2020 40 Under 40: Ben Ries, PE, LC, MBA, 34

Electrical Project Engineer, LEO A DALY, Omaha, Neb.; BS Architectural Engineering, MS Architectural Engineering, University of Nebraska

By Chris Vavra and Amara Rozgus May 14, 2020

Ries has performed lighting design and modeling across a wide range of applications, including exterior canopy lighting, daylighting modeling and studies and multiple interior space types. He is an expert in designing for energy reduction. He loves engineering because he likes solving puzzles and providing solutions to problems. It’s the second half of the equation — providing solutions to problems — that has informed his engineering career and provided a positive influence. His creative lighting designs reflect his empathy with building occupants. For example, as the lighting designer for a pediatric hearing lab at Boys Town National Research Hospital, Ries empathized with the occupants and fulfilled a client request for a creative display in a highly visible space. He designed a ceiling of lighting inspired by the universal communication method known as Morse code. Long and short linear LED fixtures alternate as one progresses down the hall, all separated by a defined pattern of spaces. The lights and spaces spell out the initials of the hospital — BTNRH. Ries also designed electrical infrastructure and lighting throughout the rest of the facility to meet the standards required of a busy medical clinic for children. In another project, his lighting design for a tribal government headquarters earned an award of merit from the Illuminating Engineering Society. Ries also worked closely with architects to deliver an integrated lighting solution. The round building pays tribute to the heritage of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe. Among its cultural features inside, the Tribal Chambers Room showcases tribal heritage with 28 coves of light imitating the 28 ribs of a buffalo. Outside of work, Ries enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and their Wheaten Terrier, Yoshi. Hobbies include golf, DIY projects at home and cooking.

Author Bio: Chris Vavra, Associate Editor, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief