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Torch passes, but flame still strong

Sept. 27, 2017
Meet our new Executive Editor, Rob McManamy. Here he shares his thoughts as he takes the helm.

Greetings, dear readers. I'm the new guy.

For years, Cleveland-based Scott Arnold has manned this helm, and done so with subdued editorial excellence and a steady, guiding hand. He kept this venerable publication on course to celebrate its 90th birthday in 2018, no small feat for any franchise, much less a thoughtful technical journal sailing through modern trade journalism’s swirling, multi-media tumult.

But HPAC Engineering is proceeding full steam ahead, so no worries.

Who am I?

Well, my name is Rob McManamy and I have been reporting, writing, and editing articles, both big and small, on design and construction issues for more than 30 years now, having started at Engineering News-Record (ENR) in 1987. I later served as ENR’s midwest bureau chief in Chicago, then worked as editor-in-chief at both Design-Build and BD+C magazines, and most recently, also at, a media and events startup focused on tech innovation and project delivery improvement in the built environment.

That latest experience will likely be the one that influences me the most here, as it involved considerable interaction with mechanical and sheet metal contractors, engineers, building owners, operations and maintenance manag- ers, ‘smart city’ designers, and the innovative technologists who are helping them all to work together more cohesively. So, look for even greater emphasis on those areas in the months ahead.

At the end of the day, though, engineering is about problem solving. And constructive, lasting solutions are the product of informed and inquisitive collaboration. So, that certainly will remain our mission here at HPAC Engineering, as we begin our 10th decade of industry service. You are the experts. With the help of our stellar editorial advisory board, my job is to facilitate this ongoing dialogue among all of you, to the betterment of this industry.

But I also aim to do so with a greater degree of urgency and immediacy. e engineering problems we face today are arguably bigger, more pervasive, and more pressing than ever before. Demographics alone validate that statement. There is a tsunami of engineering needs headed for us today, so we had best be ready.

In the months and years ahead, as populations cluster, cities grow and resources reach capacity, more an- swers will be needed in more places on this planet than ever before. Fortunately, technology has simultane- ously enabled our ability to collaborate with more ex- perts than ever before. And we could not be more grateful for the timing. (Who saw the big sci-fi movie Arrival last year?)

Our job here is to help you make all those connections, to solve those problems, and to share your solutions.

Smart cities are on the way, and just in time, too. e coming exponential growth of cities, smart or not, will demand this profession’s ‘A game’. We promise to be there to help you find yours, and together, to help build a better future for our industry (and our world), one practical solution at a time.

About the Author

Rob McManamy | Editor in Chief

An industry reporter and editor since 1987, McManamy joined HPAC Engineering in September 2017, after three years with, a Chicago-based media startup focused on tech innovation in the built environment. He has been covering design and construction issues for more than 30 years, having started at Engineering News-Record (ENR) in New York, before becoming its Midwest Bureau Chief in 1990. In 1998, McManamy was named Editor-in-Chief of Design-Build magazine, where he served for four years. He subsequently worked as an editor and freelance writer for Building Design + Construction and Public Works magazines.

A native of Bronx, NY, he is a graduate of both the University of Virginia, and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Contact him at [email protected].