2017 Civil + Structural Engineer Rising Stars

Civil 3D

Civil + Structural Engineer Recognizes exceptional professionals 40 years old or younger.

This sixth annual Rising Stars in Civil Engineering and Rising Stars in Structural Engineering recognizes 29 professionals, 40 years old or younger working in the United States, who have shown exceptional technical capability, leadership ability, effective teaching or research, or public service benefiting the civil and structural engineering profession, their employers, project owners, and society. Zweig Group editors selected the engineers highlighted on the following pages (in alphabetical order) from an impressive group of nominees from both the private and public sectors. Limited space allows only a brief and incomplete summary of each Rising Star’s many accomplishments, projects, and activities to date.

Rising Stars in Civil Engineering

Adam Allen, P.E., PTOE, TSOS, (age 35) department manager for Traffic Engineering & ITS, Maser Consulting P.A., Hamilton, N.J., specializes in all aspects of traffic signal design and operations. He currently leads a team of eight engineers with diverse technical expertise in various areas of traffic engineering, operations, safety improvements, and ITS services. Upon joining Maser Consulting, he took on a leadership role by establishing the Traffic Engineering & ITS Department. During a six-year period, the department’s revenues rose by more than 150 percent and several new service lines were established. Within two years after joining the firm he was named an associate and later named a principal associate, becoming the youngest shareholder in the company. In 2014, Allen worked with company leadership to form the Maser Consulting Association, a program that formally organized and further engaged the firm’s senior associate and associate members. Allen serves on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Landside Transportation Management team for the LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment Project — a multi-billion-dollar project that is the largest public-private partnership in the world.


Aaron Call, P.E., (age 34) engineering manager, OHM Advisors, Columbus, Ohio, is one of the firm’s newest shareholders, elected in November 2016 to the elite group of 34 employee owners. Call is responsible for leadership, mentorship, and performance of a group of highly skilled, multidisciplinary engineers. In five years, he has grown the team from just two to more than 20 associates, spanning transportation, municipal, environmental, water resources, and survey/field services. He also led efforts to open a new full-service office in downtown Columbus. Call has been instrumental in restructuring the previous segmented, silo discipline approach into a holistic, multidisciplinary partnership amongst the firm’s disciplines. His innovative approach and unconventional thinking as a project manager is best illustrated by the Spring and Long Multimodal Street Conversion, a City of Columbus initiative that garnered the ASHE Central Ohio 2015 Project of the Year award. The aggressive design schedule warranted an innovative approach that fast-tracked the city review process, resulting in a collaborative workshop review format with participation by key city staff.


Mujahid Chandoo, P.E., (age 32) associate and project manager, Surface Water Group, Michael Baker International, Irvine, Calif., is recognized for his leadership and ability to coordinate and develop solutions to complex challenges collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. Mujahid has established himself as an expert in advanced hydraulic modeling both locally and internationally. He has given presentations on advanced modeling techniques at conferences including ASCE EWRI World Congress, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials Annual Conference, and the 16th Annual California GIS Conference. He is a pioneer in development of coupled one-dimensional subsurface and two-dimensional surface hydraulic modeling, including animation of above ground flooding and creating a three-dimensional real time view of potential flooding impacts. Mujahid has held an officer position with ASCE Orange County Environmental Water Resources Institute for five years. He is currently serving as the past chair. He also has been actively involved with the Engineers Without Borders USA – Orange County Professional Chapter for the last six years, using personal vacation time to participate in overseas projects.


Brian Crookston, Ph.D., P.E., (age 36) senior engineer, Schnabel Engineering, LLC, West Chester, Pa., regularly collaborates with a worldwide network of premier hydraulic engineering and research professionals with universities, government agencies, and consultancies and is an active member of nine professional organizations and eight committees. He has served on an additional 18 scientific/engineering committees on six continents. Early in his tenure, Crookston prepared and defended a proposal for the U.S. to host (for the first time) the sixth installment of the International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures. He co-authored the soon-to-be-released ICOLD bulletin on the Hydraulic Design of Spillways and is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to update its hydraulic design manual for spillways. Crookston has authored 50 technical publications, including two books, three book chapters, and 45 technical journal and conference papers. Significant ongoing projects include revisions and updating of the Corps’ engineering manual, Hydraulics Design of Spillways, and design of what are believed to be the first two piano key weirs in the U.S. and first staged piano key weir in the world.


