Earlier this month Erica Overstreet, Engineering Coordinator, sat down with Brian Kemper to learn more about his role as a Assistant Chief Engineer at Able Services. Here is her conversation with Brian:
What is your name and title?
My name is Brian Kemper. I am the Assistant Chief Engineer and I have been working at Mellon Bank Center for 2 years and 9 months. I have been employed by Able Engineering Services for 4 and half years.
What is your role and your responsibilities on the job?
My role and responsibilities are to assist the building Chief Engineer in the day to day operations of the building – from checking on the fire alarm system to reviewing tenant work order requests to make sure they have been completed.
What does a normal day look like to you?
A normal day??? There is no such thing as a "normal" day... There are several floors under construction. Making sure the fire alarm system is secure, checking if temperatures throughout building are within parameters. Once I had to rescue a kitten that somehow ended up in the parking garage three floors under the building. I had to catch it and take it to the SPCA.
Who do you enjoy working with the most?
I like working with the tenants the most. I enjoy the daily interaction. Here’s a funny story: I was checking on a temperature request and the receptionist asked me for my cell phone number. I told her I was happily married for 26 years. She laughed and said she wanted to send me a picture. Well, it was a picture of me running the Philadelphia marathon. I ran the marathon dressed in a Santa suit and she recognized me. The suit is another story!
What has been your favorite project at Mellon Bank Center?
My favorite project at Mellon would be the replacement of the old light fixtures that were not working when I first started here. I installed LED fixtures that now light up the crown of the building under the pyramid colored lights. Every time the lights show up on the news or during sports events highlighting the city skyline, I say to myself... I did that!
What advice would you give an Engineer that is new in the industry?
My advice to a new engineer would be to learn as much about the building as possible. Pumps, water flow, how they work, and the purpose of their workings in the building. Also, take advantage of the BOMA classes and other schooling that is offered.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
What people don't know about me is that I run Ultra Marathons (anything over 26 miles). I also compete in the Ironman Races. In 2016, I completed my very first Ironman in Lake Placid, NY. I had signed up to do another Ironman in 2020, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. I will be competing in that this year in Chattanooga, Tennessee.