NY, NJ Top Young Professionals of 2022 Impress with DEI, Industry Contributions – Engineering News-Record

Adam Allen
courtesy Colliers Engineering & Design
Eddy Roberts
Courtesy Lera
Emanuele Incorvaia (right side)
Photo courtesy Lauren Waldron
Justine Lentini
Photo courtesy Keller
Liza Kimball
Photo courtesy Karen Armfield
Ayesha Husain
Photo courtesy Populous
Heather Wyld
Photo courtesy CHA Consulting
Kunal A. Badheka
Photo courtesy Jun Yu/Thornton Tomasetti
Jennifer Anna Pazdon
Photo courtesy Cast Connex Corp.
Mara Johnston
Photo courtesy JJ Lawlor/Amaracon
Mehdi Bakhshi
Photo courtesy Medhi Bakhsi
Michelle Ryckman
Photo courtesy Insight Civil Engineering
 ENR New York is pleased to present the 2022 Top Young Professionals. This year’s group impresses with their continued dedication to learning and industry advancement, their contribution of professional skill and passion to their communities and their support for diversity, equity and inclusion. Every year, construction sector judges select talented individuals from among industry rising stars in New York and New Jersey. Those who score highest are entered in the ENR national 20 Under 40 competition. The New York region contributed three members for national recognition this year: Mara Johnston, Keystone Global co-founder and managing principal; Jennifer Anna Pazdon, Cast Connex Corp. vice president; and Heather Wyld, CHA Consulting project manager and senior engineer.
Those chosen at the national level will be feted at the ENR Top Young Professionals Conference—an in-person career-building and networking event set for Feb. 23-25 in Tempe, Ariz. For more information, and to attend, please visit: https://www.enr.com/top-young-professionals-conference/2022-agenda.
ENR New York would like to thank the industry judges who carefully reviewed the 55 candidates who participated in the Top Young Professionals recognition  program and selected the 2022 group. They are, in alphabetical order:
Please read on to learn more about ENR New York’s Top Young Professionals for 2022.
 
Adam AllenAdam Allen
38, Principal; Highways & Traffic Engineering Discipline Leader
Colliers Engineering & Design
Hamilton, N.J.
Committed to shaping the next generation of transportation leaders
Dedicated to delivering engineering solutions to provide safer and more efficient community transportation systems, Allen has completed projects in the Northeast and Florida ranging from single municipal traffic signal installations to those leveraging advanced ITS technologies. Equally committed to improving Colliers’ processes and culture, he spearheaded a program to organize and engage company associates and senior associates to tackle focused assignments such as defining its culture statement, developing a licensure toolkit, establishing a wellness program and launching several financial management programs. Allen’s commitment to his profession’s future is best illustrated by his long involvement with LeadershipITE, the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ international program aimed at cultivating the next generation of transportation leaders. In the past few years, he has taken on leadership roles to help shape and refine the program’s direction and values, including guiding curriculum development, advocacy, marketing efforts, recruitment and selection of candidates and organizing events.

Tracy AndersonTracy Anderson
31, Business Development Director
Skanska USA Building Inc.
New York City
A tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion
Having distinguished herself as a strategic leader, Anderson has been committed to ensuring that other women enjoy the same opportunities in the industry. As a member of Professional Women in Construction NYC, she assisted in creating and implementing the organization’s regional industry mentorship program. To help Skanska employees with their own career growth and job satisfaction, Anderson has managed the annual NY Mentorship Program of the Skanska Women’s Network and chaired the 500-member Metro NY employee resource group, which advises and advocates for policy and cultural change in support of systemic gender inclusivity. She also helped lead the company’s Women’s Networking Day of Discovery, which introduces high school girls to an array of construction-related careers. In the community, Anderson has led fundraising efforts for organizations that include Dress for Success and Career Gear, and she helped organize the American Cancer Society’s annual walk for breast cancer awareness.

