February 22, 2021
Get to Know Clifton Lindsey and How Trane Technologies Engineers Make the Impossible Possible
In honor of Engineers Week, Trane Technologies celebrates the engineers who make the impossible possible.
Clifton Lindsey is New Product Development manager for air
conditioner and heat pump engineering in Trane Technologies’
Residential HVAC business. He leads a team of seven engineers tasked
with developing new outdoor products for the Trane, American Standard,
RunTru and Ameristar brands.
He didn’t always know he wanted to be an engineer. Clifton was in his second year of college – planning to become a dentist and majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology – when he realized he was taking the last math course he would ever need.
“I was bummed because I really enjoyed the math,” Clifton said.
“When I went home to study, I always did the calculus first. I
realized chemistry and biology might not be right for me, because I
wasn’t enjoying the science nearly as much as I enjoyed the math. I’d
always heard that people who like math should consider engineering, so
I started investigating a different career path.”
A life-changing decision
Clifton did his research and decided to change his major, which also
meant transferring to a different college with an engineering
“It didn’t take me long to realize that my new major in mechanical
engineering was the right choice for me,” he said. “The program was
tough, but I found my classes much more interesting, and my grades
After graduation, Clifton landed a job in product engineering and
held roles in process engineering and manufacturing engineering before
joining Trane in 2008 as a component engineer. In 2016 he moved into
his current role as new product development manager.
Clifton reflects on his engineering career path and how engineers
make the impossible possible.
Q: How did you decide which type of engineering to get into?
A: I didn’t know any engineers at the time, and I didn’t know enough
about the different engineering disciplines to make a good decision at
the time. I chose mechanical engineering because my dad was a
mechanic, and looking back, I think I chose well.
Q: What do you like most about working in engineering?
A: I enjoy the challenges that come up. Each day is different, and
there are always challenges that need to be overcome. I love solving
Q: What types of challenges do you tend to encounter in your
current role and how do you solve them?
A: As a manager, my biggest challenges are around resources and
availability. For an immediate need, I negotiate with other
departments. But for long-term goals, it’s all about strategic
planning – often looking three to five years ahead so we can have the
resources in place to execute on new product development
Q: What project at Trane Technologies has been especially enjoyable
for you to work on?
A: In 2020, we launched our first value brands of outdoor products,
Trane and Ameristar by American Standard Heating &
Air. It was challenging because we started completely from
scratch, instead of making changes to an existing product line, which
is more typical for my team. It was also challenging because Trane and
American Standard aren’t seen as value products – they are our
flagship, premium brands – so people’s perspectives and mindsets
needed to change in order for us to be successful.
Another challenge was developing products that offer the same
quality, reliability and performance of the Trane brand and finding
ways to take costs out – we were walking a fine line between
performance and cost, and we succeeded. This project was memorable
because of all the new challenges it presented, and I’m proud to be
part of the first value product line we’ve ever manufactured
Q: What sets Trane apart from other companies you’ve worked
A: So many people at Trane are subject matter experts – and they’re
more than willing to share their expertise and help you along the way.
It’s the culture here – people helping people. When I first joined
Trane as a component engineer, I was able to lean on colleagues who
had more experience designing components. It has made all the
difference in my development and really helped me grow.
Q: How do engineers make the impossible possible?
A: Engineers take an idea or theory and find a way to apply it realistically – we turn ideas into reality. Or, conversely, we prove that it cannot be done. But generally, here’s how it works: A scientist does research and development in a laboratory and comes up with a new discovery. It’s up to a team of engineers to turn that discovery or idea into products that can be manufactured and sold.
Get to Know Clinton Lindsey, in his own words:
Grew up in: Wichita Falls, Texas
Calls home: Whitehouse, Texas
Tell us about your family: My wife, Cristy, and I both grew up
in Wichita Falls. She is exactly one year and seven days younger than
me, and our anniversary is six days after her birthday. This makes it
really easy for me to remember the important dates! We have two
daughters, Abby, 18, and Brealyn, 14. They are my pride and joy. They
are both cheerleaders at Whitehouse High School.
Hobbies: Watching my girls cheer, fishing when I get the
Favorite pet: My dog, Ellie Mae. She is a mixed breed and is 11
years old. We have had her since she was 5 weeks old, so she thinks
she is one of the girls.
You would like to invent: A time machine so I can go back and
fix mistakes. And, hey, the 80’s rocked!
Favorite place to be when you’re not at work: Any beach in the
Super hero you would like to be: Iron Man – he is an engineer
and a billionaire
Least favorite chore: dishes
Favorite band: Led Zeppelin
If you could High Five anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Sir Isaac Newton
We are an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to hiring a diverse workforce; including minorities, females, individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities, individuals with disabilities, and United States qualified protected veterans.
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying for a job, please submit a request.