The Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) proudly boasts on its website: WE ARE PENN STATE to thousands of Pennsylvanians who come in contact with us everyday.
I got the opportunity to hear just how that happens from PSFEI Director Jim Myers, PE, when I visited the Institute today.
PSFEI works with government-related organizations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to consult on the maintenance and operations of their facilities, including energy-related issues. Jim explained that a client may call the Institute to uncover a simple maintenance item, consult on a large building or renovation project, or provide training and education for employees.
And when Jim says they ARE Penn State to many Pennsylvanians, he’s not kidding. PSFEI does work in all 67 counties – through relationships with the State System of Higher Education, PA Department of Transportation, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Department of Corrections, PA Historical & Museum Commission, and many more.
What I found amazing, beyond just how efficiently the Institute serves its clients (there are 31 engineers, technicians and staffers on the team, supplemented by student interns who have the opportunity to learn from experienced engineers and take this real-world experience to jobs in the ‘real’ world), is that the Institute was working with clients to deal with energy markets, energy procurement, and energy savings programs long before it was ‘cool.’ Jim joked during our conversation, “We were Green before it was even a color!”
Jim has been with PSFEI since 1985, rising to director in 1995 and seeing the 66-year-old organization through a period of intense growth. And it’s easy to see how he’s contributed to that growth. Jim’s passion for the work PSFEI does is truly contagious. He’s just hired an assistant director, John Hajduk, MBA, to help in the next phase of growth for the Institute.
I look forward to working with Jim and his team to highlight the value that PSFEI brings to its clients, the residents of Pennsylvania and the many, many others who are touched by the work that PSFEI does. And, of course, to see what happens next!
Dana Marsh, director of marketing and communications for the College of Engineering, freely admits that she’s not an engineer but is fascinated by how the work of engineers impacts every aspect of a human’s day-to-day existence: from the houses we live in and the roads we drive on, to the smartphones and computers we rely upon. She’s now made it her mission to educate non-engineers about the real-world applications of leading-edge engineering initiatives.