Annual Report 2018/2019
ADJECTIVE 1: concerned with or necessary to the continuation of life // The heart and lungs are vital organs. 2: full of life and energy // At 80, heâ€™s still an active and vital man. 3: very important // a vital clue
ADJECTIVE 1: concerned with or necessary to the continuation of life // The heart and lungs are vital organs. 2: full of life and energy // At 80, heâ€™s still an active and vital man. 3: very important // a vital clue
NOUN 1: capacity to live and develop // the vitality of a seed 2: energy; vigor History and etymology for vital: Middle English, from Latin vitalis of life, from vita life; akin to Latin vivere to live (Source: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)
Executive Message 2 Introduction 4 Running While Reinventing 6 Placing Bets & Pushing Frontiers 8 Cultivating Diversity of Thoughts 14 Security Is Vital – To Our Clients & Our Business 16 Vitality at 70 20 Making the World a More Vital Place 24 Conclusion 28 Purpose & Values Awards 30 TTWiiN 32 Our Practices 33 Board of Directors & Officers 34 The 11 Factors of Vitality 35
How Do You Cultivate an Organization’s Vitality?
Tom (left) and Ray (above) discuss the vitality initiative at our Denver office during a 2018 office tour.
“We have always had the ambition to be an enduring organization. You need to keep your eye on what you’re doing today while continuing to look forward, so you don’t discover one day that you’re on the wrong side of history. We see vitality metrics as a way to quantify that we’re doing what we need to do to achieve our goal of being the global driver of change and innovation in our industry.”
– Tom Scarangello
“Using metrics to test and track our vitality is only part of the story. We see this proof of concept as having a broad impact if it can be harnessed by our industry as a whole. We see this work as a rising tide that can potentially lift all boats.”
– Ray Daddazio
n October of 2017, a Fortune magazine article about organizational vitality, by business-strategy expert Martin Reeves, caught our eye. Martin had spoken at our annual meeting a few months earlier about how biological thinking can help organizations live long, productive lives. His article built on this concept and introduced ideas about what makes an organization vital and how vitality – the capacity to explore new opportunities, renew strategy and grow sustainably – might be measured and cultivated. The Fortune Future 50 was developed using a methodology based on a study by Martin’s team at Boston Consulting Group, and listed organizations that best embodied the qualities of vitality in 2017. We flipped through the list and saw – no surprise! – not a single company from the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector. There were plenty of tech and tech-enabled companies: Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Salesforce, for example. In the magazine’s 2018 list, only Dassault Systèmes – a partner in our virtual human modeling work – was directly connected to our organization. We asked a question that often precedes innovation: “What’s up with that?”
Since being the global driver of change and innovation in our industry is Thornton Tomasetti’s long-term goal, we wondered: Could there be a vitality index for our industry? What would it look like? And if we had an index, what could our industry measure and manage to become more vital? Fast-forward to 2018, and the story not only has legs – it’s sprinting ahead. We persuaded Martin to use Thornton Tomasetti as a case study for the AEC industry, and to develop an industry-focused vitality index. We developed measures for vitality and “freshness,” the percentage of project revenue imputable to novel attributes. Then we established a series of metrics and introduced accounting and other quantitative processes to track all the things we do to make our organization – and our industry – more vital. This tracking includes the ROI on our R&D and key performance indicators that measure our progress toward achieving the goals defined in our firm’s envisioned future. We shared some of our findings with a small group of trusted partners, and now, in this report, we summarize the high points of our efforts to date. We hope this methodology helps reveal opportunities, sometimes hidden in plain sight, to ensure the success of our industry.
Tom Scarangello Chairman & CEO
Ray Daddazio President
Vitality Scorecard: The 11 Factors of Vitality For a quick rundown of the criteria used to predict vitality, and how our industry fared, look no further than the BCG vitality scorecard. The vitality scorecard summarizes the industryâ€™s performance in 11 areas considered essential to its future health. These fall into three broad categories: laying the groundwork for new ideas to flourish, identifying and generating new ideas, and maintaining a sufficient portfolio of bets. (See page 35 for details on the 11 factors.) When a firmâ€™s assessment results are added to the chart, it becomes a snapshot of how the companyâ€™s performance compares to that of the industry. And with our best- and least-performing factors identified, we can begin to make behavioral and organizational changes that enable us to monitor, evaluate and improve our corporate vitality.
