Jeff Dragovich is an Associate in the DeSimone’s Chicago office. He has over 28 years of engineering experience in construction industry, academia, and as a research structural engineer in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Mr. Dragovich specializes in performance-based seismic design (PBSD), having worked on many projects in Washington and California since 1998. At DeSimone Consulting Engineering, he focuses his expertise on domestic and international project-based work as well as research and development.
Mr. Dragovich has developed numerous software applications related to structural analysis and the post-processing and interpretation of PBSD nonlinear response history analysis results. He is currently working on the implementation of the American Society of Civil Engineers Prestandard for Performance-Based Wind Design for the design of a 1000-foot residential tower.
Mr. Dragovich was a voting member on the ACI 318-19 subcommittee 318-N “Nonlinear Analysis” which was tasked to develop guidelines for the nonlinear dynamic analysis of reinforced concrete structures. These guidelines appear as Appendix A “Design Verification Using Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis” in the 318-19 Building Code.
Mr. Dragovich earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Seattle University.
Professional Certifications and Affiliations
- Fellow, American Concrete Institute (ACI)
- Voting Member, ACI Sub-Committee 318-H, Seismic Provisions
- Voting Member, ACI Committee 369, Seismic Repair and Rehabilitation
- Voting Member and Past Chair, ACI Committee 374, Performance Based Seismic Design of Concrete Buildings
- Voting Member, ACI Committee 375, Performance-Based Design of Concrete Buildings for Wind Loads
- Member, ASCE/SEI 41 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings
- Member, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
- Member, Structural Engineers Association of Washington
- Member, Structural Engineers Association of California
- State of California Safety Assessment Program (CalOES SAP) Evaluator
Milo Adams joined DeSimone in 2015 and is an Associate in the New York office. With 18 years of structural expertise, Mr. Adams works on multidisciplinary projects within the structural engineering practice and specializes in high-rise structures in reinforced concrete and structural steel.
Mr. Adams’s structural design experience with the firm includes 815 Water Street, an 832,000 sf, multi-tower structure in Tampa, Florida comprised of high-end rental apartments and retail space; 77 Greenwich, a 46-story tower containing 281,500 sf of luxury residences in New York, New York; and 664 Pacific Street, a 26-story, 354,000 sf building with rental apartments and a public elementary school located in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Adams designs and manages renovations and retail retrofits at City Point.
Additional experience includes two luxury condominium buildings within Albany Marina Residences, a $1.3 billion private residential community on New Providence Island in the Bahamas. The 8-story residences are comprised of conventionally reinforced concrete, long cantilevered balconies, and long-span open floorplans.
Mr. Adams was the technical lead in designing and developing the first movable construction platform for One World Trade Center in New York. He developed a proprietary, steel “cocoon,” a movable temporary worker platform, wrapping the envelope of the building structure. The “cocoons” were used to construct subsequent towers including 4 World Trade Center. He also provided structural design, technical assistance, and structural steel detailing for long-span steel arches and steel design to support the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Seventh Avenue 1-9 Subway Line.
Mr. Adams earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture both from Princeton University.
Lokanath Nagaraja joined Desimone in 2007 and is an Associate in the firm’s New York Office. He has over 17 years of experience in structural engineering, designing new structures and renovating existing buildings, with a specific focus on high-rise structures.
Mr. Nagaraja is working on the design and management of several tall, mixed-use developments in New York and New Jersey. Notable projects include a 1.5-million-sf, mixed-use development in Jersey City with a 650-ft-tall tower; 250 Water Street, a 950,000 sf mixed-use development with a 350-ft tall-tower; 311 W 42nd street, a 500,000 sf, 30-story mixed-used building; and 70 Hudson Yards, a 1.2-million-sf, 650-ft-tall office building.
Mr. Nagaraja’s experience also includes Sendero Verde Building B, a mixed-used development with affordable housing, a school, and public spaces in New York City; Hotel Riggs, a renovation project involving the addition of a roof top unit to an existing building in Washington DC originally constructed in 1900; and The Standard at South Market, a 230,000 sf luxury condominium in New Orleans.
Mr. Nagaraja earned a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from The University at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Bangalore University in India.
Vivek Gurjar joined DeSimone in 2008 and serves as a Senior Associate in Desimone’s Houston office. Since that time, Mr. Gurjar has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects including schools, airports, mixed-use developments, office towers, healthcare facilities, industrial/warehouse, and residential towers. Mr. Gurjar has extensive knowledge and experience of modeling complex structures using advanced design softwares such as Etabs, SAP 2000, SAFE, Adapt PT, Adapt builder, and Risa 3D.
