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Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence Finds Permanent Home in an American Institution

Past Recipients
Dave Yates
Mark Eatherton
Ken Webster
John Barba
John Siegenthaler
John Goshulak
Ingrid Mattsson
Bob Rohr
Dave Hughes

The Complete History 

The Industries Highest Honor

Gil Carlson (1922 - 1994), one of the founding fathers of hydronic heating was a remarkable man who understood fluid dynamics like no other. He spent most of his career at Bell & Gossett and retired there as Director of Technical Services.

As of 2004, Gils 'stuff' has been used to teach over 175,000 designers.

Jan. 26th, 2013: Gilbert Carlson honoured with the ASHRAE Pioneers of Industry Award

2010/2012 Recipient : Ken Webster

Robert Bean (l) and Dan Holohan (r) with Gil's Wheel at ISH America

Special Recognition

Jim OlsztynskiThanks to the past efforts of Award Winning Journalist and Consulting Editor, Jim Olsztynski for helping in the early days to promote the Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence

Interesting Facts:

When past and present keepers of the award gather around the wheel people want their picture taken with the picture taking has become a fund raiser at industry events.

Airline personnel across America have learnt about the award when asking the holder, "just exactly where would you like to put the artifact for the flight?" (It won't fit under the seats or overhead bins).

Ordinary citizens, especially in social situations like bars and restaurants are curious about the award and always leave educated about hydronic heating systems.

The guardian of the Wheel is unusually blessed with an increase in speaking engagements and business contracts.

Words from Dave Yates from the 2012 ceremony

The B&G System Syzer is used worldwide by hundreds of thousands of engineers and trades people. Shown above is the mass produced handheld version - Gil Carlson created the original version that this tool is based upon.

Naturally the modern version is available free of charge as a software tool from the Bell & Gossett site.


Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence

Dave Hughes, technical adviser with CIPH and past chair of the Canadian Hydronics Council and an industry ambassador, fund raiser, educator and mentor is the current recipient of the Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence (2023-2025).

Some have compared the Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence to the NHLs' Stanley Cup though its more like a combination of the Hart Memorial Trophy awarded to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy to the player exhibiting sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability. It is industry recognition for what an individual has done for the game of steam and hydronics.

Criteria for nomination:

  • current or past record for raising funds for industry causes

  • proven volunteer activities in association and committee work

  • demonstrated leadership in industry as an educator and mentor

  • nominee must be over the age of 40

  • a citizen of the United States or Canada

  Email your nomination for future consideration. 

Conditions with the award:
The recipient is the sole guardian of Gil's original wheel…it is never to be sold, traded, loaned or owned by any one individual or company. The recipient is required to carry the award to each seminar or public speaking engagement he or she delivers and is required to tell the story of Gils Wheel. During the two-year guardianship period (beginning the first of January and ending the last day of December in the second year) the recipient must search for a suitable candidate to carry on the story and with consultation of past recipients select a new keeper. Each new holder must make some investment to protect the originality, and physical condition of the wheel so that its life journey will be preserved for all generations to see.

2006/2008 Recipient, Dave Yates (R)  with Dan Holohan (L) at NAOSHM.

Dave Yates  (L) with award sponsor, BNP Media representative, George Zebrowski (R).

2006/2008 Recipient Dave Yates (R) with Dan Holohan (L), NAOSHM 06

2006/2008 Recipient Dave Yates (L) with BNP Media's George Zebrowski (R)

2008/2010 Recipient
Mark Eatherton, Wetstock 08,
BNP press release

Mark Eatherton (R) Instructor, Writer, Solar Decathlon Mentor, Volunteer, Technician Extraordinaire with 2006/2008 Recipient Dave Yates (L)

Inage courtesy of Jean Eslick

Image courtesy of Kerry Turner

2010/2012 Recipient: Ken Webster, director of sales and marketing for Viessmann-Canada, presenting the award to Webster is Jean Eslick, Regional Sales Manager including Eastern Canada for BNP Media Co.’s family of plumbing books. Ceremony held at CMX.CIPHEX 2010. See BNP Media Press Release

2010/2012 Recipient: Ken Webster (R) with Robert Bean presenting on behalf of the past recipients.

