When Canadian native Bungane Mehlomakulu graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 2002 with a degree in applied mechanical engineering, his career path had already been set – in architecture.
Mehlomakulu said his decision was influenced by a book about architecture that he read while still thinking about his postgraduation plans. After that, his future came into focus: He would use his engineering degree in the architectural field.
“For me, the idea of building things that people use every day is appealing,” he said. “The thought that goes into architecture, the task of looking at lines on a page and turning that into a 3-D space appeals to me.”
So while his engineering classmates were still looking for jobs in such fields as aerospace, Mehlomakulu chose to join IBE Consulting Engineers. The Sherman Oaks firm designs mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems for a variety of building types.
“In aerospace, most people work on a single part of the project. Very few people get to work on the whole thing,” said Mehlomakulu, whose focus includes creating energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable designs for projects. “For a sustainable building to work it’s not just the architecture that’s important, it’s not just the engineering. It’s everything coming together.”
IBE recently promoted him to principal. Projects he has worked on include the USC School of Cinematic Arts; the Westminster Cultural Center in Westminster; and Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design South Campus, a multiple-award winner for its energy-efficient design.
In addition to the promotion, Mehlomakulu has received additional confirmation that he made the right choice out of college. He and his wife, Carolyn, recently came across a time capsule hidden away in his personal belongings at their home. He had created it in 1989 to open in the year 2000. The capsule’s contents included potential professions that the 10-year-old had written down on paper: Two of them read “architecture” and “engineering.”
Bungane, 31, and his wife live in Santa Monica. In his spare time, he enjoys playing baseball, going to concerts and attempting to replicate the recipes of his favorite restaurants.
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