Mr. Gurjar is currently designing Lexington Condominiums, a 10-story residential tower in Houston, Texas. Other notable projects include Park 8 development, River Oaks parcels 7&8, and Lakefront Condominiums in Houston, Texas. His area of expertise is in the design of wood and steel-framed buildings, as well as concrete framed structures.
Mr. Gurjar has engineered and managed notable projects including MD Anderson Cancer Center Alkek Pavilion, Zayed Towers, UT Southwestern New University Hospital and Parking Garage, Harbor Point Blocks in Stamford, CT, DFW High C Gates replacement in Dallas, Texas, Texas A&M Ballistic, Aero-Optics and Material (BAM) test range facility in Bryan, Texas.
Mr. Gurjar is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Texas, Connecticut, and North Carolina. He received his Master of Science degree with a focus on Civil Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington, and Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Gujarat University.
Dr. Tala Shokri is an Associate in DeSimone’s Miami office. Her experience spans more than 17 years and includes structural design, complex building analysis, specialty structures, and forensic investigations.
Dr. Shokri managed the design for six buildings and a recording studio within the Albany Marina Residences, a multi-phase, mixed-use development in The Bahamas. Each oceanfront residence incorporates 17 to 28 ft cantilevered, conventionally reinforced balconies which are uniquely formed to support outdoor swimming pools, kitchen areas, and lounge space. Honeycomb, Cube, and Tetris, three highly-distinctive residences designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and OOAK Architects, were awarded for superlative structural design by Engineering News Record (ENR), the American Concrete Institute (CIB), and the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC NY).
Dr. Shokri is designing and managing the Westin Cocoa Beach Resort, an over one-million-sf mixed-use project located on the oceanfront in Cocoa Beach, Florida which includes 400 hotel keys, 102 residential units, and 320,000 sf of parking; the Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel, a 800-key Grand Hyatt hotel in the center of Miami Beach, with a pool deck over the ballroom and a sky bridge connecting to the convention center; and Lofty Brickell condos, two 47-story condominiums, with a pool deck over an eight-story parking podium.
Dr. Shokri’s experience also includes the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort in Jamaica, a property that spans more than 1.3 million sf; The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, a 1.3-million-sf, dual-building development containing 92 luxury residences and a 164-key hotel connected by a sky bridge; The Raleigh, Richmond, and South Seas, a 450,000-sf, mixed-use project located on South Beach; and The Turnberry Ocean Club in Sunny Isles, Florida, a 650-ft tall residential tower containing a pool deck cantilevered 30 feet from the building facade on the 29th floor.
Dr. Shokri holds a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering, as well as two Master of Science degrees from the University of Miami.
Matt Henderson is a Principal at DeSimone’s Houston office, with over 30 years of experience designing complex structural systems using wood, masonry, concrete, and steel materials. Mr. Henderson is primarily responsible for initiating structural design concepts through the Schematic Design and Design Development project phase, and for ensuring that completed designs are delivered successfully. Attention to detail and pragmatic design approaches are fundamental to his renovations, additions/expansions, and new construction, for all building sectors.
Mr. Henderson earned a Master of Science degree in Engineering with a focus on Civil Engineering, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in both Civil Engineering and Building Construction from Texas A&M University.
Leslie Morris has been with DeSimone since 2014 and is an Associate in the firm’s New York office. He specializes in multistory industrial, mid-rise residential, and renovations, servicing all projects from concept design through construction administration.
Mr Morris’s notable New York City project experience includes several signature residential towers and more than 18-million square feet of industrial warehouse buildings. Notable industrial projects include Terminal Logistics Center, a 430,000-sf, five-story building near JFK Airport that is among the first multistory industrial projects in New York City; 55-15 Grand Avenue, 1.1-million-sf, five-story logistics and parking building in Queens, New York that is one of the first concrete warehouse buildings in New York City since the 1900’s; AUS3 and JAN1, two 4-million-sf, four-story logistic buildings that were designed and constructed simultaneously.
Mr. Morris’s residential portfolio includes The Willoughby in downtown Brooklyn, New York, a 34-story, 476-unit residential tower combined with a one-story parking podium topped by a turfed athletic field; PLG at 123 Linden Boulevard in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, a 26-story, 467-unit residential tower seated on a three-story amenity and parking podium; 90 Morton St in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York which converted and expanded an eight-story 1900’s printing plant building into a twelve-story, 35-unit luxury residential building.
Mr. Morris has earned a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Brian Tufts is an Associate at DeSimone’s Plainville office. He offers a robust combined structural engineering and design project management experience in
a broad range of commercial, industrial, and institutional projects, for both new construction and major structural renovations.
He specializes in structural steel, concrete, wood, and masonry structures. His strengths include developing cost-effective structural designs, developing practical solutions to structural problems, and coordinating structural designs with other disciplines. Other experience includes performing structural evaluations of existing buildings.
