Richard Wirtz, associate director of education for HARDI, was recognized with a 2009 Imperial Award from RSES.

Wirtz received the award from the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society for achieving the highest score on its commercial air-conditioning specialist exam.

The RSES specialist exam is a series of exams that test an individual in one of eight specialty areas. HARDI calls the exams some of the most difficult and comprehensive in the industry, with RSES constantly updating and changing them to stay on top of the latest industry developments.

HARDI officials also said that very few individuals have taken and passed more than one of the exams. The commercial air-conditioning specialist certification is the fourth RSES certificate-member-specialist certification Wirtz has received to date.

Wirtz has worked in the HVACR industry for 40 years holding a variety of positions including warehouse supervisor, service dispatcher, service technician, service manager, instructor and professor at Columbus (Ohio) State Community College.

In addition to his four specialty certifications, Wirtz also holds certifications from RSES in heat pumps, commercial air conditioning, heating systems and electrical systems.

Wirtz was scheduled to receive the award Oct. 29 in Minneapolis during the 72nd RSES annual conference.