2022 40 Under 40: Nora Swanson, PE, LEED AP BD+C, 39

Director of Design Technology, AKF Group; BS, Mechanical Engineering, Villanova University

By Amara Rozgus, Chris Vavra, and Christina Miller May 16, 2022

A self-proclaimed rebel thinker, Swanson has used her mechanical engineering background as a springboard to maximize her company’s strategic technology plan. As director of design technology, Swanson uses her enthusiasm for new technologies to actively imagine the future of technology within the building industry. Recognizing the growing interest in smart buildings as a way for owners to future-proof their investments and increase energy savings, Swanson advocated to formalize their experience in smart building design consultation as an official service offered by her firm. The smart building consulting practice is designed to create a strategic roadmap for clients to achieve their smart building goals and provides operational data support and analysis. Swanson established her firm’s 3D laser scanning service to improve firm processes by giving the client more accurate records of existing project conditions with an efficiency, accuracy and speed impossible using the human eye and manual drafting. Swanson is a frequent participant in industry panels and has written articles for several publications. She is an active member of the professional organizations Autodesk User Group International and the Autodesk Advisors Community. Swanson also mentors engineering students at her alma mater Villanova, as well as students from Building 21, a nonprofit reimagining secondary school. Swanson helps guide her co-workers and is active in promoting a culture of inclusivity at her firm. Outside of the office, Swanson is passionate about baking and is a skilled woodworker. She also learned skiing as an adult and shares that passion with her son.