2018 40 Under 40: James Dipping, PE, CPD, LEED AP BD+C, ARCSAA, AP; 39
Vice President, Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD), Chicago
BS mechanical engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dipping joined ESD in 2009. Since joining the firm, his project role has grown from project engineer to project manager to technical authority, and today to a technical director and discipline leader. He was promoted to vice president in 2014, becoming one of the youngest shareholders in the firm. He specializes in health care and mission critical facilities. His main responsibilities include training development/engineering standardization, specification maintenance, design programming, project management/team leadership, client relations, and quality control for ESD’s market verticals. Dipping has experience with commercial, industrial, institutional, multi-use, multifamily residential, mission critical, and health care projects. He has designed projects from small-town banks to 100-story hotel/condominium complexes. Dipping believes leadership skills start with leading by example—he doesn’t ask people to do what he wouldn’t do himself. He also believes that good leaders must craft a plan for their subordinates so that they can develop and succeed. He gives them expectations and then supports those expectations. Dipping’s role as ESD’s plumbing technical director lets him work with junior, senior, and graduate-level engineers to provide opportunities for growth and success. He works closely with younger engineers to develop plans to gain experience, grow technically, and become well-rounded plumbing engineers. When he updates technical documents, he turns those into training opportunities. He supports an environment that encourages open discussion, new ideas from young engineers, and project success from experienced staff. Dipping enjoys weight training, fitness activities, woodworking, hockey, and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He has ridden in several charity rides benefiting Autism Speaks, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and various military veterans’ organizations.