Ulishney’s multi-year internship has provided her the opportunity to work on several teams and explore engineering specialties she didn’t know existed, allowing her to deepen her knowledge and find her passion.
“Prior to meeting with the Gannett Fleming team, I did not know that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) engineering was an option for my future,” said Ulishney. “I had always been under the assumption that mechanical engineering was specifically about product design, assembly lines, and moving parts, but I fell in love with piecing together HVAC systems. Balancing cooling capacity with humidity control and learning the difference between constant and variable volume systems showed me that designing an HVAC system is far more complex than just plugging in an air conditioning unit.”
It was this love of HVAC engineering that energized her to work on an ongoing thought leadership initiative led by Weidner, which seeks to introduce bipolar ionization technology to the HVAC industry with the goal of helping companies during the COVID-19 pandemic safely return employees to the workplace. She was also invited to join the team conducting research on evolutions to New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act, and the initiative eventually shifted to a national scope.
“As the initiative progressed, I was able to work with Gannett Fleming teammates from other offices in a combined effort,” said Ulishney. “I conducted research on national legislation trends, created a case-study using the fines and local laws from New York City, and developed the presentation slides for an INSIGHTS webcast presented by Eryn Lao, mechanical engineer, and Huzefa Irfani, vice president and director of architecture regional operations.”
Ulishney’s research didn’t go unnoticed outside of the project team either. She impressed Amy Collins, marketing manager, who extended an opportunity to Ulishney to write about her findings and recommendations in an article for Gannett Fleming’s thought leadership blog, INSIGHTS. The experience, though challenging, was highly fulfilling for Ulishney.
“The most rewarding part of the research was being able to identify a common trend of legislative progression among the cities,” said Ulishney. “By studying cities such as Los Angeles and New York City, I discovered that cities often kickstart the initiative with benchmarking suggestions, progress to benchmarking requirements, then after several years, there’s a push for energy audits and retro-commissioning reports. Along with the increased requirements came fines and penalties, so building owners in cities now requiring benchmarking should expect enforcement and fines in the coming years.”