Rex and Vibrantcy
Why am I at Vibrantcy? After a full career in the consulting engineering business, why keep working? And, why work at Vibrantcy?
· Because they asked.
· Matt and Colin seem to find value in my experience and skills. Being in such an environment is a validation and a celebration of my career.
· In the world of sports, lots of coaches … just keep on working. I can relate to that.
· It feels good to still be engaged.
· This is a special little firm. There is passion here. Passion for our clients. Passion for the work. Passion for the well-being of our staff.
Vibrantcy is unique. This firm has the potential to become very good. Matt Higgins has a highly-developed (and practical) talent for energy simulation work and energy-related commissioning challenges. Colin Evans has a passion for sustainable design and is an experienced and capable mechanical design engineer.
A word or two about “sustainable design”. I share with the staff at Vibrantcy a love for the physical environment and a desire to be a part of a sustainable future. I have been pro-environment my entire life. The first time I realized that I was a part of this minority was at a young age, probably about 10. I have been involved with pro-environment groups and activities throughout my life. It was not very popular 30 years ago to be a pro-environment engineer... there were not very many of us. Today, it is exciting to see the younger generation with a much greater commitment for a sustainable future. I am pleased about that and optimistic that good things will come from their leadership. At Vibrantcy, I see a sincere commitment to working for a sustainable future. I am impressed by the passion that lives here.
Rex history. Even though you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you a bit about my personal history. Please check out if you are not interested. Perhaps one or two will continue reading.
My engineering career started in Cincinnati, at General Electric, designing jet engines. The obvious(?) next choice was, as you might guess, to work at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Washington D.C. There I worked on the Navy Polaris and Poseidon nuclear submarines, sometimes riding in the top of the sail with the captain. An interesting job, interacting with lots of intriguing people, many of them very impressive, indeed.
After that curious beginning, I decided to enter the crazy world of consulting engineering. And, more than 30 years later, after various roles ranging from design engineer to firm owner to university engineer to firm owner to design engineer, here I am at Vibrancy.
What am I doing at Vibrantcy? I am gratified to be here … happy that the owners of this young company seem to appreciate that this old mechanical engineer may have something of value to bring to the table. At this point in my career, it feels good. It is validating.
I’m like Allstate Insurance… I’ve “been there…seen that” regarding quite a few things in my career.
I occupy a unique position here, which is the token old guy. Just kidding, but, apparently, something about me has struck a chord with Matt and Colin. I strive to share some of what I have learned over the years. I strive to add value to this firm as it grows and prospers.
To that end, a part of my role here is to provide a bit of QA/QC for projects. And a bit of design. A bit of assist in several things. I hope to help keep them out of trouble. I hope to help them expand their visions. I want to help them to succeed.
It is refreshing and a new challenge to work with younger professionals who seem to place value on my experience and my contribution.
I’ve been blessed to be a part of some special design projects. Four come to mind.
· The new Riley Hospital for Children at the IU Medical Center, an amazingly capable and compassionate place for very ill children, located in my hometown of Indianapolis, IN. My wife’s aunt, as a very young girl, was the fourth child to be admitted to original version of this wonderful hospital.
· Master Facility Plan for Butler University Fieldhouse. This basketball cathedral, built in 1929, and considered to be one of the very finest places in the country to watch college basketball, has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old. I played basketball there in high school and was awestruck, like the boys from Hickory High in the movie “Hoosiers”.
· The Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University, a $56M research facility for multiple disciplines. As the University Engineer at Purdue, it was challenging and exciting to be working with so many very talented individuals on this very important state-of-the art research facility.
· The GSA Land Port of Entry, a new $60M LEED Gold facility in Columbus, NM. My role was to be part of the review team representing the GSA. Again, the challenge and the stimulation was to work with all the many layers of federal agencies and design consultants assembled to design and build this new border facility.
I have basked in the glow of some great clients, like the longtime University Architect for Indiana University … who, when asked by another university to comment on my capabilities, said the following “he’s not any good, but he is better than everyone else”.
I’ve enjoyed some fun gigs in my career:
· Riding on and working on Navy submarines was a highlight.
· I feel most fortunate to have served for 6 years on the State of Indiana Commission for Fire Prevention and Building Safety, which is responsible for establishing and enforcing the building codes for the state. What a unique and fascinating experience. I learned so much, was a part of so many intriguing code issues, and got to work with so many different fascinating people. I loved the experience.
Wrapping it up: As you can surmise, I am making an effort to celebrate my career. I have been fortunate. But I’m not ready to pack it in. So, I’m also celebrating my present gig, which is the opportunity to work with this outstanding young firm named Vibrantcy.
Rex brief Bio: Please read on, at the risk of being swept over by a wave of boredom, and only if you feel you may want to know a bit more about my professional history.
Rex is a registered mechanical engineer with over 30 years of experience. His career has included successful roles in engineering and design, project management, staff management, client advocacy, and owner representation. His background includes extensive higher education and healthcare experience. He has excellent skills in planning, problem solving, and working on complex projects.
Rex has extensive technical expertise in large and complex HVAC systems, including building central air systems, chilled water and steam systems, automatic temperature controls, and mechanical codes. He has worked on dozens of projects that have incorporated sustainable features, including many LEED projects.
Rex's dedication to achieving desired outcomes is evident in his dedication to excellence. His projects are consistently responsive to the needs of the client. His projects have an excellent record of cost management.
Selected Significant Projects:
VA Hospital OR Expansion ($10M, 5-phase renovation), Albuquerque, NM
GSA Land Port of Entry ($60M LEED Gold), Columbus, NM, Review Team for GSA
GSA Montoya Building (100KSF), Santa Fe, NM, Master Facility Plan
PHS Lincoln County Memorial Hospital Master Facility Plan and Expansion Study (120KSF)
UNM Replacement Hospital Phase I (250KSF, LEED Silver), Albuquerque, NM
Commissioning of Indiana University, Multi-Discipline Sciences Building (LEED Silver)
Commissioning of Wishard New Replacement Hospital ($600M, 1.2 MSF, LEED Silver)
Cameron Community Memorial Hospital ($35M replacement critical access hospital)
Indiana University Jacobs Music Studio Building ($40M new LEED Gold building)
Utilities Master Plan for Indiana University and IUPUI main campuses