2008 40 Under 40

The 2008 40 Under 40 winners highlighted here are among the elite. They are engineers and business owners, mothers and fathers, inventors and innovators, athletes and mentors. They were selected based on a variety of criteria, which started with a nomination from a colleague, supervisor, or mentor.

By Dawn Reiss, Contributing Writer, and Amara Rozgus, Senior Editor July 1, 2008

Peter Alspach
Ryan Beaudrie
Mike Belczak
Bill Brown
Dan Christman
Cynthia Cogil
Jim Corsiglia
Peter D’Antonio
Ray Doyle
Tracy Ekola
Eric Farmer
Justo Gutierrez
Traci Hanegan
Gregg Hudock
Gabriel Jimenez
Andreas Kammereck
Alfred Kovalik
Doug Lacy
Keith Lane
Sarita Lemons
Bill Leuci
Firas Makahleh
Rodrigo Manriquez
Patrick McCafferty
Jack McCarthy
Erin McConahey
Jason McFadden
Allan Montpellier
Doug Nadeau
Lincoln Pearce
Andrew Purtell
Greg Quinn
Donald Seward
Peter Stockard
Jeffrey Tubbs
Tony Warner
Richard Watters
Mike Westemeier
Gerald “Gerry” Williams
Qi Song (Kent) Yu

The 2008 40 Under 40 winners highlighted here are among the elite. They are engineers and business owners, mothers and fathers, inventors and innovators, athletes and mentors. They were selected based on a variety of criteria, which started with a nomination from a colleague, supervisor, or mentor. Each nominee then provided a wealth of information about professional and personal achievements, recently published papers or reports, and background on recent projects. Judges reviewed this information, giving careful consideration to those involved in facility engineering, design, or construction.

Each person on this list stands out in his or her own way. One 40 Under 40 winner is only 20 years old, and already has been in the engineering field for five years. Another parlayed her partial hearing loss into designing facilities that help those who are hard of hearing. And several young engineers have amazing musical abilities—and play their instrument of choice quite regularly (in public!).

The following pages will inspire you, remind you of what you can do in your personal life, and encourage you to be the best in your profession—no matter what your age.

To nominate a young engineer next year, visit www.csemag.com/40under40 .

Peter Alspach, PE, LEED AP, 38

Associate, Mechanical Engineer, Arup, Seattle, Wash.

Washington University, BA in Mechanical Engineering University of Colorado, MS in Civil Engineering

Alspach always loves a good experiment. The former Peace Corps worker spent two years as the head of a combined junior and high school math and science department in Swaziland. While there, he creatively taught students how to research absorption of colored materials by stripping paint off old Coke cans. He now uses his ingenuity as a specialist who designs low-energy HVAC systems and renewable energy systems, including photovoltaic, solar, and wind. He is the lead mechanical engineer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s new 12-acre campus that will be completed in 2010. For San Francisco’s California Academy of Science, which won a silver 2005 Holcim Award and is under review for the LEED Platinum rating, Alspach created an integrated natural ventilation system, a chilled water system with a hybrid cooling tower that is able to run dry part of the year, and a solar-powered canopy that wraps around the building, providing shade and producing power. Besides teaching English in Japan, Alspach spent 2.5 months biking across Canada. Alspach and his wife, Maureen O’Leary, have two children.

Ryan Beaudrie, 20

Mechanical Designer, CAD Operator, Ron George Design & Consulting Services, Monroe, Mich.

Lawrence Technological University, BS in Mechanical Engineering, Fall 2009

It’s hard enough to juggle multiple projects, but try doing that as a full-time college student. That’s exactly what Beaudrie does. The youngest in this year’s 40 Under 40 program, Beaudrie was 16 when he began working at Ron George Design & Consulting Services, where he supervises the 12-member CAD department and regularly coordinates the communication and organization of company projects at various hospitals, pharmaceutical facilities, and automotive testing facilities. He has worked on projects such as Detroit’s MGM Casino and Motor City Casino Hotel as the plumbing coordinator, despite not being old enough to go inside the casino. “People still think I’m crazy,” Beaudrie said. “Twenty-year-olds don’t usually do plumbing for hospitals and casinos.” To balance work with school, Beaudrie said everything depends on staying organized. Beaudrie, an honor student, maintains a 3.7 GPA and jokes that he has to give up going to a college party on occasion to get everything in. An avid water skier, Beaudrie was the captain of his high school golf team and plans on visiting the casinos he helped build when he turns 21.

Mike Belczak, PE, LEED AP, 39

Senior Vice President, Technology Manager, Primera Engineers, Chicago

University of Illinois, BS in General Engineering

When Belczak isn’t out cycling near Chicago’s lakefront or enjoying a glass of Cabernet, he is busy tracking the latest trends and managing Primera’s mechanical quality control and technology research. Like many engineers, Belczak was always good at taking things apart and putting them back together as a child. “My parents had a problem with me,” Belczak said. “I always wanted to see how things worked. If there was a little radio, the next thing you’d know, I was taking it apart with a screw driver, because I wanted to see why a light was blinking.” These days, Belczak works on bigger projects, like designing a central plant and a new six-building, 500,000-sq.-ft complex of Kennedy King College on Chicago’s South Side. As the mechanical project lead, Belczak incorporated energy-saving tactics to recapture waste heat, minimize pumping energy, maximize system efficiency, and provide high IAQ. The facility includes daycare, commercial/teaching kitchens, a restaurant, broadcast studios, performance theatres, laboratories, gymnasiums, natatoriums, classrooms, auto shops, an HVAC lab, and a library. Belczak helps mentor high school students to try and explain what engineering is all about. His advice to others: “Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things.”

Bill Brown, PE, 35

Principal Engineer, Schneider Electric North America, Cookeville, Tenn.

