Skip to Content

Specifically Speaking with Coleman Wolf, Environmental Systems Design

Specifically Speaking with Coleman Wolf, Environmental Systems Design

Specifically Speaking with Coleman Wolf, Environmental Systems Design

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News’ monthly column Specifically Speaking features Coleman Wolf, CPP, CISSP, who is Senior Security Consultant/Studio Leader at Environmental Systems Design, Inc., where he leads the company’s technology group, including a leadership role within the cybersecurity team.

The following is an exclusive interview with Wolf:

What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

Environmental Systems Design (ESD) Global, Inc. provides MEP, Fire Protection, Technology, Automation, Energy+Eco, Commissioning, and Structural Engineering consulting engineering services.

 Within the ESD Technology group, my team delivers the expertise and design solutions for a multitude of building systems including physical security, cybersecurity, information and communication technology (ICT), healthcare, intelligent building, and wireless and wired network.

 My own subspecialty of security has largely involved typical physical access control, intrusion detection, video surveillance, security communications, and related systems. Together with our security team, we not only provide security design and technical solutions but also security consulting services, planning, surveys, commissioning, and analysis of threat, vulnerabilities, and risk.

But more recently I have taken on a leadership role within our cybersecurity team where we provide specialized services with a focus on both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems. With the level of cyber threats our clients are facing, it has become critical to be proactive in addressing the concerns, and they look to our expertise and our long experience with these building infrastructure systems to deliver guidance and solutions.

What vertical markets does the company specialize in? Any interesting projects that you can mention?

ESD is primarily involved in commercial real estate offices, high-rise buildings, data centers, distribution, healthcare, financial, hospitality and convention centers, and R&D sectors. Each of these vertical markets has its own nuances, and we find that each have their own challenges. For example, we are very proud of the recently completed design and construction of the new Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall. It was a good example of how design solutions were used to address the complexities of the project to deliver an amazing facility but also one that is future-ready.

How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

I have always had an interest in understanding how things work. As a kid I built electronic projects to monitor and control things which I think naturally led to working with security systems. In college I earned my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and later a master’s degree in computer information systems. My first job was at a highly specialized security engineering firm that exposed me to some exciting projects and some really brilliant people. I feel fortunate to have built a career around my interests.

Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

The emerging technologies that I am most excited about are those related to building control systems and, for example, the use of artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. The advent of smart and intelligent buildings takes this even further to optimize people’s experience within the built environment. I think there are a lot of great benefits from these technologies but also a lot of potential risks particularly in the role of cybersecurity.

What is your view on the industry moving forward?

A greater emphasis is needed on protecting those systems that control and monitor facility operations. Reliability and integrity of those systems is one thing, but these systems have the potential to impact occupant’s health and safety, and fortunately I feel like we are starting to see better protection measures although I think there is still a long way to go.

Specifically Speaking, a Security Systems News monthly column, features Q-and-A with a security consultant provided to SSN by SecuritySpecifiers.


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.