His recent projects include project management and structural lead of a 225,000 sf, 36 MW, steel-framed data center with exterior precast panels in Chicago, IL; fit-out of a new 100,000 sf steel-framed pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Bedford, MA; and a new 50,000 sf biopharmaceutical lab facility in Milford, MA that utilizes long-span steel fabricated trusses to provide a column-free interior floor plate.
Mr. Tufts has a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree in Structural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
Garrett McClean is a Principal at DeSimone’s Plainville office. He is a registered Professional Engineer with 28 years of structural design and project management experience. His project experience includes numerous data centers, large scale mixed-use developments, and a broad range of commercial, retail, industrial, municipal, and educational projects. He specializes in developing cost effective and practical structural solutions, managing complicated projects, and coordinating structural systems with other building systems.
Mr. McClean has recently designed over 7 million sf of complex, multi-story data centers and mission critical facilities with a total IT load of over 650 MW of power. These buildings have been located across the country and represent a total investment of over $4.5 billion dollars. Facilities have included large scale, multi-building, master planned campuses of data center buildings for nationally recognized hyperscale and colocation data center providers that serve as the backbone to the country’s digital economy. He has also designed several custom built data centers for financial institutions and logistics companies across the country. Buildings have been designed as tilt-up, precast, and steel superstructures supporting a wide array of MEP systems.
Mr. McClean has also designed a variety of large scale mixed use and retail centers such as Westwood Station in Westwood, MA; Chapel View in Cranston, RI; and Colony Place in Plymouth, MA. His work includes new manufacturing facilities for the growing pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors and numerous other office, industrial, educational, and retail projects throughout the northeast.
Mr. McClean has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
David Johnson is a Senior Associate at DeSimone’s Plainville office. He has 38 years of combined structural engineering management and design project management experience in a broad range of manufacturing, commercial, industrial, retail, institutional, and residential structures, for both new construction and structural renovations. He specializes in structural steel, concrete, wood, and masonry structures.
His strengths include developing cost-effective structural designs, identifying, and developing practical solutions to structural problems, and coordinating structural designs with other disciplines. Other experience includes management of engineering and project management staff, client relationships, and business development.
His project experience includes FABCON, a 123,300 sf precast panel fabrication plant; Amazon, the renovation of an existing glass bottle manufacturing and warehouse facility into distribution center; FedEx, the renovation of existing manufacturing/warehouse into distribution center (2 locations); and Digital Realty, data centers with associated mechanical and office support areas.
Mr. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.
Robert Chartrand offers over 39 years of combined structural engineering and design project management experience in a broad range of commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential structures, for both new construction and major structural renovations. He specializes in structural steel, concrete, wood, and masonry structures. His strengths include developing cost-effective structural designs, identifying and developing practical solutions to structural problems, and coordinating structural designs with other disciplines. Other experience includes providing independent structural engineering reviews and performing structural evaluations of existing buildings.
His recent projects include 200 Exchange Street in Malden, MA, a repositioning of an existing 4-story building into retail and office use; 4 Maguire Road in Lexington, MA, a repositioning of a 2-story building into laboratory use: multiple projects for Ginkgo Bioworks in Boston, MA, including installation of new HVAC systems; and a 10 building structural façade review for Brown University in Providence, RI.
Mr. Chartrand earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.
Adam Scates joined DeSimone in 2006 and is an Associate in the New Haven office. He has over 19 years of experience in the design of buildings and the renovation of existing structures utilizing a variety of materials, including reinforced concrete, structural steel, masonry, and wood.
Mr. Scates has worked on noteable casino projects including the 1.8-million-sf Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut and the Resorts World Casino New York City, a 600,000-sf renovation involving demolition and additions. He has also designed the three-phase Gun Lake Casino Expansion, the 500,000-sf expansion of an existing casino in Wayland, Michigan; and the Hard Rock Northern Indiana, a 191,000-sf project consisting of gaming, a Velvet Session Lounge, a 2000 seat HR Live stage, and supporting food and beverage.
Mr. Scates designed the CitizenM Bowery Hotel in New York City. This 100,000-sf, 17-story hotel includes 15 floors of modular steel construction with 14 modules per floor. He also worked on the New Branson Headquaters, a 165,000-sf mixed-use project containing of office space, corporate headquarters, lab space, and manufacturing; 360 State Street, a $180-million, 32-story, 765,000-sf mixed-use project in New Haven, Connecticut; and Stowe Mountain Lodge, two 6-story hospitality buildings encompassing 470,000 sf located in Stowe, Vermont.
Mr. Scates received both a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Washington University in Saint Louis. He is licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri.
Vijay Krishnaswamy is an Associate in DeSimone’s Las Vegas office. He has over 16 years of experience, including hotel and casinos, educational facilities, stadiums, airports, and convention centers. He has extensive experience in concrete and steel structures and high seismic zone detailing.