Tennessee Technological University, BS in Electrical Engineering

When it comes to engineering, Brown said, it’s all about knowing the basics. “Without the basics, you don’t have a foundation.” Brown should know, as the recipient of Schneider North America’s “People Who Made a Difference” award, the highest honor given for outstanding company contributions. He earned the award for diagnosing potential protective relay issues. In the 13 years he has been with the company, Brown has become known as an expert on power systems analysis and design for data center, industrial, and commercial clients in the Tennessee region. He also provides electric power consulting engineering support for the Square D Critical Power Competency Center and Healthcare Segment Marketing organizations, which support the critical power and healthcare industries. He also has presented at a national AFCOM conference on power system issues. When he’s not on the job, Brown is busy working toward a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech. Brown enjoys woodworking, and spending time with his wife, Stacy, and their 11-year-old daughter, Katie. He is active in Netherland Church of Christ’s missions to India.

Dan Christman, PE, LEED AP, 37

Vice President, Director of Entertainment, X-nth, Apoka, Fla.

Penn State, BS in Electrical Engineering

Enjoy swimming with the dolphins at SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove, or Toy Story Mania at Disney World? Thank Christman. He’s the engineer who helps make entertainment projects a reality with clients like Busch Entertainment Corp., Universal Studios, Hard Rock, and Walt Disney World. “It’s fun to do the impossible,” Christman said. Designing rides and roller coasters, water parks, animal life-support systems, shows, and power distribution for low- and medium-voltage systems is his specialty. The challenge, Christman said, is creating a safe environment that is unique. Christman also serves as a director on the International Board of the Themed Entertainment Assn. and is a regular speaker at various conferences across the country, including the University of Florida’s TREEO Conference, the Architectural Engineering Institute, and the Florida Engineering Education Conference. He’s currently working as project executive for a Dubai, United Arab Emirates, development team that is creating theme parks in the Middle East. A “sports junkie,” Christman enjoys playing golf and mud volleyball in a farm field to help the March of Dimes, and watching his beloved Steelers and Penguins. He also likes going to the parks he helped create with his wife, Rachel, and 9-month-old son, Connor.

Cynthia Cogil, PE, LEED AP, 36

Principal, Senior, SmithGroup, Washington, D.C.

University of Kansas, BS in Architectural Engineering Penn State, MS in Architectural Engineering

As a child, Cogil jokes she was a tomboy who liked woodworking, mechanical drafting, and playing floor hockey. Her inquisitive mind has helped her adapt to any situation. Cogil’s projects include the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis, Md., the first LEED Platinum building in the United States, and the $35 million International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Three years ago, Cogil faced the biggest obstacle of her life when she had surgery for a brain tumor and became deaf in her right ear. Despite the challenges, Cogil has used her experiences, which have left her extremely sensitive to light and sound, to design the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communications Center at Gallaudet University, which helps the deaf and hard of hearing. She also is working on the National Intrepid Center of Excellence for Traumatic Brain Injury in Bethesda, Md. “Having a traumatic brain event has helped me become an internal advocate, to be sensitive to their symptoms,” she said. She enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband, Oliver Baumann.

Jim Corsiglia, PE, SE, 36

Principal, Harley Ellis Devereaux, Southfield, Mich.

Michigan Technological University, BS in Civil Engineering

Corsiglia is always on the go, from snowshoeing to water skiing. “We are almost never home,” Corsiglia said about his high school prom date and wife, Dawn, and children, Ava, 5, and Aiden, 10 months. “We are always doing something, from four-wheeling to jet skiing to ice fishing.” His ability to fast-track projects and be a building information modeling (BIM) innovator has helped Corsiglia, a structural engineer, quickly excel. He used BIM to electronically detail the 250,000-sq.-ft Ambulatory Care Center for William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich., which drastically accelerated the project. He also completed work on the University of Michigan Health System’s new $115 million Cardiovascular Hospital that includes a complicated winter garden composed of vertical trusses and a king post roof structure. Corsiglia converted the firm to Revit, a multidiscipline 3-D modeling program, and is the first member of the structural engineering department to be awarded the Model Law Structural Engineer by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. He serves as the Technical Committee Chairman for the Structural Engineers Assn. of Michigan and volunteers with Cub Scouts and school programs. His advice: Stay involved in your community and give back to others.

Peter D’Antonio, PE, LEED AP, 39

Founder and President, PCD Engineering Services Inc., Boulder, Colo.

University of Maryland, BS in Civil Engineering University of Colorado, MS in Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

D’Antonio jokes he started his own company, an Energy Star service provider, by accident. “It wasn’t on purpose, it just sort of happened,” said D’Antonio, who was drumming for a rock band called Moonshine Moses at the time. “I was doing contract work and one day it turned into a company.” That was back in 2000. D’Antonio still takes time to perform as a percussionist at the Boulder Broadway Co., but is focusing more on sustainable mechanical and electrical design, energy management, and integrated building solutions. A certified energy manager, D’Antonio made the Denver Hudson’s Bay Centre more efficient by connecting it to the city’s steam grid. To heat the building, hot water is fed into the city’s chilled water coils during the morning and then reverted back to chilled water coils later in the day. He also recently remodeled his home into a net-zero energy house that generates extra electricity he can sell back to the utility company. D’Antonio, who has a 7-year-old son, Tristan, with wife, Carla, has won multiple renewable energy design awards and serves on several boards of directors, including Consulting-Specifying Engineer , U.S. Green Building Council, Assn. of Energy Engineers, and ASHRAE.

Ray Doyle, PE, LEED AP, 38

Engineering Design Principal, KlingStubbins, Washington, D.C.

