Spotlight Keith Bush
Q&A with Keith Bush, CPD, GPD, CSI, FASPE, Project Manager II, Mechanical Engineering, Office of the University Architect since September 2000
American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE): Society Board of Directors as Region 2 Director (3) terms, Cleveland Chapter Officer (15) years, Chapter President, Chapter VP Technical, Chapter VP Legislative – Cleveland, Member of multiple professional organization both current and past like: ASHRAE, WPC, NFPA, AASHE, LEED, MCA, IDA, and others.
- What sparked your interest in mechanical engineering?
During my years in high school and working for our family business the need to design some products for the business in our R&D pushed me into this field. Found designing to be fascinating. Just wanted to do more.
- What sparked your interest in sustainability in both your professional and/or personal life?
The need for water management, legionella control and sustainability in plumbing and HVAC system designs to help reduce energy, waste, and provide public safety has been a key factor in my professional development and design practices. Obtaining the Green Plumbing Design Certification (GPD) from ASPE holds a professional level which I bring to every design at KSU.
- What is your favorite part of your position?
Problem solving and taking a project from a concept to completion. Oversight of the construction and the design for buildings of all kinds. From research facilities to sport complexes to hospitals and all kinds of educational buildings over the years. I have done them all over my tenure.
- What are your favorite accomplishments or projects you have worked on?
That would have to be the Summit Street Power Plant, designing the plumbing systems for the KSU Rec. Center, an Aircraft Maintenance Facility in West Virginia, and Cleveland Clinic ER/OR facility in Cleveland from a projects standpoint. Serving and being elected to the Society Board of Directors for ASPE and becoming a fellow for the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. On a nonprofessional goal was the day I was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Basketball from my high school.
- How does sustainability manifest itself in what you do at Kent State University?
Kent State is on the cutting edge of building automation and environmental controls in which I help to develop every day with others from our institution. Our ability to control the mechanical and electrical systems and energy use in real time is one of our greatest goals here at Kent State and part of my daily duties. How many Higher Universities through-out the USA can generate its own power, controls the HVAC systems of all 8 campuses through our complex building automation system and provides energy reductions in real time helping to keep cost of operations in check. Most other Universities can only dream of such performance. This is what I call sustainable design something our office, UFM and the operators at the Summit Street Power Plant do daily.
- What do you want the people of Kent State to know about you and your position as Project Manager II, Mechanical Engineer in the Office of the University Architect(or any other roles you have)?
As you know, I am looking to retire from Kent State. The twenty-two plus years in working within the University and the best group of professional people within KSU has afforded me the opportunity to work and design with most of the Architectural and engineering firms in NEO. Provided me the opportunity to perform engineering peer review, create design standards for the university, Preventative Maintenance Oversight, in which I have been associated with over the 49 years in this profession has been a true pleasure. The professionalism of this University and the people and contractors have made the past 22 years here at KSU fun. You must love what you do for a living to be able to grow and be fulfilled in your chosen profession.
- What do you want people to know about the Office of the University Architect?
I have to say that I work with the best engineering, architectural, planning and support staff that I have had the pleasure to work with in all the positions that I have held or associated with over my professional career. The office works like a family always keeping it professional and makes it a pleasure to come to work each day. Working within the higher education community, students, professors, deans, and the support from the administration is the best anyone could hope for. The comradery, friendship and the educational interaction is what makes you want to be involved. The OUA is what people out in the industry call an informed and intellectual client. Our office knows what is best for sustainability, system design, standardization all the while in keeping cost controls and budget in mind for our clients the Students of Kent State University.
- What sustainability initiatives is Office of the University Architect working on this year?
Our office always has sustainability and public health in mind as a standard. This is done every day of every year from office recycling, incorporating energy projects in every construction project, sustainable design and promotion with WELL, LEED design concepts, our ever-improving environmental controls, and overall communications is performed as a daily function.
- Can you tell us more about how you and/or Office of the University Architect is advancing sustainability?
Our latest office development is adding solar panel arrays to offset our electric energy use on most of the regional campuses and soon to be installed by the end of 2023 for the Kent Campus and the new front campus central chilled water plant which is in design and scheduled to replace the three older plants with new start of the art magnetic chillers offering the best KW/ton for chilled water.
- Where is one of your favorite spots to visit on campus? And what makes it your favorite?
The book depository by the brain. The layout of books as the retaining walls makes for a great place to have lunch, think, and posture on the day’s activities.
- What would people be surprised to learn or know?
That I use to have two record stores back in the day and traveled to record conventions. My best day working was the day the lead singer (Ric Ocasek) from the Car’s stopped and gave me an autograph on a 45-jacket cover thanking me for helping him find a recording of his favorite artist.
- Anything else you’d like to add/tell think is important to mention?
Stay informed, be involved, don’t let the little things get to you, be patient and listen, and most of all respect everyone. As my fraternity stated “If you don’t have something good to say just keep it to yourself and expect nothing in return”