2012/2014 Recipient, John Barba (C) with Dan Holohan (L), Mark Eatherton, Dave Yates and Robert Bean (R). Ceremony held at AHR 2012 BNP Media Press Release

2014/2016 Recipient John Siegenthaler (c) with Dan Holohan (l) and reading proclamation is John Barba (r)

2014/2016 Recipient John Siegenthaler (c) with Dan Holohan (l) and Robert Bean (r)

2014/2016 Recipient, John Siegenthaler. P.E. (holding Award), from left to right, Robert Bean, Dan Holohan, John Siegenthaler, Dave Yates, Mark Eatherton and John Barba (missing is Ken Webster). Ceremony held at AHR 2014

2016/2018 Recipient John Goshulak, P.Eng. Ceremony at RPA Event, 2016 AHR/ASHRAE Orlando, Florida

2016/2018 Recipient John Goshulak, P.Eng. with Dan Holohan (right).

Past inductee's Mark Eatherton (left), Dave Yates (center) with 2016/2018 Recipient John Goshulak, P.Eng.

Image result for Ingrid Mattsson Carlson - Holohan

2018/2020 Recipient
Ingrid Mattsson

Present for the ceremony (left to right) John Goshulak. John Siegenthaler, Robert Bean, Bill Gray (accepting on Ingrid's behalf) and Mark Eatherton. Ceremony at RPA Event, 2018 AHR/ASHRAE Chicago, IL

2020/2022 Recipient
Bob Rohr

2023/2025 Recipient
Dave Hughes

If anyone has photos they would like to share, please email them to us with our appreciation.

2023-2025 Award: Dave Hughes is one of the industry's well-known and highly respected industry ambassadors. A quintessential educator, a supporter of fund raising for industry causes...most of all a friend and mentor to those who know him.

In recognition of contributions to the world of keeping the human race healthy, well and comfortable through selfless giving of time and talents, teaching and mentoring to raise the benchmark of professionalism and in raising awareness and funds for industry causes, the legacy of Gil Carlson and Dan Holohan forever hereby includes, Mr. Dave Hughes.

Additional stories about Gil Carlson:

History By: Ron Spencer, First published in Newsletter of the Northeastern Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

While at lunch with Jack Tumilty, we were reminiscing about some of the impact various individuals have had on our Society and our industry. Pete Wingate came to mind during this conversation which led to the abbreviated, Bell & Gossett “Little Red School House” seminars he had arranged in Tulsa. These lasted for one day, but when Gil Carlson was the speaker, we felt we had experienced a semester of Fluid Flow courses. Gil was a rare individual, who was “at one” with the system he was evaluating. He could answer ANY question about a fluidics problem and could back up his answer with the math to prove it. But when asked how he instinctively knew the answer, he would reply “it FELT like the right answer”. I was told the story about how the Bell & Gossett System Syzer came into being. Gil was working in his office on some system problems when an individual from marketing came in to ask a question. He noticed the cardboard back of a paper pad with another circular piece of a pad held in place by a rivet, similar to a circular slide rule. He asked Gil “What is that device?” Gil responded “Just a little short cut I made up to deal with fluid flow.” Gil had not even considered the potential of such a device. Gil chain smoked and everyone in the audience would watch the ash on his cigarette grow to incredible lengths before falling to the floor. Gil never seemed to realize how much in awe we were of his incredible knowledge, he was always completely humble and would spend whatever time it took to answer some of the most fundamental questions. Every time the seminar was held, I made a point to be there and each time I learned something new. I came to know Gil and as time went on, he would flatter me, if during the course of a seminar, someone would ask a question pertaining to a chiller application, by referring the question to me. He called me his resident chiller expert. Such praise from such an individual overwhelmed me. Great men are like that, unaware of their standing. He was truly one of the giants of our industry.

Click here to learn more about Ron Spencer the historian.

One time colleague Bob Dilg shares this, “Gil believed in the power of education, and encouraged others to be all they could be. “I had no degree and Gil wanted me to progress,”, “He constantly encouraged me to further my education by taking night courses. When I told him that any degree would be years away, he just smiled that unique smile and said, 'But you'll be smarter every day!'” So is the legend of Gil Carlson.

This is one of Dan Holohan's favorite stories about Gil. Dan likes to share it with others every April 28th, the day Gil passed away. I always enjoy it and so will you.

Here's another...Not Pumping So Hot, June 2013

If you have any archived stories about Gil we love to make them available. Please send them to info at and we'll post them here.

Visit Dan Holohan's website to appreciate what this incredible man does for the industry.

See the contributions of Gil Carlson, visit Bell & Gossett's Little Red School House.

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