University of Maryland, BS in Mechanical Engineering

When Doyle isn’t coaching youth football and basketball games, he’s busy with the Catholic Youth Organization raising funds for events such as golf tournaments. A father of three, Doyle is known for his energy-sensitive engineering solutions for HVAC systems, including a Region 3 ASHRAE technology award for an innovative energy-recovery design project that earned a LEED Silver certification. The project, a GSA/FDA Central Shared Use Facility in White Oak, Md., houses a conference and training center, library, food service area, fitness center, credit union, health unit, and data center, and incorporates sustainable practices like a green roof, natural ventilation, and solar shading devices. “The things that interest me are complex projects with integrated architectural and engineering solutions,” Doyle said. Doyle became an engineer because of his father, who encouraged Doyle to take ownership in his life. After graduating from high school, Doyle painted cars but soon became irritated with his low wages and decided to go to college. He paid his own way, completing his degree after six years of working his way through school. His advice to others: “It is as important to know what you don’t know as it is to know what you do know.”

Tracy Ekola, PE, 40

Senior Professional Engineer, SEH, St. Cloud, Minn.

University of Minnesota, BS in Civil Engineering

The daughter of a western Minnesota hog-wheat-corn-soy farmer, Ekola learned sustainable living first hand. These are practices she continues today as a civil engineer. “We have a huge world with a lot of resources, but if we don’t take care of them, it will impact each person’s life,” she said. An innovator, Ekola has helped Minnesota and Wisconsin communities find creative solutions for their biosolids facilities. As a civil engineer for the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, Ekola helped the plant create an aerobic digestion system so the biosolids can be re-used as fertilizer while the methane burned in the boiler can be used for heat. She has negotiated and managed wholesale power supply contracts for the municipal electrical utility for the city of Melrose and worked as the construction and project manager for the 50-acre Cold Spring Business Park in Cold Spring, Minn. Ekola, a mother of two, is a Sunday school teacher and enjoys gardening with her family. She is one of the founders of the Middle Sauk River Water Festival, which teaches fourth graders about the importance of preserving water resources, and regularly volunteers in Duluth to help young women become interested in math and science.

Eric Farmer, PE, 39

Senior Project Manager, Electrical Engineering Resource Leader, Garver Engineers, Little Rock, Ark.

Arkansas State University, BS in Electrical Engineering

When it comes to lights, Farmer is all about the experience—the big experience. Farmer is probably best known for installing 185 LED fixtures on the “Big Dam Bridge” in Little Rock, Ark. At 4,200 ft, it is the world’s largest pedestrian bridge that was constructed specifically for recreational purposes. As senior project engineer for the bridge, Farmer developed plans and specifications for a new lighting and wireless control system that could perform lighting shows at night via 13 lighting and control panels. The project earned an American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas (ACECA) engineering excellence award and continues to impress visitors today. Farmer designed an ACECA excellence award-winning upgraded access biometric control system for Little Rock Airport before most airports were using multiple security systems. A past president of Garver Engineers standards committee, Farmer said it’s important to make time for your family. Farmer has two children, son Quinn, 7, and daughter, Chandler, 4, with wife, Mica. He is learning to play the guitar and enjoys dressing up in a Robin Hood—like tunic with a few friends to attend the annual Texas Renaissance Festival.

Justo Gutierrez, 33

Engineering Manager, AVI-SPL, Columbia, Md.

Duke University, BS in Electrical Engineering University of Miami, MS in Music Engineering Technology

Gutierrez’s love of music started with a plastic toy organ he received as a child. Gutierrez knew he wanted to become an engineer like his uncle and older brother. While minoring in music at Duke University, Gutierrez found—by accident—the perfect way to blend his interests. Gutierrez now designs and engineers audio and video systems for many sport stadiums and performance venues, including Yankee Stadium, Nationals Ballpark, Busch Stadium, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, and his alma mater’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. “The deadlines are hard and fast, because everyone knows when opening day is,” he said. Gutierrez also helped renovate the neo gothic Washington National Cathedral, maintaining its historic ambience while improving its sound system. He considers himself lucky because he’s improved all of his favorite teams’ stadiums, with the exception of one: Miami’s Dolphin Stadium. When he’s not working, Gutierrez, a father of two, still enjoys playing classical, jazz, and pop music on the piano. He also enjoys playing golf in his spare time. He tells engineering students: ”Study hard, work hard, play hard, and don’t lose sight of things away from the office.”

Traci Hanegan, PE, LEED AP, HFDP, 36

Principal, Mechanical Engineer, Coffman Engineers, Spokane, Wash.

University of Idaho, BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering

When she’s not working, Hanegan can be found playing ice hockey in co-ed and women’s leagues, fly fishing, hunting deer, or on the ski slopes. Her design work experience includes a variety of HVAC systems at laboratories, hospitals, schools, data centers, retail spaces, zoos, and office buildings. Her key projects include managing the civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering efforts for Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and landing one of five, five-year nationwide engineering contracts with the Dept. of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, while coping with morning sickness. She is the first female principal in Coffman’s 27-year history and helped standardize the department in four offices while developing business. Hanegan is on the national Society Board of Directors for ASHRAE and teaches HVAC in the mechanical engineering department at Gonzaga University. She also is a lector at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Hanegan and her husband, Jeff, have an 18-month-old son, Mitchell. Her advice to others, especially women: “Have a firm handshake. You don’t have to break their knuckles, but it does make a difference.”

Gregg Hudock, PE, 33

Senior Engineer and Associate, Golder Assocs., Atlanta

Georgia Institute of Technology, BS and MS in Civil Engineering

Water conservation is important everywhere, especially in Georgia. Hudock, who specializes in the evaluation, design, and construction of dam rehabilitation projects, has used innovative ideas to create cost-effective solutions, as the leader of the roller-compacted concrete dam design practice at Golder. Hudock has investigated, designed, or constructed more than 30 dams in the past eight years and has led such projects as creating a dry retention pond from purchased homes in Brookhaven, Ga., after homes flooded during Hurricane Ivan. He also has worked on several dams on the Yellow River in Georgia, where he created an auxiliary spillway to rehabilitate the aging Dam No. 15 and performed geotechnical evaluations during the construction and redesign of Dam No. 17. An avid rock climber and backpacker who hiked across the 80-some miles of Appalachian Trail, Hudock said he owes most of his success to his wife, Salome, who is a civil engineer at Golder Assocs. Hudock, a father of two and an Eagle Scout, was the ASCE Georgia Section 2007 Young Civil Engineer of the Year and Georgia Engineering Alliance 2008 Young Engineer of the Year.

