From creating tech-driven efficiencies in public infrastructure to advocating for a diverse and inclusive workforce, ENR Northwest’s 2020 Top Young Professionals are mapping out the industry’s future as managers, leaders, mentors, researchers and experts. And that’s just in their day jobs.
These 10 individuals, under 40 years of age and from the Northwest region (Alaska, Oregon and Washington), use their substantial experience on some of the region’s most complex projects to encourage a new generation to join their ranks in construction and STEM careers.
From coaching youth flag football and recruiting students at their alma maters to serving on nonprofit boards and building tiny houses, the deep commitment to service displayed by this year’s honorees reflects one common theme: These young leaders work beyond nine-to-five to share their passion for the good of their communities.
The Top Young Professionals competition honors up-and-coming leaders in architecture, construction and engineering. Nominees are judged by a volunteer panel of their peers. The 2020 judges were Ronny McPherson, an ENR Northwest 2019 Top Young Professional and coastal and maritime program lead at HDR Inc. in Anchorage, Ala., and Carly Avery, senior design and marketing project lead at Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty Co., in Seattle.
The judges considered nominees based on their industry experience and education, leadership and community service and involvement. Next, the winning honorees will advance to compete for ENR’s National Top Young 20 Under 40. The national winners will be announced this spring.
Congratulations to this year’s ENR Northwest Top Young Professionals! Winners from California and Hawaii will be highlighted in the March 30/April 6 issue.
35, Construction Manager
Guy F. Atkinson Construction
With 12 years of experience managing the construction of bridges and highways, Barnes has completed more than $785 million in alternate delivery infrastructure projects, including six Washington State Dept. of Transportation design-build projects. He has managed construction on highly congested freeway corridors in the Seattle metropolitan area and in downtown Los Angeles.
In 2006, Barnes began working for Atkinson after graduating from Central Washington University. He acted as construction manager on the firm’s I-405 - SR 167 Interchange Direct Connector Project, which included a flyover bridge joining high-occupancy toll lanes with high-occupancy vehicle lanes by reconstructing portions of the current infrastructure to accommodate new direct connector ramps.
Barnes is currently managing the I-5—Steilacoom DuPont Road to Thorne Lane—Corridor Improvements for WSDOT using design-builder initiated change. It’s also Washington’s first project to use TrueTech Bridge stay-in-place ClearCast deck forms.
An active leader, Barnes encourages co-worker participation in company-sponsored social and community service events. For the last five years, Barnes has mentored new students in the University of Washington construction management program. He also leads a group of high school students through his local church and coaches youth flag football.
39, Vice President
Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC
With over 18 years of heavy civil construction experience, Dully focuses on new work procurement and operation of current road, light rail, public infrastructure and bridge projects, including WSDOT’s I-90 Snowshed to Keechelus Dam, the Metro Parks Tacoma’s Waterfront Project and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority’s (Sound Transit) E330 Bellevue Tunnel.
A civil engineering graduate of Washington State University, Dully is known for his leadership in the face of crisis. When the I-5 Skagit River Bridge collapsed in May 2013, Dully led Atkinson’s efforts to reopen the bridge, managing disaster response, emergency traffic control, NTSB investigations and design coordination with WSDOT. As a result, Dully earned the AGC Washington’s 2013 Project Manager of the Year.
Dully’s credentials include certified erosion control and sediment lead and contractor quality assurance/quality control manager. He completed the Stanford executive leadership development program in 2013.
36, Project Executive
After earning his bachelor’s degree in construction management at Washington State University, Holden began his career as a project engineer at Skanska’s Seattle office working for one of the firm’s longtime clients, the Boeing Co.
In 2015, Skanska selected Holden for its highly competitive international development program, “Skanska Stretch,” for high-potential employees early in their careers. The program’s culmination was Holden’s yearlong assignment in Oslo to work on Skanska’s Commercial Development-Nordics team, where he participated in feasibility studies, development calculations, lease negotiations and project oversight.
A native Alaskan and Yupik Eskimo, Holden shows a dedication to inclusivity and diversity in construction, according to co-workers. Holden serves as the executive chair of Skanska’s Young Professionals and leads training in the firm’s BOOST program, a 10-week training program for SBE/DBE/ MWESB firms.