Mr. Krishnaswamy’s current projects include The Dream Hotel in Las Vegas, a 20-story luxury hotel with 525 guest rooms, multiple amenities, and a casino space located across the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign; as well as Pinnacle at MacDonald Highlands, a twin-tower, 25-story condominium located in Henderson, Nevada with 170 units and parking.
His project experience includes Circa Resort and Casino, comprising a 44-story, 777-guest room hotel, and a two-level casino including a range of restaurants, a multi-level pool amphitheater, and a stadium-style sportsbook; Resorts World Las Vegas, a resort on the Las Vegas strip with a large casino, 3,800-room hotel, retail, restaurants, 3,500-seat theater, convention space, a pool deck, and three parking structures accommodating approximately 7,000 cars; The Miami World Center, a 3-million-sf mixed-use project in Miami, Florida; The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a 604-ft-tall 6.5-million sf gaming and hospitality project located in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Las Vegas City Hall, 8-story, 300,000-sf public sector building located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mr. Krishnaswamy earned a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Bharathiar University in India.
Jessi Pereira joined DeSimone in 2014. He is currently an Associate in the firm’s Miami office.
Mr. Pereira specializes in high-rise structures, renovations, steel frame, hospitality, residential and office projects. His projects include the Four Seasons, Fort Lauderdale, a 22-story high-rise with hotel and residences totaling 575,000 sf.
Other projects in the residential and hospitality sector include Stamford URL, which comprises 708,000 sf of new construction including one basement level of parking, mixed-use spaces, a landscaped courtyard, and an outdoor pool; Tampa EDITION Hotel, a 26-story tower with 172 hotel keys and 49 residential units totaling 321,000 sf; and 1149 Ashford, a 590,000 sf residential tower located in San Juan, proposed to be the tallest building in Puerto Rico.
Mr. Pereira’s noteworthy renovation experience includes the Broward County Convention Center expansion and hotel, a significant and long awaited project for Broward County, Florida. Mr. Pereira led DeSimone’s evaluation, coordination and retro-fit design of the existing building structure. In its entirety, the project encompasses over two million square feet of new and renovated construction. When complete, this signature project will allow the county to host some of the largest events in the county in a first class facility.
Mr. Pereira’s noteworthy retail experience includes the Apple Store at Aventura Mall: a complex structure with architectural elements, glazing, plumbing and structural systems commingled, requiring an acute attention to detail and coordination to produce.
Mr. Pereira earned Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Florida.
Eric Fenske joined DeSimone’s Chicago office as an Associate Principal. He has over 17 years of experience with specific expertise in the design of high-rise buildings, mixed-use developments, exhibition halls, and a variety of other structures.
Mr. Fenske’s previous experience in Chicago, Illinois includes 110 North Wacker, a 51-story, 800ft-tall office building on the Chicago River; New City, a 1.7 million square foot, multi-building development with residential, retail, theater, hotel, and parking components, all spanning eight acres; Lakeshore East Parcels K, L, and J, a residential development that includes a 444,000sf, 38-story tower and a 536,000sf, 46-story tower, each linked by a five-level 245,000sf parking podium. Additional project experience in Chicago includes Illinois Center, a redevelopment of two existing office lobbies into a new two-story retail space, and 50 East Randolph, a 293ft-tall, 25-story residential tower with 190 luxury rental units.
In Asia, Mr. Fenske’s experience includes the 62-story Hanking Center Tower in Shenzhen, China, which is today the country’s tallest steel building, and the tallest detached cored structure in the world, and the VietinBank Business Center Office Tower, a 3.2 million square foot development that includes a 68-story office building and an adjacent 48-story building comprised of a high-end hotel, residences, and associated amenities.
In Abu Dhabi, Mr. Fenske helped design World Trade Center, a mixed-use development that includes the 88-story Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid residential tower, a 53-story hotel, and a 58-story office building. The development is surrounded by seven million square feet of marketplace and retail space with below-grade parking and an 11-story business hotel.
Mr. Fenske received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering, specializing in Structural Engineering from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Matthieu Peuler joined DeSimone in 2003 and is currently an Associate in the firm’s New York office. With over 15 years of industry experience, Mr. Peuler specializes in the design of reinforced concrete high-rise buildings, as well as mixed-use structural steel projects. He also has considerable experience with renovations, investigations of structural failures, educational developments, and landmarked structures.