Gabriel Jimenez, PhD, PE, 38

Principal, Walter P Moore, Houston

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, BS in Civil Engineering University of Minnesota, MS and PhD in Civil Engineering (Structures)

As a child in Mexico, Jimenez always enjoyed going to work with his father, a structural engineer for ICA, but dreamed of being a pilot. After coming to the United States as a high school exchange student, he became a structural engineer. Jimenez is part of the “911 first responders of engineering,” the structural diagnostic repair group that is called in during emergencies to review and assess problems. He was one of the civil engineers called in to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Wearing an oxygenator and a miner-like flashlight helmet, Jimenez reviewed parking garages around the Superdome that had been vandalized and reeked of bodily fluids. “It was terrible. It was like chaos with help miles away in the wrong place,” he said. Jimenez, who works as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, developed a nonlinear, inelastic software for buckling loads of tapered beam columns. He helps minority groups with math and physics and volunteers at his Catholic church with his wife, Michelle, and their three children. His advice to others: “You need to be compassionate as an engineer. This isn’t just a project. This is where someone lives or works, and you have to be respectful of that environment and listen to their needs.”

Andreas Kammereck, PE, 38

Associate Engineer, Water Resources, Golder Assocs. Inc., Redmond, Wash.

University of Washington, BS in Forest Engineering University of Washington, MS in Civil Engineering

Kammereck has three great passions in his life: his family, skiing, and working on rivers. As a water resources engineer, Kammereck is known as a leader in river and floodplain hazard assessment and design in the pipeline industry. He has worked on flood, erosion, and scour projects near the Dead Sea in Israel; channel migration on the Kobuk River in Alaska; pipeline erosion in Yemen; and stabilized exposed natural gas pipeline in Washington. Kammereck also has worked as a river engineer on the Nooksack River, Wash., for the design, construction, and flood damage repair of more than 80 projects. Kammereck, who volunteers as a ski instructor, spends as much time as possible on the slopes with his wife, Lara, and children, Karl, 6, and Elsa, 4. He volunteers on an ACEC water resource subcommittee; works through Bellevue, Wash., School District’s Volunteers in Bellevue’s Education System; and supports his kids’ school by organizing fundraising events. Kammereck was the recipient of the ASCE Collingwood Prize, an award given to young engineering authors, for a paper titled “Changing Course” that outlined the growing recognition of erosion hazards in floodplains in the June 2004 issue of Civil Engineering magazine.

Alfred N. Kovalik, PE, LEP, 38

Vice President, GeoDesigns Inc., Middlebury, Conn.

University of Connecticut, BS in Civil Engineering University of New Haven, MS in Environmental Engineering

When Kovalik is not riding his dirt bike on trails, he’s busy cleaning up soil and groundwater contamination. He also helps with storm water management and urban subsurface drainage. As a project manager, Kovalik designed a remediation system to treat drinking water on Rowe Industries Superfund Site, a 9-acre brownfields redevelopment in Norwalk, Conn., where 60% of the soil was contaminated. Kovalik, a former president of Connecticut Board of Directors for NSPE, became interested in hazardous waste while helping conduct research for professor Domenic Grasso, who was researching for his textbook, “Hazardous Waste Site Remediation: Source Control.” Kovalik, a first-generation college graduate, volunteers extensively with Groundwork Bridgeport, a nonprofit that teaches fourth graders math and science skills while cleaning up their communities with butterfly gardens. He also is the past president of Groundwork, a program that offers subsidized landscaping services for aging homeowners, and was Brownie co-leader for three years for his daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. Kovalik is married to wife, Kasia, and has two daughters, Kaylea, 9, and Sabina, 2.

Doug Lacy, PE, 31

Associate, Electrical Engineer, ccrd partners, Dallas

Kansas State, BS in Architectural Engineering

An architectural engineer and avid baseball fan, Lacy’s goal is to visit as many baseball parks in the country as he can. He also loves going to see off beat Indie films. “Since I was 7 years old, I’ve drawn flood plans of buildings for fun,” he said. Now he does it for a paycheck. Lacy has designed a new 200,000-sq.- ft fellowship hall for the first Baptist Church of Dallas, which like everything in Texas, is huge—7 stories tall, with a dinner theatre for 1,000 parishioners. Lacy also lead the Arlington Memorial Hospital expansion of a surgery tower in Arlington, Texas. Because of its location on a “sliver of land south of the facility next to an elementary school,” Lacy had to expand vertically with a 6-story tower that can ultimately expand to 11 stories when the hospital needs the space. Lacy has volunteered with Habit for Humanity, serves as the Dallas-Fort Worth ACE mentor coordinator, and meets with high school students on a weekly basis for project-based learning. When he’s not working, Lacy loves watching Jamie Oliver on the Food Network.

Keith Lane, PE, LEED AP, 39

Principal, Partner, Lane Coburn & Assocs. LLC, Woodinville, Wash.

Seattle University, BS in Electrical Engineering

Lane knows what hard work means. A former bodybuilder who earned Mr. Seattle Heavyweight 1992, Mr. Northwest 1992, and Mr. Eastern Washington 1997, Lane regularly puts in 80-hour weeks as a co-owner and chief engineer of his new company. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “But I certainly had a lot more free time before this.” Lane said the business, which focuses on commercial construction of confidential Tier 4 data centers, condos, hotels, mission critical facilities, and high-rise buildings, is designed to integrate and create synergy between design and build to closely connect the engineering and construction fields. Previously, Lane served as the director of engineering at SASCO in Seattle and served on the Seattle Code Committee, which evaluated the 2005 National Electrical Code. He also is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer and is a member of Consulting-Specifying Engineer ‘s editorial advisory board. Lane has this advice: “Get involved in as many projects as possible. Stay diverse, because you want to stay abreast of new technologies.” When he’s not working, Lane enjoys spending time with his wife, Theresa, and children, Trevor, 2, and Emily, 4, who is learning to ride a horse.