Holden volunteers with the ACE Mentor Program of America, a free, award-winning after-school program designed to attract high school students into pursuing careers in the architecture, construction and engineering industry as well as skilled trades.
Additionally, as an alumnus, Holden leads annual recruiting efforts at Washington State University.
39, Lead Geomechanics Engineer and Project Manager
With 14 years’ experience in urban infrastructure, petroleum, mining, geothermal and energy engineering projects, Hosseinpour is Golder’s lead geomechanics engineer and technical project manager. Hosseinpour’s technology team works on the application and development of Golder’s commercial FracMan software, which analyzes and models fractured rock for companies and numerical modelers around the world.
Hosseinpour conducts probabilistic quantitative risk assessments for major civil infrastructure projects, including cost and schedule models for Seattle’s viaduct demolition project, which removed the downtown waterfront section of the viaduct after a new two-mile-long roadway tunnel was built using the world’s largest diameter tunneling machine at that time.
As a subject matter expert leading Golder’s global data science efforts, he earned his master’s degree in mining geotechnical engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he received a full graduate scholarship and conducted research for a Chevron Mining Inc. sponsored $10-million industrial project.
He served on the organizing committee of the American Rock Mechanics Association 2018 U.S. Geomechanics/Rock Mechanic symposium, where his ongoing research continues to be presented. Hosseinpour is a board director for Xbot Robotics, a nonprofit that provides STEM opportunities through robotics competitions to underserved Seattle students.
34, Project Engineer
With a background in structural engineering, bridge design and rail and transit construction management, Ibrahim is an HNTB project change manager for the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority’s (Sound Transit) East Link Extension project, which will span 14 miles and 10 stations between Seattle and Redmond, Wash. She is the link between the contractor and HNTB’s engineers, and, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, she oversees design modification and new plan implementation.
After earning a bachelor’s in civil engineering from California State University, Fullerton, Ibrahim began her career in construction management at Jacobs Engineering, where she was the only woman and minority in the construction office. After a stint at WSP, where she worked on the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project in San Diego, Ibrahim joined HNTB in August 2017.
She exhibits a passion and dedication to increasing the number of women in engineering and STEM. Ibrahim mentored summer interns and is currently mentoring five young women to navigate their early careers in a male-dominated industry. Outside of HTNB, Ibrahim works with the international organization Women in Transportation and its mid-career signature leadership program.
Her colleagues say Ibrahim is also a leader and vital advocate for environmental change as HNTB’s transit projects aim to reduce car travel and decrease greenhouse emissions.
33, Senior Mechanical Engineer
With a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford, Joyce devotes her career to the belief that thoughtful programs and policies, combined with technical expertise, can promote change and sustainability for a climate-adapted, low-energy built environment that is equitable for all inhabitants.
In 2015, she joined Arup, where she works with commercial and municipal clients on HVAC design, low-energy/low-carbon design and building-sector energy and climate policy.
Joyce holds a professional engineering license in mechanical engineering and certification as a LEED accredited professional with a focus on operations and maintenance.
She is also a member of Engineers Without Borders USA, where she led the organization’s clean energy projects with humanitarian agencies primarily in East Africa, which included project management, engineering design, training and construction of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for rural and refugee and humanitarian operations.
36, Senior Project Engineer
A senior project engineer at Golder, Li’s expertise centers on geotechnical earthquake engineering and site-specific seismic hazard assessment. She joined Golder seven years ago as a junior engineer and works as part of the firm’s global seismic team.
Li’s projects include seismic hazard analysis for a New Zealand major port damaged by a large earthquake; a risk category V (the highest category) project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and U.S. sites on an 800-mile-long pipeline that extends from seismically quiet terrain to very active regions.
Her colleagues laud her for introducing cutting-edge methods to improve existing engineering services. She supports high-profile projects such as high-rise building design, dam facilities, liquid natural gas facilities and lifeline infrastructure. She actively interacts with experts in the global scientific community and publishes conference papers to share her experiences and challenges.
Li earned a master’s degree and doctorate in transportation engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in geotechnical engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing.