Mr. Peuler has managed a variety of mixed-use and high-rise projects. In Manhattan, he recently finished Madison Square Park Tower, a new 260,000sf, 780-foot tall condominium tower in the Flatiron District, and 77 Greenwich, a 281,500sf luxury residential tower with a school at the base of building. Other projects include 184 Morgan Street in Jersey City, New Jersey; 378 West End Avenue, a new cast in place concrete tower with an existing landmarked steel building in Manhattan; Pacific Park Brooklyn – Building 15, a new 26-story building comprising 354,000sf including residential area and a K-8 public school; One Willoughby Square, a new 405,000sf office building also located in Brooklyn which includes a public school within the podium; and 323 East 61st Street, a medical office building in Manhattan.
Mr. Peuler recently completed Manhattan’s 110 University Place, a 160,000sf, 20-story tower with 55 high-end apartments; Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 10 story, mixed-use hotel and condominium complex comprising 750,000sf; and City Point in Brooklyn, a 1.8 million sf, mixed-use complex that contains retail, office and residential components.
Mr. Peuler received a Bachelor of Science in Physics & Geophysics, a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and his Master of Engineering, all from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Sun Oh joined DeSimone’s San Francisco office in 2013 where he is currently an Associate. Mr. Oh is specialized in the design of retail mixed-use and hospitality structures, education facilities, as well as hospitals, in regions of high seismic and wind risk.
His current projects include The Plaza Coral Gables, a high-end mixed-use development with offices, residence, and hotel towers; expansion of the Westfield Valley Fair Mall, with two-million-square-feet of added retail, events and parking spaces; reconfiguration of the Hard Rock Live! Theater at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino; and Turnberry Ocean Club in Sunny Isles Beach, a new 53-story luxury residential tower currently under construction.
Mr. Oh’s past experience includes the Westfield Galleria at Roseville Expansion, Hard Rock Hotel & Residences Daytona Beach, The Collection Residences, Four Seasons at Manele Bay expansion and renovation, The HUB residential tower in Boston, and Trump Bay Street residential tower in New Jersey.
Mr. Oh is a graduate of University of Iowa, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1999. After a few years in the industry, he went on to continue his education and obtained a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.
Rodolfo Medina joined DeSimone in August, 2013 and is currently an Associate in the firm’s New York office. Mr. Medina has over 14 years of experience and specializes in the design of concrete and steel structures, as well as lateral analysis and 3D modeling of complex structures.
Mr. Medina has managed both residential and mixed-use projects including Queens Plaza Tower, a new 360,000sf 31-story mixed-used tower in Long Island City; 410 West 207th Street, a 741,000sf mixed-use development comprised of low-income and middle-income housing; and 261 Eleventh Avenue, a renovation of the historic Central Stores complex.
Additional experience includes 111 Murray, an 800ft-tall high-rise residential condominium tower in lower Manhattan; Marble Collegiate Church Office Building, a new 910ft-tall office building in Midtown, Manhattan; Skyline Tower, a 760ft-tall residential building in Long Island City that will be the tallest building in Queens; and 30 Front Street, a new residential tower in Dumbo Brooklyn that is located next to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Mr. Medina received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University and his Masters of Science in Structural Engineering from Columbia University. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York.
Amit Mavalankar joined DeSimone in 2011 and is currently an Associate in the New York office. He specializes in long span steel structures and mixed-use structures.
Mr. Mavalankar is currently working on 2840 Atlantic Avenue, which involves a gut renovation of a 4-story masonry building built in 1900’s that was previously being used as a dairy facility.
Mr. Mavalankar’s hospitality experience includes Sea Island, a new resort development in Sea Island, Georgia; and Rivers Casino & Resort, a 155,000sf casino and a 6-story Hyatt Hotel in Schenectady, NY.
His past residential experience includes Flushing Commons in Queens, New York, a mixed-use project with five mid-rise buildings with a total development of 1.8 million sf to be completed by 2021. Phase 1 topped out in March 2016 and included two mid-rise buildings; a 14-story residential tower and an 11-story office tower. The project has four-stories of underground parking reserved for 982 car spaces. He has also worked on The Modern in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The residential development consists of two 47-story luxury residential towers with a total of 1.7 million sf. In addition he has worked on Neptune-Sixth which consisted of a 160,000sf 7-story office building, a 60,000sf single-story retail component, and 77,000sf of rooftop parking located in Brooklyn, New York.
Mr. Mavalankar has been an ACE Mentor, a program focused on mentoring high school students and inspiring them to pursue a career in engineering design and construction.
Mr. Mavalankar earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from the University of Mumbai in 2002. In 2007, he earned a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.
Pratik Shah joined DeSimone in 2012 and is currently an Associate in the firm’s New York office. He has over 12 years of work experience with various aspects of structural engineering including the design of new buildings, the repair and renovation of existing buildings, and structural forensics. His specific focus includes tall buildings, complex analysis, post-tensioned concrete structures, and value engineering studies. He specializes in analyzing the behavior of structures and uses his vast experience to simplify complex structural problems into straightforward, practical solutions.
