If the adage "success breeds success" holds true, the next generation of leaders is on the rise at design and construction firms. This year, ENR MidAtlantic's Top Young Professionals list includes men and women under 40 years of age who have already recorded impressive accomplishments during their careers. Some are changing how their firms' local offices do business, while others are having an impact on a global scale. Many are expanding business opportunities and boosting their firms' bottom lines.

Although those on the list come from a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds, this year's Top Young Professionals share a common commitment to mentoring younger colleagues. Paul Bracken, senior environmental engineer at ARCADIS US, encourages junior colleagues to get out into the field and put their knowledge into practice. Thomas Farrell, regional sales manager at Victaulic, helps recruit younger professionals to the industry by guest-teaching classes at Purdue University. Jihane Fazio, project manager at AECOM, co-founded a grass-roots organization whose mission is to advance women to leadership positions. Craig Kotarski, project manager at Timmons Group, has helped establish the ACE Mentor program at several schools in the Charlottesville, Va., area.

Related Links:

ENR MidAtlantic's 2016 Top 20 Under 40
ENR MidAtlantic's 2014 Top 20 Under 40

Each of this year's award recipients has a promising future but also provides a bridge for the generation of leaders who will follow.

To select this year's Top Young Professionals, ENR MidAtlantic recruited an independent jury.

This year's judges included:

  • Steve Knight, Associate, David M. Schwarz Architects

Knight serves as the firm's university fellowship coordinator and employee recruiting coordinator. He has worked on many of the performing arts centers the firm has designed. He served as a job captain for Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville and is currently job captain for the Gaillard Center in Charleston, S.C.


  • JJ McCarthy, Director of Preconstruction Services, KBR Building Group

McCarthy has a background in commercial real estate and contracting with an emphasis in preconstruction, including green building, sustainability and development. He has had various responsibilities during his 25-year-plus career in the Washington, D.C., market, including preconstruction, construction operations, development management and company management.


  • Douglas Will, Vice President, MSA

Since joining MSA in 1991, Will has been involved in numerous projects for local, state and federal agencies and has experience managing annual services contracts and individual projects. He currently is a board member for the Society of American Military Engineers Hampton Roads Post, a member of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers and the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate.




Pooyan Asadollahi
Leader in computational methods in geo-mechanics
34, Principal Engineer
Parsons Transportation Group
Washington, D.C.

During his 14 years of experience in geotechnical and structural engineering, Asadollahi has become a leader in computational methods in geo-mechanics. He developed a new constitutive model for rock fracture as well as an algorithm and computer code to analyze stability of rock blocks subjected to general forces, including non-conservative forces such as water pressure. In addition, he introduced a new approach to predict scour depth in plunge pools and bridge foundations. Asadollahi has been involved in more than 28 heavy construction civil engineering projects worldwide. In January 2012, he joined Parsons. as a principal engineer in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is the structural design manager on the Anacostia River Tunnel, which is part of DC Water's Clean Rivers Project.



Michael C. Baruccheri
Project manager dedicated to fostering young talent
34, Project Manager
Tishman Construction
Arlington, Va.

During his 11 years with Tishman Construction, Baruccheri served as a project manager on several high-profile projects, including a $60-million core and shell project at the American Pharmacists Association headquarters in Washington, D.C. He currently leads development of the proposed $85-million Education Center at the Wall project, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial. He also is standardizing use of new project management software tools through training programs to improve efficiency and expand Tishman's capabilities. Baruccheri has been active in Tishman's recruiting efforts at area colleges and has spent countless hours training and counseling aspiring young architects and engineers at the company. He is also active in the Washington Building Congress, a nonprofit association dedicated to building relationships in the construction industry and promoting involvement in the community. He was introduced to WBC early in his career, when he joined a committee that focused on engaging younger members. He was recently selected to serve as treasurer of the executive leadership board.