Smart, Connected Opportunities

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Commercial Buildings

Time flies. This seems to be a recurring theme in my blog posts.

My last post was in August, where I plead mea culpa for not updating this blog as often as I should. So, I’m doing it again, this time with news of a career change that is shaping how I look at my impact, opportunities to reduce it further,  while increasing the quality of life for me and my family.

First a little background. After finishing the Engineering program at McMaster University, I worked in the primary steel industry in Hamilton. Working in a blast furnace and then an oxygen furnace was about as far from a green job as you can get, but I had student loans to pay and that was the opportunity that was in front of me.  Four years later, I wanted a change, and decided to go back to school to help with the transition, enrolling in the Schulich School of Business’ Sustainable MBA program. I had no idea where this would lead me when I started, but I knew I wanted in on the growing opportunities of green and clean technology.

Green buildings grabbed my interest, as a natural connection between my mechanical engineering and operations experience. I started volunteering with Canada Green Building Council to develop my network and figure out specifically where I could fit in this rapidly growing market.

I timed my grad school work with the 2008 market downturn, which meant that I graduated overqualified and under experienced in a new field that was economically depressed. Ouch. Fortunately, the opportunity at Earth Rangers came up – they were looking for someone keen to learn and to undertake some highly visible project work. It was right up my alley.

Four years later (seems I need to change things up every four years doesn’t it?) I have had a great run at Earth Rangers, and am ready to make the leap to something larger in scope.  The last four years have been spent promoting smart, green operation at the Earth Rangers Centre (ERC), including some very innovative automation and building systems integration projects. I lead the ERC’s LEED for Existing Buildings certification efforts,  helped develop an online and in-person experiential tour of the facility (check out, undertook many other projects in collaboration with many innovative and leading companies involved in the green building space, and was encouraged to get myself “out there” and share Earth Rangers’ lessons learned with industry. I even found some time to blog  about our experiences.

Solar Charging

This leads me to my news. I will now be working with the Smart and Connected Real Estate team at Cisco Canada, promoting the benefits of smart, networked, connected and efficient buildings, and helping industry leaders accelerate this process. Its an exciting opportunity that will let me take what I have learned at the ERC and scale it up to multi-building portfolios and communities. The opportunity to inspire engineers, architects, facility managers, owners, developers and all those involved in the value chain of buildings is exciting and full of opportunity.

I can see this spilling over into my own home, as I learn about more opportunities to network my home and its systems, saving energy, improving my productivity and sharing those lessons with everyone who will listen!

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