[MUSIC PLAYING] ABENA SACKEY OJETAYO: My name is Abena Sackey Ojetayo. I work for Cornell University as a project engineer. in facility services, we manage the built environment for the entire campus.
I do what I do because I'm really excited about the built environment. I got into engineering because I like science and technology, and civil engineering specifically, because you can see what you're doing. You can see the things come from paper to reality. Cornell has its own energy plan, and so it's almost a playground for engineers.
For myself, it wasn't part of my immediate future, starting a family, but I did. And I was really pleasantly surprised about the flexibility that Cornell afforded me-- and in fact, not even just afforded me flexibility, but almost encouraging it. It's a really balanced place to raise a family I didn't think about that before, but all of a sudden, I'm thinking about it, and I'm just really-- I'm glad that I'm here.
We are really encouraged to be part of that work, to be on the field, not just in the back, in the cubicle designing things, but to go out in the field, see how things are working out. So Cornell's building a new tech campus on Roosevelt island, and so our scope is site development, all the stuff that happens before a building comes on. So the road systems, the utilities, the energies, and getting the site prepared for the first buildings to be developed for the campus.
We're working with EAPC Wind Energy Consultants. They're coming in with a [? lidar ?] unit that sits on the ground, can be deployed anywhere. We're going to deploy it, actually, on the rooftop, and it collects data about the wind flow.
We'd work with consultants that are almost 100% based in New York City. On a typical month, we're going every other week. And that works well for us, because we have our families based here, and so we can go and do the work, and we can orchestrate and arrange all of our meetings to happen in one or two days.
New York is fun. It's exciting. You get through the subways, and you do it a couple of times, and you get a little tired, because there's a little bit of this anonymity in the city. But Ithaca is really small, so anybody that you meet, you'll probably see them at the store, the grocery store, or you pick up your kid, you'll probably meet another person. So I like that idea. I like that community feel about this space.
When you come here, you realize everything is actually here, whether it's for the professional development, for the people that you'll meet, for the academic, the enriching environment that you are in, the intellectually stimulating environment, but also the natural beauty of the place as well. And so you get all this in a place that you never thought you would find. It's almost an oasis, that when you chance upon it, it's hard to let go.
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It's an engineer's dream: design Cornell Tech's campus in New York City with a green infrastructure that is a model of sustainability. Happily, it is Abena Sackey Ojetayo's current focus. With bachelor's and master's degrees from the College of Engineering, Ojetayo is a LEED accredited professional and one of the 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering for 2013, named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as the industry's next generation of leaders.
More portraits of extraordinary Cornellians are available at