September 28, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Structural Engineers Wanted: How to Recruit, Hire, and Retain the Best

The challenge of recruiting and retaining top talent has emerged as a critical concern for organizations across the country. This panel discussion will delve into the multifaceted issues surrounding talent retention in the structural engineering (SE) market, with a particular focus on the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives. Our esteemed panelists, comprising experts from various sectors of the industry, will explore the current state of the SE market, highlight key findings from recent surveys, and provide insights into how firms can create a culture that attracts, supports, and retains their best engineers.  

Please note that this virtual event will be offered live only and will not be recorded. No PDH offered.


This event is FREE! It will be held on Zoom, so attendees must have a free Zoom account to be granted access.

Meet the Speakers

Russell Robinson, PE, LEED Green Associate

Structural Associate, Sargent & Lundy

Russell Robinson is a Structural Associate with Sargent & Lundy, who recently obtained his PE license. His experience is primarily in the industrials and power generation. His current work involves designing power generation and ancillary structures. He also completes site visits, inspections, and condition assessments. His previous experience was in the building industry, specifically light industrial. Russell was formerly a member of SEAOI throughout college for the IIT chapter and served as activities coordinator. 

Mary Gerut

Jacobs Engineering Group

Mary Gerut (pronounced “Garrett”) is a right of way/land acquisition specialist, transportation planner and project manager with Jacobs Engineering Group. She is experienced in utility and energy projects, infrastructure projects, transportation planning programs and her current passion is supporting land acquisition processes under Eminent Domain in a manner that supports both the private landowner and public agency acquiring the land. Mary celebrated 21 years with Jacobs this past May and currently manages supervisors that support more than 60 staff from varying engineering disciplines, including highway and transportation, civil, drainage, structures, rail, and intelligent transportation systems. She also supervises a Planning group who are comprised of data analysts, geographic information systems professionals, environmental planners, urban planners, and transportation planners. In her people leader role, Mary oversees staff training and career development, recruitment and onboarding, promotions and salary adjustments, all with a goal to provide challenging and flexible career opportunities for staff at Jacobs.

Christine Freisinger 

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates

Christine Freisinger is an Associate Principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in the Chicago office where she has worked as a structural engineer since 2004, primarily focusing on the investigation, evaluation, and repair of existing structures. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the IDFPR SE Board and a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction Task Committee 7 - Evaluation and Repair.

Brian Quinn, PE 

President - SE Solutions

Brian Quinn is President of SE Solutions which provides recruiting ( and continuing education ( for structural engineering companies. Previously he worked at the software company of "RAM" for 11+ years and prior to that as a design structural engineer in the Grand Rapids, MI area.


Eric Wheeler, S.E.

Thornton Tomasetti

Eric Wheeler, SE, is a Vice President with Thornton Tomasetti and a member of the firm’s Renewal practice in Chicago, IL. His projects include adaptive reuse, building renovations, due diligence, and building assessments. Mr. Wheeler's portfolio includes the Willis Tower Repositioning project that is currently underway; Navy Pier Family Pavilion and South Arcade Renovation; Navy Pier Pierscape; Saieh Hall for Economics; and the Physics Research Center at the University of Chicago. He is a licensed structural engineer in Illinois. In his free time, Mr. Wheeler enjoys traveling with his family, photography, and drawing.



