About Chip Albright

Chip Albright
President of Creative Solutions

This book is a result of a 40 plus year journey into the world of laboratories.  Over those years, Chip worked for a number of industry leaders in various roles. His introduction to ventilation products started in 1985 when he was transferred to the fume hood factory of Kewaunee Scientific in Lockhart, Texas.  He designed his first fume hood in the late 1980s. Today he is a Consultant and User Advocate, speaking at numerous conferences around the world.

Early Years

After Kewaunee, he joined Jamestown-JMP in Jamestown, NY.  The first ASHRAE 110 was introduced in 1985, and a major revision was released in 1995.  Much had changed as a result of advancements in fume hood testing and VAV controls, providing space for innovation.  OSHA gaining jurisdiction over laboratories in 1991 put a new emphasis on lab safety. Many labs that had no fume hoods were now adding them.  This was the perfect time to start with a blank sheet of paper and design the best hood we could.

The best fume hood in the world does nothing until it is connected to a laboratory ventilation system.  The best fume hood in the world will not perform safely unless the laboratory ventilation system is well designed and maintained. 

That Jamestown fume hood was known as the Isolator and included many innovative features including the chain and axle drive system for the sash and full pan steel superstructure.  The Isolator was the beginning of the long road of innovation.

In 1999 -2000 Chip was Chairman of SEFA and a driving force for the rewrite of SEFA 1- Fume Hoods. Through this time, it became apparent that there was still ample room for advancing the art of fume hoods. Chip had moved to Collegedale, LLC in TN and took on the challenge to create the next generation of fume hoods.  During this time the G3 was developed. It was a high-performance fume hood with many advanced features. As these hoods were installed in large quantities, it became apparent that a great fume hood would only work as well as the laboratory ventilation system it was connected to. Chip developed a more holistic approach.  The next few generations of the G3 focused on being more robust and capable of safe performance even on a marginal laboratory ventilation system.  By 2010 it was becoming clear that there was a huge disconnect between those designing and producing fume hoods and the people who were engineering and installing laboratory ventilation systems.

Aha Moment

Then there was that “aha” moment where he realized that fume hoods were not a standalone product even though that is how they were being sold.  Instead, they were the user interface to the mechanical ventilation system.  And until fume hoods became an integral part of the laboratory ventilation system, their performance was going to be questionable.

Creative Solutions

In 2008 Creative Solutions was created to explore how to best advance fume hood technology.  In 2011, Chip became independent and began to explore the future of fume hoods.  As a global consultant, he saw that in many parts of the world there was a total lack of understanding about how fume hoods worked and that organizations were spending large amounts of money buying, installing, and operating fume hoods that were not providing an acceptable level of safety.  After seeing the conditions that many users were working under, Chip became a User Advocate and has spent much of the last decade educating users and lab managers about fume hood safety.

Lastly, it became clear that because of the strong legacy of separation between fume hood manufacturers and engineers doing laboratory ventilation design, that to achieve significant change, fume hoods were going to have to become smarter and less dependent on room conditions to perform safely. This has led to working on many innovative next-generation smart fume hoods.  Innovation has proven to be more accepted in countries like China and India where there is not so much legacy or regulations restricting innovation.

Chip’s focus is to continue to educate the market and the new generation of fume hood designers in hope that meaningful change can take place in making fume hoods truly safe for the user.

Chip has been a major player in creating standards through his work with SEFA and is a sought-after speaker on the subject of fume hood safety.