A Passion for the Environment
“Even though I am a chemical engineer, I have never been a huge fan of chemistry,” admits Nicolás Vizcaíno (M.S. ’19). “Still, this is a great career and what I have always wanted to do.” The New York Tech grad is finding a lot of success in the world of energy management. Recently, one of his client companies, Grupo Libertad, won the 2022 Global Leadership Award in energy management. In September 2022, he helped present the winning project at the award ceremony in the United States. He spoke to New York Tech News about his work and his time at New York Tech.
How did you come to study at New York Tech?
I am from Argentina, where I grew up and currently live. I have always been motivated to work to better the environment, partly because I have always been an animal lover. I am a true “energy geek,” so a master’s in energy management was a way to pursue this path. When I started looking for graduate programs, it was clear that New York Tech’s program was what I was looking for, and it was a key step for my career. Before getting my M.S., it was difficult to get into the energy efficiency field. Now, I am proud to say that many companies have called me to join their teams.
Tell us about what you are doing now.
After working as the energy director at GB4A for three years, I became the general manager. I work with my clients (mostly industrial and large commercial buildings) to reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact. Because our company is small, I also work in sales, engineering, marketing, and administration. That is the part of the job I really enjoy, getting to do a bit of everything,
Congratulations on receiving an Energy Management Leadership Award. Can you tell us a bit about the selection process, how you found out and what the award means to you?
I heard about the award while in a meeting with a previous participant, one of the largest energy companies in Argentina. After hearing about it, I advised one of my other clients to participate. They are a much smaller company with fewer resources, but we are very proud of what they do and the work we have done together. We were hoping [to win] the local award, but to our surprise, we ended up winning internationally, something that seemed impossible for us. We could not believe it!
Why is energy performance particularly important now?
It is the fastest way to reduce our carbon emissions. People tend to focus on renewables and energy storage systems, and in the mid- and long-term, these will be the solution, but energy efficiency is the way to go. In fact, there is no excuse not to apply it; it only has advantages. It saves money, reduces emissions, improves processes and know-how, and more.
How did your studies at New York Tech impact the work you do?
My time at New York Tech gave me a unique perspective on the business. It allowed me to think about how to make energy awareness and efficiency part of a system. My favorite class was Energy Management with Associate Professor Robert Amundsen, Ph.D. For me, this class was the heart of the whole program. Also, Assistant Professor Ehsan Kamel, Ph.D., and Michael Nizich, Ph.D. (director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center), were my mentors during my two years at New York Tech. They are two amazing professors and even better people.
This interview has been edited and condensed.