Katie Ott Zehnder
Engineer oversees major transportation projects statewide
38, Vice President, Ohio Practice Leader
As Ohio Practice Leader for designer HNTB, civil engineer Katie Ott Zehnder oversees a staff of 41 people in the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati offices and is responsible for all aspects of each operation. As Matt Hintze, HNTB Great Lakes division president, notes, "HNTB trusts Katie with one of the most significant practices in the firm. The transportation program in Ohio is robust, and Katie is at the heart of its largest and most complex projects. From the Innerbelt in Cleveland to the Brent Spence Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky, Katie plays a major role in successful project implementation. The trust she has developed with clients speaks volumes about her ability to deliver." As a member of American Council of Engineering Companies and Ohio Dept. of Transportation steering committee, Ott Zehnder has worked with Ohio executives and ODOT leadership to improve processes and deliver greater value to taxpayers across the state.
Juan E. Quiroz
Groundbreaking analysis saves millions on Panama Canal project
38, Lead Structural Engineer, Energy & Industry Operations
Among other achievements, engineer Juan E. Quiroz led the team that produced design and construction drawings for the third set of lock structures included in the Panama Canal Expansion Project. To do so, he and fellow team members generated 2D and 3D finite element models to account for a fault zone and the project's geologically diverse setting. Innovative soil-structure interaction analysis reduced stresses in the structure by 20%, reducing project costs by millions of dollars. As a recognized leader in advanced analysis, Quiroz frequently is recruited to perform quality and technical reviews for complex structures, including dams, powerhouses, tunnels and spillways. He serves as an adjunct professor at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology, where his emphasis on the "big picture" and overall structure is intended to prevent hazards.
He focuses on honing the leadership skills of colleagues
39, Director, Business Development
Kansas City, Mo.
Jason Robertson, who oversees marketing for designer and builder CRB's Midwest operations, founded a Friday morning club that gathers management to discuss books intended to hone their leadership skills. Colleagues say the initiative inspires leaders to step back from running the business to consider methods of building it. Robertson likewise assists younger employees in developing their skills, having spearheaded a continuing education program that includes company webinars. As a member of Society for Marketing Professional Services, he creates forums for members of Kansas City's marketing community to gather and share success stories. Robertson also is a member of the Design-Build Institute of America's Midwest Chapter, for which he served as president and treasurer. Among other activities, he has served as a judge for Associated Builders & Contractors National Excellence in Construction Awards.
Her prowess with modeling has put her on the conference circuit
31, Integrated Construction Coordinator
Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Schooled in both architecture and structural engineering, Jen Suerth manages virtual design and construction (VDC) for projects ranging from airports and tall buildings to higher education and retail facilities. Her expertise with virtual mock-ups, 3D systems coordination and laser scanning has proven instrumental in executing projects in Chicago, New York and Saudi Arabia. Suerth currently is managing implementation of BIM and VDC to execute the unique forms and geometries of University of Chicago's North Residence Hall and Dining Commons. Her skills were evident early in her career and recognized by Structural Engineers Association of Illinois in 2009. Since then, she has repeatedly spoken and presented at conferences and panels nationwide, including ENR's FutureTech conference. Last year, Suerth was a recipient of a Chicago Building Congress Future Leader Award of Honor. Among other enterprises, she has been active with a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.