Rob Thompson

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When his work as a mechanical engineer is at its best, muses Rob, people don’t even notice. "Mechanical components blend seamlessly into the background, and the spaces are comfortable, quiet and operate efficiently," he explains. Those are key benefits of an integrated design approach, which Rob teaches to fourth-year architecture students at the University of Arizona. "Engineers can make the biggest impact on a building when they’re brought in early to provide input on building layouts and system requirements," he notes. "The more the design team has a common understanding, the more efficient and integrated the building will become." A native of Arizona, Rob enjoys quiet bike rides and day hikes with his family to take in the scenic beauty of the Southwest. "I might consider traveling to Alaska to experience the diverse environment," he says. "But coming from the desert, it would have to be a summer trip."