Wendy Kim ( Energy )
Jeanne Penton ( Ciorba Group, Inc. )
Diane Calloway
Kamal Kannan ( Stantec )
Diane Calloway
Nannette Robinson
Brian Quinn ( SE Solutions, LLC )
Michael Haley ( Lin Engineering, Ltd. )
Mayren Mata ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Prakarsh Gurmule ( HBM Engineering Group, LLC )
Jan Blok ( The Structural Group, Ltd. )
Sullymar Diaz Hernandez ( SmithGroup )
Erik Pearson ( DCI Engineers )
Gaelyn Krauser ( DCI Engineers )
Daryl Fennell ( O'Donnell & Naccarato )
Matthew Perkins ( Stantec, Inc. )
Carol Drucker ( Drucker Zajdel Structural Engineers, Inc. )
Karryn Kimball ( Peterson Structural Engineers )
Soliman Khudeira ( CDOT - Engineering )
Alex Grummel ( Grummel Engineering )
Eric Pfau ( Grummel Engineering LLC )
Kristen Fuentes ( Pepper Construction )
Franklin Walters ( ADM Design Services )
Donald Hamlin ( Forefront Structural Engineers, Inc. )
Jennifer Traut-Todaro ( American Institute of Steel Construction )
Joshua Munson ( Clear Creek & Associates )
Robert Nicksic ( James F. Giannini & Associates )
Bryan Swanson ( Maurer-Stutz, Inc. )
Rachel Jackson ( Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. )
Zaida Morillo
Jovica Grbic ( Wight & Company )
Hershel Bhat ( ARCO/Murray )
Alison DeBourke ( O'Donnell & Naccarato )
Eduardo Prieto ( Exp Federal )
Beth Pedota ( American Institute of Steel Construction )
Gloria Frank ( Raths, Raths & Johnson )
Mila Hab
Milan Habib
Milan Habib
R. Daisie Bird ( Sargent & Lundy )
Syed Hussaini ( Accurate Group Inc. )
John Grendzinski ( Landmark Structures )
Andrew Weihert ( Sargent & Lundy, LLC )
Derek Boeldt ( Jacobs )
Lindsey Miller
Kennedy Miller
Jeff Hillenbrand ( Electronics Research, Inc. )
Hervé Sivuilu
Jennifer Sonnenberg ( TWM, Inc. )
Cathleen Jacinto ( FORSE Consulting, LLC )
Soliman Khudeira ( CDOT - Engineering )
Erin Powers ( Litania Sports Group )
Helen Torres ( Helen Torres & Associates, PLLC )
Lee Fritz ( Meyer Borgman Johnson )
Cait McKay ( Baxter & Woodman )
John Miller ( Nayyar & Nayyar, International, Inc. )
Jennifer Sonnenberg ( TWM, Inc. )
Matt Joost ( TWM, Inc. )
Will Kolbuk ( Sargent & Lundy )
Joseph Kluber ( Lindsay & Associates, Inc. )
Pete Sarich ( CDM Smith )
Jorge Medina ( Burns and McDonnell )
Soliman Khudeira ( CDOT - Engineering )
David Nickell ( TGRWA, LLC )
David Bilow ( HOH Group, Inc. )
Stephanie Hautzinger ( CannonDesign )
Anantha Chittur ( BASE )
Ryan Seavert ( Rice Companies )
Greg Charman ( PARADIGM Structural Engineers )
Charles Brunner ( Baxter & Woodman, Inc. )
Lindsey Brennand ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Jason Krohn
Thomas Frankie ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (Chicago) )
Andrew Conwell ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Colin Rueb ( Raths, Raths & Johnson, Inc. )
Stephen Schmitt ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Kevin Westervelt ( Mesa Associates )
Ashley Gregory ( Shive-Hattery )
Mike Wiscons ( Building Technology Consultants, Inc. )
Mark Bendok ( Alfred Benesch & Company )
Justin Heine ( Wolf Point Engineers )
Rae Sung Lee ( Cannon Design )
Clint Ferguson ( Gannett Fleming )
Haley Robinson
Jennifer Deem ( Forefront Structural Engineers, Inc. )
Yasmin Chaudhry ( American Institute of Steel Construction )
tina duran
Vincent Tabor ( Farnsworth Group )
Lanny Miller ( ASM Engineering )
Christopher Williams
Alberto Diaz Loza ( Universidad Panamericana )
Avonte Calloway
Tracy Naso ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Joanna Polzin
Elizabeth LaCrosse ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) )
Matthew Rosecrans ( Sargent & Lundy )
Leo Demiri ( HOH Group, Inc. )