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The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction

Alumni Profile

Clayton Miller

Architectural Engineering


What is your current job title?
Lead Energy Engineer and Co-Founder of Optiras Pte Ltd.

Briefly describe what your job entails.
I manage the technical development of a software toolkit that energy managers and retro-commissioning agents can use to improve existing building performance. Our main focus is commercial buildings in the Asia Pacific market.

How did the Durham School prepare you for what you're doing now?
The Professors in the Architectural Engineering program at the Durham School always spoke about how comprehensive the curriculum was within the building industry but that didn’t impact me until the last few years. Because of this comprehensive teaching, I have an incredible head start compared to straight Mechanical or Electrical Engineering graduates coming out of school when it comes to understanding all facets of the building industry. Subsequently this comprehensive knowledge has given me the confidence to speak directly with Lighting Designers, Acoustic Consultants, Contractors, Architects and many other professionals, whereas most engineering students will need repeated exposure throughout their careers before fully understanding the inner workings of each role plays in the design process. Therefore my role as an engineer, focused on performance, is enhanced since I can now turn my attention to other fields such as Information Technology and data analysis rather than the basics of the construction industry.

The Durham School's mission is to develop the engineer and constructor of the future. What do you think the future will require?
The future engineer and constructor will require fine-tuned information technology and analytics skills. People and devices are creating more raw data each year at any other point in history - and buildings are no different. The future engineer will need to be strategic in how, when, and why to leverage various data sources in order to be the most effective while not getting overwhelmed.

How well do you think The Durham School's emphasis on global perspective, entrepreneurship, eco-friendliness and social consciousness will translate to the changing demands facing tomorrow's leaders?
My career so far, and especially my current position, is a testament that all of the ideals listed make a lasting impression on Durham School graduates. We live and work in a global economy, where innovation almost exclusively occurs in entrepreneurship-type situations, and sustainability is a key driver for growth and challenge in our industry.

Clayton Miller
Clayton Miller