How longs have you been doing work in your field?
I think it would be easier to answer what I don’t do! As a mechanical engineer working at a college campus, I do everything from design to installation to troubleshooting. My realm of work is mostly limited to HVAC systems, but my knowledge base must include thermodynamics, electrical systems, computer science, and several other fields. My specific work includes maintaining a building automation system and directing a 5 year commissioning program for the campus facilities. I also manage the mechanical aspect of campus building projects. In a nutshell you could say I’m a professional problem solver!
Describe how you do it?
I try to use a methodical approach to solving problems with the building automation system (BAS). I let the symptoms of the problems tell me what needs to be repaired. Half of the solution is determining what the problem is. The other half is how to solve it! Another part of my job is analyzing energy data to find where we can replace equipment to save money. Engineering economics is critical. If there is no money to fund a project, or if the project does not have a good economic impact, the client will not be interested in pursuing the opportunity.
Describe why you do it?
I am a problem solver by nature. I get pretty excited when I solve a new problem or one that has stumped me for a while. There is also always something new to learn. Knowing that there will always be a new technology or better design concept keeps me interested in my field.
What was the first step you took to become what you are now?
The first step I took was to roll up my sleeves and commit to working hard. Anything worth achieving is going to take hard work!
What do you wish you had paid more attention to in school?
I wish I had paid more attention in my lower level classes…. the boring ones. In sciences, the lower level classes set the foundation for the more specific (and interesting) upper level classes. And you NEED a good foundation.