by Sandy Gholston - June 21, 2010
Arn McIntyre relishes opportunities to bridge the gap between campus and industry in his fields of expertise -- primarily in the areas of energy and construction.
Hired in August 2009 as Ferris State University's Energy Center coordinator, McIntyre is in a unique position to appreciate the University's lead role in energy education. Ferris' commitment is illustrated in this portion of the Energy Center's mission: "Ferris State University seeks to initiate, facilitate and support the dialog and innovation necessary to ensure Michigan a bright, promising future."
McIntyre, with decades of construction-related experience from his professional career, arrived at Ferris with a resume that speaks highly of practical and real-world experience.
Through these experiences, and his current coordinator position at Ferris, McIntyre has emerged as a regional and statewide authority on energy-related issues. That experience has helped him take energy-related issues that may seem complex and make them more understandable and relevant to everyday people.
As a result, McIntyre has become a man in demand. Whether it's on television or in print, McIntyre's knowledge has been valued by media. Because he's had the opportunity to lead Ferris' Energy Center, McIntyre recognizes he is a part of something that is historic in some ways.
"Ferris State's Energy Center was a bit of a new endeavor for the University when it started," said McIntyre, who continues to serve as president of McIntyre Builders, Inc., a venture he started in 2001. "One of the Energy Center's goals is to work outside the University with communities, industry, and in general, with a lot of organizations across the state. We're focused on promoting and educating as many people as we can on issues related to energy initiatives and energy performance improvements."
In April, McIntyre was back in the spotlight as Ferris hosted the annual Michigan Energy Conference. The MEC typically draws positive regional and statewide coverage for those hungry for knowledge of "what it means to be green." Through various television, radio and newspaper interviews, McIntyre has become somewhat symbolic of the University's commitment to spreading the word about more efficient and effective energy use. McIntyre describes himself as a "designer, educator and constructor for energy-efficient, high-performance, and sustainable homes and structures."
In these challenging economic times, McIntyre's expertise has become a priority for businesses and families as every dollar becomes increasingly precious.
At the 2010 MEC, a major focus was on energy efficiency in residential and commercial structures. In devoting a significant portion of the presentation on efficiency in building residential homes, this year's conference offered more of a broad-based appeal to make content more relevant to everyday American homeowners. As part of an effort to emphasize the point, the two-day energy conference hosted representatives from Central Michigan, Grand Valley State, Northern Michigan and Western Michigan universities.
"We wanted to have a big focus be on your home and what you can do in the way of efficiency," said McIntyre, who earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and his master's from Western. "At this year's conference, we wanted the information and the tone of it to be more factual with the people that we brought in as speakers and presenters. We wanted facts and good information that could benefit people."
Budgets are tight for families these days, and McIntyre's focus on weatherization and home improvement are critical in these economic times.
McIntyre's ability to show the value of building energy-efficient homes and taking steps to make homes become more energy efficient is one of the ways Ferris' Energy Center is having an impact on the lives of everyday people by saving dollars and making sense.