But what exactly is vitality, and why is it desirable? How can we achieve, maintain and measure it? What are the best ways to balance current performance with future growth? How can we recognize new frontiers that are ripe for expansion? And how can firms remain vital as they grow older? This report draws on the expertise of industry professionals, thought leaders and our own experts to probe these and other questions. Join us as we examine what vitality means to our businesses, our communities, and the world around us.
Vitality Scorecard for the AEC Industry
Well-Balanced Portfolio of Bets
Flexible & Flat Organization
Lay ing th eG r
Suff icie nt Po rt
Constantly Renewed Pipeline of Bets
deas to Flour New I ish for rk wo nd ou
ets fB o lio fo
Relevant External Investments
In-House Developments & Investments
N ew I
Diversity of Thoughts
d ea s
Quality of Stage-Gate Mechanism to Develop Ideas
Pipeline of Captured Ideas
Industry comparison sets vary by factor, and may include a combination of U.S. listed companies in the AEC industry; BCG proprietary benchmarks; and Tetra Tech, AECOM, Hill International, Jacobs, Exponent, Gensler and Arup.
Running While Reinventing: How to Measure & Enhance Corporate Vitality By Martin Reeves, BCG Senior Partner & Director, Director of the BCG Henderson Institute
More than ever, AEC firms need to focus on being vital.
Are you optimizing current performance to finance the future?
round the world, business leaders speak a common language when assessing the health of their companies: traditional metrics, such as revenue growth, market share, profitability and financial returns, can be found in every boardroom. These yardsticks are undeniably useful, but they share a common limitation: all are backward-looking – measuring what has happened already.
Do you have the potential to grow over the next 5-10 years?
Can you do both at the same time?
Keeping It Fresh
It’s an old standby: you can’t manage what you don’t measure. As part of our quest to remain vital, we’re implementing metrics to help track our progress on the 11 factors shown on page 5. One tool we’ve developed is our Freshness Index. Each of our practices has identified several criteria that show how a project is contributing to vitality. Every project is assessed according to those criteria and assigned a freshness score ranging from 1 (least fresh) to 10 (freshest). “It’s very useful as a gut-check,” said Steve Hofmeister, leader of the Structural Engineering practice. “If a project scores on the low side, we can take a closer
The supremacy of retrospective metrics tends to promote a focus on optimizing today’s business model instead of thinking forward to tomorrow’s. But this bias is increasingly dangerous, because past performance no longer predicts future success. For example, in the mid-20th century, 77 percent of industry-leading companies were still on top five years later, but today that number has fallen to 44 percent. Today’s increasing pace of change – fueled in part by technologydriven disruption, often from players who may not be considered traditional competitors – demonstrates the need for companies to explicitly manage their fitness for the future.
look and see if any of our innovations – in methods, tools or approaches – can improve the process or outcome. That’s not just good for our business; it’s good for everyone involved.” The Freshness Index initiative was piloted in 2018 by the Protective Design and Security practice. One challenge, according to Practice Leader Matt Kmetz, is keeping the index itself fresh. “As innovative services or methods become more routine, we need to continually update our list. Evolving the metrics is indispensable to evolving our business.”
“To balance performance and vitality appropriately, companies must achieve ambidexterity, the ability to run the business and reinvent it at the same time.”
Unsurprisingly, the world’s most vital companies are often found in newer sectors, especially digital services and biotechnology. In contrast, companies in many mature sectors rank lower. This includes the AEC industry, which sits well below average on aggregate – reflecting the challenges these companies face in reinventing themselves for a more dynamic future.
Challenges, however, also present opportunities. Thornton Tomasetti’s management team identified the opportunity and took action to systematize the measurement and management of vitality throughout the company by doing such things as monitoring the freshness of its portfolio of offerings (see below, left). This metric enables the company to understand its innovation capabilities at a granular level, bringing to the forefront its capacity to develop new growth options. Thornton Tomasetti is also taking actions to improve its performance in other key areas of vitality, such as increasing the diversity of backgrounds among its employees and creating an environment that allows new ideas to be shared more easily. By adopting such metrics and initiatives, companies throughout the AEC industry can enhance their future readiness and vitality.
satisfy investors and finance the future. But the current business model can easily dominate resources, talent and strategy, especially for established, incumbent organizations. To balance performance and vitality appropriately, companies must achieve ambidexterity, the ability to run the business and reinvent it at the same time. This is not an easy task. It requires leaders to deftly apply different strategic approaches throughout the business simultaneously, and to think on multiple time horizons, balancing short-term considerations with long-term competitiveness. But in a period of increasing change and uncertainty – for the AEC industry and for all businesses – achieving ambidexterity is more important than ever.
