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40 Under 40 Construction Champions of 2019

40 Under 40: Construction Champions of 2019

Meet the New Class of Movers and Shakers and Rising Stars in the Industry

Around 180 million people make up the construction industry around the world. To celebrate just a small fraction of the talented and hardworking individuals in the sector, earlier this year, we launched a call for nominations for our 2nd annual 40 Under 40 program.

We’re excited to finally announce the list for 40 Under 40: Construction Champions of 2019. While many accomplished and up and coming professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry were nominated for the program, our list features some of the leading talent emerging from top organizations and projects around the world. Read on to learn about some of the biggest disruptors and change makers in construction inspiring us all to build a better industry and world.

The list appears in alphabetical order. Click the table of contents below to jump to each individual, or scroll on. 

  1. Christopher Alderson, The Lake Partnership Inc.
  2. German Otto Bodenbender, Boogertman and Partners Architects
  3. Max Brandt, I-Kota, LLC.
  4. Ariel Castillo, BIMnomad
  5. César Cedano, Architectural Resources
  6. Nick Christoffersen, JE Dunn
  7. Giulia Cicone, Telecommunication Company
  8. Cliff Cole, The PENTA Building Group
  9. Asyraf Dzahiri, Ranhill Bersekutu Sdn Bhd
  10. Wilkes Evans, Piedmont Construction Group
  11. Michael Frankberg, Permasteelisa North America
  12. Manuel Frey, Gruner Roschi AG
  13. Kelsey Gauger, Suffolk
  14. James Hillegas, OCP Contractors
  15. Kapil Kumar, dwp
  16. Felipe Alejandro López Valencia, Muros y Techos S.A. 
  17. Christine Lucaj, SL Green Realty Corp.
  18. Natasha Luthra, Jacobs
  19. Mike Maierle, Etro Construction
  20. Anthony Manganiello, Group PMX 
  21. Dr. Barry McAuley, Technological University Dublin
  22. Hannah Metcalf, P.E., Emery Sapp & Sons 
  23. Leericka Miller, Contract Construction
  24. Jorge Morales, J&J Acoustics 
  25. Sara Moreno, luis vidal + architects
  26. Saniye Oktem, Prota Engineering Design and Consultancy Services Inc.
  27. Nicolas Ortiz Abello, Build Change
  28. Angelina Perryman, Perryman Construction
  29. Mark Peterson, Mortenson
  30. Ryan Powell, VoltAir Constructors
  31. Victor Sanchez, Wegmans Food Markets
  32. Laura Smith, Miron Construction Co.
  33. Daniel Smolilo, The Walsh Group
  34. Kelsey Stein, Skanska
  35. Samantha Suriano, United Mechanical
  36. Sarah Tenpas, The Boldt Company
  37. Mario Trujillo, TITAN AEC
  38. Simone van Loon, ITANNEX
  39. Lindsay Williams, McKenney’s, Inc.
  40. Mike Zivanovic, Pipefitter’s Local Union 597

1. Christopher Alderson

Alderson_ChristopherPartner, Senior Project Manager
The Lake Partnership Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Christopher joined The Lake Partnership Inc. (TLPI) at the beginning of 2013 and has quickly emerged as a respected leader in Ottawa’s construction industry. He consistently and successfully executes large, unique projects with challenging design and timelines, including the Shopify Headquarters. With a keen eye for solutions that deliver strong outcomes, he championed the adoption of digital technology on the job site for both TLPI and their group of direct sub-trades. Christopher takes the time to mentor up-and-coming team members, and is known for his principled, analytical approach to problem-solving and deep commitment to high quality results.

“Christopher brings dedication, integrity, and knowledge to every aspect of the job. The scope and complexity of the projects he manages is impressive, but it is his approach that really makes Christopher ideal for this list. He is forward-thinking, considerate, honorable and an undeniable asset to the industry.”

2. German Otto Bodenbender

Bodenbender_German Otto

BIM Manager – Senior Architect
Boogertman and Partners Architects
Johannesburg Area, South Africa

As a BIM Manager, German is constantly seeking new ways to disrupt the traditional process and develop a collaborative mindset across the industry. He is a young professional both highly passionate about architecture and dedicated to pushing the boundaries of design and construction to achieve the best possible results, without ever compromising on quality. His high-tech approach is reflected on everything he does, finding new and better ways to do things. He has more than 10 years of experience on projects across the globe, including universities in Dubai, residential projects in Argentina, and, currently, the second largest mall in South Africa. Furthermore, he remains a thought leader in the industry and has keynoted at several major regional conferences in Africa. As the Co-Founder of the BIM Community Africa, he also dedicates his free time to the non-profit community that has the mission to raise the tide of the BIM knowledge in the industry.

3. Max Brandt

Brandt_MaxVice President of Operations
I-Kota, LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado, US

As a former project manager for The Neenan Company, a national integrated design-build firm, Max lead projects from early concept to construction.Over the past several years, he managed more than $35 million in medical office buildings. Through Max’s leadership, he brought together Neenan’s quality control department, architects, interior designers, and superintendents as well as the design consultants, design-build partners, and subcontractors in his effort to gain alignment and improve communication through the utilization of technology. The innovative use of collaboration software on his projects contributed to decreased labor costs (by 68%), increased client involvement, faster closeout, and ultimately culminated in improved profits. 

