Board Member Highlight: Annie Smith

Annie Smith serves as our Chapter Historian and Newsletter Editor. Learn more about her below!

Annie Smith
Annie Smith

Name: Annie Smith

Company and Position: Mechanical Engineer at Ross & Baruzzini

What does your company do/provide? Engineering, architecture, and security consulting services

How long have you worked for them? How long have you worked in this industry? 3 years, 4 years total if you include my internship there

How did you come to work in your field? I started as a Computer Science major and found that wasn’t for after about a year. Then my college roommate told me about her architectural engineering classes and around the same time I got involved in the Solar House Team at Missouri S&T, which lead me down the path of building systems. Eventually, I took an HVAC class and loved it, then luckily, I got an internship in the mechanical department at R&B.

What is your main job function? What are you responsible for? My main role is mechanical design, which includes calculating building loads, sizing ductwork and piping, selecting equipment, creating design documents, doing fieldwork, and reviewing submittals. I also do energy audits, which involves more data analysis and development of energy conservation measures.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job? Learning about all the different technologies and systems that can be used to heat and cool spaces is daunting – there are so  many ways to accomplish the same thing and learning the right way for different applications is tough as a young engineer.

What’s your favorite thing about working in this industry? There is always more to learn. I get bored without new challenges.

What’s your least favorite thing about working in this industry? Somehow all the deadlines end up falling around the same time.

What’s your involvement in ASHRAE? I am the Chapter Historian and Newsletter Editor. I also volunteer on the Research Promotion Committee. At the Society level, I am involved in TC 7.6 and 2.8, and I am involved in editing the new Standard 211 concerning Commercial Building Energy Audits.

What is your responsibility on the Board? I am responsible for producing the monthly newsletter with the help of my fellow ASHRAE leaders, compiling that annual Historian’s report and historical display for submission at CRC, as well as archiving the Chapter’s history in the form of both digital and physical files. It’s a work in progress!

What advice would you give someone just graduating college and starting in the HVAC world? Ask a lot of questions! Don’t be afraid to speak up and be honest about what you don’t know.

What’s something you’ve learned through your involvement in ASHRAE? ASHRAE is what you make it. If you want to make the most of your membership, you’ve got get out there and meet others. The technical aspect is good, but knowing who’s in your industry is very helpful.

What made you want to be involved in ASHRAE? I liked the idea of a chapter newsletter since when I volunteered to be editor in November 2014, we didn’t have one. I’ve been involved ever since!

Name one person who has been a mentor or an inspiration to you in your life. I have to go with two people – my parents. They have been a great inspiration to me over the years. I take a lot of my professional cues from their experiences that they’ve shared with me from their careers.

Do you have a favorite sport or team? I’ve played volleyball since I was 11 so that’s my favorite sport. As a fan, I root for the Cardinals. The Blues are pretty cool too.

What’s your favorite type of music or favorite band? I listen to electronic dance music mostly, but I don’t shy away from pop, rock, and a little country every now and then.

What’s your favorite thing to do for fun? I love playing volleyball, traveling, being active, wine and cheese-tasting, and scrapbooking when I have the time.

Where is the coolest place you have traveled? Or what was the best vacation you’ve ever had? I really enjoyed visiting China – many things are so different there in the everyday life.

When you retire and have a lot more time on your hands, what will you do? Travel as much as possible, read more, maybe volunteer… I don’t know – that’s a long way off!