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) named her to its 2019 Five Top Young Professionals list. She also served as secretary of the ASCE Seattle Section Geotechnical Group and Seattle Geo-Institute Chapter, where she led the chapter newsletter.
32, Transit Engineer
With his expertise in rail transit, Maurisak’s colleagues commend his often self-taught tech-savvy approach to efficiency. Working from AECOM’s Portland, Ore., office since 2016, Maurisak is a line section manager on the design team of the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon’s (TriMet) light rail extension project.
Maurisak previously served as an inspector and office engineer on TriMet’s Blue Line Station Rehabilitation Project, for which he resolved design conflicts, minimized delays and change orders, and recommended a simplification process of temporary station platforms that coordinated with multiple agency departments. He generated visual inspection reports for safety certification using BulkPDF and documented the process to share with TriMet so they could benefit from the new efficiency.
He was first hired by AECOM in 2010 as a track design engineer in Duluth, Minn., where Maurisak worked on Minnesota’s MetroTransit’s Southwest Corridor Light Rail extension, a 14.5-mile, $2-billion endeavor.
Maurisak holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University and is a 2015 graduate of the American Public Transportation Association’s emerging leader program. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Evergreen Curling Club, where he is webmaster and volunteer coach, instructing new curlers from elementary school through retirement age.
34, Geotechnical Engineer
With a bachelor’s degree and a master’s from Middle East Technical University in Turkey and a doctorate in geotechnical civil engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, Pehlivan specializes in site-specific seismic hazard analysis, performance-based earthquake engineering and resiliency and risk assessments of critical infrastructure and structures. In 2015, Pehlivan joined Jacobs (formerly CH2M) where she is now the Seattle office’s geotechnical group team leader, the youngest in the Americas region.
She actively participates in pioneering research projects, including NGA-East, which develops ground motion prediction tools, and the M9 Project, which creates Cascadia Subduction Zone response predictions for potential magnitude 9 earthquakes.
In a rare assignment for practitioners, Pehlivan was appointed a member of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association thanks to her international reputation in the geotechnical engineering field.
The Geo-Institute Board chose Pehlivan as founding chair of its Outreach and Engagement Committee, the youngest person to receive such an appointment. Awards include the 2016 ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering, the 2017 ASCE President’s Medal and the 2019 Middle East Technical University Recognition Award.
Pehlivan serves on the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Washington State Chapter Board, where she is secretary, and as technical program co-chair for the 2020 National Geotechnical Engineering Conference.
She is featured in 2017’s “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” an IMAX film that presents the engineering field’s challenges to young people and encourages them to pursue STEM careers. She has been keynote speaker at conferences and events including the 2017 Hot Firm A/E Industry Awards Conference, 2018 FIRST Washington Annual Fundraiser, 2018 Microsoft ImagineCup World Finals, 2018 Engineers Without Borders Conference, 2019 STEM Academy and 2019 Hulu Women’s Equality Day Panel.
38, Senior Project Manager
Exxel Pacific Inc.
Solem started his construction career in high school as a framing crew laborer and carpenter. To pay his way through Point Loma Nazarene University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in social science, he built custom cabinets and furniture—and eventually founded a company doing the same. When he joined Exxel Pacific in 2015 as a project manager, his experience as a small subcontractor was transformed into a passion for helping small businesses.
As Solem rose in title and took on larger and more complex projects, the same high-profile client requested him five years in a row to work on four separate projects. After just three years at Exxel, Solem was nominated for 2018’s Employee of the Year. He serves as a member of Exxel Pacific’s safety committee, operations committee and STIP Committee, and is the firm’s diversity and inclusion coordinator.
He currently serves on the AGC of Washington’s diversity and inclusion steering committee and helped draft the Culture of Care initiative, which promotes workplace diversity and was adopted by nearly all Seattle AGC members. AGC now uses the initiative as a national model.
Solem is a board member of Apprenticeship & Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW) and Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE), both of which express his passion for continued apprenticeship training that leads to lifelong career with a living wage.
Solem worked with the Tiny House build project for Seattle’s homeless population and helped coordinate 300 volunteers to build 30 tiny houses in two days.