Over the past year, Max was leading an effort to develop more effective and standardized uses of construction technology throughout the design-build firm. He was a force in the company and was driving innovation, improving workflows, and increasing collaboration between architects, project managers, superintendents, and subcontractors. This fall, he completed a medical office building in California that was seven weeks ahead of schedule for an extremely happy client. 

In December 2019, Max joined I-Kota as Vice President of Operations. I-Kota is Colorado’s premier affordable housing contractor and there Max is focusing on growing I-Kota’s presence in Northern Colorado and improving operational efficiencies. Outside of work, Max is working on his M.B.A through the Fox School of Business at Temple University.  Additionally, Max is a veteran who deployed to Afghanistan as a member of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, United States Army. During his time in the Army, he learned teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills that translated directly to the world of design and construction. In his personal life, Max enjoys spending time with his family, exploring the outdoors and mentoring new graduates and young construction managers.  

4. Ariel Castillo

Castillo_ArielConstruction Technology Specialist
BIMnomad
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Ariel Castillo is a construction technology specialist who has become a reference in the Latin America AEC Industry for BIM and construction technology. Since 2010, Ariel has been working in the industry. But instead of working with traditional methods, he has focused on learning and utilizing emerging technologies to create new experiences that allow companies to maximize resources, whether they’re designing, building, maintaining, or selling a project. Ariel has proven his expertise by working on high-demand construction jobs, implementing new technologies, and incorporating new project delivery processes in multi-million dollar projects. Beyond his job duties, he is constantly creating useful BIM content for the industry through his weekly newsletter and podcast, Shared Coordinates. 

“He’s a renowned BIM advocate in Latin America and has hosted conferences and workshops in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.” 

5. César Cedano

Cedano_CesarDirector of Technology and BIM
Architectural Resources
Buffalo, New York, US

César has grown into one of New York State’s leaders in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and assisted in the delivery of high-quality projects using parametric design and point cloud data review. His expertise in clash detection of building trades has enabled the streamlining of the coordination process while using BIM as a tool for efficient project delivery. 

César has supported staff, sub-consultants, and clients in the implementation of BIM from design through construction by creating standards, specifications, and methods that apply to every project. As an Autodesk Certified Professional and clash coordination specialist, César has mastered the deployment of BIM in multifaceted construction environments that encompass complex existing conditions and large-scale new builds.

César has provided BIM Management, Coordination, and Design services for dozens of projects across the United States, including developing a cohesive BIM construction protocol for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). This protocol is now the standard specification used in all DASNY projects throughout New York State.

6. Nick Christoffersen

Christofferson, NicholasSr. Project Manager
JE Dunn
Atlanta, Georgia, US

Nick is a construction leader who is focused on building quality structures on time and within allotted budgets while adhering to job specifications. His experience includes the construction of high rise multi-family units, sports venues, aviation, data center, and parking structures ranging from $500,000 to $1.2 billion.

Throughout his career, he has been a leader in the aviation sector. He has worked on multiple projects at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as well as airports in Charlotte, Nashville, and Chattanooga. As a member of leading organizations in the commercial construction field, he is focused on helping to excel the future of construction in the Atlanta area. 

7. Giulia Cicone

Cicone_GiuliaInfrastructure Technical Office, Implementation Consultant
Telecommunication Company
Rome Area, Italy

As a young professional, Giulia is driving successful BIM implementation in one of the primary Italian telecommunication player. In her current role as an Implementation Consultant, she is helping to set standards, work closely with board members, and find smart solutions to solve complex problems. Due to her expertise and ambition, she drove the first step in the Telecommunication Company digitizing more than 11,000 CAD/pdf project to BIM models, in addition to implementing robotics as a structural analysis tool and using Dynamo to avoid project errors.

 

8. Cliff Cole

Cole_CliffDirector of Virtual Design and Construction
The PENTA Building Group
Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Under Cliff’s leadership, PENTA’s VDC team has been able to implement innovative technologies and processes that increase efficiency, save time, money, and improve overall jobsite safety. Today, he helps lead and supports several company initiatives that harness the power of technology and use it to revolutionize the way The PENTA Building Group does business. This year, Cliff has managed more than 40 preconstruction and construction projects in Las Vegas and Southern California, including Las Vegas Ballpark and the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Hall. In 2018, PENTA (teamed with JV partner AECOM Hunt Construction) was tasked with the construction of the Las Vegas Ballpark, the new home to the minor-league affiliate Las Vegas Aviators. The project utilized the VDC department in full, implementing BIM to perform constructability reviews and coordination of all major building systems. Thanks to the VDC team’s commitment to safety and accuracy, PENTA and its partners were able to complete the project in less than 14 months with no lost-time accidents in more than 600,000 hours of labor. 

In addition to preconstruction planning for multi-million dollar projects, Cliff has been instrumental in PENTA’s internal strategies and technology. This year, he helped implement a platform that houses the company’s photo and video documentation for all projects. The assets serve a multitude of purposes, including internal training and commitment to improving future projects. 

