Get to Know Building Energy Analyst Claire Eaton

Claire Eaton recently started with McKinstry and is currently a building energy analyst on the Midwest Technical Services team out of Chicago. Claire has a passion for sustainability, ultimately leading her to pursue a career focused on making a positive impact in the built environment.

Learn about Claire’s interest in the field, her passion for sustainability and the most rewarding aspects of her work.

Learn More About Claire’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry? How did you get there?

I’m working as a Building Energy Analyst on the Midwest Technical Services team out of the Chicago office. I joined the team early this summer after wrapping up my master’s degree in environmental planning and management this spring. When I began the job search, the most important thing to me was finding a company that allowed me to follow my core values of protecting the environment and bettering my community, while also challenging my technical mind — so this role was really a perfect fit for me.

How did you develop an interest in your field?

I’ve always been curious about all the parts of the day-to-day that happen behind the scenes yet right in front of us. My dad worked as a Geographic Information Systems specialist in the town I grew up in, and I was always interested in the different projects he completed and the way they impacted an entire community. As I went through college, I decided that the best way for me to personally make an impact was through the built environment rather than sticking with the life sciences path I was on. I ended up focusing on Geographic Information Systems in graduate school as a technical application of environmental planning. I spent a lot of time studying where buildings should go, which lead me to an interest in the buildings themselves.

What does success look like in your role?

Success looks different depending on the day, especially in the early stages of my role here at McKinstry. Much of the time success looks like providing the support necessary across a variety of projects to achieve the best outcome for our stakeholders. The main element of success in my role is being adaptable. Being flexible and open to learning or trying something new benefits not only me, but my entire team.

What is the most rewarding thing about your work?

The most rewarding thing about my work has been learning a new skillset that can positively impact communities. I feel lucky to be able to learn from my team about the wide scope of projects that technical services completes and to be a part of those efforts moving forward.

It has also been rewarding to be able to work in a field that positively affects the environment in a tangible way, and see that mindset is prevalent throughout the company. Going into each project feeling that everyone has the same goal — to prepare and assist our clients by working to move towards efficient buildings — makes the work that much sweeter.

What change do you hope to inspire through your work at McKinstry?

I’d like to inspire people to think more intentionally about the buildings they spend their lives in. Understanding the systems that must function to have safe, efficient and comfortable buildings only empowers people to advocate for necessary changes and improvements to our infrastructure. I’d also like to expand the environmental protection conversation to include what can be done with our existing infrastructure outside of just tearing it down and building something new. If we can focus more on re-engineering what we have, it enables us to use limited resources more intelligently elsewhere.

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