Vitality is not the be-all and end-all for companies, of course. Strong performance in the core business is also necessary to
External Investments Drive Vitality: MFD Acquisition
Last May, we welcomed the staff of MFD – one of the most respected security consultancies in the U.K. – into the fold. The acquisition expanded the capabilities and reach of our U.S.-based security design and consulting team. Key expertise includes European hostile-vehicle mitigation, design of physical security and counterterrorist measures, electronic security and secure MEP design. MFD’s wide-ranging experience includes projects in Europe, Africa, Australia and the Middle East.
We provided blast and hostile-vehicle mitigation consulting to the project team working on the regeneration and development of the London Bridge area (right).
In the past year, the two groups have held several technical summits to share ideas and best practices – something that benefits clients on both sides of the pond.
Sborisov © 123RF.com
Business leaders have tended to believe that such a forward-looking view wasn’t feasible. To help fill that gap, BCG and Fortune magazine developed a framework to quantify corporate vitality – the capacity for future growth and reinvention. Our research found that vitality is predicated on several key factors, such as having an exploratory mindset to continuously develop new growth options; thinking differently about strategy; and building the right capabilities to execute the strategy, especially by investing in emerging technologies and maintaining a diverse, dynamic workforce.
– Martin Reeves
Thornton Tomasetti/Vakaris Renetskis
Placing Bets & Pushing Frontiers By Najib Abboud, Senior Principal & Applied Science Practice Leader
Najib has more than 25 years of experience in applied mechanics R&D, structural and computational engineering, and vulnerability assessments and mitigations.
hen Tom Scarangello and Ray Daddazio began advocating for corporate vitality, many of the 11 factors on the vitality scorecard (see page 5) were already familiar to people working in the Applied Science practice. The nature of our business has always required us to operate in certain ways that align with vitality indicators. We have a forward-looking strategy, a flexible and flat organization, and a basic business model that constantly renews a pipeline of bets. Because we work to solve unique or emerging problems, we interact differently with clients. Instead of asking clients, “What do you want? We’ll do that for you,” we ask, “What problems do you have? What are your pain points?” Then we put people with different educational and experiential backgrounds together to invent a new solution. We ask ourselves, “What’s our latest thinking? How should we dive into this?” We’re always looking forward to tackling new challenges or finding a better way to solve more conventional problems. This approach forces a flattening of the organization, because the questions have to be asked broadly. There is equal value and insight from an older teammate who can draw on a lot of experience, and a young person who has training in new methods and brings new thinking. A lot of what we do is solving problems clients bring to us. But in some cases, we look beyond our established markets and place
dramatic bets on problems we see on the horizon, or challenges that clients haven’t articulated yet. One example is our work in life sciences, which is helping to engineer personalized medicine. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are also emerging areas of interest (see page 10) that are a logical extension of the field of neural nets, which we’ve used in several Department of Defense applications over the past 15 years. We also see dramatic innovation coming in sectors we’ve served for decades, like the energy industry. We’re known for helping petrochemical and nuclear operators reduce and manage risk. But we’re also exploring issues related to the future of energy, which includes renewable sources, decarbonization, clean-energy fuels and energy-storage mechanisms. The demand for batteries has exploded with the takeoff of electric vehicles, for example. We are doing research to improve their risk profile. The bets we place – and win – don’t solely benefit our clients. Applied Science tends to operate in market sectors that are naturally inclined to technological innovation. But once new ideas are prototyped or proven, they are often adopted into industries that are historically more risk-averse. So a portion of our work feeds back into our other practices. And we don’t just have one practice innovating in its own cocoon; Thornton Tomasetti is building an entire ecosystem where ideas and technologies propagate across the whole firm, and out to all the industries we serve.
Reengineering Fire Design
This thermal-analysis model shows the results of a simulated fire scenario. Such modeling is central to the development of performance-based fire engineering (PBFE), an alternative to prescriptive, code-based fire-protection design. While the latter is member-based and assumes often overconservative fire scenarios, PBFE analyzes the overall behavior of the structural system under realistic fire conditions. Applying fire science to structural engineering, PBFE leads to rational, safe, cost-effective and resilient designs. In this image from our PBFE research (see page 23), red represents the highest temperature, blue the lowest.
