Everybody enjoys working with Bruce because he is so passionate about his work, and he is always eager to share his knowledge with others,” said Joe Fazzari, President, Colmac Coil.

“Colmac Coil will continue to draw on Bruce’s vast technical and market knowledge through his work as a consultant,” said Jeremy Olberding, Vice President, Colmac Coil.

Nelson was the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) Chairman of the Board from 2019 to 2020; served as Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation (ARF) Chair in 2021; received the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award in 2013, and has been an active member in several other trade organizations.

During his career, Nelson published many technical papers and holds a number of U.S. and International patents.

Colmac Coil will host a farewell celebration for Nelson on July 1 at its offices. 

By Ntsako Khosa

Jun 18, 2021, 14:09

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