Instrumental in the implementation of the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) department in 2009, Cliff has grown The PENTA Building Group’s (PENTA) technology services to optimize the company’s preconstruction and planning operations. Utilizing cutting-edge technologies, Cliff and the VDC team encompass Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other technology solutions and processes that enhance efficiency and productivity. The implementation of BIM has allowed PENTA to improve communication and clarity with clients and other stakeholders on the project. Being able to visualize the project in 3D provides an opportunity to see the design before it’s constructed.

“Cliff Cole is not only the catalyst for PENTA’s technological revolution, but he is also one of the reasons PENTA continues to employ cutting-edge technologies on projects and remains at the forefront of the industry.”

9. Asyraf Dzahiri

Dzahiri_AsyrafBIM Manager
Ranhill Bersekutu Sdn Bhd
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Even at a young age, as BIM Manager at Ranhill Bersekutu Sdn Bhd, Asyraf has proven his expertise when it comes to infrastructure projects, including high-speed rail, highways, and steel bridges. He has worked on projects in both Qatar and Malaysia. Recently, his work has focused on projects associated with reference design for high-speed rail, where he is responsible for project coordination and engineering design. Furthermore, Asyrah has demonstrated the success of the deliverables of ISO 19650 with BIM360 in projects, delivering them within budget and at the highest quality.

 

10. Wilkes Evans

Evans_WilkesDirector of Preconstruction
Piedmont Construction Group
Macon, Georgia, US

Wilkes is a senior Leader at the Piedmont Construction Group, as well as serving as a Council Member on the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Georgia – Young Leaders Program. Wilkes started in Construction with an opportunity to be out on the field and push projects along until he moved on to the business development side of the industry due to his dynamic personality and ability to connect with people. However, he brought back his outgoing personality and merged it with his amazing attention to detail. In his role as the Director of Preconstruction, Wilkes works diligently to intentionally work through project documents to ensure that preconstruction is done well and done right prior to the hand-off to our project management teams. He has also been working with fellow employees at Piedmont Construction to help in training and developing young collegiate students at Georgia Southern University as the company introduces them to the use and application of technology tools in the construction industry. 

“Wilkes Evans is a well-known personality within the construction industry here in the State of Georgia, for his constant and consistent focus on ensuring customer satisfaction and industry development.”

11. Michael Frankberg 

Frankberg_MichaelProject Manager
Permasteelisa North America
San Francisco, California, US

Michael is a rising talent in Permasteelisa Group, the worldwide leading curtain wall contractor. He joined the team as a structural engineer, analyzing and designing building facades to resist wind, earthquake, and blast forces. Highly organized and personable, he was promoted to the position of assistant project manager and, eventually, project manager. In this role, he relocates to the project city and coordinates all on-site activities related to facade delivery and installation. He works in both a highly sophisticated BIM software environment and hands-on at the edge of the slab. Furthermore, he manages a site crew of up to 50 union ironworkers and glaziers and coordinates field issues with design and engineering leads in the office. He also acts as a liaison with the company’s factories in Thailand and Montreal, making sure that all units arrive in time and ready to install.  

Currently, Michael is the site project manager for Uber’s new headquarters in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. He was previously on-site at the Four Seasons Hotel in Surfside, Florida, and at River Point office tower in Chicago.

“Michael has the perfect AEC skillset: technical knowledge coupled with a “get it done” attitude. He is a proven leader in our industry.”

12. Manuel Frey

Frey_ManuelHead of Digital Planning & Simulation
Gruner Roschi AG
Bern, Switzerland

As the head of Digital Planning & Simulations at Gruner Roschi, Manuel has built a reputation for himself, his team and his company as the “go-to” in innovations in HVAC engineering. He helps decision-makers create operative and sustainable high-performance buildings by utilizing VDC & BIM in conjunction with building performance simulations and his 18 years of experience in the HVAC industry. Manuel continuously drives innovation in AEC not just with his forward-thinking, creative collaboration and precise execution but also with his positive attitude and engaging presentations at events such as Autodesk University (AU) Germany and Las Vegas. Beyond his role at Gruner, Manuel is the President of The International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) Switzerland and serves as a guest docent at various international academic institutions.

13. Kelsey Gauger

Gauger_KelseySmart Lab Director
Suffolk
Boston, Massachusetts, US

At Suffolk, Kelsey is a Smart Lab Director. The Smart Lab functions as the company’s operations innovation center for the identification and piloting of new technologies. Kelsey is responsible for providing technology leadership, championing engagement efforts around innovation in the region, and contributing to research, development, and testing. Kelsey started at Suffolk in 2014 in the Career Start program, a rotational program focused on recruiting top-tier college graduates from diverse backgrounds into operations. She spent two years in the program, starting in a Project Management role, learning to read drawings, manage costs, and interact with the client, and subsequently moving out to Assistant Superintendent in the field.

Following her graduation from Career Start, Kelsey was given the opportunity to work in a national role as an Analyst in the Lean Department. In this position, she traveled to jobsites throughout the country, teaching teams Lean planning and continuous improvement. In 2017, she became an Assistant Project Manager on the $1.8 billion Encore Boston Harbor project in Everett, MA, managing the full scope of work for multiple interior subcontractors. She utilized industry-leading innovative technologies, such as delivery and logistics applications, AI predictive safety software, and digital pull planning tools.