Kunal A. BadhekaKunal A. Badheka
37, Associate Principal
Thornton Tomasetti
Newark, N.J.
Building envelope expert uncovers new engineering insights 
Badheka’s background in construction management allows him to see the bigger picture on projects to understand both the engineering and construction aspects. He also works with the firm’s architects on complex facade assessment and restoration projects, providing a larger grasp of performance factors for overall building envelope systems. Badheka is also exploring opportunities to expand the use of drone technology to address the industry’s growing need to assess building exterior envelopes in expeditious and cost-effective ways. His many local projects include leading structural and facade alteration and restoration for the $72-million redevelopment of the historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Badheka has also been involved with major projects across the country, and spent six months in Christchurch, New Zealand, carrying out building assessments following the city’s devastating 2011 earthquake. Working with Stevens Institute of Technology’s cooperative education program, Badheka coordinates candidate selection and conducts interviews for internship opportunities at Thornton Tomasetti.

Mehdi BakhshiMehdi Bakhshi
39, Lead Tunnel Engineer; Associate Vice President
AECOM
New York City
Advancing the science of infrastructure tunnel design
With a doctorate in civil engineering, Bakhshi has made many technical contributions to the field of tunneling for transportation and municipal infrastructure projects. Author of the world’s first design codes for precast concrete tunnel segments, Bakhshi has pursued research that continues to push the industry forward by expanding applications of innovative materials and methodologies. He serves on the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Tunnels and Underground Structures, plays an active role in other industry organizations and regularly contributes to professional journals and reference books. A member of AECOM’s ACE Mentorship Program, Bakhshi is passionate about doing his part to ensure that the next generation of industry professionals is equipped and prepared for real world challenges. Outside of industry organizations and academia, Bakhshi volunteers his time with senior citizen outreach and litter cleanup and removal events as well as advocating for young voter registration and civil service.

Christopher James CarterChristopher James Carter
35, Associate; Structural Engineer
Stantec
Albany, N.Y.
Lifelong learner applies experience to develop future engineers
Since his graduate school days as a teaching assistant at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Carter has combined his passion for both structural engineering and education to help shape the next generation of industry professionals. Along with mentoring more than 100 students through the ACE Mentoring Program, he spent several years on a select panel tasked with reviewing final project presentations for the Engineering Design and Development class at Saratoga High School. Currently a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies’ scholarship committee, Carter manages the summer internship program for Stantec’s structural group in Albany—mentoring interns and junior staff and helping promote employee engagement. Last fall, he began a stint as an adjunct instructor at Hudson Valley Community College, teaching courses in materials, soils and foundations. Carter is equally committed to his community, having volunteered for a variety of organizations that include Ronald McDonald House, Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the city of Albany.

Ayesha HusainAyesha Husain
33, Architect; Principal
Populous
New York City
Designer of world-class facilities stays close to her roots
Husain’s vast expertise in the design of sports facilities and multipurpose performance venues includes Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium, a world-class, 26,000-seat soccer stadium; the Carolina Panthers’ Sports Performance Center; renovation and modernization of the 200-seat grandstand theater for the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and the 5,500-seat Daily’s Place Amphitheater in Jacksonville, Fla. Husain is currently planning Populous Intelligence (Pi), a weeklong global internal conference combining live and virtual events to provide staff insights into the company’s global project work, new technology and industry innovation. Husain is also a core member of PopTogether, the firm’s internal focus group of diverse employees formed to identify ways to address and improve diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. Since beginning her career in 2009, she has been a financial contributor to SOS Children’s Village Pakistan. Sponsoring orphans’ education honors both Husain’s Pakistani heritage and her aunt, a retired architect who inspired her to pursue a design career.

Emanuele IncorvaiaEmanuele “Manny” Incorvaia
37, Aviation and Federal Projects Manager
Burns & McDonnell
New York City
Strengthening the region’s infrastructure and communities
Few people seemed better skilled at time management than Incorvaia. In addition to overseeing Burns & McDonnell’s Morristown, N.J., branch and a variety of complex projects across the Northeast, he also serves as A/E program manager for Delta Air Lines’ $4-billion Terminals C and D redevelopment program at LaGuardia Airport. Over the past year, Incorvaia has tackled the challenges of coordinating a massive construction program with navigating the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic. Incorvaia helped establish a strong safety plan with social distancing and other protocols while limiting constraints on project schedules and processes. In addition to leading the firm’s annual participation in the United Way campaign, Incorvaia also organized events to provide donations to The Bridge, a housing support group that focuses on the needs of the homeless and insecure single adults diagnosed with behavioral health disabilities.

