2016 40 Under 40: Deborah Steimel-Clair, PE, LC, 35

Lighting Studio Manager, Primera Engineers, Chicago   BS and MS Architectural Engineering, Kansas State University


Deborah Steimel-Clair, PE, LC, 35. Lighting Studio Manager, Primera Engineers, Chicago. BS and MS Architectural Engineering, Kansas State University. Courtesy: Primera EngineersDeborah Steimel-Clair, PE, LC, 35

Lighting Studio Manager, Primera Engineers, Chicago

BS and MS Architectural Engineering, Kansas State University

After earning her degrees, Steimel-Clair began her career at Primera Engineers in Chicago. In the past 12 years, she has grown within the firm, moving from an entry-level electrical engineer to heading up the company's Lighting Studio. She has worked on schools, parks, streetscapes, labs, piers, ice rinks, restaurants, harbors, dorms, and everything in between. She has led large-scale projects for electrical design while providing lighting design, daylight studies, and project management. Recently, Steimel-Clair was presented with an Award of Merit from the Illuminating Engineering Society and a Gold Medal Design Award from the Association of Licensed Architects for her lighting design and electrical work on the Galewood Elementary School project. Steimel-Clair has provided pro bono theatrical lighting design services to Alan B. Shepard High School and the Beverly Hills University Club. She serves on the buildings resource committees at All Day Montessori and St. Barnabas schools and has helped these locations make educated, informed decisions about their lighting upgrade projects. Steimel-Clair also serves as a mentor at Alan B. Shepard High School and through the Chicago Scholars Program. She mentors technically focused students on a regular basis and says she has a special place in her heart for women looking to get into a STEM career. Steimel-Clair is a seasoned crocheter and baker and is frequently trying new patterns or recipes. Her husband and children have no shortage of scarves or hats for the winter, and they are eager taste-testers for her desserts. She loves to bike and is an avid skier. However, her favorite pastime is traveling. She has been to 39 states, nine countries, and three continents during her lifetime and is always looking for her next adventure.

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