ON THE MOVE JEFF HILL JOINS KLEINFELDER AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND EAST DIVISION DIRECTOR The Kleinfelder Group, Inc. , a leading engineering, construction management, design, and environmental professional services firm, announced that Jeff Hill has joined the firm as executive vice president and East Division director. Hill, who will be based in Kleinfelder’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office, will oversee operations throughout Kleinfelder’s East Division and lead the firm’s talented staff toward profitable growth. “Kleinfelder’s East Division is poised for significant growth with our existing and emerging markets and service engagements,” said president and CEO Louis Armstrong. “With Jeff joining our leadership team, we are eager for him to apply his exceptional strategic and operational leadership skills to drive success across the East Division and create new opportunities for our staff.”
With more than 30 years of AEC industry experience, Hill is a strong leader who focuses on strategic plan development and implementation, operational leadership, and talent management and engagement. Hill has successfully led business operations and strategic direction for more than 2,700 technical and administrative resources that supported engineering, business development, intelligence, and technology solutions for a business unit that generated over $600 million in revenue annually. Additionally, Hill is a people-driven leader who cultivates engagement, staff retention, and opportunities to develop new leaders and technical experts in the AEC industry. “Kleinfelder has a well-deserved reputation as a leading firm within the industry that is committed to technical excellence and exceptional client service,” said Hill. “With the East Division strategically aligned to achieve
ambitious growth targets, it’s a very exciting time to be joining the firm. I look forward to supporting the Division’s growth in diverse market sectors and fostering the culture of innovation that is fueled by the firm’s talented staff.” Hill holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from East Carolina University and an MBA from Point Park University. Hill is also designated as an Entrepreneurial Fellow from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1961, Kleinfelder is an engineering, design, construction management, construction materials inspection and testing, and environmental professional services firm. Kleinfelder employs more than 2,400 professionals and operates from more than 85 office locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California.
SETH CARLTON, from page 9
as planned, I go back to those simple ideas and images and reevaluate. Don’t be afraid to walk a design back a bit if it leads to a better solution. This happened recently on a project with dramatic, 30- foot cantilevers on all sides of the building. Roof slopes were established early in design development and the structural framing was laid out to suit the slopes. As design progressed and the framing was more accurately sized, it became clear there were multiple locations where structural depth at these cantilevers was going to be an issue. Faced with the uncomfortable choice between sticking with the current roof design or scrapping it and starting over, we chose the latter. Had we stuck with the original layout, it would have required lots of custom designs and details that would still struggle to fit within the architectural envelope. Even though the redesign affected more disciplines, it was the right choice for the project. Ultimately, the redesign led to fewer and simpler details as well as a decent reduction in steel tonnage. I would wager that the time lost to rework will be saved many times over since a simpler and more elegant design was ultimately achieved. The reason the redesign was successful was because we had done enough work to know what wouldn’t work and we chose to honor the original design intent rather than force a square peg into a round hole. The design process is non-linear and meanders from here to there, not unlike those Sunday walks in downtown Dallas. Complex systems are built of simple components and elegant designs are built of simple ideas, layered and interacting in unique ways. Keeping things simple and focusing on the core ideas is the best way to get back on track when the design starts to become convoluted. If you find yourself off track, remember where you started and remind yourself what matters most to the design. Draw what you know and find ways to simplify. SETH CARLTON, PE, is a project manager and team lead for JQ Engineering. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
when their drawings were much simpler. In fact, I have worked on some existing buildings where the structural drawings consisted of fewer sheets than the number of floors in the building. Instead of adding countless details and pages, architects and engineers in those days had the discipline to communicate their designs succinctly. When reviewing those old drawings, I am often amazed at how comprehensive the designs were compared to today’s standards. Today, our tools make it easier to change things on a whim and keep adding more information, which often serves to make the project overly complicated and introduce more contradictions. Ultimately, we miss the forest for the trees. Albert Einstein once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” “Clearly communicating the core design goals and expectations establishes guideposts that can be referred to later when things become unclear or roadblocks are encountered.” When working on a multi-disciplinary team, simplifying ideas is critical to effective communication. Explaining things in overly technical terms may mean the message is lost, so it’s better to find ways to simplify and ensure the most important ideas are clearly grasped by everyone. It is also important to make sure the team is on the same page from the start. Clearly communicating the core design goals and expectations establishes guideposts that can be referred to later when things become unclear or roadblocks are encountered. As a structural engineer working for architects, early sketches and renderings are invaluable to understanding the look and feel of a space. So, when it’s months later and the design isn’t coming together quite
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THE ZWEIG LETTER JULY 12, 2021, ISSUE 1399
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