Managing Risk & Balancing Bets in the Energy Sector
Last June, Thornton Tomasetti made another investment in the future by acquiring MMI Engineering, a technical consulting specialist helping clients manage risks related to man-made and natural hazards across the oil and gas, nuclear, renewable energy, utilities and infrastructure sectors. The move brought 60 people from a range of scientific and engineering backgrounds into our workforce and expanded our footprint with offices in Warrington, York, Bristol, Ballymena and Aberdeen in the U.K. and in Perth, Australia.
MMI Thornton Tomasetti
ÂŠ Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, USA
The availability of anatomical models is a key enabler for human-centric engineering. Such models from Synopsys, Inc., were created from clinical CT scan images. They offer our life sciences experts the ability to scale the level of detail to suit individual applications in personalized medicine and beyond.
Thermal and impact assessment of a nuclear transport container for International Atomic Energy Agency qualification.
Placing Bets & Pushing Frontiers
Human-Centric Engineering with Image-Based Modeling In February 2019, our own Mahesh Kailasam sat down with Kerim Genc of Synopsys to discuss the mutually beneficial relationship between the two firms. Their conversation, which has been condensed and edited for clarity, describes several tenets of vitality in action. Associate Principal Mahesh Kailasam (below, right) has more than 20 years of experience in the deployment of modeling and analysis techniques to engineer breakthrough solutions to demanding problems in the life-science, high-tech, energy and other industries. He heads Thornton Tomasetti’s life sciences group and leads the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Kerim Genc (below, left) is a business development manager for the Simpleware Group at Synopsys, Inc. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomechanics and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. Kerim joined Simpleware – a developer of software products for the conversion of 3D scan data into high-quality computer models used for engineering design and simulation – in 2011, launching its U.S. office. He joined Synopsys when it acquired Simpleware in 2016.
Mahesh: At Thornton Tomasetti, our long-term goal is to be the global leader of change and innovation in our industry. The firm has many internal projects underway to drive innovation, but in life sciences, we often work with external partners as well. This is a different way of innovating. We’re bringing together ideas, methods and tools from various parties. Our partnership with Synopsys is a great example of this. Kerim: Most people think of Synopsys as enabling the development of microchips. Our Simpleware Group makes tools that help with the modeling and simulation of very complex structures, which lends itself nicely to chip design. But our core expertise is going from 3D images to models. That has value to many industries, so within Synopsys, we’re treated almost like a small start-up. In life sciences, we can start from patient MRI or CT scans and create accurate anatomical representations. We can also create imagebased models of products that can be used for simulation, for 3D printing or for other decision-making purposes. Mahesh: Acting like a start-up inside a big company – that’s how we feel about life sciences at Thornton Tomasetti. We get to “borrow” the expertise available within the company and try unconventional things. We’re not limited by traditional lines between industries.
“Acting like a start-up inside a big company – that’s how we feel about life sciences at Thornton Tomasetti. We get to ‘borrow’ the expertise available within the company and try unconventional things.” – Mahesh Kailasam Neal Menschel
T2D2 Is the Droid You’re Looking For: AI Automates Material Failure Detection
How do you simplify the detection of material damage? You teach a computer to do it. We developed T2D2™ (the Thornton Tomasetti Damage Detector) to automatically detect visible damage – such as cracks, spalls, corrosion and more – in concrete, steel, masonry and timber structures. It uses recent advances in AI to detect damage by analyzing inspection images. It was trained on annotated datasets consisting of thousands of images taken during manual inspections. The program has a mobile app that can capture images and detect damage – along with detailed GPS locations – as
the inspector moves around a site. The T2D2 app can also be deployed as a web service to be used with drones (far right) for large-scale image capture or in reaching inaccessible spaces without scaffolding or other special equipment. The T2D2 project was led by Director of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Badri Hiriyur. “This technology expedites condition assessments. This saves clients time and money, which enables more frequent and thorough inspections. Detecting and treating damage early is almost always safer, faster and less expensive.” (For more on Badri’s work, see page 21.)
A comparison of as-designed and as-built spinal implants from 4WEB Medical. Synopsysâ€™ Simpleware plays a key role in enabling the simulation of parts produced by additive manufacturing to check that their behavior and function are consistent with original design goals.
Photograph of Manufactured Part
Model Re-Created from ÂľCT Scans Provided by Nikon Metrology
In the example at far left, the on-screen blue box indicates detection of a concrete crack, while the red box indicates a concrete spall. The app can also report percentages that measure its level of confidence (left). If it sees conditions that closely match the images it was trained on for that damage class, the AI algorithm reports a high confidence percentage.
