Meet The Winners

Abi Nader

Roland Abi Nader
Progressing quickly to a leadership position
36, Senior Project Manager
New York City

With a master's degree in engineering and project and construction management from Cornell University, Abi Nader has worked on both the contracting and consulting side of industry, but he settled on the consulting side after joining AECOM in 2006. He has quickly progressed from project control manager to project manager to senior project leader. He is a manager of special projects with responsibilities that include the implementation of projects requested by Delta Air Lines' board of directors and is set to begin work on the airline's second-phase expansion project at JFK International Airport. His previous work includes serving as the owner's representative of the Libyan Mission to the U.N. He is a member of several professional groups including the Construction Management Association of America and was awarded honors at his firm last year for outstanding achievement. Abi Nader credits his father, who was an architect, for drawing him to this field. "I can still remember my childhood summer days, running around a jobsite, questioning workers about their work and monitoring the building process," he says.



Robert J. Allen
Driving expertise on large transportation projects
32, Project Manager
New York City

In the last five years, Allen has been involved in some of the nation's largest transportation infrastructure projects. This includes the $3.2-billion replacement for New York's Tappan Zee Bridge, for which he coordinated the work of 16 firms on the team that pursued, and eventually won, the contract. For the excavation phase of the project, Allen is design production manager for the 450-person design team and is responsible for the on-time delivery of more than 750 design packages under an aggressive 18-month schedule. In the short term, Allen says he hopes to take the lessons learned on this project and on the $2.1-billion Eagle E3 transit project in Colorado to similar projects worldwide. "It has always been a dream of mine to design structures in another country and learn new innovative methods of how to construct things from other cultures," he says. Allen holds a bachelor's degree in civil and structural engineering from Iowa University. He was selected in 2012 to participate in an American Road & Transportation Builders Association program that involved visiting members of Congress to discuss transportation development issues.



Robert Badenoch
Tuning into audio-video design
38, Senior Associate
Shen Milsom & Wilke
New York City

Influenced by his grandfather, a WWII Navy electronics technician turned recording engineer, Badenoch became fascinated by the merging of technology and music at an early age. At 16, he was the chief engineer of his high school radio and TV station, and at Lehigh University, where he earned a bachelor's degree, Badenoch was involved with production engineering as well as building concert sound and broadcast systems for performers that included the New York Philharmonic. Also at college, he founded a program for students interested in audio engineering work and worked in the engineering department of a local audio-video firm, which made him its lead AV designer for Lehigh's first dedicated performing arts facility. When SM&W hired Badenoch in 2000, he turned his interests into a career with such projects as a concert venue with distance learning capability at Carnegie Hall as well as HDTV production studios for Kuwait University. He currently is technology project manager and lead AV designer for New York University's Abu Dhabi campus. A member of the Audio Engineering Society, Badenoch is a frequent presenter to architects and end users on technology trends for higher education. He says a long-term goal is to work on projects that give young people the same opportunities that he had early on in television, radio and music production.



Marnie A. Bell
Improving the quality of drinking water for millions
37, Principal Engineer

Bell's interest in environmental engineering grew after attending an open house at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and a master's in civil and environmental engineering. One of the first large-scale projects she worked on as a young engineer was the reactivation of a groundwater supply during a drought emergency. "I loved the opportunity to understand the 'big picture' of the project and the challenge of trying to coordinate the various and sometimes competing tasks that have to be completed," she says. With a 13-year focus on improving the quality of New York state drinking water, she has used her technical and management skills on projects including a U.S. EPA Safe Drinking Water Act rule review for the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection. At ARCADIS, Bell manages and mentors staff and was a founding member of the firm's Green Team, which led to changes in office vendor selection and an office composting group. Bell, a professional engineer in New York, is a certified construction document technologist and is in the process of becoming an Envision sustainability professional