Employee Spotlight - November 2018

Travis Hinck

Project Manager | Madison, WI

Travis started working at GDS in 2011 as a Project Engineer from his home office. Before joining GDS, he worked for Honeywell for 5 years as a Product Test Engineer. Travis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. He also earned a Master’s degree in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Currently, Travis is managing three projects focused on leveraging conservation programs in Minnesota to drive electric utility infrastructure efficiency (generation, transmission, and distribution systems). The team created measures for infrastructure to add to the MN TRM, conducted an infrastructure potential study, and they are exploring the policy landscape to reduce barriers to implementation. Travis is supporting the implementation of the Ameren Illinois business energy efficiency program as a technical reviewer. He also has a handful of other projects supporting energy efficiency efforts with clients.

What has working at GDS taught you? What are your interests in your field of work?

One of the things I enjoy most about GDS is the wide variety of projects I work on and the people I get to work with.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that there is often no prescribed way of solving problems – learning to have confidence in good ideas, even if they’ve never been tested before, is an important skill you can only develop with experience. I am grateful for the experience I’ve gained working with GDS.

One specific area of interest I am continuing to pursue is trying to find ways to provide incentives to utilities to improve the efficiency of supply-side (infrastructure) assets. There is a built-in incentive to improve the bottom line, but there is a lot more room for improvement that we are only now starting to unlock.

Rapid Fire:


What do you enjoy doing on your day off?

Since he was born a year ago, I have been spending a lot of my time with my son Aunder. Other than that, my favorite pastime is cross country skiing – you must find something to stay active in the winter in MN and I’m lucky to have found something I love to get out in the snow.

Favorite places to travel?

I enjoy traveling to the Boundary Waters in northern MN. I have also been to 23 of 30 major league baseball stadiums – I enjoy getting to a couple of those each year.

Any favorite Movies, books, T.V. shows?

I am a fan of a lot of the popular TV shows right now. For a slightly-off-the-beaten-path choice, I am a big fan of the show Fargo.

Do you participate in any extra-curricular activities?

I play softball, mountain bike, cross country ski, and run (significantly less now that we have a baby around, but I still get out sometimes)

Tell us a little about your Family & friends

My wife Amy and I have a 1-year-old son, Aunder. He soaks up pretty much all our family/friend’s time – he’s a great excuse to hang out with.