2019 40 Under 40: Lucas Rae; 36
Rae is a mechanical engineer and senior project engineer at ESD, where he has worked since 2013. Within the firm’s mission critical team, he has led a variety of projects and become a trusted adviser to many clients. With one large client, he was both instrumental in winning the client initially and subsequently growing the team from the one initial project to many across the country. Rae began his career after graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, with honors. He gained employment in HVAC and building design in his native New Zealand. In his first job, he was exposed to a variety of building projects including offices, retail, health care, cinemas and swimming pools. He transferred from New Zealand to the U.K. in 2007 where he worked for five years, initially for the same company before relocating to a data center design firm. He stayed with this firm for four years, working his way up through the ranks to principal engineer. After his time in the U.K., Rae spent a couple of brief periods in the Philippines and Australia before life brought him and his wife to Chicago, where they have been based since. He spends his most of his free time with his young family. He has two young sons, who he and his wife both take an active role in raising. He is widely traveled, he has lived and worked on four continents and has used this as an opportunity to explore the surrounding areas. Rae used his time in the Philippines to explore the archipelago. It was during a weekend excursion from Manila that he met his future wife, who shares his joy for adventure and exploration. Closer to home, he enjoys spring and summer gardening projects and exploring with his children in the local forest preserve.