Sarita Lemons, PE, 32

Project Manager, Water and Waste Water Design Group, Infrastructure Engineering Corp., Poway, Calif.

University of Wyoming, BS in Civil Engineering

Look for Lemons on the volleyball court—both indoors and at the beach—when she’s not at work. The outside hitter and back row defensive specialist loves to run 5Ks, fish, camp, and be outdoors. She is the president of the San Diego Water Works Group, the past president of ASCE’s younger member forum, and on ASCE’s board of directors. Lemons, who manages water and waste water projects for public agencies and municipalities, is one of four co-owners who started Infrastructure Engineering Corp. in 2002. Her projects include working as the lead design engineer on the Sears Point Emergency Storage Tank in Vallejo, Calif., a 3-million-gal prestressed concrete emergency water retention reservoir. Lemons also served as the project engineer for the Vallecitos Water District’s Land Outfall Sewer Replacement project that replaced 60,000 ft of pipe and included an unexpected angle point under the freeway, making sliplining the pipe a complicated project. Her advice: “Take ownership and pride in what you do. Don’t be afraid to get involved.” She jokes that because her husband, Jason, also is a civil engineer, making any home improvement decisions requires a detailed discussion.

Bill Leuci, PE, 40

Principal, X-nth, Boston

Tufts University, BS in Electrical Engineering

Leuci, an electrical engineer, likes to joke that he “designs for facilities most people don’t know anything about that keep the world running.” Those facilities, typically mission critical and laboratory projects, include a NATO communications facility in Iceland that “can take anything but a direct nuclear hit.” His clients include Pfizer and various financial institutions, such as Citibank and Fidelity, where he makes sure data centers stay up and running to protect his clients’ confidential information. Leuci also is known for his design of alternative power systems, including solar, wind, and fuel cells. He successfully commissioned one of the largest rotary UPS and alternative power systems in the United States for the IRS. A former college football player (tackle) and track and field athlete (shot put, discus, and hammer), Leuci also finds time to make wine like his grandfather made that is then shared with 11 other friends who also make their own wines. Leuci enjoys deep sea fishing, being a Boston “homer” for the pro teams, coaching youth soccer, and spending time with his wife, Michelle, and their children, Jacqueline, 9, and Sophia, 7.

Firas Makahleh, 38

Head of Cooling Engineer, SESAME Light Source, Amman, Jordan

Mu’tah University, BS in Mechanical Engineering Jordan University, MS in Mechanical Engineering

A mid-fielder who played soccer at Mu’tah University, Makahleh said he became a mechanical engineer because he asked one of his friends to become an electrical engineer, Makahleh’s original intended major. “Fortunately, he refused, so I became a mechanical engineer,” he said. Makahleh is the head of the vacuum and cooling section, where he designs the cooling system of the SESAME 2.5 GeV synchrotron 1,000-ton chillers facility and supervises mechanical systems for hospitals, universities, and other facilities. Makahleh’s first design project was an HVAC and medical gases system for the Urology Centre in Amman, Jordan. His other projects include the Vocational Training Corp.’s 75,000-sq.-ft, 8-story building and the 5.38 million-sq.-ft Aqaba Business project where he handled the HVAC, fire fighting, drainage, storm water, and BMS. Makahleh said it was his mother’s sacrifice and the SESAME ex-technical director, Dr. Vignola Gaetano, who encouraged him “to enter a new, difficult field” that helped him get to where he is today. Married at 23, he is the proud father of six children with his wife, Mervat Budair. He enjoys traveling to the mountains in the summer and the Dead Sea in the winter.

Rodrigo Manriquez, IALD, LC, IESNA, 36

Principal, Senior Lighting Designer, SmithGroup, Detroit

University of Kansas, BS in Architectural Engineering

Originally from Santiago, Chile, Manriquez came to the United States as an exchange student in Georgia. “I didn’t speak any English and I was on the opposite side of the world in hot, muggy Georgia in the middle of August,” he said. That’s when he began drawing ice cubes “to try and cool my temperature down” and became interested in architectural design. Manriquez liked the United States enough to return—after waiting for a visa in Chile for two years—to attend college in Kansas and he became passionate about lighting design. “I hate Las Vegas because it is so confusing, with the purpose of gambling,” he said. “I like simplicity. People want simple things; they don’t want to be burdened with confusing spaces.” Manriquez’s ability to use lighting as a key component of view finding helped him create solutions for the Passenger Tunnel at Northwest McNamara Terminal in Detroit with an 800-ft-long LED installation; the Discovery Communication Headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.; and the Design Styling Dome at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren, Mich. Manriquez is married with three children. He enjoys coaching his sons’ soccer teams, playing acoustic guitar, and mountain and road biking.

Patrick McCafferty, 36

Associate, Structural Engineer, Arup, Cambridge, Mass.

Cornell University, BS and MS in Civil Engineering

McCafferty has always been fascinated with buildings. So much so that the structural engineer married his wife, Megan, in a jail that had been converted into an art museum in Doylestown, Pa. McCafferty was also one of the engineers called upon as an immediate responder to help with the search and recovery effort after the World Trade Center was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. He served as the project manager and lead structural engineer for the schematic design of the $4 billion, 6-million-sq.-ft Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, which includes a 2-acre sky garden that cantilevers from the roofs of three 50-story hotel towers. He also led the design of the Air Force Memorial, an innovative “ball-in-box” damping system of 20-in.-diameter balls that roll freely into bumper pads to dissipate energy when the three slender, 13-ft-wide spires that range from 200 to 270 ft in height sway in the wind. An avid cyclist, McCafferty enjoys spending time with his wife and three young sons. His black-and-white photographs taken at Ground Zero in the days and weeks following Sept. 11 have been included in a book, “Here is New York—A Democracy of Photographs.”

