55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Omar McCutcheon

Omar is a Stationary Engineer for the Steinhart Aquarium.


Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise. I assist in designing aquatic exhibits and retrofitting and repairing existing exhibits. I help maintain our living collections by making sure all mechanical elements related to the animal’s life support are functioning correctly.  And I maintain the non-living collections by making sure all the buildings functions such as heating and cooling are performing properly.

What got you interested in becoming an Engineer?  As a child I visited the Steinhart Aquarium numerous times, as did every other S.F. student.  I heard about the new aquarium and couldn’t resist being a part of history and actually being one of the first to work at, build, and maintain the new CAS was an opportunity of a lifetime.

What do you like most and least about your job?  No two days are alike, but what I enjoy most is seeing the enjoyment and excitement that The CAS brings to people young and old, and knowing that I was involved in making that happen.

What training did you receive? Four years of apprenticeship training to become a stationary engineer.

What influenced your job choice and when?  Being born and raised in S.F., I felt this was a great way to give back to the city that has given me so much.

Do you have pets at home? What and how many?  No pets 

Advice for someone wanting to go into your field. Apply and dedicate yourself to your profession.  It’s not easy!

More about Engineers


What is a Stationary Engineer?

The Steinhart Aquarium Engineers are part of Local 39 which is an International Union of Operating Engineers.  The normal duties of a Stationary Engineer are to operate and maintain boilers, HVAC, hot water generators, fire and life safety systems, refrigeration machinery and its associated auxiliary equipment.  In addition to these responsibilities, our engineers also maintain life support systems for the aquarium.  Since the shift towards buildings like ours relying on digital controls, the engineers work with a Building Management System.  Engineers of today need to be more computer literate to work with these complex and integrated systems.