Brad McNiff specializes in sustainable mechanical engineering design for interior and base building spaces. As a GHT Principal, he provides project management, design, and energy audits for projects ranging from small commercial spaces to large-scale mixed-use facilities, office buildings, and government facilities. Brad’s project portfolio includes more than 30 LEED-certified spaces and 2 WELL-certified projects. He also has extensive experience working with Revit® MEP, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.
How long have you been at GHT? 12 years and counting!
What inspired you to pursue a career in the AEC industry? I had a college internship in the AEC industry, as well as a few others. From that limited experience, I knew AEC was, for me, the most exciting, challenging, and provided some job security. (Buildings aren’t going anywhere!) Also, I was really curious as I drove around town as to what all the buildings I saw were for and who worked in them. Getting into building design has helped me to figure that out!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? The AEC industry is always filled with new challenges – it helps keep the practice exciting. One of the more daunting things a young engineer and project manager can experience is the responsibility of representing your firm at meetings filled with experienced architects, owners, and contractors. My advice is to remember that nobody has to know everything. Being a proactive member of a team and following up on commitments to get information goes a long way towards building relationships and, in turn, business success.
What’s the future look like for an MEP engineer? Buildings comprise a major energy use sector in the U.S., and therefore are on the front lines of the battle against climate change. MEP engineers are and will continue to play a major role in defining building energy use and solving the climate change problem.
What are some characteristics of leadership at an MEP firm? At any firm, look for leaders to invest in their employees and make their satisfaction an important metric in business decisions. At an MEP firm specifically, good leaders will pair competence in business practices, employee welfare, and engineering integrity and moral authority. Our clients look to GHT’s leaders to provide practical, creative, cost conscious, and safe (code-compliant) solutions.
What skills have helped you as an engineer? Scientific fundamentals are necessary for any engineer but writing and communication skills will take your career to the next level. They are an essential skill for project management and client relations.
What are some good resources for emerging professionals? People are always the best resource. Get involved in local chapters of trade organizations and interest groups that are associated with your area of practice. Networking with peers will give you access to a wealth of experts you can turn to. Also, these organizations often offer magazines and manuals with useful tips and news.