Q&A: Iain Stewart, Affil.AIRAH 

Q&A: Iain Stewart, Affil.AIRAH 

Ecolibrium breaks bread with the Melbourne-based cofounder and CEO of Exergenics. Stewart earned the 2021 AIRAH Future Leader Award. 

Do you have a specialty? 

Thermodynamics and energy modelling. 

What does it mean to win the AIRAH Future Leader Award? 

It’s really gratifying to get this award from AIRAH, especially given we are relative newcomers to the industry. So many industry veterans have been incredibly generous with their time and expertise in willing to help shape our direction and strategy. 

Watching the cost curves of solar and wind over the last decade, I’m confident the same can be achieved in energy productivity 

What are you passionate about?  

My two professional passions are the fight against climate change and solving hard data problems, so I think I’ve landed in the right place.  

When I’m not working, I’ll be at the park with my dog, or on the weekend try to get away camping or to the beach (also with my dog). And I love a game of chess or golf. 

How have you coped during the COVID-19 pandemic ? 

When the pandemic hit I had just started Exergenics, it was only myself working on the company and I was also living alone, it was a tough few months. But since then consistently growing the team has made it much easier and now there is such a good vibe in the office that it feels like the worst is behind us. 

iain stewart

Iain Stewart, Affil.AIRAH with his 2021 AIRAH Future Leader gong.

What do you like about your job? 

I love how much time I get to spend with a group of engineers and data scientist with a whiteboard brainstorming solutions for tricky modelling problems. 

What do you find challenging? 

Coming from outside the industry and trying to bring a new product to market, it has been a challenge to develop an offering that aligns the incentives of all of the different stakeholders in the HVAC & wider buildings ecosystems, but I guess this is a challenge that every start up comes up against sooner or later.  

What would you most like that you don’t have?  

Omnipresent, normalised building data on the cloud available via API. 

What are you optimistic about? 

I am perpetually optimistic about the ability of technology to solve some of the worlds most pressing challenges. Watching the cost curves of solar and wind over the last decade, I’m confident the same can be achieved in energy productivity as building technology moves from early adopters to being deployed at scale.  

Like to know more? 

If you are interested in nominating for the 2022 AIRAH Awards, go to www.airah.org.au/awards 

AIRAH Ecolibrium magazine May 2022 cover

This article appears in ecolibrium’s may 2022 issue

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