What Is A HVAC Mechanical Engineer?

Tue 15 November 2016

The thing I like most about my job is the problem solving aspect. I really enjoy digging into an existing building and figuring out what’s wrong, why it’s wrong or what the history was and how it got to where it is. It may be something they have dealt with for a long time no one else has been able to figure it out. You come in and solve the problem and they are eternally grateful. My name is Doug Lucht I am a Mechanical HVAC Engineer. I work for Sebasta Blomberg and Associates.


HVAC heating, ventilating and air conditioning is what that acronym stands for. Essentially, it is heating, so it is providing heating for commercial buildings or industrial buildings. Ventilation, bringing outside air into the building to make the occupants more comfortable and air conditioning, providing cooling for the building to make sure that the space temperature is somewhere between 70 and 74 degrees for a commercial building. Your whole goal is to try to figure out how it is going to work, what it is going to before you even spend a dollar trying to build it. I start around 800 or 830 working with a vendor who sells a product that we might want to purchase or specify for our design. Giving them a call and talking to them about what our options are, reviewing the construction, reviewing what they have installed making sure it’s consistent with what we designed. Meeting with an owner and understanding what their requirements are. You go out to the site and have to physically test the HVAC systems, make sure they are operating the way the design engineer intended. Either by car or by plane depending on how far away the site is from your office, there can be anywhere between 5 to 50 travel. I went to South Dakota State University. I enrolled in Mechanical Engineering. Interestingly enough, the classes that were early on in my engineering career were the most difficult. Those were the ones I had to buckle down and study really hard for. As I got further in my engineering career, the classes actually got easier which was a sign to me that I was probably in the right field, in the right industry. When I graduated, I decided that I would stay on a couple more years and get my master’s degree.

So as a mechanical engineer, probably the two most important things in this business are communication skills and problem solving skills. Problem solving is absolutely one of the most enjoyable things about this industry to me or about engineering in general. It’s a challenge to come in every day and have a different kind of problem to solve. Being good at problem solving and having and aptitude for that is very beneficial for engineering and this industry as well. One of the most valued skills in this industry is the need to be able to communicate clearly with your coworkers.