Energy Project Manager I – Supply Side Focused

Kathryn H
As an Energy Project Manager, Kathryn is responsible for energy related initiatives associated with facility infrastructure, supply and demand side operational risks, and development of optimized infrastructure solutions associated with energy spend. She supports local hospital facility management by providing her utility and engineering expertise to support infrastructure projects that affect energy usage. Kathryn utilizes tools including facility infrastructure databases to analyze the ways in which equipment age, condition, and serviceability relate to energy optimization. She partners with field personnel, vendors, contractors, and engineering consultants to ensure that capital projects are designed and delivered according to specifications with energy usage in mind.
“I love helping people and providing answers. I want to be the person that someone comes to looking for information that they can’t find, and I’m able to help them with that and provide the information they need to them not just as raw data, but in a reasonable, easy-to-understand manner with some thoughtful analysis.”
 

Describe the responsibilities of your role.

Our energy team is made up of experienced HVAC engineers who can evaluate equipment, and the building automation of our hospitals to determine if things are working well and should be repeated or should be changed moving forward. Our team is also brought in to evaluate construction plans in terms of cost and energy usage. As each project begins, we continue to evaluate the ongoing project performance in terms of cost, utilities, and investment. One aspect of the energy team’s responsibilities involved analyzing utility bills and we previously had to rely on a third-party to assist us with that data, in terms of utility cost payments, budgeting, errors and variances. A lot of the information felt invisible to the team, they weren’t getting a complete look into the utility picture. In 2020 my job was created to bring this in-house. My job is to go into our three utility databases and look for errors and issues, and then recommend solutions. The main focus of my work is to ensure that we have full visibility into the utility payments, utility bill usage, and utility bill reporting to support our green initiatives and utility budgeting forecasting for our customers. I look at the data to forecast anticipated bills for customers for the next several years, and I also dig into the data to make sure the data being reported is correct.
 

How does your role benefit clients Medxcel and its clients?

My role is focused on analyzing Medxcel-managed facilities from a consumption point of view. For example, if a facility director has a question about how much money their facility was spending on electricity and how that compared to other facilities of their size, I can provide that information. The main benefit of my work is providing insight into our utility databases and correcting potential errors that can occur in the millions of dollars of bills we receive per month. I also work in a support role for the Energy and Facility Performance team on training opportunities, and collaborate with the rest of PDCE (Planning, Design, Construction & Energy), on capital programs, and other energy saving measures that support cost reduction and sustainability goals.
 

Describe the path you took to arrive in your current role.

I entered college with the intention of majoring in music technology. Once I arrived, my advisor talked to me about pursuing engineering when he saw my math scores and he felt I had an “engineering brain”. So I ended up double majoring in energy engineering and music technology. While in college I entered my school’s industrial assessment center program where we went into local facilities and manufacturing plants, walked through the facilities, looked at the equipment, and made recommendations on ways they could reduce spending on energy. We’d provide the calculations for them to help justify system and building change expenditures that would reduce their energy costs in the long run. That gave me a lot of experience in utility bill analysis. I started here with Medxcel after I graduated college when they opened this newly created role. Medxcel customers have a lot of buildings using a lot of energy dollars, and it’s my job to be sure those dollars are minimized and used wisely.
 

Does Medxcel offer a career path for someone like you in the energy field? 

There is definitely a lot of career opportunity available to me here. The path I’m looking at is becoming a professional engineer, and then working more with our capital investments as opposed to our supply side investments. My leaders asked me day one at Medxcel if I was interested in becoming a professional engineer and they absolutely support me in that goal. A professional engineer has a very specific license that signifies that you’ve been in the industry for five years, have received mentorship from another professional engineer, and have enough knowledge to pass two very long comprehensive exams. Medxcel will also support me if I ever decide to pursue a graduate degree. The energy team fosters a subject matter expert environment where a lot of our high-level engineers can discuss exactly what’s going on in a plant and how it can be improved, in terms of engineering. From my point of view I’m gaining valuable experience in HVAC design, smart energy investments, and I want to become the expert that the Medxcel facilities team can look to provide recommendations on energy for future projects.
 

What is the best part of your job?

I love helping people and provide answers. I want to be the person that someone comes to looking for information that they can’t find, and I’m able to help them with that and providing the information they need to them not just as raw data, but in a reasonable, easy-to-understand manner with some thoughtful analysis. Not a lot of people are aware that we now have full visibility into our utility bills and usage. I know my role helps to provide a safe, comfortable, excellent environment of care for our patients.
 

Which of Medxcel’s Service Strategies speaks most to you?

Service Excellence speaks to me in so many ways, it’s reflected in the work we do at Medxcel, the care our customers provide to their community, and the ways we support our communities together. Medxcel really supports associates being involved in serving their communities and I’ve always been involved in service. It’s so nice to be working for an organization where it’s not just about a paycheck, it’s about providing care to patients and giving back to others through service. I see people jumping in after work hours to help out when there’s an issue or an emergency, not because they have to or they’ll lose their job, but because they care. They know the work needs to get done and people may be adversely affected. That dedication really speaks to me, I’m so happy I found Medxcel right out of college. I’ve heard stories from others about companies where the work environment is unhealthy, no communication, no work life balance, that makes working at Medxcel even more refreshing.
 

Is there a project you’re particularly proud of?

I’m involved in a new initiative called Medxcel Talks. Our Director had the idea for us to create a way that we, as engineers, could take thermodynamic principles and apply them to facility performance. Could we create educational content that facility teams could share during huddles and learn how to save energy through quick, behavioral changes? This was part of the reason I was brought on, my degree in music technology and experience in video production allow me to create Medxcel Talks, using skills from both of my degrees, music technology and energy engineering.
 

What would you say to someone who asks you if you recommend working for Medxcel?

If you’re looking for a great work environment that will elevate you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, then Medxcel is the right place for you. Medxcel will not only challenge you, but will support you through challenges and growth. Medxcel is rapidly growing in many ways, and we’re all being asked to rise to the call. To me that challenge is invigorating. You can rise as high as you want here, and even if you fall, there are people here that will catch you and pull you back up and cheer you on.
 

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