Interning for the Office of Sustainability makes me appreciate all the work that is done behind the scenes in each building at UIC. It gives me a different perspective as to how everything works and that we should not take all these resources for granted. My project focuses on automating the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems in the Science and Engineering Lab (SEL) building. The project is an important step in making UIC more sustainable because it utilizes more advanced technology to make the building more efficient and conserve energy.
After working on these buildings for a few weeks, I now realize how aggressively UIC is pursuing sustainability. Building Automation contributes to this by using improved equipment that reduces the environmental impact caused by the older systems. Projects like the Building Automations System are a pivotal step in fulfilling UIC’s climate commitment to become a Carbon Neutral Campus. It also makes the campus more sustainable by allowing energy conservation, efficiency, and a smaller footprint on the environment. The element I enjoy most during my internship is the combination of indoor and outdoor work. The work is split between working on a computer to monitor the equipment and then checking the equipment itself during building walk-throughs to make sure that it matches the software. This balance provides an exceptional learning environment and makes the overall experience very hands-on and rewarding. Interning for the Office of Sustainability has been an incredible experience thus far and I am beyond excited to continue learning more in the weeks ahead.