July 2009

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Brad WhiteEMAIL INTERVIEW - Brad White & Ken Sinclair

Brad White, MASc., EIT is a partner at SES Consulting, a Vancouver based company specializing in developing energy efficiency solutions for new and existing buildings. Prior to joining SES Consulting, Brad was a researcher in fuel cell technologies at the University of British Columbia. Brad recently attended the ConnectivityWeek conference and trade show as a recipient of a Young Energy Participation Grant.

 


Reflections on ConnectivityWeek & www.YoungEnergy.org Network

Being part of Young Energy was definitely one the most fulfilling experiences of my career.

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Sinclair: You had pretty high expectations going in, did ConnectivityWeek live up to your expectations?

White: It certainly did Ken. I'd say my expectations were exceeded many times over. The quality of speakers and exhibitors was extremely high, I think I came away from nearly every presentation with a new idea or perspective I hadn't previously considered. I have enough new ideas to pursue and connections to explore for the foreseeable future. 

Sinclair: What was the most significant thing you took away that will be able to help you in your work?

White: While there were a lot of great themes floating around all week, one that really struck me was how the way we think of building information is about to change dramatically. All of these new smart devices and smart grids are going to lead to a vast amount of new data being available. The ones who learn how to manage this flood of data effectively and use it to create value will become the leaders in this field. Anyone who doesn't adapt will probably end up being overwhelmed. Finding ways to effectively share all of this information between the building engineers, architects, contractors, operators, and tenants is going to completely change the way buildings are built and operated.

Sinclair: Can you tell us a bit about your experiences being part of Young Energy?

White: Being part of Young Energy was definitely one the most fulfilling experiences of my career so far. The feedback we've received has been absolutely fantastic. Everyone seems to recognize the need to harness the energy and enthusiasm of all the young people clamouring to play a role in a greener, cleaner, smarter energy future. The other Young Energy folks and I had some fantastic, and very informed discussions. Despite coming from VERY different backgrounds, we managed to find a lot of common ground. There are definitely values that our generation shares. First among these I'd say is that the future will be much better than the past and we're not about to back down from the enormous challenges in front of us. I'd also like to offer my thanks once again to the conference organizers for having me involved. In particular, I'd like to thank Anto Budiardjo and his son Luke for putting together the Young Energy panel and pulling it off flawlessly.

CatNet Systems Sinclair: What do you see as the future of the Young Energy Movement?

White: I hope that we can build on the success of ConnectivityWeek and continue to have an increased presence at future ConnectivityWeeks, as well as other conferences (GridWeek for example). Having well informed young voices at these events I think really helps elevate the level of discussion and can bring new perspectives that may not always be considered. There also seemed to be a great response to the idea of mentorship, connecting industry veterans with younger people in similar fields on a more personal level and facilitating a generational transfer of knowledge. I have no idea yet how exactly we're going to make it work, but I hope it's something that the Young Energy Network can tackle as it grows and evolves.   

Sinclair: Were you able to make a connection with some of the "old energy" folks and take away any lessons?

White: Well, I prefer to see these folks as the pioneers in the industry. While the youth are often praised for their enthusiasm and new ideas, I must say, I found no shortage of these qualities amongst the veterans of the industry that I talked to at the conference. They're really the ones that have been laying the groundwork for the coming of the smart grid and the plethora of smart devices that are about to change the energy industry as we know it. As I see it, it will be the challenge of my generation to see that this vision gets fulfilled. I also came to appreciate better just how much knowledge and experience is out there. I think it will be enormously important that this information gets transmitted to the younger folks so that we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. 

     Sinclair: Will you be back for ConnectivityWeek 2010?

White: I think it's safe to say that SES Consulting will have a presence at ConnectivityWeek for many years to come. I also hope to be able to continue to represent the Young Energy Network, at least until it's time to hand off to the next generation.   

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