Beginning work in the family mechanical contracting business at age 14 as a field-laborer, I literally learned the business from the ground up. I worked at the McHenry Wallace Mechanical Contracting company every summer through graduation from Rice University, then joined the family business. A rigorous, theoretical course of university study has augmented practical experience throughout my career.
Practical experience met technical expertise decades later, when I became enthused about the possibilities of using the data gathered from Smart Meters. In keeping with the family business theme, I joined forces with my son Trae to develop the WiseWatt product. Trae, a talented businessman who has maintained his interest and ability in programming from his college days at CalTech, Columbia, and MIT, was able to take my vision for virtual energy audits and develop a robust machine-learning software tool to capture the information at each meter data point.
While software patents are seldomly awarded nowadays, a rigorous patent prosecution has recently been completed for the project, culminating in the granting of a rare software patent, Patent #10776726. The WiseWatt program was granted a patent due to the unique machine-learning capabilities of the software to use the 96 daily energy use data points to build a virtual building and to audit the building's performance. This is done without installing any new equipment and without the necessity of expensive on-site inspection by energy auditing teams. The tool can be used as a one-time audit or to continuously check the building’s performance and provide feedback.
Most recently, I was named Federal Technical Principal for Mechanical Engineering at Jacobs. In this position, it is my responsibility to maintain the standard of design for Jacobs and to provide the global mechanical staff with guidance toward growth and excellence in their own careers.
45 years of experience in the mechanical engineering field have given me many opportunities to work on a variety of interesting and innovative projects. I have done projects in the DFW area, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Butte, Montana and across the United States, as well as Vietnam, China, India and South Korea.
At a time of life when many are choosing to slow down, I am more encouraged and energized than ever. Bringing the WiseWatt software to the market is an exciting opportunity. Continuing to work with engineers around the world to solve problems and innovate procedures is keeping me young.