2019 40 Under 40: Shawn MacLean, PE; 39

Associate Principal/Senior Mechanical Engineer, Interface Engineering Inc., San Francisco BS Mechanical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

By Jack Smith and Amara Rozgus May 16, 2019

MacLean worked at Walsh Engineers in San Diego for nine years before moving to San Francisco in 2012 to join Interface Engineering. At Interface Engineering, she has moved her way up from senior mechanical engineer to principal within the firm. She is the first female engineering principal at Interface Engineering in its 50-year history. She currently leads a team of 20 mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers. One of her greatest strengths is looking at a project and finding ways to integrate features that are required in a way that it solves multiple needs for a project. For example, the San Francisco State University Recreation Wellness Center has an indoor natatorium for which MacLean proposed including a greywater system to take advantage of the pool backwash and significant quantity of showers to not only provide nonpotable water to all the water closets and urinals in the building but to also provide all the irrigation water for the adjacent fields to create a net-zero nonpotable water site. San Francisco requires that projects provide dual plumbing for projects of a certain size and location for connection to a future municipal recycled water system. Because this dual piping was already required, there was only additional cost for the treatment system, but the project benefited from being able to use grey water from day one instead of waiting for the municipality for recycled water. MacLean has participated in volunteer activities such as planting trees for Friends of the Urban Forest and wrapping presents for homeless children. Her favorite thing to do is travel. She loves to explore new places and experience different cultures. When she is at home, she likes to play the piano. She also enjoys snowboarding. 

Author Bio: Jack Smith is a Content Manager at CFE Media. Amara Rozgus is Editor-in-Chief of Consulting-Specifying Engineer.