Member Spotlight: Jeri Bonvillain

Member Spotlight: Jeri Bonvillain

This issue’s member spotlight is on Jeri Bonvillain!

When did you first hear about the IES and what prompted you to join?
Recently relocated from Boston, my new department manager, Ervin Kulenica, PE, encouraged me to join in order to take advantage of the professional development programs and networking the chapter offers. Though I had I heard about IES many years ago, it took Ervin’s enthusiasm about IES to convince me to join. of my career was in the shipbuilding industry in the New Orleans, La. area. I was not involved in the lighting portion at all.

At what point in your career did you come to understand lighting was the career path for you?
The beginning of my career was in the shipbuilding industry in the New Orleans, La. area. I was not involved in the lighting portion at all.
Once I moved to NC in 1998 and was hired by O’Brien Atkins, I quickly learned about lighting as a major part of the Electrical Engineering building systems’ design. And came to appreciate that lighting design is one of the major elements that makes a building unique and allows the designer to showcase their creativity.

The invention of LED’s has contributed immensely to the creativeness of lighting design. I am glad to say I was at the forefront of the LED trend when O’Brien Atkins designed the Green Square projects in Raleigh, NC. Green Square encompasses the Nature Research Center and the NC DEQ Headquarters, both on Jones Street (Legislative District) in downtown Raleigh. Dubbed Green Square, this complex is a premier sustainable project for the State of North Carolina with both buildings having achieved LEED Platinum certification. O’Brien Atkins’ Electrical Engineering department was instrumental in convincing the State to use all LED lighting – which was a first for them.

Past/Recent Projects
Since joining O’Brien Atkins in 1998, I have been very fortunate to work on a wide variety of corporate, municipal, institutional and sci/high-tech projects. A few of the more significant of these are the 2.25 million sf of corporate/R&D campus (15 buildings) for Cisco in RTP; Florida State University’s Chemistry Sciences Laboratory Building; Wake Tech’s RTP Classroom Building 2; Duke University’s Trinity Residence Hall; the NC National Guard HQ; Green Square: NCDEQ HQ and the Nature Research Center and, currently, the NC Central University New Student Center.

When not serving the advancement of the art and science of lighting, how do you like to spend your free time?
I love to spend my time on the water. Being from Louisiana, I love everything about being on the water. I enjoy living in North Carolina, and spending my time at the beach, kayaking and fly fishing.

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