Chad Davis, P.E., (age 37) vice president, Infrastructure Practice executive, Michael Baker International, Pittsburgh, is responsible for Michael Baker’s Infrastructure Practice within the Pittsburgh office, comprising more than 180 professionals focused in civil and environmental engineering, GIS professionals, and professional land surveyors. He oversees the staff and manages all project contractual matters; project performance; resource planning; operational business planning; and talent recruitment, development, and retention for the practice. He is also the company’s national technical lead for dam and levee services. In addition, Davis serves as the managing partner of two joint ventures that he helped establish in 2013 to pursue larger environmental programs at the state and federal level, as well as provide additional capabilities in the environmental remediation market. As the operations manager for one of Michael Baker’s most diverse practices, Davis’ leadership and entrepreneurial spirit has helped to grow and differentiate the department’s portfolio of clients and services. During the last three years and as a direct result of successful marketing and business development initiatives, his team has grown by 30 percent and expanded its services.


Stephen Delgado, P.E., (age 36) owner/principal, Texas Engineering Solutions, Austin, Texas, formed the firm with co-owner/co-principal Hank Smith, P.E., in 2009, where he currently leads a team of 21 professionals. Delgado is actively involved with the Urban Land Institute, Real Estate Council of Austin, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and the Austin Contractors and Engineers Association of Austin. He is a graduate of the Real Estate Council of Austin’s Leadership Development Council, served as president of the board of directors for the Greater Austin Contractors and Engineers Association, and received the Austin Under 40 Award for the Engineering, Architecture, Design category and the Greater Austin Business Award for the Executive Leadership, Small Business category. Additionally, he served on the City of Austin’s council-appointed Citizen Advisory Group for the CodeNext project. Projects include Belterra Subdivision, a 1,611-acre master-planned community awarded Austin Business Journal’s 2015 Master-Planned Community of the Year; and Steiner Ranch, a master-planned community situated on 4,600 acres near Lake Travis, which the Austin Business Journal has named Best Master-Planned Community for three years in a row.


Justin Haselton, P.E., LEED AP, CPESC, (age 36) manager, Civil Engineering/Survey Department, R.E. Warner & Associates, Westlake, Ohio, is responsible for managing, supervising, and growing all civil engineering and surveying work and personnel. In 2016, Haselton was promoted to department manager based on his leadership skills and ability to plan, organize, coordinate, and implement engineering and administrative operations of considerable complexity and diversity. In recognition of his many contributions to the company, he was nominated and elected to become a shareholder of the firm in 2012. Recognized as one of R.E. Warner’s next-generation leaders, he has completed the E5 Leadership Academy, a leadership training program with a comprehensive approach to professional and personal growth. Haselton seeks to make sustained contributions to the profession’s technical community, advancing the efforts of the business, education, and science sectors in Northeast Ohio. He is committed to future engineers and mentors and engages with local students by participating in speaking engagements at area school districts and promoting shadow students. He also has been instrumental in development of R.E. Warner’s Mentorship Matters program.


Kyle LeBlanc, P.E., CFM, LEED GA,(age 32) professional engineer, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN), College Station, Texas, has spent most of his time since beginning his career in 2006 working with LAN’s Educational Program Management Group, focused on K-12 and higher education in Texas. As a leader within this team, LeBlanc supports a wide array of tasks that typically accompany school bond programs such as long-range planning, stakeholder presentations, budget management, project management, and closeout activities. He also leads LAN’s Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) efforts in his role as a project manager. FCAs are an essential building block in development of capital improvement campaigns. He has also been responsible for helping implement LAN’s Campus Ambassador Program (CAP) as part of the company’s recruiting and hiring initiative. In his current capacity with the CAP initiative, LeBlanc guides the activities of campus ambassadors assigned to five universities in Texas. He also served as the deputy project manager for the statewide condition assessment of the Texas Department of Transportation’s facility and site inventory.


