2019 40 Under 40: Deanna Schmidt, PE, LEED AP; 39
Schmidt is an associate principal of electrical engineering, leads the Arup New Jersey office and leads recruitment for the electrical group. She began her career at Smith Seckman Reid, a specialized mechanical, electrical and plumbing firm that focuses on health care projects. First working on smaller parts of complicated health care projects, through experience she grew to work on intricately connected systems. Seeking an even more multidisciplinary workplace and the chance to work on more than just health care projects, Schmidt joined Arup in 2006. Because of her background in specialized health care design, she soon found herself working on several complex science and industry projects, specifically in designing complicated laboratories. She is working on several projects with Brown University being delivered through integrated project delivery. Design and construction practices are very consistent and slow to evolve, but IPD looks to see if improvements can be made by pushing the boundaries of how trades and disciplines work together. Since 2014, Schmidt has played an extremely active role in mentoring elementary and college students through the Society of Women Engineers in New Jersey. For the elementary group, she teaches them fundamentals of electrical engineering through simple design activities in a day camp environment. She reads a lot of nonfiction, currently reading books focused on team building, communicating with different personalities and generally growing as a leader. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and son as much as possible. Two activities they enjoy as a group are skiing and hiking. She is an avid cyclist and can often be found on the seat of her bike.