Behind every successful HVAC installer, there is a teacher who inspired high quality work with patience and hands-on practice. Tom Niesen has been turning out some of the best residential and commercial HVAC professionals for more than 20 years at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha.

Niesen, alternative energy instructor at Gateway, was named Educator of the Year this Thursday by the Energy Center of Wisconsin at the 12th annual Better Buildings: Better Business Conference in Wisconsin Dells. Each year, the conference brings together hundreds of professionals to focus on best practices in residential building and remodeling.

Niesen is the Division Chair of Manufacturing for Gateway Technical College and its HVACR lead. He directs Gateway's geothermal drilling program, the first one of its kind in the United States. Niesen splits his time between teaching advanced topics for the HVACR degree program and training students in the newly created GeoExchange/HVACR Associate of Applied Science degree program.

Niesen is recognized for his efforts to establish a comprehensive degree program in geothermal heat pump installation and renewable energy applications. He is member of ACCA, ASHRAE, IGSHPA and NGWA and is a certified IGSHPA Fusion Technician, Installer and Driller.

Tom Niesen