Nadira Najib, (age 32) junior engineer, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Parsippany, N.J., has worked on multiple brownfield and landfill development projects, ranging from less than one acre to as large as 240 acres. Najib is currently working on her Ph.D. thesis at Stevens Institute of Technology where she has taught and supervised undergraduate-level laboratory course work. In addition, in 2012 she assisted a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology to develop a sustainable irrigation system in the costal land of Ecuador. She has been a member of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council light non-aqueous phase liquids update team and is a lead on revising and updating two chapters of a technical and regulatory guidance document. Originally from Morocco, Najib volunteers with the International Rescue Committee, providing Arabic translation and interpretation to new Syrian refugees in New Jersey. Volunteering with Engineers Without Borders, she has worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to help Palestine Refugee communities assess and plan for improvement of wastewater collection and treatment systems.


Cristina Calderón Olea, P.E., (age 40) project manager II, San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco, oversees a $50 million bond-funded portfolio as manager of the Streetscape Program and works closely with peers from other city agencies, the Federal Highway Administration, Caltrans, the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the County Transportation Authority to fund, plan, design, and build transformational improvement projects. She represents Public Works at community forums and before city boards and commissions, citizen advisory committees, and professional organizations. Olea bikes, walks, and drives the streets she sets out to change so she knows firsthand the challenges and potentials. As San Francisco’s Intelligent Transportation System project engineer, she helped develop the 20-year Strategic Plan and Citywide Network Plan and was involved in planning, design, and implementation of an Ethernet network over fiber optics integrating advanced traffic signal controllers, software, CCTV cameras, changeable message signs, and video detection. She served as project manager for the $13 million, award-winning Cesar Chavez Streetscape safety project. She also is a guest lecturer at Santa Clara University on project implementation from planning through construction.


Joseph Scarborough, P.E., (age 37) project manager, Port and Coastal Services, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN), Houston, is a waterfront structures engineer with 13 years of design experience in key engineering roles for a wide range of waterfront structures throughout the world, including container terminals, liquid bulk terminals, and bulk material handling terminals. He has significant experience leading multidisciplinary teams of structural, geotechnical, and coastal engineers and surveyors to deliver work packages. Prior to his employment at LAN, Scarborough served as the group leader for the Houston Ports and Harbors Group at HDR Engineering. Scarborough has mentored several EITs within the port industry. As part of restoration efforts following Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Park Board proposed several projects along the coastline. Scarborough worked on one of these projects in Queens, restoring community access to the beach. Scarborough is a founding member of the local Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute (COPRI) chapter in Houston, a semi-autonomous institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and currently serves on the executive committee.


Jacob Torres, Ph.D., P.E., CFM, (age 33) project engineer, Hydrology and Water Resources, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN), College Station, Texas, serving a technical leadership role, has helped draft key proposals that led to $1.8 million of awarded work for LAN. Much of this work is related to flood risk management surrounding the greater Houston region. For these projects, he serves as the lead modeling specialist, while managing and mentoring two professional engineers and three engineers-in-training, including two interns. One of Torres’s passions is to train and mentor future generations of engineers. For this reason, he negotiated a contract to provide a series of lectures in Advanced Hydrology & Hydraulics, a graduate level course at Rice University. He also has provided guest lectures at Texas A&M University (TAMU), with topics ranging from advanced 2D modeling to what it’s like to be a civil engineering consultant. Torres serves as a technical support lead and mentor to the TAMU Engineers Without Borders chapter with about 100 active members with four projects — two in Nicaragua, one in Peru, and one in Costa Rica.


