TZL 1384 (web)


BUSINESS NEWS ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP PURCHASES WILES MENSCH CORPORATION’S FEDERAL PROJECTS DIVISION ASSETS; FORMS SORBA ENGINEERING Meredith McComas, PE, president, and Matt McComas, PE, LS, LEED AP, associate principal, have announced the establishment of Sorba Engineering in Reston, Virginia. The new entity was formed after the engineers purchased the assets of the Federal Projects Division of Wiles Mensch Corporation, a civil engineering and surveying firm that serves public- and private-sector clients in land development consulting. Sorba Engineering is a certified woman- owned small business. The company retains its complement of 12 engineers and technical specialists, along with more than 40 active projects in the Washington metropolitan area. Meredith McComas will serve as president of Sorba Engineering, overseeing administration and quality assurance programs for the firm. Matt McComas will continue to direct engineering projects, a role he held with Wiles Mensch for more than 12 years. “We are proud to continue offering civil engineering expertise under the new banner

of Sorba Engineering, a woman-owned small business within the Washington region,” says Meredith McComas. “Most importantly, we will offer continuity to all of our clients, with the same expert leadership and project staffing in place for projects now underway.” Meredith McComas is a professional engineer with more than 10 years of experience in civil engineering consulting services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering (2003) from Virginia Tech. Matt McComas is a professional engineer licensed in four jurisdictions, a licensed land surveyor, and LEED® accredited professional with 20 years of experience. An active member of the Engineers and Surveyors Institute, he holds a bachelor’s in civil engineering (2000) from Virginia Military Institute. Under Matt McComas’s direction, the Sorba Engineering portfolio includes many complex and high-profile projects in the Washington region and overseas, including the Smithsonian Institution’s renovation of the Historic Core in Washington, D.C.; the renovation of the historic chancery at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, for the U.S. Department of State; the

new Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. for the National Park Service; renovation of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; utility relocations for the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C.; renovation of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., for the Architect of the Capitol; lead civil engineer for the development of the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center at Fort Pickett in Virginia, and the first academic building at the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Arlington, Virginia. Additional clients include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. General Services Administration, and several state and local governments. The firm has also supported many architectural clients, including the SmithGroup; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; EYP Architects; Kieran Timberlake; Ann Beha Architects; KCCT; and HGA. Sorba Engineering (Sorba) has launched as a SWaM certified woman-owned, small and micro business offering civil engineering consulting services.

TALIN ESPINOZA, from page 11

make an effort to get a change of scenery. We have no separation between work and home. There is always a risk of developing a disproportionate work-life balance and overworking. “We can utilize all the tools and skills we have gained during stay at home orders while reuniting our teams to regain the level of engagement and efficiency we had before.” Does the value we provide to our organizations add up to a list of tasks we can complete remotely? I would argue this grossly underestimates the level of engagement our organizations want and need from us. A hybrid future looks bright. The flexibility we’ve gained adapting to new technology and working remotely was much needed. However, it is clear the engagement and efficiency of being together provide an indispensable support system for delivering AEC work. We can utilize all the tools and skills we have gained during stay at home orders while reuniting our teams to regain the level of engagement and efficiency we had before. Continuing to evolve, support, and strengthen our organizations is, as it always has been, the critical future path for our industry. TALIN ESPINOZA is chief strategy officer at Twining, Inc., executive board member with CMAA Southern California, board member with AGC Los Angeles District, and state board member with AGC of California. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Let’s take a look at the challenges we face working in our comfortable pants. Distraction at the office is real. Chitchat and interruptions are something we all contend with. However, home is not without distractions – from family care to all the needs of domestic life. Balancing these is an obstacle. Second, our level of engagement is impaired – with management, peers, and our teams. Many of us are experiencing workplace disconnect. The connection we had with our employer is not what it used to be and we’re struggling to establish the stable link we once had. Productivity in Zoom meetings, whether all your colleagues are paying attention or not, is no fun. Team relations are sometimes reduced to a soundbite. It is very easy to miss read cues via electronic communication, and staying engaged with people has presented its own new challenges. Externally, private companies are losing when client development and client relationship maintenance is restricted. Then, there’s Zoom burnout. Working from home eliminates the option of catching someone in the hall or elevator and quickly handling a collaborative discussion. Now, collaboration must be scheduled. Often, it is scheduled alongside six other Zoom meetings in a given day. By your fifth video conference, you may not be your best self. Zoom burnout is real. Finally, we contend with increased isolation. While our industry has historically attracted introverts, not everybody fares well in isolation. These days, we must

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