Michael House has built a career on his deep understanding of energy management, distinguishing himself in a series of energy-related positions at companies such as Lockheed Martin and General Electric, before coming to his current role as vice president of infrastructure and energy solutions at Siemens Government Technologies in August 2020.
An engineer by trade, House holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineer science and mechanics, respectively, from the Pennsylvania State University. He spent seven years at Northrop Grumman as a program manager and business leader, wherein his work included the manufacturing of power control and distribution units for satellite payloads, as well as federally-backed research and development, among other focus areas.
Before to coming to Siemens, he was vice president of energy consulting services in the Americas for AECOM, liaising with clients regarding energy planning, distributed generation, microgrids and more.
House recently sat down with ExecutiveBiz for an Executive Spotlight interview, during which he chatted about SGT’s new smart infrastructure offerings and its impact in the Internet of Things realm, citing specific offerings like Siemens Desigo CC and Building X. Read on for the whole conversation.
How is current U.S. policy to combat climate change affecting your government customers and in turn, how are you responding to address their needs?
SGT’s government customers are very focused on the effects of climate change as it relates to successfully fulfilling their missions. We see increased requirements for facility resiliency and sustainability. For our Department of Defense customer, there’s a clear recognition of the role they can play in climate action given their operational demands for energy and resulting carbon dioxide emissions. The DOD is not only the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S., but also the world’s single largest institutional consumer of petroleum. To DOD’s credit, they’re using the challenges presented by climate change as an opportunity to not only incorporate green technologies into their operations, but even more importantly leverage renewable energy sources as an opportunity to build a competitive advantage against adversaries in their national security missions around the world. We’re proud to play a vital part in this effort through a broad range of technologies that provide energy efficiency, resiliency and more.
How do you define smart infrastructure and what are the implications for government agencies in their ongoing modernization efforts?
Smart infrastructure at Siemens is about connecting traditional building systems like heating, ventilation and air conditioning and fire, safety and power, with their digital representation in the form of cloud-connected and enabled “smart” management and automation systems. The ability to effectively manage a building or multiple buildings on a military base through a host of connected technologies using a common interface is something we do today through Siemens Desigo CC, which seamlessly connects all building systems through an open management platform. Importantly, it’s designed from the ground up as an open architecture and scalable solution, ensuring that building managers can keep pace with the rapid transformation in Internet of Things technologies.
How can government agencies best harness the emerging technologies associated with smart infrastructure?
When it comes to smart infrastructure there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. From an energy efficiency and resiliency viewpoint, microgrids serve as a great example of something that customers can readily incorporate into their existing infrastructure while significantly enhancing their use of renewable energy sources, reducing dependence on traditional fossil fuels and lowering their total cost of energy in their operations. A perfect example is the U.S. Army’s goal to incorporate a microgrid on every one of its 130 installations worldwide by 2035. And because the needs of each installation vary considerably, the microgrids will be equally different in their function and configuration. We have operational experience in serving military customers with microgrid solutions customized to their needs, and we’re fortunate to be able to draw from the total experience of Siemens with operational microgrids at facilities spanning university campuses, hospitals, research facilities and more.
What other exciting things should we be looking out for with smart buildings going forward?
At SGT we are incredibly excited about Siemens’ new cloud-connected platform called Building X. It’s really about the next step in building evolution, incorporating the rapid advancement in AI-enabled technologies to transform smart buildings into autonomous capable buildings. It’s about unlocking vast amounts of data and converting it into actionable information for building managers, asset managers, security personnel and energy managers. Building X leverages the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, allowing organizations to integrate and use digital tools, software, applications, and services (regardless of vendor) within a common digital framework, and standard industrial communication protocols. A common theme with these IoT- and AI-enabled technologies is the increasing dependence on connectivity with the cloud and the internet. Our customers are looking for the assurance that any technologies they incorporate into their most critical infrastructure meets their rigorous cybersecurity requirements.
We have much to look forward to in supporting our customers’ infrastructure needs at a time of rapid advancement in building design, management, and automation!