Targeting Success – Improve Employee Satisfaction, Retention, and Profit
As the building design and construction industry looks at the composition of the future workforce, it is clear that the demographics of today’s workforce will need to change to meet future demand for employees. It is projected that this change will include increasing the number of women employed in the building design and construction industry. We have seen an increase in young women enrolling in STEM disciplines at the university level and an improvement in the number of women students attaining college degrees, but we have not seen the same increase in the percent of women employed in the STEM workforce. This inconsistency can be attributed to poor retention of women once they enter the profession. This presentation will address why women leave the industry and what can be done to help increase retention. This is an important topic for our industry as a whole as well as for employers trying to minimize turnover and maximize productivity and profit. Do to the broad topic appeal this has proven to be especially successful topic for joint meetings with other professional organizations.
Julia Keen, P.E., Ph.D., ASHRAE Fellow, BEAP, HBDP
Julia Keen is a Professor of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at Kansas State University holding the Bob and Betty Tointon Engineering endowed chair. She also owns her own consulting company, Keen Designs, PA. Her specific areas of interest include HVAC design, energy codes, high performance design, HVAC education, and the advancement of women in the building design and construction industry.
Julia Keen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering from Kansas State University. Upon graduation, she worked as a Mechanical/Electrical Project Engineer in Waterloo, Iowa. In this capacity she was responsible for the design of building systems from initial planning stages through final project inspection and completion. In July 2003, Julia accepted a faculty position with K-State in the Architectural Engineering and Construction Science Department. She completed her Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering (2005) and her Doctorate (2010) in Education both from K-State. She is a Licensed Mechanical Professional Engineer in Kansas and Iowa and holds two ASHRAE Certifications - High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP) and Building Energy Audit Professional (BEAP).
In addition to her 9-month faculty appointment at K-State, Julia has the opportunity to stay current with the HVAC industry in a consulting capacity. Her consulting endeavors include performing as HVAC professional education consultant, engineering design, plan check and quality review, and acting as an owner’s representative in facility planning and project implementation.
Julia became involved in ASHRAE as a student member of the Kansas State University student branch. She has acted as the faculty advisor to this branch since 2003 during which time the chapter has routinely attended the ASHRAE winter meetings and the competition team that she has coached has finished first in the ASHRAE Design Competition six times. Through the years, Julia has held several chapter positions including President of the Cedar Valley Chapter. She has also been involved in many Society level committees including: Finance, Publishing and Education Council, Planning, Publications, Conferences and Expositions, and Certification as well as chaired TC6.1-Hydronic and Steam Equipment and Systems. Julia served in the elected positions on the ASHRAE Society Board of Directors as Vice President (2017 – 2019) and Director-at-Large (2013 – 2016). As a DAL and VP she served as Ex Officio/Coordinating Officer to the Refrigeration, Society Rules, and Standards Committees and was a voting member of Tech Council. Her service to the organization was recognized in 2010 when she was given the Distinguished Service Award. Julia continues to promote her passion of HVAC education through the HVAC Essentials Course she co-developed and delivers for ASHRAE around the world. She was promoted to the grade of ASHRAE Fellow in 2016 and was presented with the 2018 ASHRAE E. K. Campbell Teaching Award.
Zoom credentials will be mailed out the morning of the program - check your clutter/junk files.
Chapter Director, ASHRAE Ottawa Valley Chapter