Gary Cooper

Starting in junior high and high school, Gary took a special interest in shop class and originally pursued a degree in architectural engineering. However, partway through the program, he was introduced to plumbing and HVAC design. He soon realized that engineering was a natural fit and received his associate’s degree in architectural engineering from Southeast Community College.

Gary has worked on hundreds of projects from large-scale buildings like the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, designed by world-renowned architects, to small clean rooms in animal care facilities throughout his 40+-year career at Alvine Engineering. He has appreciation for all projects large or small, learning that even those small clean rooms leave a large impact in unexpected ways, like helping to provide pork for 157,000 Americans each year.

Gary shares the lessons he has learned over his career with future architects and engineers by teaching a course about the fundamentals of building systems at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. He is also a Senior Resource Engineer at Alvine Engineering, providing guidance to young engineers as they grow into tomorrow’s leaders. Gary encourages his students and mentees to embrace collaboration across disciplines early in design because he sees the future of the industry moving more toward seamless integration across trades.


  • Adjunct Instructor at Metropolitan Community College
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Society Member
  • ASHRAE Regional Historian for Region 9
  • ASHRAE Nominating Committee Member
  • ASHRAE Ethics Committee Member
  • ASHRAE Bowling League Member and Golf League Member
  • American Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE) Member
  • Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Member
  • Architecture and Engineering Institute (AEI) Student Competition Mentor at the Peter Kiewit Institute
  • Southeast Community College Outstanding Alumni 2016
  • Southeast Community College Architectural Engineering Advisory Board Member from 1990-2015

“I like to teach and share experiences because I think it’s important for people to understand the why behind everything we do.”

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