What is your role at CIM?
As Head of Engineering – EMEA, there are several facets to my role. One of my core responsibilities is to ensure our clients have the greatest experience possible when using the PEAK platform and dealing with CIM team members. Operationally, this means ensuring that the onboarding experience is seamless, stakeholder engagement is maintained, and our team continuously adds value to our clients.
I also throw my weight around in the business development space as required.
Why did you join CIM and what do you enjoy about the proptech industry?
CIM’s expansion into the European market coincided perfectly, from a timing perspective, with my move back to Ireland after spending eight wonderful years in Australia – five of which were in Perth and the latter three in Sydney.
I met CIM’s CEO David Walsh at numerous events in the preceding years. He dropped me a line a few months before my scheduled move back to understand what my plans were, and the conversation flowed from there. After seeing what was under the hood in the PEAK platform the decision to join was simple.
I like working in the proptech industry as it enables clear and decisive decision making. The data, which is unearthed with minimal effort, gives all stakeholders a clear understanding of ‘the what’, ‘the how’ and ‘the why’ when introducing performance enhancements in a facility.
What are the main challenges you see building owners and operators face?
Access to data, or when they have access to data, understanding the data and what to do with it.
How has lockdown and social distancing impacted your clients and how have you been able to support them through this period?
It has impacted different clients in different ways, and not many in a positive way for obvious reasons. We have clients that have empty commercial offices, retail clients which have empty shopping centres and manufacturing facilities that are operating at a reduced capacity.
We supported them by enabling them to track and manage the safe ramp down of their facilities ensuring minimal disruption, whilst ensuring that the energy consumption was at a minimum. We are now in the process of helping them ramp up as we slowly emerge on the other side.
One thing that is common with most clients we speak to is the ease at which they have adapted to working remotely, many of whom can get 90% of what they need to get done away from their office or site.
This will no doubt influence what will be regarded as the “new normal” working environment moving into 2021 and beyond.
In your experience, what surprises CIM customers the most when they start using PEAK?
The flexibility with which PEAK can adapt to fit their operational requirements. This could be anything from developing automated reporting and customisable live dashboarding, to upgrading the Peak platform functionality based on feedback and requests.
Also, how successfully we can help our clients achieve energy and carbon footprint reductions at their facilities. Generally, they receive a 30-70% return on investment on our fees compared with the realised savings identified by PEAK.
The additional modules available are also a pleasant surprise. Our Adaptive Controls module, Fire module and Smart Capital Planning modules are all additional value-adds that come packaged as part of our monthly service fee.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love the process. From the initial sales meeting where we discuss how CIM can augment their operations, right through the onboarding process and delivering on the targets promised during the sales cycle.
I am in an interesting position where I am involved in sales and delivery. I will say that Cillian with the engineering hat does sometimes curse Cillian with the sales hat, but generally speaking we are very well aligned.
What trends do you see emerging in the built environment?
COVID-19 will certainly shake things up in this space. I see the focus moving more towards indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in lieu of energy conservation measures in instances where a decision needs to be made between both, for example using return air to condition spaces as an energy conservation measure in lieu of full fresh air.
I envisage the tenant gaining more visibility on the conditions in their workspace such as temperature, CO2, humidity and so on, and they will also have more of an influence on the controls in their spaces.
When you are not working, what is one thing you love to do?
If you asked me that question two years ago, I would have said hacking up a golf course and having a few drinks whilst watching some sport.
My life is a little bit different now with three beautiful girls pulling at my feet the minute I get home from work, so I would definitely say spending time with them…Oh and I guess my wife Colette too 😊.
What is something people would be surprised to find out about you?
I naively picked mechanical engineering to study in college as I believed it would be a pathway to the high-flying life of a Formula One team engineer. Little did I know that four years later I would find myself in an air handling unit in a manufacturing facility.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – Harry Potter
Now that lockdown is easing, where are you off to on your next holiday?
I have three kids aged two and under so my options are limited. We will probably jump in a car and spend a few nights in Kerry.
Perhaps I might even go to Kerry alone… Only kidding (not kidding).