Mr. Shah is currently working on the design and management of several tall, mixed-use developments in New York, Miami, Las Vegas and abroad. These projects include a 950-foot-tall tower at 520 Fifth Avenue, a large scale residential development at 30-85 Vernon Boulevard, a 1 million sf mixed-use development at 470 Kent Ave; conversion of 1 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn; a 600-foot-tall leaning tower in Las Vegas; a 1300-foot-tall tower in Bangkok, Thailand and a complicated commercial tower bridging over train tracks in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Some of the more recently completed projects include Rafael Vinoly’s 925-foot-tall tower at 125 Greenwich Street, the RIU Hotel tower in Times Square and award- winning commercial developments at 510 West 22nd Street and 860 Washington.
Mr. Shah received his Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and his Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Mumbai University.
Hongbo Wang joined DeSimone in 2007 and is currently an Associate in the firm’s New York office.
Ms. Wang has managed many large residential and high-rise mixed-use projects. She is currently managing 220 Central Park South, a new 950ft tall 430,000sf luxury residential condominium tower in New York City; 99 Hudson, a new 915ft, 1.4 million sf residential tower in Jersey City, New Jersey; 80 South Street, a 1,600-foot-tall, 850,000 sf residential condominium and hotel project in New York City; and 115-145 River Road, a development of 4 residential towers height from 500 ft to 700 ft, with parking and amenity space built in four phases with a total structural framed area of approximately 3.6 million sf located in Edgewater, New Jersey. Her additional residential experience includes Millennium Tower Boston, a new 60-story, 1,048,382sf residential tower in Boston and Gotham West, a new 30-story 1,033,000sf residential complex in New York City.
Ms. Wang received her bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Heilongjiang University of Science & Technology in China. Ms. Wang received her master’s and Ph.D. in Structural and Earthquake Engineering from the University at Buffalo.
Calogero “Jerry” Castania joined DeSimone in 2006 and is currently an Associate in the firm’s New York office. Since joining DeSimone, Mr. Castania has gained experience designing concrete, steel, and block and plank structures for residential developments, as well as specialization in structural renovations
In New York City, Mr. Castania’s most recent experience includes 520 West 28th Street, a new 157,000sf residential project designed by Zaha Hadid in Chelsea; The Forge, a 248,000sf, two-building residential development that includes a 38-story high-rise tower in Long Island City; and Whitney Townhouses at 33 E 74th Street, a large scale renovation that comprises 88,200sf of residential area located in Upper East Side, Manhattan.
More recent New York experience includes One Flushing, a 9-story 264,000sf affordable housing building located in Queens that is constructed of block and plank masonry units; Inspir Carnegie Hill, a 23-story 210,000sf assisted living development in Upper East Side, Manhattan that is comprised of architecturally exposed concrete; 150 East 78th Street a 15-story, 170ft-tall residential building, also located on the Upper East Side, that encompasses approximately 89,000sf; and Riverwalk 8, a 21-story residential building on Roosevelt Island spanning approximately 240,000sf including a mix of market-rate and affordable housing. Another project Mr. Castania is working on is One East Harlem located at 201 East 125th Street. The project includes a 19-story, 464,000sf structure that is mainly comprised of affordable housing units.
Mr. Castania’s experience with cultural developments includes Zwirner Gallery, a four-story, column-free structure comprised of architecturally exposed concrete; along with the High Line Nine and Kasmin Gallery, each located on West 27th street in Manhattan. Mr. Castania received his Bachelor’s Degree in civil engineering as well as his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Cooper Union. Mr. Castania is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York.
Tarek Bannoura has over 25 years of experience in structural engineering and management, covering an extensive range of projects that include office buildings, educational facilities, entertainment complexes, hotels, and casinos.
Mr. Bannoura’s experience with the firm includes Resorts World Las Vegas, a $4 billion hotel and casino currently being developed in Las Vegas; the Northern Quest Resort & Casino Expansion, a 295,000sf gaming facility expansion in Airway Heights, Washington; Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, a 7-story, 419,800sf hotel in China; the Cache Creek Hotel and Event Center expansion, a 7-story 400,000sf expansion located in Brooks, California; and Harrah’s St. Louis Event Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Mr. Bannoura received his Bachelor of Science in Civil / Structural Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his Masters Degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Mr. Nanni joined DeSimone in 2006 and currently holds the position of Principal. Mr. Nanni has extensive experience in healthcare, hotels, mixed-use developments, and residential projects.
Mr. Nanni’s current projects include Paramount Miami Worldcenter, a 3.5 million sf development comprised of a 704ft-tall residential tower set above a retail and parking podium; and the oceanfront Aston Martin Residences, an 817ft-tall luxury condominium tower in Downtown Miami. Other recently completed developments include Panorama Tower, a 2.6 million sf, 868ft structure that is today the tallest building in the State of Florida; and Brickell Flatiron, a 65-story, 736ft-tall residential tower.
