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Ever wondered what a Technical Analyst does? Well wonder no more! For this blog post we went behind the scenes to meet with Birthe Klebow, a member of our Software Development team to find out more about her role, what she loves about it and what advice she would give to other women entering a profession in a largely male dominated industry…
What attracted you to working in Software Development, particularly for IES?
I enjoy challenging myself to find elegant solutions for complicated problems. Working in software development gives me the opportunity to think outside the box and explore ‘uncharted waters’ every day. It is a great privilege to work with a company whose vision I fully support: the development of more sustainable buildings and cities by exploiting the potential of dynamic simulation. Working as a member of an expert team in IES, I actively shape and enhance the company’s market leading software products.
What does your role at IES involve?
As a technical analyst I bridge the gap between our product managers, external project partners and our software developers. My role is to understand user / project requirements and research, envision and formulate concepts for innovative solutions meeting their needs. I finally create software specifications which serve as the foundation for the development of the final products.
What project are you currently working on?
I am the technical lead for two European Horizon 2020 research projects which are both coordinated by IES. They are called NewTREND and IMPRESS. Together with research and industry partners from ten different countries, we are developing software solutions for Building Information Modelling (BIM) supported building energy retrofit. The goal is to help significantly reduce energy consumption in existing buildings and make building energy retrofit projects more accessible, effective, efficient and affordable.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I highly value the impact my work has, not only in terms of the enhancement of existing products, but also with respect to influencing the future direction of the company by designing new and innovative software tools which IES is well known for. I appreciate the variety of my work and enjoy being challenged every day. Day-to-day interaction with international project partners and participation in conferences allow me to stay up-to date with recent university research and the latest trends in technology.
What do you enjoy most about working at IES?
A definitive highlight is the great working atmosphere we have in our Glasgow headquarters. It’s a pleasure to work with highly motivated and skilled people in multi-disciplinary international teams.
What contribution to IES are you most proud of?
Shortly after I joined IES, I took over the internal technical lead of the European research project Energy in Time. Within the frame of this project, our team have been developing calibrated building energy models for real-time building performance optimisation. We are now getting to the final stages of the project and its very satisfying to see that the project has emerged from a very ambitious and challenging proposal to a solid final solution.
What advice would you give to anyone entering your profession?
As an analyst, it is essential that you are a good listener and know how to put yourself into your customers’ shoes: only when you understand their real needs, you can design products making people happy!
Building engineering/physics/software development is very much a male dominated industry. What do you think would encourage more women into these industries?
I think we are still lacking a rich portfolio of attractive career profiles for these industries. Successful women serving as role models are probably one of the best motivations for young women to follow similar career paths.
As a female role-model what advice would you give to other women considering a career in this industry?
I think the best advice I could give women in this situation would be to follow their interests, be self-confident and trust their own abilities.
Interested in a career with a highly innovative company that offers a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe? Keep an eye on the careers section of our website for upcoming positions or feel free to send your CV over to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow @IESCareers on twitter.
In a testament to the talent and high level of expertise of our people, Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE) magazine, for the 5th time, have selected an IES member of staff to receive a prestigious 40 under 40 award. This year’s winner is Colin Rees, Consultancy Manager at IES.
The award is given to 40 non-residential building industry professionals age 40 and younger who stand out in personal and professional aspects of their lives. And Colin certainly does. As the longest serving Consultant with 14 years of service, Colin has supported the start-up of two IES office’s, San Francisco in 2007 and Pune in 2010. He’s played a key part in ensuring the sustainability and high performance of many renowned projects across the world and has used his expertise and experience to mentor and train other consultants in the IES Consultancy team to help make it the dedicated, highly experienced team it is today. Read Colin’s full winner profile.
Previous IES winners are:
We pride ourselves in hiring people who are committed to sustainability and passionate about what we do. And in turn we offer a flexible and supportive working environment and the opportunity to work with a team of friendly, interesting and diverse people from across the globe. If IES sounds like a place you’d like to work, then keep an eye on our vacancies and follow @IESCareers on twitter. You can also send in a speculative CV to email@example.com.
You can view profiles of all this year’s 40 under 40 winners on CSE Magazine’s website.
I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to Glasgow, in bonnie Scotland – where it rained for an estimated 92% of the time! I’m happy to report that these damp days did not spoil my trip as I was in the city to finalise the deal that sees BVM Engineering become a new division of IES.
BVM Engineering, of whom I am the founder of, will now become the first base for IES in the southern states. We’re an experienced group of engineers and LEED APs that have accumulated many years of experience working on projects across the globe. Our skillset is one that will complement IES, and as highly experienced LEED consultants and LEED reviewers, we’d like to bring this practical experience to bear enhancing the current LEED capabilities of the <Virtual Environment> software.
Our expertise will also reinforce the work IES consultants currently undertake on behalf of their <Virtual Environment> software customers; supporting delivery of their client’s projects through a combined offering of consulting services, software support and training.
So what attracted us to join forces with IES? Well I have known IES CEO Don MacLean for over eight years now, and during that time our relationship has grown due to a shared
passion for sustainable building design and a common vision for the essential role performance analysis plays in the process. I’ve also had eight years to get accustomed to the Scottish accent too… the food, however, is another story…
As you know, my sustainability practice has been rooted in building energy analysis (“modelling”) and I have been teaching for years that the way we analyse buildings, as a separate entity from the designer, has to change if we are to truly impact the sustainability of the built environment. The suite of analysis tools IES has and is developing, is intended to facilitate detail-appropriate analysis at all stages of design by the true ‘designers’ of the building.Â Hence, our move to join forces with IES!
As long term users of IES software we know a lot about the company and their culture, and it is one that we are all very excited about being part of. My new colleagues at the Glasgow HQ couldn’t have made me feel more welcome, and getting a chance to sit down with people across the company really opened my eyes at the exciting times ahead for IES in North America.
Well now that the boxes have been ticked and the deal has been done, it is time for the real work to begin. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on our progress…
I was recently asked to complete an interview questionnaire for the CIBSE Young Members website. Having benefitted from CIBSE Young Engineer’s activities over the years, I was more than happy to help out.
CIBSE YE offers graduates and school leavers an opportunity to find out more about the industry, meet recent graduates working in the profession, and gives young engineers a chance to network with peers and even prospective employers.
One of my interview questions focussed on advice to students and graduates. My guidance was to take heed of the rapidly changing nature of the industry. With sustainability at the centre of what we do, forward-thinking young engineers are in a strong position to make a real difference to the way we design buildings. This was summed up very well in an interview I read recently with David C.J. Peters, an HVAC consulting engineer for US firm Southland Industries. You can read the full interviewÂ at Consulting Specifying Engineer here.
In addition, one of my colleagues Liam Buckley, was one of the six shortlisted in the this year’s CIBSE/ASHRAE Graduate of the Year Award. You can read about all their hopes for their careers and the future of building services engineering in CIBSE Journal – unsurprisingly it oozes green ambition!
Many graduates and school leavers are unaware of the sheer scale of the building services industry, and the myriad of career opportunities within. So, if you’re a student or recent graduate considering a career in the built environment, CIBSE YE is a great first point of reference.
Check out mine and past interviews on the CIBSE YE website.
This year at our annual Christmas Conference, in amongst round-ups of the year, we crowned our very own “One Team” IES Apprentice. Each team had to come up against our very own Sir Alan, Nick and Margaret. They had 45 minutes to create ways that we could advertise for recruitment, there were a huge variety of presentations; we had songs, we had dancing, but our winners really encompassed
what’s it like to work here.