Jeffrey Salay, PE, CEM, LEED AP

As a Senior Principal and the Section Head of Building Energy Services in GHT’s Operations & Energy Services (OES) studio, Jeffrey develops solutions for long-term energy efficiency. He applies his background in mechanical engineering to support the design of high-performance systems for commercial, government, residential, educational, and senior care facilities. Jeffrey’s boundless enthusiasm and dedication to remediating project issues are what make him the go-to troubleshooter for all things energy-related. He is routinely called upon as an expert in DC buildings, where he’s been working for nearly three decades.

How long have you been at GHT? 20 Years

What inspired you to pursue a career in the AEC industry?  I used to work as a consultant for the US Navy.  The types of systems that we worked on could take 20 years to develop and then end up getting cut during the budget process.  I wanted to work in a field where I could have an impact and could see the results of my efforts.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? Dealing with the increasing pace of work demands.  Technology has made the creation of drawings and the transfer of information faster, but there still needs to be time to do proper engineering and understand how the principles of engineering apply.  Without that time, mistakes can occur that can be more costly to fix than the cost of the extra time to do the design correctly the first time.

What’s the future look like for an MEP engineer? There will be an increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and controllability.  Some of that will be through new technology, but a lot will involve the interaction between systems and the controllability of all systems.  There are some new trends with using AI and machine learning to enhance the control of MEP systems.

What are some characteristics of leadership at an MEP firm? Leaders have to be able to clearly communicate goals and provide both positive and negative feedback to staff so that staff can grow.  A good leader will listen to staff and then provide feedback to help them develop engineering as a career, rather than just a job.

What skills have helped you as an engineer? Growth in the MEP field largely depends on developing relationships, both inside an MEP firm and with clients.  Having good communication skills that allow an engineer to clearly convey design concepts and act as an agent for the client go a long way on building those relationships.

Return to the Main Page