Mr. Nanni’s past experience also includes the design of Biscayne Landing, a 5.6 million sf mixed-use project comprised of four quadrants that are bisected by elevated roadways and plazas; Al Ain Wildlife Park Resorts & Residences project in the United Arab Emirates, a 5.1 million sf community that surrounds a newly expanded wildlife park; the Guaynabo City Hospital, a 160,000sf, state-of-the-art hospital in Puerto Rico that is today the island’s most advanced healthcare facility; and Epic, a 1.4 million sf hotel and condominium development.
Mr. Nanni received his 5 years degree (Laurea) in Structural Engineering from the Polytechnic in Milan, Italy, and he holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami, Florida.
Senior AssociateNew Haven
Mr. Schwarz joined DeSimone’s New York office in 1999. He is currently a Senior Associate of the New Haven, Connecticut office, specializing in the design of reinforced concrete buildings, wind and seismic engineering, and the development of efficient lateral systems. He has managed and directed a broad range of projects, including high-rise, modular, steel, residential, hospitality, casino, and parking structures.
Mr. Schwarz is currently working on Harborside 8/9 Towers, three new residential towers located in Jersey City, New Jersey. The first tower is a 66-story, 870,000-square-foot residential tower containing 700 residential units. Towers two and three are spaced 70 feet apart. Tower two is 50 stories with 42 residential floors above an eight-story podium containing 500 residential units. Tower three is 42 stories with 34 residential floors above the podium containing 400 residential units.
Other projects Mr. Schwarz is currently working on in Jersey City include 1 Park Avenue – Liberty Harbor, a new 45-story 530,000-square-foot mixed-use tower; and 25 Christopher Columbus Drive, a 53-story 1,021,510sf residential tower with an adjacent, but separate, two-story, 36,850sf new school.
Mr. Schwarz’s past project experience includes Jersey City Urby, a new 69-story residential tower encompassing 800,000 square feet located in New Jersey; the Four Seasons Hotel & Tower, an award-winning 65-story, two million-square-foot mixed-use tower in Miami; and the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center project, which includes two performance theaters and a residential tower measuring over 450,000 square feet. Other past projects include citizenM Hotel Bowery, the tallest modular hotel in Manhattan; The Langham New York, a 60-story, 550,000-square-foot mixed-use tower; The Urban Glass House, an 11-story apartment building in SoHo; and Chrystie Place, a 246,000-square-foot building containing residential, retail and parking facilities in the East Village.
Mr. Schwarz received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Plechaty joined DeSimone in 1995 and serves as a Principal in the New York office. While with DeSimone, Mr. Plechaty has been the primary designer and project manager on over 40 major structures. His use of innovative schemes and details has helped difficult and complex projects be completed within budget and on schedule.
After leading the firm’s overseas operations in Abu Dhabi for four years, Mr. Plechaty is again based in the New York office. While working in the UAE, his projects included the Al Hilal Bank Tower, a 25-story commercial office building, the 48-story award-winning Regent Emirates Pearl Hotel, and the Special Security Hospital, all in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Mr. Plechaty has recently been involved in the design and management of numerous tall towers in New York City including 125 Greenwich, 101 Murray, and 520 Fifth Avenue. He is currently involved in a 1,400 feet tall condo as well. Recently completed projects include 551 West 21st Street with SR Capital and Foster and Partners Architects and the RIU Hotel in Times Square.
Previously, Mr. Plechaty was the Project Manager for the Standard Hotel, a 22-story exposed concrete structure erected over the historic elevated High Line in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District. 18 floors of the building are transferred by using twin 100-ft long composite steel trusses that are supported by exposed concrete columns. His additional experience includes the Mohegan Sun arena, a 10,000-seat sports complex utilizing 280-ft steel trusses, which was part of the $1 billion Phase 2 expansion of Mohegan Sun Casino resort in Connecticut.
Mr. Plechaty received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Buffalo – State University of New York and he is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New York. Mr. Plechaty is a member of both ACI and SEAONY.
Luis Ramirez joined DeSimone in 2005 and serves as a Principal in the firm’s New York City office. Since that time, Mr. Ramirez has amassed a diverse portfolio of projects including high-rise structures, office towers, mixed-use developments, resort properties, and healthcare facilities both international and domestic.
Mr. Ramirez is currently designing One Bayfront Plaza, a 92-story mixed use building that will become the tallest tower in Florida and the first to rise above 1000-feet-tall. Large floor plates creating spans up to 50 feet combined with stringent owner program requirements, FAA height restrictions, and a new municipal zoning code made this project exceptionally challenging.
