A microcosm of mentoring


Don’t you love it when a plan comes together, especially when the plan is realized in hindsight?


In this issue, David Peters, PE, publishes his last technical article before retiring with 54 years in the HVAC industry. His article on page 20 describes a 700,000-sq-ft underfloor air distribution (UFAD) design for a headquarters office building for the Defense Information Systems Agenc y (DISA), which is within the U.S. Dept. of Defense . Peters, who also led the design team for the federal General Services Administration’s U.S. Census Bureau Building , incorporated lessons learned about the 1-million-sq-ft UFAD system from that project, into the DISA project. His article highlights the DISA UFAD design and documents those lessons for the benefit of other engineers and projects.


As the article developed, Peters and I had several conversations about his pending retirement. I learned that he has been giving Southland Industries staff informal lectures so he could pass on as much knowledge and wisdom as possible before leaving. His enthusiasm for teaching led to this month’s Green Space column on page 56, where he presents a strong and positive message for the young colleagues taking his place in the field. Oct Cover


I invited one of those colleagues from Southland Industries , Joshua Getz, whom Peters boasted is a terrific and passionate modeler, to render a BIM image from Peters’ UFAD project as this month’s cover. So, we have Getz amplifying Peters’ project on the front, and Peters amplifying Getz’s career at the back. This is good mentoring.


Much of the October issue ended up this way—and I wish I could say this was totally planned. Between Getz’s cover and Peters’ Green Space column is an HVAC mentoring article on page 26 by Carl Schultz , a veteran professional engineer, and his colleague Ben Biada, who’s just earned his PE. Their article affirms HVAC fundamentals engineers might have missed or forgotten, thus helping them understand the inputs and outputs of HVAC modeling software. The article is an excellent follow-up to the HVAC mentoring article written by Timothy Scruby, PE, in May 2008 . Also in this month’s issue is an article on page 34 by David Sellers, PE, about wiring methods for BAS control signals and data logger s, which nicely follows his BAS mentoring article published in September 2008 .


Consulting-Specifying Engineer “walks the talk” about mentoring in this issue as well, with a market-outlook article on page 40 by editorial intern Bettina Chang, a journalism student at Northwestern University. Chang was assisted by senior editor Amara Rozgus, who leads this magazine’s summer internship program, and Reed Construction Data’s chief economist, James Haughey, PhD.


Mentoring comes in many forms—sometimes planned and well-developed, sometimes serendipitous and informal. Either way, mentoring matters!




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