HVAC Faculty and Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Chris Compton, CMHE

Certified Master HVAC/R Educator

Chris began his HVACR career as a student at Perry Trade, Yakima, WA.  From there served as a technician, then a contractor, then a community college instructor for 20 years at North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, ID.  He saw the need for workforce education delivered online.  High quality CTE (Career Technical Education) anywhere and anytime via the Internet to help new students and the existing workforce to:

1.       Enter the HVACR trade

2.       Move up the career ladder

3.       Re-train for a career change

4.       Refresh knowledge and skills

5.       Succeed in achieving industry certifications

6.       Earn continuing education units for re-certification

7.       Improve HVACR energy efficiency and save the planet

From that idea, more than 20 years ago HVACRedu.net grew.


Chris has become the specialist in online curriculum development for the trades, the psychology behind online learning, creating web pages, use of video and simulation instruction, and learning through the web. Chris is the CEO and Project Director for HVACRedu.net. 


Chris brings 40+ years of experience in the HVACR field serving in many positions.  He has been certified at the Service level in five of the NATE certifications.  In 1998 he was selected as one of the top 10 outstanding Trades and Industry Educators in the U.S. by ACTE (Association of Career and Technical Education).  He received the Imperial Award from RSES for Commercial Refrigeration in 1997 (Top Gun) and is a CMS member of RSES.  Chris has achieved the CMHE (Certified Master HVACR Educator) status from HVAC Excellence. In 2014 he was selected as the Teacher of the Year by the ACHR News.  Chris serves as an educational consultant and advisor and provider to HVACR online learning efforts around the Globe. 


Chris loves the outdoors – especially when he’s fly fishing, flying and camping in the back country, winning at horseshoes, working on the Blue C Ranch, listening to country western music or trolling for silvers in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.


Chris can be reached at ccompton@hvacredu.net or look for him at an HVACR or online learning conference anywhere.

Scott Oakley, CMHE, NATE

Certified Master HVAC/R Educator (CMHE)

2019-2020 NATE Technical Committee Member

2020-2021 Skills USA Aviation Technical Coordinator -Judge

My start in the HVACR industry was the same as yours is now. I attended Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated in 1976. Technical education is crucial to your success. Through the last 44 years, I have been involved in every single facet of the industry from Technician, Contractor, Facilities, Sales, Business Owner, and Instructor. My Certified Subject HVAC Educator credential in the result of a 750 question series of proctored exams aimed to determine at-hand competencies.

After I graduated from UTI, I immediately went to work in the commercial refrigeration service field. Within a few years, I moved on to become the Service Manager of a large commercial air conditioning firm in the Arizona area. Ambition soon called, after eight years, to contracting business owners during which I relocated to California. This new firm specialized in new construction installation and maintenance service operating throughout the State of California. I have been involved in companies as a single service technician, to others with 150 employees.

Over the past recent years, I have been working as both a face-to-face and online, blended HVACR Instructor. I am the author of Commercial Ice Machines…only (available on Amazon), focusing on the ice industry, the ice machine, and icemaker through health department compliance.  I am a contributing author of the new book entitled Electricity for the HVACR Technician. Published by CDX Learning Systems, written by a group of experienced HVACR service professionals, Electricity for the HVACR Technician emphasizes the practical, essential information that technicians will use on a day-to-day basis and allows new technicians to apply their knowledge and skills from the classroom in successfully troubleshooting and repairing electrical problems in the field. During the past three years, I have served as the ItsAboutQ liaison and have helped pioneer the Corporate Training Program (CTP), aka The Employer Participation program. The CTP brings a higher level of workforce management through accurate reporting and coaching.

I am a firm believer in the evidence of credentialing and certification because they both show the world that you can do the task and that you understand the science and purpose of the job. For Instructors, the credential is the Certified Master Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Educator (CMHE). The CMHE encompasses Technical Training, Heat Pump, Electrical, Air Conditioning, Light Commercial Air Conditioning, Electric Heat, and Commercial Refrigeration. In addition to the CMHE, I am NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified in Heat Pump and Air Conditioning Service and Installation. Starting in 2019, I serve on the NATE Technical Committee, helping to update the NATE exam banks continuously.  I have been previously state-licensed as an Air Conditioning Contractor, Commercial Refrigeration Contractor, and General Building Contractor since 1977; now retired to serve the educational community.

In 2020, the world has changed.  I am here to help you achieve the goal of confidently working in this industry.

Scott Oakley can be reached by email at  scottoakley@hvacredu.net
By phone at 909-648-0903

Walter Nelson

Online Faculty and Subject Matter Expert

My name is Walter Nelson.  I am honored to be one of the online instructors here at HVACRedu.net. I am excited to have you here and I am looking forward to working with you.  I have over 35 years of in field service experience.  I started my career as a Design /Application engineer at a Major refrigeration manufacturing plant.  I was given the opportunity to go into the field to see my design/application work in the physical world.  Well, that was all it took; I was hooked!  I became a journeyman through the Union, and the rest they say is history!  My specialty is Commercial/Supermarket service, install, but I’ve done it all, including owning my own business and teaching apprentices on the worksite for years.

The trade you are embarking on is one of unlimited opportunities!  You can reach me at:  wnelson@hvacredu.net

Ron Auvil

Building Automation Systems Instructor and Subject Matter Expert


Ron Auvil is the guy that ‘wrote the book’ on Building Automation Systems and a leading voice in today’s movement toward operational excellence.  He is the author of, “HVAC Control Systems” by American Technical Publishers.  As a lead instructor for a major controls manufacturer, Ron designed and taught a program for brand new technicians on installing and troubleshooting mechanical systems and BAS.  He also spent years working as a senior technician, troubleshooter, and project manager.  He has worked with some of the world’s largest and most quality-conscious companies, providing custom training on how to improve the operations of their environmental systems. His clients have included NASA, the Pentagon, the University of South Carolina, and others.  You can be his next. Ron will be teaching a sequential series of live courses combined with blended learning sessions (a combination of online anytime and real time face to face), and several online only courses. 


You can reach Ron at ronauvil@hvacredu.net.


Dick Wirz

Commercial Refrigeration Subject Matter Expert Educator

Dick Wirz has been in the HVACR trade since 1963 and owned a commercial refrigeration company for 25 years. He holds Master Licenses for both HVACR and Electricity in three states. He is also NATE certified in all categories. After his first retirement in 2001 he became an Associate Professor and Asst. Dean for the A/C-Refrigeration program at Northern Virginia Community College before retiring in 2014. He is the author of Commercial Refrigeration for Air Conditioning Technicians published by Cengage. He and his wife Irene have developed Instructor CD training aids under their company name of Refrigeration Training Services which are used in HVACR training programs and schools in all 50 States. 

Dick can be reached at livefaculty@hvacredu.net.