2020 40 Under 40: Luke Karels, PE, 36
Project Delivery Department Manager, Stanley Consultants, Minneapolis; MS Infrastructure Systems Engineering Management, University of Minnesota
A few years ago, the University of Minnesota College of Science & Engineering sought out Karels to champion its Technological Leadership Institute in a recruitment video. It selected Karels as its spokesman, realizing there was something special about him. Ambitious yet personable, he’s a professional that accomplishes more in a day than most can in a week. This is due, in part, to his ability to multitask and his ability to relate with colleagues and clients. Karels is an experienced senior project manager for a variety of power delivery projects. He has great organizational skills, is a skilled communicator and a positive team leader for multidiscipline engineering teams across multiple offices. Karels is responsible for business development, scope/fee development, contract negotiation and execution, schedules, budgets, resource loading, sequencing plans and project financial performance oversight. In addition to being one of the market’s top senior project managers, Karels currently wears two other hats at Stanley Consultants. As the department manager, he manages the top power delivery project and program managers in the company. He has also stepped into a new project portfolio manager role, overseeing project financial performance for a group of 10 project managers. While he has chosen a project management career track at Stanley Consultants, Karels is licensed in 11 states and continues to provide technical oversight on a range of energy projects. He is driven to succeed in his career, yet he takes the time to teach his children how to hunt and fish — even in Minnesota winters. When not in the woods or on the lake, Karels also enjoys volunteering at church and coaching multiple local youth sports teams. He attributes his success to the quality of his colleagues and to the opportunities provided by Stanley Consultants.