Grounded in Care: Chalini Ekanayake
Controls and Mechanical Engineer, Chalini Ekanayake exemplifies WAM’s Core Value of Grounded in Care daily with her meticulous designs and thorough systems testing to make ensure WAM’s clients get the best system possible. But Chalini also commits her own time to work with high schoolers in San Jose and Milpitas through the ACE Mentoring program. She, along with other industry partners like XL Construction and our own Vanessa O’Connor, mentored students through Architectural and Mechanical design and construction projects focusing on sustainability and occupancy comfort. She and her team met remotely and used 3D REVIT and CAD to develop their designs. “Overall it was great to help teach the students about the industry and expose them to what they can do in architecture, engineering and construction.”, says Chalini of her experience with ACE. Thank you, Chalini, for helping to mold the future leaders!
A little more about the ACE Team…
Chalini is a mentor for the South Bay ACE Team, an organization that mentors high school students from Independence, Yerba Buena, and Milpitas High School. She was on a team with two other mentors and had a group of 6 students from Independence High School. The whole purpose of the program is to encourage students to pursue careers in Architecture, Engineering and Construction. Every week they would focus on a different topic in each of those categories. They started with site surveys, landscaping, architecture, and interior design, and then moved on to 3D modeling, structural analysis, designing HVAC, and learning about MEP.
Chalini led the 3D modeling week and gave a presentation discussing how engineers use CAD models and BIM in our industry. Vanessa even volunteered to show the students examples of how we use Revit! All of the weekly lessons built upon each other because the students had a semester-long project of designing a building from start to finish. Her team was tasked with building a homeless shelter and they had to present it at the end of the term. They chose the location of the building, and then they worked through everything they had taught them; analyzing the site, using 3D modeling to create the building layout, figuring out how to keep the spaces comfortable, and prioritizing sustainability throughout the entire process. It was interesting to see the students learn and collaborate in a virtual setting since the entire semester was online. Overall, Chalini felt it was great to help teach the students about the industry and expose them to what they can do in architecture, engineering and construction.