Employee Spotlight – Eric Bruxvoort
Newly-minted DE Associate Shines Over LED Impact
Q: What does becoming an Associate mean to you?
A: It is always nice to receive a “Thank you” for your work. It means I’m doing the right things when it comes to working with clients and coworkers. Hopefully it means I’m doing my part in helping DE be a leader in providing engineering services.
Q: You’re an Electrical Engineer, right?
A: Sure, why not.
Q: What are the trends in EE for buildings that you find most interesting right now?
A: Power is a little more black and white, on and off. Lighting is far more subjective.
Q: And you’re a lighting guy?
A: Yep, and with more aggressive energy goals, every ray of light counts. LED lighting has been on a big push for a few years, especially for exterior and hard-to-maintain areas. It is finally becoming a more feasible solution for everyday interior lighting, too. But there are a lot more variables with LED lighting and the industry is evolving every couple of months so it takes constant attention.
Q: What’s been your favorite EE project at DE so far? Why?
A: The University of Iowa Dental Science Building projects have been fun and challenging. First we did an addition and now are in the midst of an intense renovation. It is an active dental office with ~300 chairs so we had to minimize downtimes, closely coordinate switchovers and involved a lot of close coordination to fit all the dental equipment connections in some pretty small areas. It is always exciting to see the before and after effect of large-scale remodel.
UI Art Building Replacement has also been a favorite of mine. It was another project that required a lot of close integration of the MEPT systems with a structurally and architecturally unique and complex building. It was a great opportunity to work with a new design team that really liked to stretch and challenge us.
Q: What do you think “Design Engineers At Its Best” feels like for your clients?
A: At its best, DE is that integral cog blending the visions of the architect, with the wants of the user, with the requirements of the owner, and with the necessities of codes. And doing it in such a way that every party is thrilled with the outcome.
Q: Let’s hear a little about you. Any favorite hobbies or diversions? How do you unwind when you’re not at work?
A: I have three children, 8, 6 and 4 that absorbs a lot of my free time. I enjoy playing the occasional slow pitch softball game or helping coach my kids. I also enjoy reading, especially at night. It helps to keep me from dreaming about my next deadline.
Q: Where are you from, originally?
A: I grew up on a farm just outside Oskaloosa, IA. My childhood was spent in Oskaloosa and my high school life in Pella.
Q: What would the Title of your autobiography be? Why?
A: Struggling a bit with this one. How about, “We are not in Kansas Anymore” With rapidly growing children and constantly changing world of design, it seems each day/week is a bit of a new adventure.
Q: How about the car question? If you could have any vehicle in the world being made today for your daily commuter vehicle, without concern for fuel, insurance or even your ability to drive it, what would it be?
A: Apache Helicopter or maybe a hovercraft. How about George Jetson’s flying car?
Q: Talk to us about sustainability a little. What’s it mean to you, where’s it going in the industry? Are there aspects of “going green” that have trickled down into your daily life?
A: To me sustainability should be simple, common sense and easily repeatable. It is no use installing tens of thousands of dollars in lighting controls if nobody understands how to use them or simply tries to bypass them once the installation is complete. I’m not sure if it is sustainability or because I’m cheap but I have definitely implemented aspects in my home life. Unplugging unused chargers, turning off lights, turning up the thermostat in the summer and down in the winter, recycling as much as possible
Q: What’s going to be the next tech to totally transform your industry?
A: LED lighting has had a huge impact and it isn’t done yet. Fixtures are continuing to become more efficient, have better efficacy (lumens/per watt) and get smaller. Maybe someday we will be able to essentially customize fixtures/shapes so it works best for each space/application. I’ve seen a few manufacturers start looking at touchless controls where the fixture reacts to the users hand movements. Also I think total building integration is becoming and will become more prominent. I can see where a building learns its users actions and can react or predict accordingly.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you in your career to get you to this point?
A: Probably my older brother who said “You should be an electrical engineer.” when I was a senior in high school. I think the rest has been more about imitating the actions of hard-working and successful coworkers.
Q: One last one, if you could have any super power, but just one, what would it be?
A: The ability to apparate (The Trekies call it tele-porting). Shorter commute, sleep in later, never late to meetings, get to the kids ballgames easier…