Andrew McCoy

Freelance Writer

Andrew McCoy is an associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Contact him at

Articles by Andrew McCoy

October 2015
When Chris Chastain took time out to talk with us, he revealed two facts about himself that we highlighted and circled in our notes in preparation to write this column. The first is a special part of his personal work history. The second is a surprise that we divulge at the end of this column.
  • Chris Nichols, Vice President of Special Projects, Sequoyah Electric
August 2015
“Sequoyah” may look like an alternate spelling for the species of majestic trees that grace the landscape of the western United States. Actually, Sequoyah was the name of a Native American who is the only individual ever known to have single-handedly invented an entire “alphabet” (more exactly, a “syllabary” made up of 86 characters) that was adopted by an entire nation. READ MORE
June 2015
“Sprig” is a nickname for the Pintail Duck, a breed that is particularly admired for its trim form, great agility, unending endurance and flying speed, which can reach up to 65 miles per hour. READ MORE
April 2015
Thomas Edison got it wrong. He predicted that everyone who pinned their hopes on the future of alternating current was just wasting their time. Meanwhile, plenty of Edison’s early contemporaries predicted that, while electrical lighting would become popular, the main source of residential illumination would remain gas lamps. READ MORE
February 2015
Emily Martin took us by surprise. From the very beginning of our interview with her, she didn’t hesitate to divulge things that most other electrical contractors (ECs) would be reluctant to share. READ MORE
December 2014
We appreciate all of the positive response to the new format for our column in which we interview industry leaders about key issues that may alter the future of electrical construction. This time, we reached out to Michael McLin, president of Denver-based Maxim Consulting Group, a busy guy who seems to be in constant motion. READ MORE
October 2014
In 1935, Boeing Corp. would have never predicted it was about to make one of its greatest contributions not only to the aviation industry but to every other line of work as well. Boeing’s Model 299, nicknamed the “Flying Fortress,” was the clear leader in the War Department’s selection process for the next generation of long-range bombers.
September 2014
Since February 2011, our column has aimed to change the way the electrical contracting industry views service in its daily operations. Using a service-based business model, we have presented ways that electrical contractors can awaken to the prospect of increasing their customer base by shifting the focus of their operations from project-based to service-centric.
August 2014
Since many locales have suffered some form of natural disaster in recent years, world and thought leaders have begun to hone in on massive preventive solutions that are now commonly lumped under the label “resilience.” How can the manufactured physical infrastructures of our societies be rendered resilient to Mother Nature’s near- and long-term attacks?