As several construction sectors in the region continue to show improvement, design firms and contractors are concerned with the prospect of labor shortages in both the field and the office. Future leadership positions will also open up as more Baby Boomers retire from the industry in coming years.
But if the 2014 list of ENR MidAtlantic's Top 20 Under 40 is any indication, the future of the industry is in good hands.
Our selection features a broad range of professionals in the region, representing a variety of construction specialties. Many are already considered leaders in their respective fields. Others are making their mark on significant projects in the region or through innovative approaches to design and construction.
Equally important, many of these professionals dedicate their time and energy to advancing the careers of others, whether through mentoring up-and-coming employees or by creating new opportunities for professionals across the industry as a whole. In championing new techniques, tools and business approaches, the listed professionals are members of a generation that is bringing continuity and value to their companies—and to the industry.
For our annual selection, we accepted entries for candidates who were under the age of 40 on Jan. 1, 2014, and work in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia or the District of Columbia.
An independent jury judged each candidate based on work experience, industry leadership activities, improvements to the built environment and service to the community. This year's jury included Anthony Naccarato, principal at O'Donnell & Naccarato, Philadelphia; Matt Weko, senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Philadelphia; and Beth Yorke, operations manager at SHW Group, Reston, Va.
Read on to learn more about the top talent shaping the future of the Mid-Atlantic design and construction community.
Engineer wins lead role on proposed Purple Line light rail
30, Project Engineer
STV Inc., Baltimore
With less than eight years of industry experience, Barth serves as lead highway engineer for the 9.5-mile east segment of the Maryland Transit Administration's proposed Purple Line light-rail line—one of the state's most significant projects. After he graduated from Penn State University in 2006, STV hired Barth and assigned him to a wide range of public works improvements projects for clients such as the Maryland State Highway Administration and two county public works departments. In 2009, he was tasked with developing the civil plans for the Uplands Redevelopment in Baltimore, including assisting in the design of its "green alleys." These sustainable features look identical to standard concrete alleys but feature porous paving that allows for improved infiltration of stormwater runoff—a first for a Baltimore development. On the Purple Line, Barth's responsibilities include analyzing vertical and horizontal alignments, developing 3D highway model surfaces and generating bottom-up cost estimates.
Project manager is already a 20-year veteran of his company
38, Project Executive
Manhattan Construction Co., Falls Church, Va.
In his 20 years with Manhattan Construction, Clark has seen his career catapult him from intern to project executive. He was the first-ever intern at the firm's D.C. division. Clark was promoted to project manager in 2002 and within five years got his big break as project manager on the $310-million U.S. Capitol Visitor Center project. He managed the complicated and high-profile project, overseeing installation of new security-related design and construction protocols that helped the Architect of the Capitol meet additional requirements generated by the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Clark has delivered more than $1.5 billion of federal construction projects and was promoted in 2011 to project executive, assigned to lead the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases replacement facility project at Fort Detrick, Md. He also has helped mentor future professionals, leading Manhattan's Eastern region internship programs for 10 years.
Engineer advanced early in pursuit of an environmental-focused career
38, Senior Project Manager
AECOM, Norfolk, Va.
From an early age, Demko was in a hurry to pursue environmental engineering. In eighth grade, his local science fair project on the effects of acid rain eventually became a contender at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Demko skipped his senior year of high school to enter the University of Florida, where he earned a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. With 16 years of experience, Demko has worked from Massachusetts to Florida, focusing on all aspects of wastewater design—including collection, pumping, treatment and reuse. Among his projects is the Blue Plains Enhanced Clarification Facility & Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station in Washington, D.C. An active leader in the Virginia Water Environment Association, he also was cited by the umbrella national group's Florida chapter in 2008 for outstanding performance and professionalism in the sector.