People First

Southland's 2015 ASHRAE David C.J. Peters Scholarship Winner

Author-Kelly-Woggonby Kelly WoggonMar. 25, 2015

As a former senior vice president of engineering, Dave Peters was one of Southland's greatest contributors — not only in terms of technical innovation, but also for his passion for recruiting talented engineering students. After Dave passed away in 2011, the ASHRAE David C. J. Peters Scholarship was created to honor his many accomplishments and dedication to rising young engineers. For several years now, this scholarship has been awarded to some of the industry's most promising engineering students.

This year's ASHRAE David C.J. Peters Scholarship winner is Victoria Brinemugha, an architectural engineering student from Penn State University. Originally from Delta State, Nigeria, Victoria's current hometown is Newark, New Jersey. She is involved with the National Association of Home Builders, the American Society of Heating, and Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the African Student Association.

How did you become interested in our industry?

(VB) During my first MEP industry internship last summer, I always thought I would channel my career towards the structural engineering part of architecture, but being that the company I was with was multi-disciplinary, I was exposed to how things really work with both the structural team and MEP team during projects. Then, I switched options during my internship. I realized that working directly for occupancy comfort, which includes indoor air quality and sustainability was what I wanted to do with my time. The world is shifting towards energy savings and more sustainable activities, and I want to be part of it.

What are your favorite hobbies/activities outside of school?

(VB) I'd describe myself as a very adventurous person. I hike a lot during the warmer months and travel year round — not just vacations because sometimes I just enjoy exploring new places during the weekend. Learning about different cultures, foods, and scenery makes me happy. I also love to cook and read books. I strongly believe my mind needs to be fueled with new information. When schoolwork isn't too pressing, a good, inspirational book makes my day.

What are your goals after graduating?

(VB) My short-term goal is to find a temporary job with a firm where I can contribute to the company's operations, while developing myself as an architectural engineer. This includes working closely with a professional engineer, so I can earn a professional license. Later on, I want to get my master's in business administration or architectural engineering. I honestly don't know what the future holds, but I strongly believe I would get my MBA at some point in my life.

In the long-run, my objective is to achieve a senior managerial position in a large, multinational corporation that builds — or, preferably develops — properties, comes up with the money or financing, and sells the properties. Or, I'd like to work at a company that is a strong leader in the MEP industry with cutting-edge innovation and tactics on improving the HVAC industry.