Placing Bets & Pushing Frontiers
Kerim: Human-centric engineering involves the development of products by focusing on their interactions with the human body. Traditionally, the focus was on the product itself, and any assessment of interactions with actual anatomy was somewhat indirect or approximate. Now there’s a movement toward integrating accurate anatomical models into the design process – including a spectrum of variability that represents the real human population. This applies to wearable items like headphones, watches or shoes, as well as medical devices like pacemakers, hip implants, knee replacements or stents, where it can make a real difference in improved device function and outcomes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has traditionally required a battery of physical tests before approving a medical device or part. Now regulators are recognizing that simulation can reduce the amount of physical testing needed, and are developing guidelines to ensure that simulations are well validated and vetted. So on the regulatory side, there’s a lot of interest in higher-fidelity anatomical modeling and simulation. And with electronics and other consumer products, companies are recognizing that accurate anatomical simulations help reduce costs while making a better product. We provide the software tools to generate these models efficiently and quickly, and help deploy them into our customers’ workflows. Mahesh: In addition to software that allows you or your customers to create custom anatomical models, you also have a library of anatomical models that you license for other companies to use. How does that work?
Thinking Ahead High-fidelity human models can be used in a wide variety of human-centric engineering applications. Starting with a human head model from the Synopsys library (near right), we defined material properties that allowed us to simulate and analyze the effects of an impact on the brain (center right). Colors
Kerim: There are times when a company just needs an accurate human model to fit into their workflow. They don’t necessarily want to invest the time and money in new software and engineers to create individualized or population-targeted models. So we license a library of highly accurate generic models that a company like Thornton Tomasetti – which has huge expertise in the simulation area – can enrich by specifying the material properties of various tissues. You can make those models ready for simulations within various workflows that are relevant to your clients. So together, we can offer our common customers a more complete solution. Mahesh: Do your customers face other challenges? Imagine that somebody has access to your software. What would prevent them from using it as part of their day-to-day activities? Kerim: Expertise in Simpleware can be a challenge if the software is not used steadily in an engineer’s workflow. They might use it to generate a model, but then they’re off running simulations or doing other work for the next few months. Coming back to a software package after a long delay can be challenging. Because your team works with multiple clients, you’re using Simpleware regularly, steadily building and maintaining in-house expertise. So clients partnering with Thornton Tomasetti can avoid barriers to entry and save time and money. Mahesh: Interest in image-to-simulation workflows is increasing in many industries. How do you see this evolving?
indicate the distribution of pressure in the gray matter, with red denoting the highest pressure and blue the lowest. The simulation can also be visualized in virtual reality (VR) environments for improved collaboration and assessment of results. This head model can also be used to assess the comfort of headphones (far right). Because people come in all shapes and sizes, such anatomical models can be adjusted to assess a given product across a more realistic population of users.
Kerim: Most large companies have multimillion-dollar investments in CT scanners. They use their scan images, and models created from these images, to assess parts for quality control and failure analysis. Most also have separate groups that do simulations, but they don’t always communicate well. For example, the CT group will scan a product or a part and send it to the simulation group, but in a format the simulation group can’t easily use. Mahesh: I agree. One of the places where we’ve seen quite a bit of interest is in assessing differences between as-designed and as-manufactured parts. So now it’s possible to scan a manufactured item, create a model with Simpleware, and compare it to the original design. We simulate the behavior of the manufactured product and assess whether it will function as originally intended. If it doesn’t, engineers can make corrections to the manufacturing process or adjust the design so the final product meets all expectations. Kerim: Yes, and it doesn’t always have to go to simulation. We provide this type of analysis for post-failure assessments as well. You can really understand the parts better once they’ve been scanned and modeled. Mahesh: This potentially ties in to our Forensics practice, where we investigate failures of various kinds and work to identify and understand their root causes. I believe Simpleware’s technologies – especially the ability to compare two shapes or two products, even at internal regions – could be useful to other groups in our firm.
