An engineering mindset runs in my family; it seems to come naturally. I followed my interests in energy conservation and fossil fuel alternatives into the HVAC world after college, starting literally at ground level installing ground-source heat pumps in early 1990’s Alaska.
For me, successful projects are those that leave a positive impression on people, not only aesthetically, but giving people the impression that it’s the right project in the right place at the right time and uses resources responsibly. An example of this is the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai, which implements a highly effective Integrated Care model of health care delivery for a population that had been underserved. The facility is LEED Silver certified and thus was designed to operate for maximum comfort with minimum energy use, in addition to other strategies for decreasing environmental impact such as using collected rainwater to flush toilets.
On a different scale, the C-Concourse at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a personal favorite of mine for its robust, durable, well-planned HVAC design. I also derived great satisfaction from working on the DPS Crime Lab energy model, which accurately predicted the energy use and costs for the first year of operation based only on the design information.
Alaska is a great place to be a mechanical engineer.