In the past year through her work in the Smart Lab, Kelsey has successfully run 19 pilots with various technology initiatives, such as VR, reality capture, IoT, and AI. She has worked closely with project teams to understand their needs, implement solutions, and scale these technologies for widespread value. Furthermore, she has captured positive ROI data on six of those projects, allowing her to recommend them to Suffolk leadership for SOP consideration.

“Kelsey’s commitment to integrating the Smart Labs into Suffolk’s organizational DNA has transformed the company’s culture. She has had a tremendous leadership role in realizing the potential to provide significant improvements in safety, quality, performance, and customer experience.”

14. James Hillegas

Hilleges, JamesPrefabrication Manager
OCP Contractors
Cleveland/Akron, Ohio, US

Only joining the industry full-time in 2018, James has taken problems he witnessed on jobsites, most recently a $170 million-dollar hospital expansion in Akron, Ohio, and is deploying technology solutions within a few days or weeks. Recording, editing, and documenting the entire process, he has leveraged the internet and his growing influence to share his findings. James has been filming his work, including what worked, what failed, what tradespeople liked, and what they didn’t. For example, James leveraged 3D-printing to print templates and mock-ups of long-lead items for carpenters and glaziers to use when there was a misunderstanding about what a shop drawing reflected. As both his technical skills and soft field skills improved, James has continued to push forward, delivering proof of concept solutions involving 4-dimensional augmented reality solutions that can be used for prefabrication without blueprints or display a complex schedule in the field. His videos have not only featured core technology like AI or AR but are focused on asking tough questions of the industry, such as, “is the current chain of command/communication in construction really lean?”

15. Kapil Kumar

Kumar_KapilGroup BIM Manager
dwp
Dubai, UAE

As an industry BIM leader, Kapil has played a vital role in the digital transformation journey of various organizations. Coming from a design background, he understands the pain of design teams and is extremely dedicated to developing BIM skills within the organization to meet future growth goals. Throughout his career, he has helped to improve team performance, streamlining the design, coordination, and collaboration processes with improved workflows between Architecture, ID, Structure, and MEP disciplines using the latest BIM and cloud technologies.

 

16. Felipe Alejandro López Valencia

Lopez Valencia_Felipe AlejandroArchitect – Director Strategic Development and Innovation
Muros y Techos S.A.
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

Felipe has been a resident architect at Muros y Techos S.A. for ten years. Since 2015 he has been leading the change of digital strategy at the company. He also is the leader when it comes to deploying mobile and collaborative technology, helping to build the company’s digital quality control program. Additionally, he guides the use of technology to support communication and collaboration with remote teams and to coordinate all digital work in construction. Felipe has promoted the collaborative management on several significant projects in Colombia, among which include the La Central Shopping Center, Ciudad del Parque and WeWork Ofi7 in Medellín. Also he has three years of experience in hydrocarbons sector in Campo Rubiales and Campo Quifa, in Meta, Colombia.

17. Christine Lucaj

Lucaj, ChristineVP, Construction
SL Green Realty Corp.
New York City, New York, US

Christine Lucaj has been with SL Green Realty Corp. in New York City for over 12 years and has grown in tandem with the company’s development arm. She’s been involved in every development in some capacity from a small 3-story retail core and shell project in Herald Square, to state-of-the-art LED signage in Times Square, to the company’s legacy 1.7 million-square-foot office tower, One Vanderbilt, in East Midtown. Christine graduated from Manhattan College, where she studied Marketing and International Business. During her time at SL Green, she has been a tremendous asset to the construction group, leveraging her ability to see the big picture and her talent for abstracting some of the industry’s most complicated concepts into an intuitive and presentable format. She has also been instrumental in developing new and efficient procedures, overseeing portfolio-wide initiatives including a site safety inspection program, and implementing and managing a time-lapse camera program across the city. 

18. Natasha Luthra

Luthra_NatashaDirector, Emerging Technologies
Jacobs
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

Natasha is the Director of Emerging Technologies at Jacobs. Currently, she runs an Emerging Ideas Innovation program which is focused on incubating transformational ideas, technologies, and tools in parallel to cultivating and validating emerging ideas based on client needs as well as the Jacobs strategic mission, to advance the practice through innovative processes.

Joining Jacobs in 2009, Natasha has led project teams and offices in defining and implementing BIM. She’s been part of internal strategic initiatives aligning BIM, VDC, and generative design workflows. Natasha is both a Revit user and Certified Professional. In supporting these programs, she applied innovative technology solutions combined with industry best practices for all facets of facility planning, design, construction, and operations. 

She has spoken about technology, innovation and architecture at conferences like the Leadership Forum at Autodesk University, BILT NA, BILT Asia, BIMForum and the AIA National Convention. She has been featured in and written articles for the Architect Magazine, YAF Connection and AUGI World.

She was also the 2018 Chair for Technology in Architectural Practice, the AIA knowledge community focused on the intersection of technology and architecture. In this capacity, she hosted the 2018 Building Connections Congress in Washington DC, a conference that looked at the themes of the future of design in the age of AI and Machine Learning.