Mara JohnstonMara Johnston
39, Managing Principal and Co-Founder
Keystone Advisors
Jericho, N.Y.
Serial entrepreneur creates new industry collaborations
Growing up in a construction-focused family, Johnston has turned her passion for the built environment into business ventures aimed at advancing the industry. She recently took over Star America Capital Consulting and Advisors, joining partner Mit Jha in rebranding the company as Keystone Global. Johnston is also co-founder and co-owner and partner of Amaracon Testing & Inspections LLC, which has grown to more than 50 employees in just over five years by supporting the modernization and improvement of New York City-area roadways and infrastructure. Johnston also partnered with her brother to create, develop and manage Next Generation Construction Council, an organization providing a forum for next-generation construction leaders of family businesses to learn from one another. Johnston is past president and current board member of the NYC Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association and an active member of Professional Women in Construction, the New York Building Congress and other industry organizations. 

Liza KimballLiza Kimball
39, Senior Project Manager
Langan
New York City
Applying engineering artistry to benefit needy communities
Kimball chose to pursue bachelor’s degrees in both fine arts and civil engineering. Following her first stint in college working on high-end residential construction projects as a carpenter and project manager, she found that engineering offered fulfilling opportunities to apply a different kind of creativity. Her project resume includes work on Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s laboratory building, redesign of the public plaza at 550 Madison Ave. and various buildings at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Kimball is also committed to using her skills for the benefit and education of underprivileged communities globally. She volunteered with Engineers Without Borders through its City College of New York student chapter to help lead water distribution and sanitation projects in the Omoa region of Honduras. Also in that country, Kimball led the group in evaluating a new water source for Milla Tres, a town whose existing source was disrupted by an earthquake. 

William J. KimmerleWilliam J. Kimmerle
36, Principal; Senior Associate
Kimmerle Group
Harding Township, N.J.
Promotes healing environments
As leader of the firm’s health care studio, Kimmerle has a lasting effect on the design of facilities and their influence on patient care and well-being. He is currently working on five active projects for Holy Name Medical Center and leads a team responsible for relocating administrative facilities for CarePlus, a nonprofit providing mental health care, psychiatry and substance abuse rehabilitation. In other sectors, Kimmerle is lead principal for the new 165,000-sq-ft New York City headquarters for the Simon Properties-ABG joint venture, coordinating user requirements to distill five unique brands into a single flexible space to accommodate future growth and change. Continuing the company’s 25-year tradition of working closely with charitable and nonprofit organizations, Kimmerle regularly lends his expertise to regional organizations that work with developmentally challenged persons to help the groups implement innovative best practices and efficiencies in the delivery of services at residential and daytime care facilities. 

Justine LentiniJustine Lentini
36, Preconstruction Manager
Keller
Rockaway, N.J.
Helping to advance women in engineering
Since the start of her career, Lentini has been dedicated to the professional development of women in the construction industry, including creation of more inclusive environments where they can maximize their potential. She used her industry experiences to form Keller Women in Construction, an affinity group to promote the professional development of women within the firm. As a mother of three children, including a 9-year-old daughter, Lentini consistently advocates for the equity of women. She regularly visits elementary schools to talk about opportunities in construction and geotechnical engineering fields. Lentini also coordinates the annual Take Your Child to Work Day in Rockaway, N.J., which always includes a variety of creative STEM activities for approximately 20 students. As technical chair for the Deep Foundation Institute’s SuperPile 2021 conference, Lentini organized a program with the theme of challenging others in the industry to continuously learn, improve skills and innovate to better serve clients.

Amar ManiarAmar Maniar
36, Senior Electrical Engineer
STV
New York City
Applying global experience to improve project outcomes
National and international experience across multiple project sectors has helped Maniar develop a versatile skill set, enabling him to cross-pollinate approaches to produce thoughtful and safe electrical designs. Throughout his career, Maniar has also sought to streamline and improve project efficiency while also staying atop technical developments in his fast-changing field. He was recently appointed to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ energy policy committee, created to focus the organization’s vast technical resources to help tackle the nation’s energy problems. Recalling the absence of opportunities to engage with industry professionals during his own high school years, Maniar has sought to ensure that future generations receive that valuable interaction via active involvement in the ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York. Mentoring a team of students who wanted to design and reimagine a high school based on their collective experiences, he developed a hands-on exercise to demonstrate how the energy conservation code influences lighting design. 

