Julian Vaiana is energy engineering program manager for Trane Technologies’ Commercial HVAC business. He’s also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and currently a Major in the Air Force Reserves.
Julian was still in high school when he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and older brother and join the Air Force. While earning his engineering degree at Syracuse University, he joined its Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, taking military studies courses alongside his regular coursework and physical training.
Julian committed to serving four years of active duty as a commissioned officer after graduation, and earned an Air Force-sponsored scholarship that paid for the rest of his education. He officially joined the Air Force the day he graduated college. That might sound like a big commitment for a such young man. So, why did he do it?
“My father served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and my brother had a great experience in ROTC,” Julian said. “I knew joining the Air Force would give me the chance to travel and get valuable experience.
“Plus, having the Air Force pay for my college tuition was a big deal. I entered college during the Great Recession, so having my tuition paid for and a guaranteed job after graduation felt awesome.”
From Military Life to Civilian Life
Julian served his four years of active duty at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where he worked on energy-efficient building projects, and in Afghanistan, where he was deployed for five months in 2013. During his deployment he worked with local Afghan engineers and contractors to oversee base construction and maintenance.
“I was a First Lieutenant then, leading a civil engineer squadron responsible for all phases of construction and maintenance,” Julian said. “I was basically doing the work of a construction project manager.”
He liked his responsibilities in the Air Force, but Julian was interested in gaining more technical engineering experience. So he separated from the military after serving out his contract and landed a job in facilities energy analysis.
“After about a year of civilian life I realized I missed my service to country, which I didn’t fully appreciate until after I’d left the Air Force,” Julian said. “So I became a reservist.”
Julian joins Trane
Not long after joining the Air Force Reserves, Julian joined Trane commercial sales office in Long Island City, New York, as construction project manager, getting his first experience in the HVAC industry. Within a year, he put his energy analysis experience to work as Intelligent Services account engineer, and finally energy engineering program manager, the role he holds today.
Julian says Trane Technologies and his managers have always been supportive of his service.
“It’s been an awesome experience since my first day at Trane,” he said. “Each manager has been supportive of my choice to be in the Air Force Reserves, and there’s never been an issue when occasionally something comes up that may take me away from work for a bit.”