Rising Stars in Structural Engineering

Ibrahim Almufti, S.E., P.E., LEED AP,(age 37) associate, Advanced Technology + Research Group, Arup, San Francisco, leads a multidisciplinary team in quantifying seismic hazard, building performance, and risk through state-of-the-art numerical methods and by developing mitigation strategies and resiliency plans. He is the resilience leader for the Arup San Francisco office and the leader of the Arup Global Seismic Skills Network. He recently led development of the REDi Rating System, which provides a framework for implementing a holistic design, planning, and verification approach (resilience-based design) for achieving “beyond-code” earthquake resilience objectives. As part of this approach, Almufti developed the REDi Downtime Methodology for predicting the time required to achieve post-earthquake re-occupancy and functionality. He also worked with Stanford to quantify the losses (financial and downtime) for new tall buildings designed to modern building codes, demonstrating that the code “life-safety” objectives may translate to significant building downtime. As a member of the USGBC LEED Resilience Working Group, Almufti is helping to develop a suite of Resilient Design Pilot credits for the next version of LEED.


Anantha Chittur, P.E., (age 34) senior associate, Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering, Inc. (BASE), Chicago, led an international division in Delhi, India, in his first assignment after joining the firm. During this assignment, he managed BASE’s largest buildings, including the 550-foot, 2.6 million-square-foot Wave One and DLF Camellias, a 4 million-square-foot residential development with three levels of basement and nine towers ranging from 15 to 38 stories. Chittur was involved in 27 projects during his 18 months in India, ranging from full structural design to value engineering, constructability reviews, and construction support services, plus coordinating and liaising between the contractor, architects, and BASE’s offices in Honolulu and Chicago. In 2013, Chittur returned to the U.S. to head and grow BASE’s Chicago office. Under his leadership, revenue from Chicago-based projects increased 478 percent, the number of Chicago-based projects increased 300 percent, and the Chicago office increased staffing from two to its current team of nine.


Rhiannon Cooper(age 32) senior construction engineer, AECOM, Denver, began her professional career as a structural engineer, but that lasted only six months as management quickly realized the value of her communication and organization skills. She quickly moved up the ranks as a seller-doer project manager on small bridge projects before being selected to relocate to London, managing the complex structural design for the West Gate Bridge project in Melbourne, Australia. Cooper shifted market segments into commercial buildings, where she was promoted as the construction manager for buildings at 28 schools (total value of $47 million) throughout the Melbourne metropolitan area. She then shifted market segments again into mining, working on an underground mine bypass shaft and on a greenfield iron ore project. Following completion of the project, Cooper relocated to Denver to help grow the water resource construction business as a pursuit manager. She is active in recruiting women in construction, has been active in the National Association of Women in Construction, and has become involved in Girls Exploring Science Technology Engineering and Math, promoting technical professions to school-aged girls.


Kristi Grizzle, P.E., LEED AP(age 38) principal and project manager, Walter P Moore, Houston, was promoted to stockholder and firm principal in 2014, making her only the fifth female principal in the firm’s 83-year history. With both project-level and leadership/management responsibilities, she is the firm’s regional market sector leader for higher education pursuits in Texas and serves as a key member of Walter P Moore’s senior management team. She has been an ongoing presenter for the firm’s FastStart program, providing mentorship to new graduate engineers and also has served on the firm’s Knowledge Management Steering Committee, developing new strategies for information sharing and collaboration among the 18 U.S. and five international offices. Grizzle is a long-time board member and the current 2016-2017 president-elect of the Rice Design Alliance, a premier organization for architects, engineers, and contractors advocating for the built environment in Houston. She has also served for several years on the UT Austin Civil Engineering Department’s External Advisory Committee. Outside of her professional life, Grizzle devotes much of her time to volunteering, and is especially passionate about advocating for children.