While she trained as an architect, she has found that her true impetus is to be the tip of the spear as it related to technology in design.

It’s not just her day job, but germinating impactful emerging technology is in Natasha’s DNA.” 

19. Mike Maierle

Maierle_MikePrincipal
Etro Construction
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Mentored by some of the finest in the construction industry, Mike founded ETRO to fulfill on a personal dream: to own a contracting firm dedicated to doing things differently. A firm believer that relationships are at the heart of every success, Mike is a connected leader deeply invested in creating exceptional client experiences and an unparalleled working environment for the ETRO teams. With his experience on local and international projects upwards of $300 Million, Mike oversees every ETRO project, empowering his team members through mentorship and the ability to grow personally and professionally. 

“Mike is a key driving force in innovation and technology disruption in construction. His firm has been and will continue pioneering innovative technology in the construction industry.” 

20. Anthony Manganiello, PE, CCM

Manganiello_Anthony

Anthony Manganiello, PE, CCM
Senior Project Manager
Group PMX
Project Director – Construction Management Team at Delta New Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport
New York City, New York, US

Anthony is currently the Director of Civil Construction for the Delta Terminal C Program, and is responsible for planning and executing construction of a new roadway network, vehicular structures and airfield civil work in support of Delta’s new terminal at Laguardia Airport.  On his projects, he has helped institute several technology initiatives onsite to assist with the obtaining and streamlining key metrics to facilitate effective decision making, including workforce tracking, security, daily production, time and materials tracking and management, and change management.  Anthony consistently encourages and supports his team to experiment with technologies to increase the speed of intra-project communication and to improve the quality of recorded workforce data onsite both as a security tool and as a means for identifying shortages in resources to meet project goals. 

“Anthony is one of the smartest, most effective construction professionals in the industry.”

21. Dr. Barry McAuley

McAuley_BarryAssistant Lecturer in Digital Construction and Engineering and Programme Chair For the MSc in applied BIM and Management in Technological University Dublin
Dublin, Ireland

Barry has shown leadership in driving BIM adoption and digital construction innovation both through industry-focused research and education at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. The impact that Barry’s work has had on the Irish construction sector has been immense. Additionally, Barry completed one of Ireland’s first PhDs in BIM under supervision from Dr. Alan V. Hore, Prof. Roger West, and Prof. Bill East. Through a significant combination of industry reports, conferences,  and journal papers, he has enabled the dissemination of his BIM research throughout the AEC sector. 

“Barry is a joy to work with and is hugely respected across Irish construction in both industry and academia.”

22. Hannah Metcalf, P.E.

Metcalf, HannahProject Manager
Emery Sapp & Sons
Kansas City, Missouri, US

Just seven years into her career, Hannah, has worked in both engineering and construction disciplines, completed her Master’s Degree in Engineering Management, and worked on landmark regional projects such as the South Lawrence Trafficway in Lawrence, KS. Currently serving as a Project Manager for Emery Sapp & Sons, Hannah has worked on many successful projects in Kansas City, including Streets of West Pryor, Turner District Activity Center, and a project for the US Army Corps of Engineers. In the field, Hannah has continued to break the glass ceiling as a female leader, all while being a champion for technology and the advancement of women in construction.

23. Leericka Miller

Miller_LeerickaProject Manager
Contract Construction
Irmo, South Carolina, US

Leericka has been with the Contract Construction team since 2015. She began her career as an Assistant Program Manager but quickly moved into the role of Project Manager due to her years of construction experience watching both her dad and grandad make a living in the construction industry. Leericka feels like it is her lifeblood to follow the footsteps of those before her. She is a 2007 graduate from Midlands Technical College with an Associate Degree in Civil Engineering Technology. She brings valuable experience to the team as she has watched her dad work as a construction superintendent for 45 years as well as her grandad for 30 years. Leericka’s strength resides in her ability to build and maintain positive relationships with the owners as well as project superintendents, ensuring she keeps the team organized, on schedule and in budget. Throughout her career, she has worked on very notable projects with many challenges, including USC Football Operations Complex, USC Springs Brooks Plaza Upgrades, and Richland County Library Renovations.

24. Jorge Morales

Morales_jorgeProject Manager
J&J Acoustics
Santa Clara, California, US

Jorge is an experienced Project Estimator and Project Manager at J&J Acoustics. He has over 16 years of experience and has demonstrated a history of excellence in his work in the construction industry. His contributions, including his commitment to deploying innovative construction technology, have helped make his projects successful.

“Jorge is a champion for J&J Acoustics from the first day he joined the team.”

25. Sara Moreno

Moreno_SaraArchitect and BIM Director
luis vidal + architects
Madrid, Spain

Sara Moreno is a young architect who has excelled in leading the BIM Implementation across a multi-site Architectural firm in the last seven years. She’s an innovator who has implemented design and construction technology with a significant impact on maximizing productivity, improving internal and external collaboration, and winning more projects. She has proved exceptional leadership in motivating her team during all the digital transformation in their company, including developing new BIM workflows to automate processes and increase productivity. 

