Robert Strong
Engineer specializes in design of highly efficient data centers


39, Partner/Owner
Critical Facilities Technology
Arvada, Colo.

Robert Strong is an electrical engineer with more than 21 years of experience designing mission-critical power and cooling systems. Strong began his career in the U.S. Navy as a work center supervisor managing the No. 1 reactor propulsion plant aboard the USS Carl Vinson CVN-70. After several tours in the Persian Gulf, he became the lead acceptance test engineer in the Silicon Valley during the early dot-com boom. His design and engineering of efficient data centers has earned him international awards. Strong says that among the things engineers have to overcome is the tendency to lean too heavily on "tribal knowledge, which is passed down and summed up as, 'we do it this way because that's the way we've always done it.' Just because it's not bad, doesn't mean it's good," he says.

Kelly Stumpf
Music lover improves the quality of acoustic design


34, Senior Associate
Shen Milsom & Wilke

Kelly Stumpf says her desire to become an acoustical engineer rose from her love of music and the realization that all spaces can be improved by quality acoustic design. During college, she was impressed by the complexity and variety of work at Denver's Shen Milsom & Wilke. She joined the design firm after graduating from the University of Hartford in 2003. Stumpf soon earned her MBA, with a concentration on project management, strategic process and client management. In addition to her duties as an acoustician and project manager, she works with senior staff to develop a management strategy and toolkit for other project managers in the firm. Stumpf has also taken an active role in business development for SM&W's Denver and Houston offices.

She strives to maintain a healthy work-life balance. "With the growing influence of social media and the fast pace of project schedules, it's too easy to get lost in the work routine and look past maintaining a good life balance," she says.