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Meet a #futureshaper: James Carrapetta

Here's how he's making concert halls perform

The future keeps James Carrapetta motivated.

He is always looking to solve the next problem and helps develop and install building automation systems in worldwide iconic buildings such as the Sydney Opera House.

“The future holds the unknown and as an engineer at Honeywell I get to shape what that future looks like,” James said.

Based in Sydney, Australia, here is his #futureshaper story.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young, I loved problem solving and playing with small electronics. As I grew older, I started to install audio and security systems throughout the whole house. I loved automating things. Now, I automate large commercial buildings, so it is a natural fit! 

What do you do?

As a building automation controls engineer, I help to develop and install automation systems that keep buildings operating. Our systems keep occupants of the building comfortable and safe by controlling the air conditioning, security and fire detection systems. Through my work at Honeywell we help make aging buildings become buildings of the future. One of my most recent projects was upgrading the building management cnotrol systems at the Sydney Opera House. As a result, Honeywell has been able to turn a 50-year-old building into a performing arts center of the future.      

What gets you excited about coming to work every day?

I get to come to work knowing that I am working on the next cutting-edge technology for building automation systems, which will change how buildings are managed and operated. I get to come up with new ideas and test them out on real buildings and see real, positive changes. I am very proud of my recent project at one of the world’s busiest performing arts centers where I have been able to help revitalize the visitor experience by significantly improving patron comfort levels and at the same time helping our customer achieve their energy targets well ahead of schedule.  

What do you wish people knew about Honeywell?

I wish people knew that they interact with Honeywell systems every day. Whether they are flying on planes controlled by Honeywell, receiving parcels that went through a distribution center controlled by Honeywell or work or live in a building that is controlled and secured by Honeywell systems.

How has Honeywell changed since you began working here?

When I first joined Honeywell, the building automation systems we were installing were relatively simple, standalone and just used to control the air conditioning. These days, our building automation systems are so much more. Our systems collect data, upload that data to the cloud, process the data with intelligent analytics and benchmark it against millions of other buildings around the world.

Our customers are now using our data to make very significant strategic decisions that impact a variety of business operations; from capital expenditure decisions, to energy provider contract renewals, employee engagement activities and more.   

Why is the future important?

As an engineer always looking to solve the next problem, the future is what keeps me motivated. The future holds the unknown and as an engineer at Honeywell I get to shape what that future looks like.

How does your job make tomorrow better/safer than today?

As a building automation controls engineer, I am continually trying to make the buildings that I work on more efficient, more comfortable for its occupants and safer. Buildings around the world make up 60% of the worldwide electricity footprint. By making buildings more energy efficient, I can help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings to help improve the environment.

What qualities do you think a #futureshaper should have?

I think a futureshaper is someone who always questions the status quo and is constantly trying to improve and innovate the products and services we offer. 

If you were a fortune reader, what would you predict as the future of your industry?

We are living in a world where everything is becoming connected and we are just starting to take advantage of the data our systems collect. Our systems will be used to make key and informed business decisions at an operational level. Occupants of buildings will start to interact with the buildings where they live and work at an unprecedented level, giving them more control of those environments.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I am a big advocate to study engineering. Engineering equips you with a very unique set of skills that are applicable across all industries. As a young engineer starting in a new company, don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. I encourage you to bring new creative solutions to the problems we have been tackling for generations.   

What do you for fun?

Eat! My wife and I are big foodies, so we love either cooking delicious food or trying new places to eat out.

Learn more about what it is like to be a #futureshaper.