Jennifer Ma

AGE: 33



How long have you been in the PHCP-PVF industry?

JM: I have been in the industry since 2012 so about 11 years. I started my first job in the industry right out of school.

What drew you into the industry?

JM: I studied mechanical engineering in college, and it was there that I was really drawn to the design aspect where I could draw and model something on a computer and then build it in real life. I was exposed to the construction field during an internship and when entering the workforce, I found that project engineering in the HVAC and plumbing industry provided an opportunity to combine my prior experience with the opportunity to design.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the industry?

JM: The most rewarding part of working in this industry is to see your ideas built in the field. The design phase of projects can take months, if not years, with the process of decision-making and approvals, which makes it extremely fulfilling to see a project constructed and be able to walk through a building and see the systems you designed and coordinated.

What motivates you every day?

JM: The opportunity to problem solve. It can range from finding a piping route around other utilities to searching for a piece of equipment that can fit within a small space, to designing a system that meets the building owner’s use and sustainability goals. There are many factors and challenges that come with projects, such as scope, budget and schedule and the chance to meet these expectations with a design motivates me every day.

What is one thing you wish more people knew/understood about the PHCP-PVF industry?

JM: I think the HVAC industry does not have a reputation for being the most glamorous and exciting. I wish people understood that it is much more than just sizing ductwork and piping; the industry allows us to design innovative systems and implement new equipment and technology to make our buildings more comfortable, efficient and sustainable.

What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?

JM: Starting out in the industry, I discovered there was much more to learn than I was exposed to in my education which has driven me to continue learning. Early in my career, I took many classes and training to develop skills specific to the industry. The proudest moment in my career so far was when I received my Professional Engineering license. It took hours of studying, taking practice tests, and dedication to prioritize while having a full-time job.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

JM: I love to cook and bake! I spend my free time looking through and collecting recipes that I can try. I am most likely also watching cooking competition shows on the Food Network. The thing I most enjoy is recreating my favorite dishes from restaurants and being able to cook them at home.