John Hand, P.E., LEED AP, (age 34) building structural lead, Arup, Houston, completed undergraduate degrees in architecture and philosophy while pursuing his structural engineering studies. His professional experience is highlighted by the ability to engineer and creatively combine all major building materials — including steel, concrete, masonry, and timber — in seismic and high-wind environments. Hand led engineering design for the new 984-foot-long conservatory atop the new Chongqing Raffles City Development (under construction), spanning over four independent, 820-foot high-rise towers, by using base isolation bearings and dampers 820 feet in the air between the interface of the towers and conservatory. Hand founded and is currently leading the building group’s structural engineering practice at Arup’s Houston office. He dedicates a significant portion of his time to teaching and inspiring the next generation of architects and engineers and regularly volunteers for the Structural Engineers Association of Texas student chapter at the University of Texas at Austin.


Chad Harden, S.E., P.E., (age 39) senior associate, Michael Baker International, Irvine, Calif., has quickly progressed from a project engineer and task lead to project manager, to an officer with the company who now oversees several direct reports and manages both local projects and projects across the country. Harden has successfully collaborated with cross-office Michael Baker colleagues in Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Irvine on such notable projects as the Oso Creek Bridge widening in Mission Viejo, Calif.; the Hoan Bridge project in Milwaukee; and the API Gateway conveyor bridge in Calexico, Calif. His creative approach lends well to value engineering early on as well as efficient project delivery. Harden is a passionate advocate for science, technology, engineering, art, and math in education. Seeking to merge his engineering proficiency with an interest in technology led him to develop “The Art of Engineering” podcast (http://taepodcast.libsyn.com/podcast), which explores the evolution of a career in engineering, from college to early design and technical duties, to perspectives of more senior design engineers.


Murat Melek, Ph.D., S.E., P.E.(age 39) structural engineer, Arup, Los Angeles, has experience ranging from performance-based seismic design and peer review of tall buildings in seismic regions to analysis and design of structures with complex geometry. His areas of interest include computational design, structural optimization, performance-based earthquake engineering, tall building design, and evaluation and rehabilitation of existing structures. On the Basaksehir Integrated Health Campus project, a team led by Melek is using scripting, cloud computing, and structural design theory to optimize the design-built 10 million-square-foot base-isolated hospital. As lead structural engineer for design of the superstructure of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Murat pushed the team to work on the digital project platform, providing seamless coordination between the Gehry Partners and the structural team. Melek has co-authored widely cited publications and has been active in development of next-generation seismic retrofit guidelines, currently as a voting member of ACI 369 committee. He developed and taught a Structural Systems Design course at UCLA from 2009 to 2014 while working as a full time structural engineer at Arup.


Akash Rao, P.E., M.ASCE(age 35) associate, Hardesty & Hanover, Annapolis, Md., started his professional career in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina in 2008 as an engineer-in-training and progressed into a professional engineer specializing in structural analysis, design, and construction support services for flood protection structures, levees, and bridges. He was the engineer of record for a $40 million pumping station project that won the best concrete project award in the infrastructure category from the ACI Louisiana chapter in 2012. The project also won a sustainability award for promoting green materials and practices during construction. He was the project manager for damage assessments to infrastructure in the state of Louisiana and provided leadership in recovery efforts after Hurricane Isaac made landfall in 2012. Rao now works in the Annapolis, Md., office of Hardesty & Hanover, involved in several complex bridge design, inspection, rehabilitation, repair, and replacement projects using both concrete and steel girders. He is also part of the design team involved in the $4 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport.