Jack McCarthy, PE, 38

Electrical Engineering Principal, Integrated Design Group, Boston

Tufts University, BS in Electrical Engineering

McCarthy is a self-proclaimed “gym rat” who usually works out seven days a week. A reformed eater who is “no longer just a spaghetti and meatballs guy,” he’s learning how to expand his cooking skills in between traveling to professional ballparks around the country with a few friends. He recently took on a new role at Integrated Design Group as the department manager to spearhead the company’s international expansion in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. McCarthy’s specializes in energy efficiency projects and research to help reduce the carbon footprint within data center design, which he calls “the biggest energy hogs out there.” McCarthy’s projects include an L.L. Bean LEED Silver data center built with rapidly renewable materials and an energy-efficient lighting control system. He also worked on a Tier-4 data center in Bahrain, the first telecommunications carrier-neutral facility of its kind, which will be completed by the end of the summer. McCarthy’s advice to others: “Never give up your drive to learn. Always be on the cutting edge, trying to do as much research as you can.”

Erin McConahey, PE, 37

Associate Principal, Mechanical Engineering, Arup, Los Angeles

UC Berkeley, BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Structural Engineering

For the past six years, McConahey, the co-mechanical discipline leader for the firm’s Los Angles office, has directed the Americas Design School training program. McConahey worked on the 600,000-sq.-ft San Francisco Federal Office Building that includes natural ventilation in the perimeter office space on seven of the 13 floors. It is one of the first times the government allowed the use of natural ventilation in the buildings, she said. McConahey also oversaw the Hamilton extension to the Denver Art Museum. With its tight environmental controls and 3-D design challenges, McConahey opted to deliver the full construction documents as a 3-D model to reduce on-site conflicts and change orders. She is a member of the National Register of Peer Professional for the U.S. General Services Administration that handles design reviews of government projects, as well as a member of Consulting-Specifying Engineer ‘s advisory board. She teaches mechanical engineering for architects at Southern California Institute of Architecture and the University of Southern California, along with Sunday school at her church. She is learning to play the acoustic guitar and has worked with Rebuilding Together, which fixes up homes for the low-income aging or disabled population.

Jason McFadden, EIT, 25

Project Manager, Barton Malow Construction Services, Atlanta

Penn State, BS and MS in Architecture Engineering

McFadden jokes he became an engineer by mistake. “I wasn’t accepted into the business school at Penn State because I didn’t take a foreign language in high school,” he said with a laugh. Instead, he became an architectural engineer who specializes in construction management. Now he gets to work on stadiums and ballparks across the country. McFadden, who will take his LEED Accredited Professional exam this summer, said his most rewarding project was working on the Penn State Ballpark, where he was able to integrate his thesis into reality. The ballpark, which McFadden said was the first LEED Certified stadium in the country, recycled 76% of the construction materials in pre-sorted containers. He then used low-VOC paints and carpets, electronic sensors to decrease energy usage, and had a light-colored roof installed to reduce the heat island effect. As a result of that project, McFadden is now working on the new $4.5 million Georgia Tech Softball Stadium, which is pursuing a LEED Silver rating and will include an innovative underground cistern that will store enough water to irrigate the field for two to three weeks during times of drought. McFadden, who played the trombone in the Penn State marching band, enjoys running, playing golf, and going to see the Braves and Phillies when he’s not at the beach.

Allan Montpellier, PE, LEED AP, 37

Senior Vice President, Flack + Kurtz, Seattle

University of Alberta, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Working in the United States on a green card from Canada, Montpellier supervises 45 people as the director of the Seattle office. He oversees such projects as San Francisco’s Pier 1, located in a historic building with 4-in. concrete walls that made it challenging to create a sustainable solution. To do so, Montpellier used natural ventilation and radiant heating and cooling coils that adjusted the air by circulating it, much like a convection oven. As the project manager and lead mechanical engineer, Montpellier also oversaw the Seattle Aquarium renovation, which began using wastewater as a cooling source and won an ASHRAE regional technology award as well as a 2007 ARC Award from Consulting-Specifying Engineer . “I take great pride that our firm is at the forefront of sustainability,” he said. “When I walked out of (the movie) ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ I was happy say to my wife (Feliz) that I work for a firm that is trying to make things better.” Montpellier loves to golf, travel, and scuba dive and is training for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Montpellier and his wife have a daughter, Katherine, 2, and are expecting a baby girl in September.

Doug Nadeau, PE, LEED AP, 36

Principal, New England Engineering, Albany, N.Y.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, BS in Mechanical Engineering, BS in Physics, MS in Fire Protection Engineering

Three years ago, Nadeau co-founded New England Engineering, but he still finds time to coach his oldest daughter’s softball team. His philosophy for both arenas: “Work to build upon fundamentals and establish your foundation, and make sure to have fun along the way. Reward comes from knowledge, hard work, and constantly trying to better oneself.” Nadeau specializes in government projects, and private and commercial apartments and office buildings. He worked on the 25-year strategic fire protection master plan for the Data Center at the University at Albany and developed the 10-year fire protection master plan for the 35-building Elmira Correctional Facility in New York. Nadeau is in the process of co-authoring a book on fire protection engineering and risk management. Aside from working and coaching, he supports his three daughters by attending all other school and sporting events, offering as much of his time as possible. Nadeau, who thinks Larry Bird is the single greatest basketball player of all time, is married to his high school sweetheart, MaryJo, and has three daughters, Gillian, 10, Kendall, 9, and Keeghan, 7.

Lincoln Pearce, PE, LEED AP, 34

Associate Principal, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Rock Island, Ill.

