Jeff Smithline
Driving traffic analyses in multiple projects
39, Vice President and Traffic Engineering Director
Sam Schwartz Engineering DPC
New York City

Smithline serves as project director for more than 50 active projects within his firm's traffic-engineering group and is also leading transportation analyses for multiple environmental impact statement projects. In fact, throughout his 16-year career, Smithline has performed numerous traffic analyses and studies for both the public and private sectors. He is also involved in World Trade Center transportation and logistics work. He joined SSE in 2009 as traffic engineering director and two years later added the title of vice president. Smithline holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's in engineering management from Cornell University. He is a registered professional engineer in New York, New Jersey and Florida and a certified professional traffic operations engineer. In his free time, Smithline serves on the Institute of Transportation Engineers' executive committee of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council. He was among the initial shareholders when SSE opened to limited firm ownership last year. "As part of the first wave of shareholders, I've been very keyed into learning more about company financials and how we can maximize profits," he says. He adds that he plans on becoming more involved "in the transportation work that happens in our other, smaller offices and coordinating those efforts."



Eric Tan
Investigating the intersection of architecture and urban policy
27, Designer/Urban Research Leader
New York City

Since joining Gensler in 2011, Tan has been busy. He has won numerous design awards, been published nationally and internationally, had his work exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and been recognized as one of the "Young Guns" on the Curbed design and real estate website. At Gensler, he leads two New York research teams—the commercial office building and urban research programs—and is the firm's youngest designer to have directed a company-wide urban research team. His current work includes spearheading a research proposal on zoning. Tan and his colleagues lead a summer program that links interns with students from the Design for America program and from Columbia and Barnard. Tan is also the founder of, an international design collective that focuses on architecture and design research as a catalyst for social development, sustainable integration and community engagement. He says his short-term goal is to "investigate the intersection" of architecture and urban policy change. Tan has a bachelor's degree in architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's in advanced architectural design from Columbia.



Mario Valenti
Thinking outside the box with structures
37, Structural Engineer
New York City

Valenti says his motivation for entering the engineering field stems in part from his family's history as owners of a construction company in the early 1900s that built industrial facilities in Italy and other overseas locations. Valenti continues a building legacy in the U.S., where he has worked as a structural engineer at STV since 2009. His work includes the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's largest ever capital infrastructure project, the $8-billion-plus East Side Access (ESA) project. Valenti is now leading the structural design of the ESA Long Island Railroad Mid-Day Storage Yard, which includes three facilities and a pedestrian access bridge. "I like to think outside the box with structures and develop innovative designs," Valenti says. His prior work includes designing the gravity system of the podium structure for China's Shanghai Tower and the curved pedestrian bridge accessing it as well as the design of several bridges and yard facilities for a railroad project in Nigeria. Valenti holds a bachelor's degree and a master's in civil engineering from the University of Roma Tre and a master's in structural engineering from Columbia University.