Staff >> Kirby Palm

Kirby Palm

Environmental Committee and Energy Committee Member

Environmental Committee ยท Energy Committee

I attended Florida Technological University in Orlando, FL 1973-77, earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Science. At my graduation ceremony, the guest speaker was the president of the university announcing his retirement. The first thing his replacement did was change the name of the university to University of Central Florida. Since then, what had been envisioned as a leading-edge technical institution to rival MIT and GT has morphed into a thriving liberal arts school. And they have the gall to ask me for alumni donations! I was a co-op student while at FTU, meaning I worked in the industry every other quarter. For most of this time, I worked for Florida Power & Light at their Sanford power plant. One of my tasks was to prepare technical illustrations for use in training manuals, a task that involved studying and understanding every system in the plant. After graduation I was employed at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in West Palm Beach, Florida as a test engineer 1978-85. Responsibilities included the instrumentation, assembly, testing, and tear-down of experimental military jet fighter engines. This was during the Cold War. From 1985 into the 1990's, I worked as a Consulting Engineer in Tallahassee, FL, primarily designing HVAC and plumbing systems for new building construction. I also served as the Energy Manager for the Leon County School Board for about two years. I gradually retired in the 1990's as earnings in the stock market greatly overshadowed income from engineering work.