Other high profile projects include Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum, a 60-story residential tower that employs a sculpted concrete exoskeleton as an integral component of the lateral load system. Mr. Ramirez also worked as project leader for Bjarke Ingels’ Grove at Grand Bay towers in Coconut Grove, Florida, located at the former site of the Grand Bay Hotel. As the first truly twisting buildings in the United States, the iconic development features two towers rising 20-stories above a lush landscaped 2-story podium. To capture a full panoramic view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, the architect rotated the towers incrementally along the height for a total rotation of 38 degrees.
Mr. Ramirez also played an integral role in designing the Faena Arts Center, a cultural center that incorporates an exposed concrete facade comprised of intersecting arches and catenaries; and the expansion of Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Resort & Casino, which includes a 34-story, guitar-shaped tower and nearly 800,000 square feet of retail, dining, and resort-style amenity areas.
Mr. Ramirez is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of New York and Florida. He received his Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Florida Structural Engineers Association (FSEA), Structural Engineer’s Association of New York (SEAoNY), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).
Mr. Johnson joined DeSimone in 2004 and is currently an Associate Principal in the Boston office. He began his career in the New York office, where he established himself as a technical leader and a mentor while managing a wide variety of some of the offices most challenging projects.
Through his time at DeSimone Mr. Johnson has specialized in new construction, specifically high-rise residential, institutional, educational and hospitality projects throughout the North East region, as well as other large-scale projects throughout the US and Middle East/Asia.
His notable projects abroad involve two projects in the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: the Museum of the Built Environment, which includes a 323,000 sf museum with 600,000 sf of parking, and Parcel 4.11, a 12-story, 675,000 sf mixed-use development. Mr. Johnson’s other work includes Vdara, the 1.7 million sf condo hotel within MGM’s CityCenter in Las Vegas, NV, the award-winning 580,000 sf residential Riverhouse in Battery Park City, Manhattan as well as the Providence Renaissance Hotel, the state’s largest renovation, that involved the conversion of a Masonic Temple into a hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.
In addition to Jarret’s project roles, he has been instrumental in the firm’s adoption and implementation of BIM. He has completed several challenging projects using Revit for coordination and production including: the Museum of the Built Environment, 150 Wooster, KIPP High School, NYIT Student Residences and Commons, and the Marriott Residence Inn.
Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. Bonanno joined DeSimone in 1995 and specializes in steel design. As a Principal in the firm’s New York office, Mr. Bonanno has managed a broad range of projects including new structures in concrete, steel, wood, and masonry construction, as well as numerous renovation projects and tenant alterations. On each project, Mr. Bonanno has been directly involved with the client from the pre-schematic phase through the completion of construction. He has also developed expertise in design management and project planning, often delivering designs to the client under demanding fast-track schedules.
Mr. Bonanno’s recent work includes the design and construction of 2148 Broadway, a 20 story, 307,000 sf luxury condominium building on Manhattan’s west side and Sky View Parc, a 3.5 million mixed-use project in Flushing, New York. He is currently working on the 47-story, 1.7 million sf Towers at Fort Lee, a two-tower mixed-use/residential development in New Jersey.
Mr. Bonanno has also worked on the award-winning Turning Stone Casino Resort in Verona, New York and Riverhouse in New York City. The casino project includes a 4500-seat arena with 210 foot-long roof trusses, a 20-story post tensioned hotel tower, a 2400 car pre-cast garage structure and a 4-story steel and concrete plank suite hotel. The 32-story, 580,000 sf luxury residential tower in Battery Park City is one of a group of LEED rated green building projects being undertaken in lower Manhattan. Mr. Bonanno’s additional work includes the Ritz Carlton in Boston, Massachusetts, recipient of the Concrete Industry Board’s Award of Merit.
Mr. Bonanno received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering as well as his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Columbia University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of New York and is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of New York.
Associate PrincipalNew York
Mr. Schenck joined DeSimone Consulting Engineers in 2004 and is currently an Associate Principal in our New York office. Mr. Schenck has ten years of experience specializing in renovation projects.
His project experience includes the Zwirner Gallery, a new 30,000 sf LEED Certified gallery featuring an exposed concrete facade in Manhattan, 175 Park Avenue, an expansion and modernization of a 1970’s office building in Madison, New Jersey, 15 Union Square West, the renovation and expansion of the 7-story Tiffany & Company Store; and 20 Pine, the residential conversion of a 38-story, 690,000 sf commercial building in New York’s Financial District. Currently, Mr. Schenck is working on 5 Madison Avenue, a 40-story office structure being converted to a luxury hotel, and the renovation and expansion of the KJ Ramaz School in New York, New York.
Mr. Schenck received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and is a registered professional engineer in the state of New York. Currently, he is an active member of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY).