The great and powerful Oz said, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Well, if you looked behind the curtains of the U’s cooling plants you’d probably find Scott McCord. A senior engineer who’s worked in Energy Management since his senior year of college in 2004, McCord probes the university’s cooling infrastructure to make sure it runs smoothly.
A self-proclaimed gear-head, McCord’s first big project after graduating was overseeing repair of the Health Sciences District cooling plant. Relatively new equipment had been installed and was under-performing. Until McCord was assigned to the project, it looked like the university might need to purchase an additional chiller in order to add capacity. McCord was able to remap the existing plant and stabilize loads, saving the university a lot of money.
Like a lot of kids growing up, McCord enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together again. He tinkered with bunch of small engines and bikes, and tore cars apart just to rebuild them. His family owns a farm in Fertile, Minn., which provided lots of machinery to work on.
“There’s always something breaking on the farm,” said McCord. “It was just something to do growing up. I’d give my grandpa and uncles a hand, or get in the way, whatever you want to call it.”
McCord, who currently lives near Como Park, was born on St. Paul’s east side and lived there until he was five. His family then moved to Lino Lakes, where he stayed until he graduated from Centennial High School and came to the U.
In addition to working on engines as a teenager, McCord had a part-time job at Kowalski’s grocery store throughout high school and college. The good pay and flexible hours were ideal for a student.
“It was ridiculous,” remembered McCord. “I was working 30 some hours a week during school, plus taking 16-17 credit courses for each semester.”
A big Gopher hockey and football fan, McCord has been to the last two NCAA Frozen Four Championships and plans to attend the 2013 event in Pittsburgh. He’s also making the trip to Chicago in February for the Gophers outdoor hockey game against Wisconsin at Soldier Field.
McCord’s dad started a family tradition more than twenty years ago when he decided to start hunting on the family farm. Over the years more family and friends have joined in to make for quite the annual hunting party.
McCord doesn’t currently have a car he’s working on, save for the 13-year-old Buick Aurora he uses to commute to work. He also has a 2010 Camaro that’s so new there’s nothing really to fix. McCord recently started doing woodworking, making his first set of cabinets. He’s also remodeled his master bedroom, laid down wood floors and taken on several other handyman projects. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, he’s about three quarters of the way through a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the U.
Now that the curtain has been pulled from in front of Scott McCord, you can see that the work he’s doing at the U is great and powerful .