 

26. Saniye Oktem

Oktem_SaniyeBIM and Technology Coordinator/ Board Member
Prota Engineering Design and Consultancy Services Inc.
Ankara, Turkey

Saniye Oktem graduated as a civil engineer. She is BIM and Technology Coordinator at Prota Engineering, one of the most innovative engineering companies in Turkey. She worked as a BIM Coordinator in the first Turkish BIM metro line project and took an active role in BIM implementation process of the project, design coordination and construction activities with BIM. Throughout the project, BIM models helped clients to see what was going to be delivered and informed design decisions earlier. Today, she also employs cutting-edge technologies on projects with her team, including the use of virtual reality, virtual programming and generative design. Last year, her company, Prota Engineering, organized a symposium to focus on the latest technologies and innovative approaches driving project delivery and brought together leading academic researchers and professional experts in Istanbul. She worked actively in the organization of the event and took place as a keynote speaker. She presented her BIM implementation experience and project practices. Throughout her career, she has worked on 10 BIM projects of various sizes and has participated as a keynote speaker in more than 30 seminars and events. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate and continuing BIM-focused research.

27. Nicolas Ortiz Abello

Ortiz-Abello-_NicholasNew Frontiers Technologies Lead
Build Change
Bogota, Colombia

Nicolas is leading the AEC industry by pioneering the automation of retrofit analysis through integrating BIM workflows – leading to safer housing for millions of people, with the goal of building safer homes for 10 million people in 10 years. He is the New Frontier Technologies Lead at Build Change, a global social enterprise that saves lives by training homeowners, local builders, engineers, and government officials to construct or retrofit disaster-resistant houses and schools in emerging nations vulnerable to earthquakes and wind storms. 

In just two years, Nicolas has dramatically evolved Build Change’s entire operation by implementing BIM workflows and new technology to automate data collection, analysis, and design of safer houses. His work directly improved the overall productivity of Build Change by 83% – reducing the time it takes to assess and design a housing retrofit from 9 days to 1.5 days. During that time, Nicolas has grown his career tremendously: he started as an intern at Build Change in 2017, and after graduating in 2018, he joined Build Change permanently to consolidate the New Frontier Technologies division. He now oversees innovation for design and construction across all of the organization’s programs globally. Since then, Nicolas has worked in Colombia, the Caribbean, Philippines, and Nepal – leading the development of BIM-based tools for structural assessment, design, and construction of safe houses and schools. 

“In just two years, Nicolas has dramatically evolved Build Change’s entire operation by implementing BIM workflows and new technology to automate data collection, analysis, and design of safer houses.”

28. Angelina Perryman

Perryman_AngelinaVice President of Administration
Perryman Construction
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US 

Angelina Perryman has propelled herself from intern to Vice President of Administration at Perryman Construction, where she manages human resources, construction planning, and operations. Angelina is also an innovator, leading the company in the implementation of new, enhanced technology and corporate planning strategies to maintain a competitive advantage.

As the third-generation leadership at the family-run construction firm, Angelina maintains an unshakable commitment to the Perryman Construction mission of producing high-quality projects.  She’s proven herself to be a innovative leader in the management and coordination of construction projects. She was instrumental in (simultaneously implementing?) and advancing BIM technology within Perryman Construction, while coordinating owner and internal software cohesion on the CHOP South Philadelphia Health and Literacy Center. Beyond being instrumental in the boardroom, Angelina has served as President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and dedicates much of her time to community involvement and the nurturing of future generations of industry professionals.

29. Mark Peterson

Mark PetersonIntegrated Construction Manager
Mortenson
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US

Committed to cultivating innovation within the construction industry, Mark has infused cutting-edge technologies into how we build at Mortenson. Mark was an early adopter of the BIM 360 Docs platform. His team accelerated the company’s use of technology by introducing wearable technology in the field. Mark has been integral to the success of multiple complex construction projects for customers including Acuity Insurance, Advocate Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Kohler Company.

 

30. Ryan Powell

Powell_RyanProject Manager
VoltAir Constructors
Tampa, Florida, US

Ryan is an experienced Project Manager and champion for construction technology at his company, VoltAir Constructors. Throughout his career, Ryan has been incredibly motivated to grow and make a significant change, thinking beyond traditional and established industry practices. Currently, he is working on Sparkman Wharf, a revitalization of the Channelside waterfront in Downtown Tampa. He is also working on rebuilding one of Tampa’s oldest schools, Tampa Heights, which burned down during Hurricane Irma.

 

31. Victor Sanchez

Sanchez_VictorVirtual Design & Construction Systems Administrator
Wegmans Food Markets
Rochester, New York, US

In 2019, Victor Sanchez has led the implementation and continuous improvement of Autodesk BIM 360 Field on all three new Wegmans Food Market Stores that have opened this year: Virginia Beach, VA, Raleigh, NC, and Brooklyn, NY. Victor was involved with all aspects of the rollout of this technology on these projects, including project setup/administration, training, support, and implementation. Victor was the driving force behind the implementation of the Equipment Module, which was used to capture all new Wegmans Assets in each of these new store builds. Because of his great work using this powerful new tool, his team was able to capture much more accurate equipment data, and dramatically decrease the turnaround time (from weeks to days) for the delivery of this data to the Operations & Maintenance Teams. Leveraging his Construction & Engineering background, Victor played a critical role in training folks on the project, both internal to Wegmans, as well as our contractors on how to use this tool.

