Controls Supervisor Discusses 30-Year Career Ensuring Energy Efficiency for the Hilltop
Mallini: How long have you been supporting Georgetown
Ed: I’ve been with Georgetown for the past 30 years. I started as a digital control analyst, moved on to becoming a digital control engineer, and now I’m a controls supervisor.
Mallini: Oh cool. What does that mean exactly?
Ed: Well, each building in the university has controls to regulate its temperature and energy usage, to keep things comfortable for the occupants of the building and manage our energy efficiency. Several control systems are involved with keeping this in check, and we have a team to make sure those controls are working. I supervise that team.
Mallini: That’s a lot to do. How do you power yourself up in the morning, and get ready to do that job?
Ed: *Laughs* Oh, coffee powers me up. With lots of sugar and milk. Just one cup though.
Mallini: Got it. And kicking off with your one cup of coffee, how does your day roll out from there?
Ed: So, I start my day by reviewing energy assistance tickets from all over the university. We get lots of requests daily from people wanting their temperature, and energy outputs adjusted, and while we sometimes have limited resources, we must ensure that those requests are dealt with as swiftly as possible. I decide which of my team members is best suited to handle the request and delegate their assignments to them. If anyone asks for assistance or advice, now is my time to share it. Once they go off to work on the request, I need to monitor the status of the project and how they’re doing. I then spend some time collecting feedback about completed projects and making sure the people who requested the checks are satisfied with the environment they are now in.
Mallini: That’s a busy day! Out of it all, what’s your favorite part?
Ed: My favorite is getting to talk to the community, and understanding how we can best help them. I want to make sure the university is a comfortable, energy-efficient place for everyone who comes here.
Mallini: That sounds like a lot of decision-making to me. How does energy efficiency factor into the decisions you need to make?
Ed: Well, my entire job deals with energy management. Every day, we need to decide how best to balance smooth university operations while keeping in mind our budget and environmental impact. Everything we do revolves around ensuring energy efficiency. An example of this is classroom scheduling. We schedule energy outputs to different classrooms as needed, so we can meet the demand for space without having to run all the buildings 24/7. It’s a schedule that we’ve been tweaking over the course of 10 years with lots of community feedback, so everyone’s needs are met satisfactorily.
Mallini: Sounds like you have a lot of people to keep happy. How do you stay motivated to keep doing the work and improving?
Ed: We’re motivated by being challenged to give the best service we can, and so we can improve our services for everybody.
Mallini: If you could go back in time to when you first started working here 30 years ago, what would you tell young Ed about the work he was about to do?
Ed: I would tell him that it’s going to be an exciting time, working for the good of the university and of its students. I would tell him it’s going to be very fulfilling, giving people the best environment, you can give them. You will have to learn patience, but you will be very satisfied with the work you do.
Mallini: That’s wonderful! What a great way to lead into our final question. After 30 years of working towards energy efficiency on campus, what can we do to make your work easier? What is the one thing you wish everyone would do to increase their energy efficiency?
Ed: Well, I think it would be very helpful if everyone stays as energy conscious as they can. Turning off the lights when you don’t need them, not using too much hot water, taking the stairs more often… all these things contribute to energy savings and positive environmental impact. And makes my job easier. *laughs*
Mallini: We’ll be sure to keep that in mind Ed, thank you so much for your time!