Meet the Engineers: Kenny Smith
Kenny Smith, MEng
LEED AP - Mechanical Designer
Why did you choose Building services engineering?
In my latter years of study at the University of Glasgow, I became interested in thermodynamics and building systems. I am very design orientated and I could see that building services offered a wide range of options, design scenarios, challenges and solutions. Some of my class mates were focused on very specific mechanical engineering applications but the range, freedom of design, free thinking and constant interaction with other disciplines that mechanical design engineering, as it related to building services, offered was very appealing.
I also have a love of architecture, sustainable technology and clever/innovative design which could be expressed through my profession. Being able to design systems based on everything you have learned with your own personal flair was very appealing and being able to walk into a finished building occupied daily by hundreds or thousands of people and saying "I designed that" was pretty cool.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
In Secondary School, my favourite subjects were Art, Maths and Physics which opened the door to Mechanical Engineering.
At University my passions for subjects became more evidence based than generic and I had particular interests in design, thermodynamics, the built environment, fluid mechanics, dynamics and the mechanics of solids and structures.
What was your route into Building services?
My Dad and Sister are both Chartered Engineers on the Civil/Structural side which gave me some insight into the industry at an early age.
The subjects and final year project I chose at University were specifically focused towards heat transferand the built environment. One of my lecturers also introduced me to CIBSE and ASHRAE handbooks to help out with my research, giving me further insight to potential careers.
Once I had graduated, I researched CIBSE for some of the big consultancies which were at the forefront of technology and design. I got my first job as a mechanical engineer with WSP Group in Glasgow and have been working in the industry ever since.
What do you enjoy most about your current job or studies?
I currently work as a Mechanical Team Lead for Stantec Consulting in Toronto, Canada. The most enjoyable and satisfying aspects of my job are:
• Designing unique, innovative and sustainable mechanical systems.
• Working within multi-disciplined design teams on a daily basis.
• Interacting with clients, colleagues and peers
• Mentoring junior staff and aiding in their development.
What are your future plans and aspirations?
I want to be an expert and industry leader and continue to strive for excellence and new innovative technologies. I would also like to become involved with local, district and international Mechanical Engineering bodies, associations and boards.
Why do you think it is important to belong to CIBSE?
CIBSE is recognised across the world as an industry leader and at forefront of technology. I think it is very important to be involved with the institute, even though I live and work in another country, to keep up to speed with what's happening globally.