2023 40 Under 40: Bryan Derr, PE, 39

Principal, Coffman Engineers; BS, Fire Protection Engineer, University of Maryland

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer May 15, 2023

The architecture, engineering and construction teammates Derr collaborates with share that, although he is an excellent engineer with a robust client following, they most value his professional contributions. At work, Derr was instrumental in development of the Coffman Washington, D.C., metro office, which started with three staff members in 2017 and has grown to 17. Since leaving his alma mater, Derr has continued his association with the University of Maryland, being instrumental in the development of an entrepreneurial course and serving as an industry resource to the faculty. Derr gives back to the fire protection community through his involvement with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. He also serves as the main point of contact for Coffman when recruiting new fire protection engineers from various universities. In that role, he delivers presentations to students on an introduction to engineering and consulting, maintaining work/life balance, technical issues and provides mentorship to rising engineers. Derr has also been active in the Design Build Institute of America and the Society of American Military Engineers, attending conferences, meetings and social events. In recognition of his dedication and contributions, Derr was selected as a partner in Coffman, which is a high bar to reach — especially at his age. Both at work and outside of work, Derr finds himself always looking for competition. That sense of competition was likely derived by being the youngest of three active boys. He and his brothers grew up to be fire protection engineers working at three separate organizations. Outside of work his competitive nature is primarily exercised on the golf course.