Heather Reed, Ph.D., (age 29) Thornton Tomasetti, New York, has expertise in high-fidelity, physics-based simulations; model-based, Bayesian statistical data inversion; uncertainty quantification, sensitivity analysis, risk, and reliability; multi-physics simulations; and reduced order modeling techniques. It has fundamentally enhanced the sophistication of Thornton Tomasetti’s contributions to the industry and her Navy-funded research of metamaterials has implications for advancement of structural design mitigating seismic events. Reed teaches an annual course at Cornell University, “Practical Experience in Structural Mechanics,” in which students demonstrate their proficiency using the probabilistic risk tool that she created. Thanks to Reed’s work, Thornton Tomasetti is expanding the scope of its research into seismic events and evaluating underground metamaterials and their potential to mitigate damage caused by earthquakes. She developed a machine learning model to predict a structural component’s density, reducing the need for expensive experimental tests. These tests have been a huge barrier to adopting 3D printing, and diminishing their need could lead to its increased use. Reed has advanced methods to optimize nondestructive evaluation inspections and use simulations to correlate structural damage features with inspection signals.


Scott Schneider, P.E., LEED AP, (age 39) associate principal, Thornton Tomasetti, New York, leads a team of 25 structural engineers who develop complex structural design strategies for health care facilities, higher education buildings, government agency facilities, U.S. embassies, hotels, museums, offices, and residential buildings. He has a demonstrated ability for improving coordination and collaboration while keeping projects on schedule and within budget. Schneider has a strong background in digital design and BIM, employing a range of technologies and approaches throughout all phases of a project. As a member of the New York Building Congress Task Force on Innovation and Best Practices, he continues to advance ideas on how building information can be leveraged to assist in fabrication and construction processes. His projects have been recognized with such awards as the 2013 Engineering Excellence Gold Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York for the FBI Field Office Complex in Portland, Ore.; and the 2011 Adaptive Reuse Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects of New York for the El Museo del Barrio Addition in New York City.


Joshua Sprowls, S.E., P.E., PMP, LEED GA(age 36) technical manager, Structural Engineering, Michael Baker International, Pittsburgh, served as a combat engineer officer in the U.S. Army from 2003 to 2009, beginning at the rank of Second Lieutenant and finishing at the rank of Captain. He spent more than two years of that time in Iraq, leading more than 50 engineering and construction projects in combat zones, mostly in the Mosul metro area and others throughout the Northern provinces. These projects consisted of building and hardening Iraqi police stations, building Iraqi army training facilities, and hardening voter sites for democratic elections. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his service. Recent and ongoing projects at Michael Baker include engineer of record for Ft. Lee TASS, three Cox Communications facilities, an 18-story residential tower, numerous facilities for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Qatar IAMD Program (seven campus sites), and the King Khalid Air Base (KKAB) campus in Saudi Arabia. Sprowls is actively involved with Michael Baker’s community youth and young adult science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives that promote and encourage careers in STEM.


Sarah Steib, P.E.(age 33) supervising engineer, T&M Associates, Middletown, N.J., spent the first nine years of her career as a structural engineer at Jacobs Engineering, prior to joining T&M Associates in 2016 to help grow the company’s structures practice. To her current role as supervising engineer, she brings significant experience leading the design of complex bridges and structures projects, including steel multi-plate and box girders, vertical lift bridges, and box culverts throughout New York and New Jersey. Her experience includes an eight-plus-year assignment serving as project engineer and project manager responsible for a critical phase of the $480 million Wittpenn Bridge replacement project in northern New Jersey. She is co-chair for the Women in Transportation Greater New York Chapter’s mentoring program and was active in the national Future City Competition to promote STEM education among sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. She is also active in T&M’s sponsorship of Project Lead the Way programs at two local high schools, recently presenting to both classes on what it is like to be a structural engineer.


Lauren Stewart, Ph.D., P.E., (age 34) assistant professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Atlanta, is conducting research focused in the area of extreme loading of structures, extending to earthquake, blast, shock, and impact hazards. Her research record in the area of blast design of structures has earned her the titles of National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow and Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow. The program she developed at Georgia Tech builds on her expertise in creating and employing novel hydraulic and computer-controlled laboratory techniques to simulate extreme environments on full-scale structural materials, components, and systems. These methods are then further used to characterize materials, develop computational models, and create design strategies, thus improving the safety of structures. She is considered the world’s leading expert in these types of experimental methods and her research has led to a variety of innovative designs of structural systems for extreme environment loading. Stewart is developing a program to enhance the civil engineering education experience with a global leadership component by taking 35 undergraduate students to the UK to learn about historic structures and structural engineering concepts.