Iowa State, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Pearce is known for a lot of things. Among others, he is a drummer in various rock bands, including one with a bunch of other engineers from his office, called Crome Naked Lady. The former Iowa State club racquetball player also is known for his mechanical mind that helps engineer mixed-use buildings that are energy efficient. He worked on the $50 million, 280,000-sq.-ft Harper College Avante Center that houses various science and emerging technology classrooms. The three-wing building won a Plumbing & Mechanical magazine award for its ability to meter energy usage and its energy recovery system that could be individually switched according to the professor’s lesson plans to make things like dissecting frogs a lot less smelly but still efficient. As a project manager and lead mechanical engineer, he made installing a 7-story glass wall in Federal Court House in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a reality. His advice: “Understand the difference between what you actually know and what you think you know.” Pearce, who is married with two children, also advocates volunteering, something he’s done for to help children with muscular dystrophy.

Andrew Purtell, 25

Application Engineer, Kidde-Fenwal Inc., a UTC Fire & Security Co., Ashland, Mass.

Worchester Polytechnic Institute, BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Fire Protection Engineering

Purtell has traveled the world from Singapore to Brazil for his fire suppression company, protecting hazards from data centers to deep fat fryers. “We get called in for the tough ones,” Purtell said. “Nothing is straight out of the book when they call us, so we have to get creative to make the fire system work.” His projects include handling the marine systems for the Canadian Coast Guard, which has required Purtell to go on various ships to design safety precautions in tight quarters. He also worked on a project for the U.S. Social Security Administration to protect computer vaults that store personal information. Purtell attributes his success to his mother, a pre-school teacher who encouraged him to obtain a master’s degree like she did. A new homeowner with his girlfriend, Meredith Craig, Purtell enjoys being a “Boston homer” when it comes to rooting for sports teams and loves playing Guitar Hero. He already has a laundry list of projects for their new home, including a two-level deck he plans on building.

Greg Quinn, PE, LEED AP, 36

Principal, AEI/Affiliated Engineers Inc., Madison, Wis.

University of Wisconsin, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Quinn has helped build some of the most sophisticated research and medical facilities in the country. He worked on the National Institutes of Health’s Research Hospital, the premier institution in the United States that diagnoses, studies, and treats infectious diseases. The challenge, Quinn said, was creating a sustainable building that could adapt for yet-unknown disease and have the ability to convert from a research hospital to an in-patient care facility. As the principal project manager, Quinn also oversees the new Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a 1.1-million-sq.-ft, 276-bed pediatric in-patient facility. He also worked as the construction project manager on Amgen’s Helix biotech research campus in Seattle. The four-lab building and central utility plant were engineered to be almost earthquake-proof by being set on base isolators, a neoprene-like rubber material that allows the building to move up to 18 in. Quinn also developed the curriculum for the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering’s Construction Engineering and Management program’s mechanical systems course, one of only six in the nation, which he has taught and supervised. Quinn is avid distance runner who has completed five half-marathons. He has two daughters with his wife, Denise, his high school sweetheart.

Donald Seward, PE, 34

Engineering Services Manager, EarthTech, Richmond, Va.

University of Virginia, BS in Civil Engineering Old Dominion University, MS in Engineering Management

Seward grew up a “military brat,” the son of a tactical air commander in the Air Force who spent time in Germany. “Being a fighter pilot crossed my mind,” he said. “But I figured being an engineer was a little safer.” He now overseas the water and wastewater division for EarthTech and manages the Class I Railroad clients by providing lead technical design services for large-scale municipal and government clients. For a confidential client, Seward audited 58 railroads in 10 states to make sure its spill prevention control and counter measures were accurate. He also wrote the field audit manuals by developing a standard design package for facilities. Additionally, he has designed and upgraded firing ranges for the Quantico-based Secret Service and Marine Corps that required hazardous soil surveys, and re-grading range berms including a 600-ft-wide, 800-ft-tall ballistics wall to separate the precision weapon range from the rifle range. In college, Seward played center field and was the captain of the 1996 ACC-championship-winning Virginia baseball team. A Yankees fan, Seward is a deacon in his church. He and his wife, Lucy, have a son Seth, 7, and another baby on the way.

Peter Stockard, PE, LEED AP, 36

Associate Partner, Division Leader, Sebesta Blomberg, Arlington, Va.

Virginia Tech, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Stockard is a fourth-generation “Washingtonian” who has been busy helping renovate the Pentagon. In charge of mechanical and fire protection upgrades, Stockard said the vast size of the building, at 6.5 million sq. ft, is hard to comprehend. Each of the five “wedges” is slightly more than 1 million sq. ft, and is renovated one at a time. Despite its high security, Stockard said it is one of the few Dept. of Defense buildings with LEED Certified areas to create optimum efficiency. Stockard has also worked on an energy-saving performance contract to upgrade the HVAC system at the Kansas University Medical Center and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In his free time, Stockard is known as “Coach P” for his twin boys’ soccer team, and he regularly goes to their school and helps out at their Cub Scout events. “I’m a sports fanatic and I always wanted to be a physical education teacher, so anything I can do outdoors or sports-related is fantastic,” said Stockard, who helped create the Seymour Lake Triathlon with his brother in 1999, and co-authored two papers for the National Conference on Building Commissioning.