Rohan P. MuthaRohan P. Mutha
38, Program and Project Controls Practice Leader—Metro New York Region
AECOM
New York City
Bringing a unique world view to project management
Mutha has contributed to the execution of numerous multimillion-dollar projects in the transportation, infrastructure, buildings, water, energy, education, health care and government sectors. Examples of his work can be found around the world—from multiple projects for the Virginia Dept. of Transportation to a new U.S. embassy compound in Mumbai, India. When a New York City-based public agency asked for AECOM’s assistance with performance measurement challenges for a 13-project capital program, Mutha and his team established and implemented an enterprise-wide controls platform that integrated schedule and cost to enable more consistent and structured assessments as well as life-cycle forecasting and performance reporting. Mutha’s active volunteer work includes joining the New York City chapter of Engineers Without Borders to construct a vehicular bridge in Guatemala and assisting with food service and maintenance at the International Mahavira Jain Mission, an ashram and pilgrimage site on 108 acres in Blairstown, N.J. 

Jennifer Anna PazdonJennifer Anna Pazdon
38, Vice President
Cast Connex Corp.
New York City
Applying experiences to advance engineering science and inclusion
Pazdon’s diverse professional experiences, leadership in industry groups and ability to see challenges as opportunities have secured her place as a thought leader for innovative solutions in the built environment. A frequent presenter at technical conferences and universities throughout the U.S. and overseas, she has published numerous articles on topics including steel castings, sustainability, thin shell structures, industry diversity and inclusion and engineering to support disaster resilience in developing nations. Pazdon has also been an active member of the Structural Engineers Association of New York. Her leadership work includes founding the organization’s diversity committee, with the mission to advocate for the inclusion and advancement of marginalized and underrepresented groups in the structural engineering community. In 2020, she was named inaugural chair of an AASHTO/NSBA collaboration task group that aims to develop and disseminate resources specific to the U.S. steel bridge community that will support increased and effective incorporation of castings into steel bridge structures.

Eddy RobertsEddy Roberts
38, Senior Associate
LERA Consulting Structural Engineers
New York City
Taking innovative structural design to new heights
Roberts has led the structural design of some of the world’s tallest buildings, including PNB 118 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Lotte World Tower in Seoul. Closer to home, Roberts is currently leading three projects in Philadelphia, including two office buildings that were reimagined into laboratory and research facilities due to the pandemic and evolving health care needs. Given the close collaboration necessary for design teams to create such innovative buildings, Roberts has worked to bring the architecture and structural engineering communities together through a variety of presentations to both peers and aspiring professionals. That includes serving as a guest instructor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Architecture. Roberts also played an integral role on LERA’s team for Canstruction New York, an annual charitable design competition at which teams build larger-than-life sculptures made entirely from canned goods, which are donated at the end of the competition. 

Maurice RobertsMaurice Roberts
37, Associate; Project Manager
STV
New York City
Engineer relishes “gift” of helping next-generation professionals
Introduced to civil engineering as a high school student via the ACE Mentoring Program, Roberts now leads resilience efforts and design services on bridges and ancillary structures for multiple New York City area transportation agencies. Whether designing large-diameter shafts for new Long Island Rail Road bridges, developing a resilience program for NYC Transit’s massive Coney Island Yard complex or upgrading access to area subway stations, Roberts says he’s humbled that his work makes a difference in the day-to-day lives of end users. He is also committed to helping the next generation of engineers experience the same fascination with the industry that shaped his own career. Along with being a member of STV’s ACE Mentor team, Roberts has represented the transportation sector as a judge for the Future City Competition. He also co-chairs the Young Professionals Steering Committee of the New York Building Congress, focusing on recruitment, retention, networking and advancing post-pandemic initiatives.

