Jim Bunsey’s original passion was design, and he began his career as a design engineer for a mechanical consulting firm. But when one of Bunsey’s largest contracts offered him a project manager opportunity, it wasn’t long before he felt the pull to design and manage the installation of large commercial and industrial systems.
“I felt like I needed more,” he says. So, after seven years with the mechanical contracting company, Bunsey started Triad Mechanical, where he designed, engineered and installed mechanical systems for repurposed historical buildings. Five years later, Bunsey’s company landed a contract with Superior Energy Systems (SES) to install a backup, stand-by propane system for a Virginia prison system.
SES began taking up about 75% of Bunsey’s contract load. While he was happy designing and installing larger mechanical systems, he was bogged down in the minutia of owning a company. So, Bunsey jumped at the opportunity when SES asked to combine his company with theirs.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that SES only designs and installs small bulk plants. “We design and install a lot more than propane tanks, which is what hooked me,” said Bunsey. In 16 years with SES, Bunsey has installed a propane system in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii.
As director of operations, Bunsey oversees liquid propane gas and natural gas liquid product design and development, including propane autogas, midstream and industrial applications. He manages in-field installations across North America and often works on the adjustment of customer propane legacy systems, such as 30-year-old mixers and blending systems.
Bunsey spearheaded the strategy and development of the first technologically advanced propane autogas refueling dispenser in North America, leading to the installation and operation of more than 1,400 systems nationwide. To go along with those dispensers, Bunsey and his team designed a cloud-based fuel management software that works off cell service and allows customers to log in and curate new users, vehicles and accounts, and restrict access. “We moved 4 million gallons in the past month of the network’s operation,” he says.
Bunsey and his team recently built a system for a customer whose main goal is to keep liquid propane from being vented to the atmosphere and give it the capability to recapture it, greatly reducing the system’s environmental impact. The system pays for itself over time and keeps the company from wasting propane. His current work focuses on how to increase the ROI of these cleaner systems.
“I am looking now at gallons growth and looking for clean, renewable sources. I want to ensure that propane is here to stay and help in the future.”
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