“On top of all this, Victor also attained his United States Citizenship earlier this year, as he is originally from Mexico. All of this, his graduation from the Latino Leadership Development Program by the United Way, plus his extensive amount of volunteer work in the Rochester community, makes me proud to be his co-worker and nominate him for this award.” 

32. Laura Smith

Smith, LauraVirtual Construction Specialist
Miron Construction Co.
Wausau, Wisconsin, US 

With a degree in Architecture and over 15 years of BIM, construction, and design experience, she helps owners, design partners, and subcontractors with BIM and virtual construction workflows and processes. Her focus is on helping to lead project teams to communicate better, visualize, and enhance continuous improvement throughout all construction phases. Laura uses multiple digital tools to enhance the process, such as Revit, Navisworks, Lumion, Synchro, and Infraworks. Throughout her tenure in the industry, she has seen firsthand the evolution of BIM and how it serves to provide solutions on projects. She is also very involved in the research, implementation, and training of new processes and technology, continuously advancing innovations for the greater good of the industry. 

“Recently, Laura has helped implement a new 3D software for estimating, preconstruction, and construction called Assemble Systems. It brings in multidisciplinary design data that you’re able to quantify quickly, analyze, organize, and condition. This helps enhance our project teams’ workflows and processes as well as provides a better platform for communicating with all stakeholders.”

33. Daniel Smolilo

Smolilo_DanielDirector of Process & Innovation
The Walsh Group
Chicago, Illinois, US

In his role, Dan leads the organization in integrating technology advancements throughout operations by promoting, educating, and implementing process improvements. As part of the overall Quality Service Group, Dan works closely with service groups, project teams, and Regional Technology and Quality Champions. He helps to streamline Walsh’s construction processes such as design collaboration, document management, and construction technologies that make work safer, more efficient, and productive. Dan worked on various complex projects on the East Coast and over the last few years has helped foster the growth and integration of construction technologies throughout the organization. In the industry, Dan is a leader pushing for change as Thought Leadership Chair for the Construction Progress Coalition and sits on various other technology advisory committees in the industry.

34. Kelsey Stein

Stein_KelseyNational Preconstruction Technology Manager
Skanska
Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida, US

Kelsey Stein, Skanska’s national preconstruction technology manager, spearheads all national technology-related initiatives for Skanska USA Building’s Preconstruction Services team. Since joining the team in 2015, she has made a tremendous impact on the organization and is respected among her colleagues for her inextinguishable curiosity and her passion to push the boundaries of new applications and programs.

Kelsey is always looking for ways to improve services and support for clients, and she leads multiple client-focused initiatives. She has played a valuable role in making Skanska’s preconstruction process more efficient; for example, she developed an internal process that enabled Skanska’s estimators to use model-based quantity surveying tools, which improved the accuracy of cost estimates. She has also contributed to improved benchmarking solutions to ensure teams stay on track throughout the design phase. Finally, her work on an automated model checker for QA/QC models has decreased the number of RFIs and cost events in the field. 

Aside from being a star performer on her own, Kelsey focuses on empowering others by dedicating time to training and mentoring. Earlier this year, she spent four months training a mentee who was sent to Skanska’s Tampa office from Seattle to shadow her. This was an enriching experience for both, as the mentee was eventually promoted and now provides support for the model-based quantity surveying focus group. On a larger scale, Kelsey developed an internal, Skanska-branded website to help employees learn about technological advances happening around the company. 

Beyond Skanska, Kelsey is a well-known speaker and trainer in the industry. She has spoken at Autodesk University for the past four years and was even a keynote speaker on the mainstage, presenting to more than 10,000 people. And, although she works for a construction company, she maintains close ties with the architecture community and is heavily involved with the Tampa Bay chapter of America Institute of Architecture (AIA), where she attends monthly meetings and speaks on the benefits of more collaboration between architects and contractors.

In addition to her contributions in the industry, Kelsey is helping to develop the next generation of construction professionals. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Washington, where she teaches an online BIM Certificate in Construction Management course in the spring and fall semesters.

 Kelsey strongly believes in the value of life-long learning and continues to expand her own industry knowledge. She completed a Master of International Construction Management while working full-time at Skanska and she has just completed the required hours for AIA licensing.

“Kelsey’s dedication to technology, continuous improvement, cross-functional collaboration, and knowledge-sharing—both within our organization and industry-wide—makes her an excellent candidate for the 40 under 40 Construction Champions of 2019.”

35. Samantha Suriano

Suriano_SamanthaProject Manager
United Mechanical
Alameda, California, US

Sam started with United Mechanical right out of college from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she received her degree in Mechanical Engineering. Sam started as the only woman in the company’s project division as a Project Engineer. Now, five years later, Sam is a Project Manager running over 7-10 commercial design-build and plan-spec jobs across the San Francisco Bay Area. Sam is involved in numerous local women in construction events including SMACNA WIC and is involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Sam is a prime example of a Latino woman and industry leader.

