2019 40 Under 40: Maxwell Chien PE, LEED AP BD+C; 34

Associate, Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers, New York City BS and MAE Architectural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

By Jack Smith and Amara Rozgus May 16, 2019

Chien joined the New York City office of Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers in 2011 as a mechanical engineer after working nearly three years at Skidmore Owings & Merrill in Chicago. He soon rose to the position of senior mechanical engineer and later went on to become one of the firm’s youngest associates. Today, he is designing systems for some of the firm’s larger projects and serving its more distinguished clients such as the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chien must keep his clients well-informed and up to date on project status. Given the number of projects he juggles at any given time, this is no small task. He walks his clients through the pros and cons of decisions relative to mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems design, equipment selection and much more. In doing so, he has gained both the trust and confidence of his clients. Chien has been volunteering with the ACE Mentor Program of America Inc. since 2012. The program is geared toward inspiring high school students to consider and pursue careers in architecture, construction and engineering. Last year, he conceptualized and implemented a career day of sorts for public school students in the Bronx. He developed age-appropriate curriculum, designed a variety of thought-provoking activities and hands-on projects, acquired the necessary materials and enlisted the additional engineering mentors to make the program a success. Chien has enjoyed traveling most of his life. He has traveled to more than 20 countries and 140 cities. Back home, he has spent much of his free time renovating an early 1900s Brooklyn fixer upper, which he bought nearly two years ago. In addition, he takes great pleasure in attending opera performances. 

Author Bio: Jack Smith is a Content Manager at CFE Media. Amara Rozgus is Editor-in-Chief of Consulting-Specifying Engineer.