Why did you join AIA Seattle?

I was selected to be an honorary member of AIA in 2013. Being recognized for my contributions that way is a highlight of my career as an engineering practitioner who has focused on high performance, integrative design and bringing the knowledge of what that entails to others so they can go and do likewise.

What is the value of AIA to you?

AIA Seattle provides members fantastic and relevant educational opportunities, an important professional link to others in our community (and the larger community outside our bioregion), and an engaged membership, important professional recognition — all things that have value to members.

What interested you about being on the AIA Seattle Board of Directors?

The opportunity to continue to foster strong relationships in the A/E community through collaborations outside “work” is one compelling reason. Also, part of my DNA is to provide ways I can leverage my experience and capabilities in service to my community, and this opportunity aligns well to that.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?

Yes, many times. Perhaps most surprising was when I took a new position with Honeywell to help lead development of a new business venture. It involved a move to the Twin Cities, but the surprise was that Day 2 on the job I had to fly to Bangalore, India to meet with about 50 new and relatively inexperienced staff. Through the jet lag, the cultural/ physical sensory overload that is India for newcomers, and the major headache associated with trying to learn the vocabulary of company acronyms software development, I think I told my wife over the phone on Day 3 that I probably made a big mistake taking that job. Fortunately, I was able to embrace the changes and grow through what was a very challenging but ultimately rewarding, career-building tech start-up experience.

Where is the field of architecture, engineering or construction headed?

Are we ready for the future? Of course not, who can predict it? But we are actively talking (or should be) about what constitutes Future Ready or Smart Buildings, and recognizing that AI/Big Data and disruptive technologies will be part of it, and really is already part of it. I speak a lot about a dualism, the concept of the emergence of “Occupant Aware Buildings” and how we need to intersect with it as hopefully, increasingly, “Building Aware Occupants.” There is something powerful in considering both as we embrace the future.

How do you explain what you do for a living?

By letting them see my passion for what I do, and by trying/striving to use simple language that would make it understandable to everyone from educated lay persons to children without using being condescending about it. The most technical topics can be made easy to understand, at least conceptually, by great teachers and writers. Those are who I try to emulate.