Jeffrey Tubbs, PE, 39

Associate Principal, Arup, Westborough, Mass.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Fire Protection Engineering

Besides attempting to play the bagpipes, Tubbs leads Arup’s Westborough office and the firm’s Americas region Fire Skills group. He is the lead author (with former Arupian Brian Meacham) of the text “Egress Design Solutions: A Guide to Evacuation and Crowd Management Planning.” Tubbs led Arup’s work supporting the National Construction Safety Team’s investigation of the Feb. 20, 2003, fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island. As a project manager for the fire and life safety efforts, he reviewed and analyzed the overall code and performance design of Dallas-Fort Worth’s International Airport Terminal. “Fire protection is a growing field—there are a number of opportunities to develop performance-based designs,”Tubbs said. “With performance-based design, engineers design buildings to be safe, rather than to follow a prescriptive set of codes. There is an opportunity to develop innovative engineering solutions instead of simply following the prescriptive codes.” Tubbs is the immediate past president of the New England Chapter of Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and vice-chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee for control of smoke and fire. He played rugby in college and enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Tony Warner, 33

Principal, Audio Visual and Acoustics Practice, RTKL Associates Inc., Baltimore

John Hopkins University, Peabody Institute, BM in Recording Arts & Sciences and Music Performance

Warner always thought he would play the trombone for a living. He knew it would be a hard road, but after deciding to double major, he began to enjoy the business side of acoustics. He started the firm’s design practice from scratch four years ago and has built it into a 16-person, four-office top-tier audio, visual, and acoustics operation. The challenges included competing with outside consulting firms—even for in-house projects—and developing personal relationships with architects. “I really focused on where my competitors had dropped the ball,” Warner said. “A lot of it seems like no-brainer stuff.” After 18 months, Warner had built up a large enough clientele list to warrant adding another person. After that, he said, everything started to snowball. Warner’s projects include the 4,500-sq.-ft King Dining Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy. Warner’s challenge was to create a multimedia system that could adapt from a dining facility to a classroom for presentations given to one large group, or simultaneously hold three different events at the same time, without being to obtrusive to the historic structure of the building. As a result, Warner hung 70 45-in. LCD screens from the ceiling to help with the stylistic blending. A Cal Ripken fan, Warner also enjoys listening to contemporary Christian, classical, and jazz music.

Richard Watters, PE, 35

Mechanical Engineer, Baird, Hampton & Brown, Fort Worth, Texas

University of Texas, El Paso, BS in Mechanical Engineering Texas A&M, MS in Mechanical Engineering

Watters’ name has become synonymous with success with Dallas-Fort Worth-based medical facilities and other commercial, retail, and municipal buildings. His biggest payback came from helping the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Dallas, which was having problems with its steam distribution system: Not enough water was getting back to the boiler plant. Watters created a six-step design to drastically improve efficiency by adding additional pipe, while abandoning parts of the older system since the below-ground pump was pressurizing the line. Watters realized his achievement when the utility company called the hospital to make sure “everything was OK” because its energy usage had dropped by 40%. Watters also worked on Fort Worth’s XTO Energy historic building with 9-ft ceilings, which needed new electrical, mechanical, and plumbing that had to be creatively constructed. Watters’ advice to others: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are afraid to ask a dumb question thinking you’ll find the answer, you probably won’t. Instead, find a mentor to ask.” When Watters isn’t working, he enjoys going hiking and mountain biking in the state parks with his wife, Yesenia.

Mike Westemeier, PE, LEED AP, 37

Principal, Mechanical Department, LKPB Engineers Inc., St. Paul, Minn.

Iowa State, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Westemeier grew up watching his father solve problems for John Deere and later became the first in his family to graduate with a college degree. He supervises the 25-member mechanical engineering department and is in charge of bringing in clients and setting office standards. As the mechanical project manager, Westemeier implemented a heat recovery system to help make Buena Vista University’s new science building efficient. Westemeier also has designed Schwan’s frozen food company distribution centers across the country as the project engineer. His advice to others: “Don’t be afraid to learn from other people, even those who aren’t engineers and don’t have a degree.” An Eagle Scout, Westemeier takes time each week to trap shoot clay pigeons in a sportsman club. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Katrina, and their four children, Emily, 10, Sara, 8, Mark, 6, and Molly, 4, who enjoy fishing and riding their bikes. The couple is active in fundraisers for the St. John the Evangelist School and the Men’s Club in Little Canada, Minn.

Gerald “Gerry” Williams, PE, LEED AP, 39

Vice President, Engineering, Cannon Design, St. Louis

University of Missouri, BS in Mechanical Engineering

Williams knows how to go after what he wants. Most recently, he has his sights set on running his first marathon this October in Chicago. A tri-athlete who played on his high school’s golf team, Williams spends time coaching boys’ and girls’ soccer teams. As an engineer, he specializes in mechanical systems for high-tech laboratory buildings that conduct medical and pharmaceutical research. He helped secure Reagan International Airport when the terrorist attacks happened on Sept. 11, 2001. “It really changed the way I designed buildings,” he said. “I realized the importance of emergency shutoffs since smoke and debris from outside was coming in the building as people were being evacuated.” His other projects include the Center for Emerging Technologies, a lab incubator group that specializes in developing next-generation medical and other advanced technology companies. Williams used an energy-efficient design with a grass roof, a helical wind-powered generator, and a hybrid of grape vines to shade the south wall during the summer and allow sun exposure during the winter. “It’s about taking old engineering concepts and applying them to high-tech modern buildings,” said Williams, who is married with three children.

Qui Song (Kent) Yu, PhD, 39

Associate Principal, Degenkolb Engineers, Portland, Ore.

Bachestor Tongi University, BS in Civil Engineering University of California, San Diego, MS and PhD in Structural Engineering

In Chinese, Yu’s first name means pine tree. “It stands for a person of tough character, because a tree can grow near a cliff and deal with cold or wind or snow,” Yu said. “When my dad gave me the name, he hoped I would have the similar characters of a pine tree.” The son of a leather-shoe factory owner and a teacher, Yu grew up in Shanghai and went through a traumatic earthquake as a young child that led him to sleep under the dining room table for weeks as he obsessed about how to make buildings safe. That curiosity led Yu to become an expert on seismic activity. He traveled to Peru with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute to study the damage and give advice after a major earthquake hit last August. “It was hard to see the little hands and bodies of the children,” he said. “I think about them every day when I work.” Yu, a father of two with wife, Lin, has assessed such buildings as San Francisco’s H. C. Moffitt Hospital and serves on the National Science Foundations’ cooperative urban Earthquake Disaster research project between the United States and Japan.