36. Sarah Tenpas

Tenpas_Sarah_2017_ProfileAssistant Superintendent
The Boldt Company
San Francisco, California, US

Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering with a Construction Management and Engineering option while taking upper-level classes in composite structures and electrical design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While attending school, she interned for Boldt at the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) project. In this role, she developed schedules for critical work and tracked progress while coordinating a $1.9M medical imaging retrofit sub-project. After graduation, she was recruited by Boldt to complete a project for Sutter Health at the California Pacific Medical Center, Van Ness & Geary Campus Hospital. Sarah was drawn to Boldt due to the commitment for collaboration between the field and office and saw an opportunity to change the industry through the ILPD® process. Starting in the field as a laborer during college, she understands the demands made of crews on a project. Sarah can pull her teams together to achieve a common goal by developing positive relationships. She is not above pitching in and getting the work done by doing anything she can to make the team successful. 

In her position, she is responsible for onsite, field and public safety, logistics, and labor resources. Sarah provides direct management and supervision to the trade partners’ field superintendents, engineers, and foremen. Her goal at the end is to give her team the tools they need to be successful. In her free time, she is also involved in the Women in Construction Operations Northern California Chapter Judge forAmerican Society of Civil Engineers MidPAC, CM-Lean SGC of America, Bay Area Disc Association, and the GURLS program.

“Sarah is the future of construction exemplifying the opportunities open to women in a rapidly changing field.”

37. Mario Trujillo

Trujillo_MarioTechnical Specialist – Civil/VDC Manager
TITAN AEC
Los Angeles, California, US

With all the experience Mario has collected throughout his career, he has been taking a client-focused approach to meet current challenges in the industry. While managing his projects, he works diligently to listen to what his clients want and needs for a successful project lifecycle. Part of this involves leveraging his expert knowledge of technology, like Civil 3D, Revit, and Navisworks. Recently, Mario has taken the reigns to ensure the implementation of technology at LAX APM Terminal Cores Interface to ensure all project stakeholders are benefiting from the valuable construction data generated at the project. He has implemented the practical use of BIM, 4D, and virtual reality on the project.

38. Simone van Loon

van Loon, SimoneHead of Product Management
ITANNEX
Almelo, Netherlands

Simone is one of the leading Women in Construction in the Netherlands, with a growing role in the European market. As Head of Product Management at ITANNEX, she leads her technical team and visits companies to analyze their current business processes and set up a plan for digitization. She has been instrumental in an innovative generative design project, started from scratch, which has already led to impressive results. Due to her expertise and influence, Simone also participates in inspirational keynotes and workshops for the wider industry.

“Simone is super enthusiastic and always working with the latest technologies and tries to use those new technologies to optimize current processes.”

39. Lindsay Williams

Williams_LindsayDirector of Applied Technology
McKenney’s, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia, US

Lindsay is a true Technology Business Leader. She embodies the balance of operational grit with innovative technologies. She not only runs a large department in our organization but is responsible for the largest technology initiatives in her company. Lindsay has deployed numerous field technologies that have enabled McKenny’s to automate and innovate consistently. She has skillfully navigated the change management challenges that arise, ensuring that not only was the technology adopted successfully but that the employees felt it was improving their lives. 

First, Lindsay deployed a fully functional field service mobile application that replaced all work orders for a mature service organization. She led this cross-functional initiative right out of the gate removing all major paper processes in one major achievement. Since then, Lindsay has layered multiple complementary technologies, including advanced tools like Robotic Process Automation (RPA). She has streamlined major business functions while improving employee engagement, all by making technology approachable. 

“Lindsay has consistently pushed our organization to be the best while making all the employees feel empowered to own the changes. Lindsay provides the energy to drive technology innovation in a company that has been successful at doing things the same ‘best practices’ for over several decades. Without Lindsay, our organization wouldn’t move at the pace we are and reap the benefits of so many modern technologies.”

40. Mike Zivanovic

Zivanovic, MikeTechnology Manager
Pipefitter’s Local Union 597
Chicago, Illinois, US

From building brand new hospitals, oil refineries, steel mills, and high rises taller than the eye can see, the Chicago Pipefitters are on the front lines ensuring these jobs get built, on time, and under budget. Four years ago, Mike was given the role as Technology Manager for the Chicago Pipefitters to implement technology inside of the existing curriculum utilizing iPads, Mobile Device Management strategies, and Learning Management System. His first action was to build a team to take the organization to the next level. Today, he oversees the UA 597 Technology Team, a talented group of members who teach several courses ranging from Drone Certification to multiple levels of Autodesk Revit. Mike is a dedicated member of several other Technology groups, including the MCA of Chicago Technology Team and the United Association Technology Team. He has also taught many classes ranging from Leveraging Millennials in the Workplace to Implementing Mobile Devices on the Jobsite and how it can be tied to Training. With a strong passion for Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality, Mike continually looks for ways to innovate the construction industry and do our part to preserve the future.


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Grace Ellis

Grace Ellis

Content Marketing Manager and Blog Managing Editor, Autodesk Construction Solutions

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