Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs)
Learn how companies have benefited from IAC assessments.
Search the IAC Database for recommendations and savings achieved.
Read IAC case studies.
Request an assessment or ask a question by contacting the nearest IAC Center.
Hire an IAC alumnus with real-world problem-solving skills.
Locate additional incentives and resources.
Small- and medium-sized manufacturers may be eligible to receive a no-cost assessment provided by DOE Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs). Teams located at 24 universities around the country conduct the energy audits to identify opportunities to improve productivity, reduce waste, and save energy. Each manufacturer typically identifies about $55,000 in potential annual savings on average. Over 15,000 IAC assessments have been conducted. IACs also train the next-generation of energy savvy engineers.
Manufacturers may be eligible to receive an IAC assessment if they meet these criteria:
- Within Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) 20-39
- Located less than 150 miles of a participating university (Industrial Assessment Center Locations)
- Gross annual sales below $100 million
- Fewer than 500 employees at the plant site
- Annual energy bills more than $100,000 and less than $2.5 million
- No professional in-house staff to perform the assessment
IAC assessments are in-depth evaluations of a facility conducted by engineering faculty with upper class and graduate students from a participating university in your area. The IAC team performs a thorough examination of potential savings from:
- energy efficiency improvements
- waste minimization and pollution prevention
- productivity improvement
The IAC team conducts a remote survey of the plant, followed by a one or two-day site visit to take engineering measurements. The team performs a detailed process analysis to generate specific recommendations with estimates of costs, performance, and payback times. Within 60 days, the plant receives a confidential report detailing the analysis, findings, and recommendations. In two to six months, the IAC team calls the plant manager to verify what recommendations will be implemented.
As a result of performing these assessments, upper class and graduate engineering students receive unique hands-on assessment training and gain knowledge of industrial process systems, plant systems, and energy systems, making them highly attractive to employers.The IAC program provides industry with a workforce of energy engineers with real-world training who will contribute to improving industrial efficiency throughout their careers.
Universities apply to host an IAC and receive DOE funding to provide assessments. Periodically, universities may submit an application in response to a funding opportunity announcement and are selected based on the merits of their applications. See the DOE press release announcing the current 24 schools. More than $30 million is expected to be available to IACs from 2012-2016. The IAC program [formerly the Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Center (EADC) program] has offered assessments for over thirty years, beginning with 4 schools in 1976. Learn more about financial opportunities.
Engineering students at IACs receive hands-on training and real world experience in energy engineering and management. Alumni report the training sets them apart in the job market. Employers seek out IAC graduates. Read the employer case study featuring Schneider Electric.
IAC participation provides students with unique hands-on training and experience with industrial process systems, plant systems, and energy systems. Each year, about 250 engineering students gain valuable knowledge on evaluating the efficiency of key industrial operations, systems, and processes. These experiences help them contribute directly to a company's bottom line.
IAC students graduate with the skills and abilities to conduct energy, waste, and productivity assessments, use instrumentation and diagnostic equipment, work safely in an industrial environment, and communicate successfully through written reports and presentations to clients. Some students assume leadership roles in the program to develop management skills.
IAC students learn skills progressively throughout their participation in the program.
- New students participate in training on IAC procedures, products, and safety; they support more experienced students with data collection and report preparation.
- Students with more than a year of experience work with the center director to develop reports, coordinate teams, and administer the center.
- Lead students train new students and share findings at national IAC student meetings. To recognize their achievements, DOE issues IAC Certificates of Participation to students who meet participation and performance criteria.
Participating faculty also benefit from participation, using experiences gained through their auditing work to develop ideas for research and plans for new courses.
The IAC Forum is the website and newsletter that the highlights the achievements of IAC students and alumni. Thousands of undergraduate and graduate engineering students have participated over the years, conducting assessments at over 15,000 U.S. manufacturing plants. IAC students find that they gain several key skills that are crucial to future job success.
- More than 78% of IAC alumni reported that IAC participation improved their written communication skills and ability work in teams.
- More than 70% of IAC alumni noted an increased ability to solve problems within time, money, and human resources constraints.
- More than 50% of IAC alumni are registered Professional Engineers (PE) or Engineers-in-Training (EIT).
Eric Ruffel credits the IAC program with helping him receive four job offers on graduation and landing the exact job he wanted. Eric worked on more than 40 industrial site assessments during his three years with the Colorado State IAC, gaining practical experience to offer his new employer that few other entry-level employees could match. One of the assessments identified plant modifications costing $393,000 that were estimated to save $843,000 per year—a payback period of merely six months.
IACs rely on the strong leadership of their Directors. The following case studies highlight individuals who have helped enhance and expand the reputation and reach of the IACs through their hard work and dedication.
- Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan – West Virginia University IAC, December 2011
- Warren Heffington – Texas A&M University IAC, September 2011
Contact Information and Locations of IACs by State
DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office's
Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) Coordinator
Phone: (202) 287-6225
IAC Technical Field Manager
Phone: (732) 445-5540
IAC Student Activities Coordinator
Phone: (865) 241-8676