2019 40 Under 40: James Falconer, PE, CEng; 38
Falconer is a mechanical engineer and department leader at Affiliated Engineers Inc. in San Francisco. He started gravitating toward HVAC engineering during an internship with Arup in Cardiff, U.K. He liked the collaborative nature of the mechanical engineer’s role on a design team. After graduation, he went to work for WS Atkins in Cardiff and subsequently joined Buro Happold in London, managing high-rise projects in Turkey, Russia and the Middle East. Understanding grew with experience into a passion for high-performance and sustainable building design that he carried to posts in New York City and then San Francisco. Falconer’s exposure to life-science projects sparked an interest in this sector and led him to his current role at AEI. Learning that science and technology is one of AEI’s core markets, he joined the firm as a project manager. Outside of his professional career, he has been involved in volunteer work for First Graduate, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving college access for low-income youth. He helps provide support and guidance to high-school students who – typically the first in their families – are considering further education in college. Falconer has participated in Habitat for Humanity events that help with neighborhood revitalization. Recent volunteer work has included the transformation of a local park in a low-income San Francisco neighborhood. He serves as board president for the homeowners’ association of the 200-unit condo building where he lives in the Bay Area. He is a biking enthusiast and competitive triathlete. Falconer recently completed a 100-mile ride from San Francisco to wine country, bookending an earlier 140-mile ride from Manhattan to Montauk. He has competed in the New York City Triathlon.