My name is David Sellers and I’m a Senior Engineer with Facility Dynamics Engineering. Our core business is building commissioning and control system design but we also do some forensic engineering, mostly to diagnose and correct problems with building systems, typically on the mechanical side.
I’ve been working in the buildings industry for about 34 years now and have had the benefit of working “all sides of the fence” having been during my professional career:
- An airframe and power plant mechanic in general and corporate aviation while attending school,
- A field technician, designer, and project engineer for a field savvy consulting engineering firm,
- A systems engineer for a major control contractor,
- A field and control engineer for a mechanical contractor,
- The system owner or co-owner for the HVAC, Fire Protection, Process Exhaust, Chilled Water, and DDC Control systems at a semi-conductor wafer facility, and
- A senior engineer for PECI, a not-for-profit that, among other things, develops infrastructure to support and promote building commissioning, efficiency, and sustainable operating practices.
I find this background gives me a valuable perspective as a commissioning provider. It also exposed me to some wonderful mentors along the way, to whom I owe much of my success.
This blog got started when Michael Ivanovich, a friend of mine, who, at the time, was Editor-in-Chief for Consulting/Specifying Engineer Magazine asked me to consider writing a technical blog on the CSE website. That idea evolved to A Field Guide for Engineers, which I started writing in May of 2007.
I found that writing the blog was beneficial on a number of fronts.
- It allowed me to share things I have learned via experience with others, just as my mentors had done for me.
- It forced me to really understand things; it’s one thing to apply a technical principle yourself on a problem you are focused on. Its a far different thing to explain that principle to others in a way that allows them to apply it to the problems and challenges they face. I discovered this early on in my career when I was teaching flight line maintenance as a lab assistant; I think I learned a lot more about airplanes as a teacher than I did as a student.
- I teach technical classes for the Pacific Energy Center, SMUD, and the University of Wisconsin on a fairly regular basis and found that the blog content was a valuable resource to refer students to when they had questions.
Unfortunately, the current tough economic times have resulted in the closure of CSE and its website. But after thinking about it, I decided to continue my blogging efforts by opening A Field Perspective on Engineering.