Michael N. RussoMichael N. Russo
39, Project Director
RAND Engineering & Architecture DPC
New York City
Versatile designer’s work spans multiple building types
Russo’s career has been punctuated by multifaceted and multidisciplinary complex design projects. His work includes the Mui Ho Fine Arts Library, a renovation and expansion of the venerable brick building into a 21st-century fine arts library, and the gut renovation of two 40,000-sq-ft correctional facilities at Riker’s Island Correctional Center. The latter project was guided by the concept of creating more humane environments to enable successful inmate transitions to normal life and to reduce recidivism. Currently, Russo is part of the team working on a new residential condominium development in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The 10-story building will span 54,200 sq ft with 60 residential units. Russo also actively participates in development of new professionals through training and other activities sponsored by his alma maters—Parsons School of Design/New School University and Pratt Institute—as well by as the American Institute of Architects. 

Michelle RyckmanMichelle Ryckman
38, Founder and President
Insight Civil Engineering PLLC
New York City
Setting new benchmark for women-owned professional services firms
Ryckman founded Insight Civil Engineering in 2011 with the goal of becoming an industry leader in the fields of engineering, planning, urban design and consulting for the built environment. Since then, she has managed more than 250 projects with a focus on resilient and sustainable strategies. Insight’s most notable project is the Coney Island Hospital Critical Services Structure, providing civil engineering services as well as schematic design through construction administration. Insight has also served numerous NYC agencies as well as Metro North Railroad, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System. Ryckman is dedicated to advancing her 15-member team’s well-being and the firm’s role as a community leader. Insight has participated in a variety of activities including Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, Bowery Clothing Drive, Paul’s Pantry and GrowNYC. 

Jennifer SteenJennifer Steen
38, Digital Project Delivery Practice Lead; Senior Technical Principal
WSP USA
Lawrenceville, N.J.
Practiced problem-solver is a leader in advancing digital technologies
A specialist in highway and transit design projects, Steen is keen on working with innovative technologies to improve engineering projects. From building information modeling (BIM) to design visualizations, her skill and forward thinking have helped streamline complex engineering efforts for clients. As a member of the Transportation Research Board’s virtual design and construction joint subcommittee, Steen works with colleagues from across the country on strategies to promote BIM and open standards within the construction industry. Her many examples of applying technical acumen to handle unexpected challenges include the Tilton Slip Ramp project for the South Jersey Transportation Authority. During construction, Steen and her team worked with the resident engineer to develop on-the-spot solutions for problematic soil conditions, coordinate utility conflicts and handle other issues to keep the project on schedule.

Heather WyldHeather Wyld
37, Project Manager; Senior Engineer
CHA Consulting Inc.
Albany, N.Y.
Go-to engineer is also a reliable source for professional mentoring
Recognized as a skilled project manager and designer by both clients and colleagues, Wyld is considered a go-to engineer for CHA Consulting, having proven her knowledge, skill and commitment on complex and demanding projects. Early in her career, she was tapped for a nine-month assignment in Guam to coordinate planning, design and construction of more than 15 projects. She represents CHA as designated engineer for several local municipalities and completes technical reviews for their projects. Wyld has also been instrumental to the success of the CHA Toastmasters Club, mentoring younger company engineers and other professionals as they develop valuable communication and leadership skills. In the community, Wyld dedicates approximately 400 hours per year to the Capital District Future City Competition, in which students work with a teacher-coach and a local engineer mentor to design and build a city that is then presented to judges from the engineering sector.  

ENR Subscribe
 
 
Eydie Cubarrubia is a former ENR’s New York regional editor. She has spent more than two decades editing, writing and producing award-winning business news and features content for The Guardian News & Media, New York Daily News and other publications.

 

Top Design FirmsTop Design Firms
Regions’ Designers Get Closer to Pre-Pandemic Revenue
Click Here to Complete ENR New York’s Top Design Firms Survey

Click Here to Complete ENR New York’s Top Contractors Survey

Click Here to Complete ENR New York’s Top Specialty Contractors Survey
Industry Jobs

ENR Proposals and Bids
ENR UNLIMITED
Copyright ©2022. All Rights Reserved BNP Media.
Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing

source

Leave a Comment