While many people who are familiar with DMI know that the acronym stands for Demand Management Institute, we also are occasionally asked about Second Law Engineers. This FAQ page should help clear up any confusion.
Q: Why does your company have two names?
A: In January 2005, Peter Barrer, the founder of DMI, sold the company to Alec Stevens, a long-time employee. In legal terms, the sale was structured as an Asset Purchase Agreement (ask the lawyers why!).
This means that Alec first had to create an entirely new company, and then the new company purchased all the assets of the old company, including the right to use the old company's name. The result of all of this is that the company is now officially registered with the federal and Massachusetts governments as Second Law Engineers Inc., d/b/a Demand Management Institute.
Q: How does this legal mumbo-jumbo affect me and my relationship with DMI?
A: It doesn't. Because we are doing business as DMI, the change should be transparent to all of our clients. This is really just the trivia portion of the website!
Q: Why did you choose the name Second Law Engineers?
A: Actually, my lawyer cautioned me against using this name, thinking that the term "Law" would be confusing to people looking for an engineering firm. However, I figured that the lawyer had not taken a thermodynamics class, and did not heed his advice! The name Second Law Engineers indicates that we are engineers whose work is related to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Q: It's been a while since I was in Thermo class. What's the Second Law again?
A: In layman's terms, The Second Law states that no thermal process can be 100% efficient. In other words, perpetual motion is an impossibility. However, there are equations related to the Second Law that can be used to determine the ideal theoretical efficiency that can be achieved by a process. Since our goal is always to achieve the maximum possible efficiency of a process, I figured it was a fitting name.
Q: Wow. This has really rekindled my interest in Thermodynamics. Where can I learn more?
A: Hmm. Are you being facetious? Seriously, a good starting place is this article on Wikipedia.