Phillip Eng

Phillip Eng has joined The LiRo Group, a Syosset, N.Y-based construction management and design firm, as executive vice president. He had been president of the MTA Long Island Rail Road and also served as chief operating officer for Metropolitan Transportation Authority and interim president of the New York City Transit Authority.

Remington & Vernick Engineers hired Michael Messina as chief financial officer. Most recently he was corporate controller at Proconex, a process automation control systems provider. He replaces Mark Grizer, who is retiring.

STV named Matthew Smeltzer as corporate controller. Prior to joining the firm, he was a director in the finance and accounting mergers and acquisitions integration strategy practice at KPMG LLP.

Joseph A. Chiarelli has joined EW Howell Construction Group as vice president. Most recently he was president of New York City metro operations at Consigli Construction.

Columbia University named architect Andrés Jaque as dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He began teaching at the university in 2013 and has led its Advanced Architectural Design Program since 2018. Jaque succeeds Amale Andraos, who stepped down last year after leading the school since 2014.

Anjali Mathai joined design firm HLW as director of diversity, equity and inclusion. She previously worked as a human resources and organizational change consultant for Pieces in Place, a firm she founded.

Spiezle Architectural Group, an employee-owned architecture and planning firm, hired Julia Mueser as director of landscape architecture. She succeeds Jack Carman, who will retire. Mueser had been director of landscape architecture for New Jersey-based engineering firm CME Associates, where she also served as a professional planner.

Interior design firm Daun Curry Design Studio, New York City, hired Paris Grant as studio director. A New York School of Interior Design alumna, she previously headed her own eponymous design firm for nearly four years.

CNY Group, a New York City-based construction and development services firm, has promoted Robert Benziger to project executive. He joined the firm in 2010 and also has role in its operations council, which serves as a knowledge-sharing exchange platform for senior-level executives.

Doug Heeley, Tom Sylvia and Peter Sorge have joined New York and New England regional offices of engineering firm Verdantas following its recent acquisition of their respective consulting firms: Environmental Strategies & Management, with locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and JM Sorge Inc., based in Somerville, N.J. Sorge, who was JM Sorge president, now leads Verdantas operations in New Jersey. Heeley and Sylvia, who were principals of their former firm, join Verdantas in New England, focused on technical and client management.

AKF Group, New York City, has appointed Dennis Boone senior director of smart buildings. Prior to joining the firm, he served as business development manager and New York City sales manager at Siemen

Andrew Brennan has joined HNTB Corp. in Boston as national transit and rail practice consultant and vice president. He had been senior director of energy and environment at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Matthew Connors has rejoined Hancock Associates, a Danvers, Mass., firm offering civil engineering and other services, as regional engineering manager. He is based in Newburyport. Most recently, he was an associate at New Jersey-based Engineering & Land Planning Associates Inc.



Bob Lenz

Robert G. “Bob” Lenz, former chairman, CEO and president of Rockaway, N.J.-based heavy contractor Moretrench American Corp., died Aug. 4 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He was 94. Lenz, who earned a civil engineering degree from Cooper Union in 1950, served in the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion during the Korean War.

Moretrench provides geotechnical services such as dewatering and groundwater control, specializing in complex excavation projects. Lenz was cited by industry group The Moles for outstanding construction achievement in 1989. Lenz retired from Moretrench in 1995 and was a consultant. The firm was acquired in 2018 by U.K. geotechnical contractor Keller Group.

While a sailing enthusiast, Lenz “spent his professional career removing water from places it wasn’t wanted,” said an online obituary. Arthur Corwin, a CEO successor, said in an online tribute: “When challenging times or situations arose, I would ask myself, ‘What would Bob do?’”