Erin McConahey, ASHRAE Fellow, HDBP
900 Wilshire Boulevard, 19th floor
Los Angeles, California 90017
United States
Region: X
Honorarium: Negotiable

Erin McConahey is a Principal in Mechanical Engineering with Arup, a 15,000 person employee-owned global engineering, advisory and planning consulting firm. During her 23 years with Arup, she has worked internationally and now leads multidisciplinary design teams in Los Angeles on a wide variety of project types.

Erin’s passion for finding integrated design solutions through a collaborative design process began with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. As she rose in leadership within her firm, she served on Arup’s global Trustee Board, was named an Arup Fellow for her technical excellence, spearheaded the Americas Region Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, and served on the leadership teams for the region’s mid-career Design School and Graduate Induction training programs for 18 and 10 years, respectively. These service opportunities, coupled with growing concern over climate change, led her to a second Master’s degree in Ethical Leadership from Claremont Lincoln University.

Erin is a Professional Engineer in California and Colorado, a LEED accredited professional (BD+C specialty), an ASHRAE accredited High Performance Building Design Professional, a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) and a Fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers.

An Inclusion Mindset
Recent events highlight the need to have a frank conversation about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. As a minimum standard in civil society, all people should be able to come to work without being harassed, belittled or pre-judged. This session is about how to grow beyond that minimum standard towards an inclusion mindset that actively seeks the breadth of thought that comes when organizations incorporate diversity within their midst as a better reflection of the real world. The speaker will weave together story, research from the US, and personal insight to discuss the topic of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with the goal of empowering audience members to own their voice, authority, and influence.
Principles of Museum Environmental Design
This session will discuss the key principles involved in managing the needs of the patrons with the long-term preservation of precious artifacts when designing museum environments. The speaker will begin with a brief overview of the mechanisms of artifact damage and follow with a collection of short case studies demonstrating the HVAC solutions typically used to create stable conservation environments.
The Feasibility of Natural Ventilation
This session will describe process of early phase analysis that a design team can to test whether natural ventilation is a feasible comfort-conditioning system for a given climate and building configuration. The speaker will build on her “Natural Ventilation Top 10 Feasibility Questions” from an ASHRAE Journal article to cover compliance with ASHRAE Standards 55 and 62.1 and a discussion of the impact of climate change.
Holistic Thinking for Multidisciplinary Design Solutions
Designers of building HVAC systems do not act in a void but rather in a community of design and construction professionals who are all dedicated to the success of a given project. We can better contribute to this success when we understand the perspectives of our partners and can articulate our own technical parameters in a way that looks for synergy without strife. This session will draw on the speaker’s two decades of experience as a design leader of teams with up to a dozen different analytical disciplines. The talk starts by introducing the idea of unconscious bias built into our professional world view by our academic and specialist training and then turns to tips for transcending that bias to develop design empathy and proactive working relationships. By exploring a series of short case studies involving interface and coordination between architectural, structural, civil, MEP, façade, acoustics, fire and sustainability disciplines working in the building design context, the audience will be able to better recognize the needs and design sensibilities of our partners outside of the HVAC field.