Jeannette Torrents, S.E., P.E., LEED AP(age 38) senior project manager/associate, JVA, Inc., Boulder, Colo., helped to author a report that updated the 1975 Colorado Snow Load Report to take advantage of an additional 30 years of data, advances in computing, and to be compatible for use with ASCE 7 equations. The resulting loads were lower than those traditionally used in Colorado’s Front Range. As chair of the Structural Engineers Association of Colorado Snow Committee, she led a four-year effort to develop reliability-based design snow loads for Colorado, which result in consistent safety indices across the state. As an associate at JVA, Inc., Torrents participates in the annual corporate planning retreat, interviews candidates for open positions, and helps conduct employee reviews. She was recently elected to the board of directors of JVA, Inc. and named a trustee of the JVA Stock Bonus Plan. She has led several internal improvement initiatives within the firm, helped to start a Peer Advisor program that pairs new employees with seasoned employees as part of the on-boarding process, and led the firm’s effort to formalize quality assurance procedures.


Jacob Turgeon, P.E.(age 32) associate, HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, excels at structural analysis of complex buildings due to his deep theoretical understanding of the fundamentals of engineering mechanics, but he also demonstrates maturity with a true practical intuition into the behavior of structures. Turgeon applied and received funding for a Research Micro Grant within HGA to develop a Specialty Vibration Analysis Procedure in 2015 that has since been widely adopted within the firm. As one of the most productive members of HGA’s Structural Resource Development Committee, he has created numerous tools and standards that are in use by all structural engineers at HGA. These include updated steel beam connections, post-installed anchors, and non-structural seismic components. As part of this effort, Turgeon coordinated changes in more than 20 architectural and MEP specification sections and negotiated consensus with each department in each office. He was awarded the ACEC Minnesota Emerging Leader Award in 2016 and is currently serving a term on the ACEC Minnesota board of directors. He has also served on ACEC Minnesota’s Workforce Development Committee since its inception in 2015.


Carrie Walden, P.E.(age 39) CE Solutions, Inc., Carmel, Ind., has created a niche in concrete repair and restoration projects, having served as project manager and structural engineer for multiple utility tunnel and parking garage projects. Her skills in communicating, building, and maintaining relationships and managing and providing solutions to challenging projects have been an instrumental part of CE Solutions’ growth. Her role includes not only providing engineering solutions, but also managing subconsultants and preparing opinions of probable construction cost. Walden regularly visits elementary schools to teach students about structural engineering, and for the last two years has led CE Solutions’ participation in “Passport to Hi Tech,” an event at an interactive history park geared toward getting girls interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Walden is leading a team that includes seven firms as overall project manager of a $12 million project that improves the condition and longevity of the largest parking garage in Indiana. The work involves evaluating areas of the operational garage and preparing recommendations, opinions of probable construction costs, and construction documents.


James Wingert, S.E., LEED AP(age 32) structural engineer, HDR, Inc., Omaha, Neb., has experience in the design of structural systems as project engineer for a variety of facility types, including academic, research, health care, industrial, civic, and sports and recreation projects. Projects range from designing a home for the College World Series to a state-of-the-art research facility for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He worked to start the country’s first Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) professional chapter, introduced more than a thousand area high school students to careers in architecture and engineering (many of whom have gone on to earn degrees in architecture or engineering), has taught engineering mechanics at the University of Nebraska, mentored dozens of engineering graduate students in their interdisciplinary design projects, and worked with students on graduate research projects. Wingert was selected to serve for two years on the Omaha Managing Principal’s Advisory Committee. He also participates in HDR’s Young Professionals Group. He currently serves as chair of the Nebraska Chapter of AEI and coordinates opportunities for professionals to collaborate on the newest ideas in integrated building design.

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