Some of your technologies have also been used for calibrating material properties, for example, with porous materials – rocks, and so on. We have services focused on the petrochemical sector. Could this be another area where we could innovate with your solutions? Kerim: One area within our software looks at effective material properties, things like homogenization. It’s still a small area for us, but I’m sure we can help with that because our ability to mesh complex structures can assist with homogenization, look at effective materials, and open the door for multiscale simulation. A big focus for us right now is additive manufacturing. There is massive uncertainty about the parts coming off some of these additive manufacturing machines. This industry also has huge financial investments in these machines, and there is a need to minimize the number of parts that are thrown away. So scanning those parts, really understanding what’s going right and what’s going wrong, then feeding that information back into the design loop can cut down on the iterations required to get good parts. Mahesh: We’re involved in 3D printing of structures, and are looking at other applications of additive manufacturing as well, so that’s another good fit for our partnership. Even though we began by talking about human-centric engineering, where interaction with the body is important, there are many other industries and applications where Simpleware – and our ability to help clients use it – can be quite valuable. Kerim: Definitely.
“We license a library of highly accurate generic models that a company like Thornton Tomasetti – which has huge expertise in the simulation area – can enrich by specifying the material properties of various tissues.” – Kerim Genc
© Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, USA
Cultivating Diversity of Thoughts
“We invest in diversity because it’s the right thing to do, but there is a clear business case for it too. If we want to be a leader in our industry, we need to embrace equity and diversity.”
edication to increasing diversity at Thornton Tomasetti isn’t new – our Corporate Responsibility initiative included it among eight primary goals back in 2012. So when we saw that “diversity of thoughts” is a key criterion for vitality, it reinforced our commitment. True diversity and inclusion aren’t simple. Because they can’t be achieved by making a few top-down policies, we’re tackling the issue from multiple directions. Several groups within the firm – (I+D)2, our Talent Team, Women@TT and our Senior Women’s Leadership Development Program – are working on a variety of initiatives, with the common goal of making Thornton Tomasetti better by building a high-performing, diverse workforce. Read on for an overview of efforts that are underway. Inclusion and Diversity, Innovation and Design: (I+D)2 The mission of our (I+D)2 effort is to build an inclusive environment where people are respected for who they are, and are free to thrive. In 2018, we hired Quinton Turner as our inclusion and diversity coordinator. Among his responsibilities is oversight of a diversity calendar on our social intranet. Entries, for such dates as World AIDS Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, are often supplemented by an employee blog post explaining an event’s significance to the writer or the community.
– Peggy Van Eepoel Senior Principal, Washington, D.C., Office Director & (I+D)2 Committee Member
In January, we expanded our parental leave benefit to include four additional weeks of paid leave for women who have just given birth. The updated policy also adds flexibility, allowing parents to take leave nonconsecutively during the first year. We also reaffirmed our commitment to compensating every individual equitably based on their responsibilities, experience and performance. This year we are implementing new inclusion and diversity goals that will enable us to measure and report on our progress in key areas. We’re continuing our I+D awareness program, which uses presentations, activities and discussions to educate employees on diversity-related topics. The success of our first program – on unconscious bias – paved the way for our second program, Intercultural Understanding and Collaboration. Its focus is on recognizing and embracing cultural differences among our staff, clients and offices. It aims to enhance each employee’s ability to communicate, interact and work productively with people from dissimilar backgrounds. In 2019, we will also be corporate sponsors for the World Pride March with the Queer Advocacy and Knowledge Exchange (QuAKE), an inclusive network for professionals in civil engineering, architecture, urban planning, geosciences and construction. Women@TT Mentoring Programs Women@TT is a group formed by women, for women. Since 2013, it has brought women together to provide support and enhance career development. Today, there are chapters in 17 offices, and women – and men – from across the firm can
Women@TT Holds a Mast-her-minds Retreat
In November, Women@TT hosted a mastermind retreat for women at the associate level – a pivotal career stage, when responsibilities change considerably. Seventeen women from our U.S. offices participated in the program, led by Vice Chairman Aine Brazil and Senior Principals Hi Sun Choi and Peggy Van Eepoel. Firm leaders are using insight from the mastermind gathering to guide our efforts to support and expand our pipeline of future female leaders and diversify our highest leadership levels.
Women from 10 offices gathered in a Denver Airbnb apartment for the one-day session. Being off-site created a retreat-like atmosphere, which encouraged candid sharing and honest feedback. While senior leaders provided advice, the participants gained insight into the value of supporting one another as their careers develop.
Thornton Tomasetti/Charles Jenkins
Women@TT organized special events in honor of International Women’s Day 2019. More than 20 offices participated in activities aimed at highlighting the contributions of women. All staff members were encouraged to wear white to show support for the day. Pictured here are employees in the Washington, D.C., office, where more than half the staff participated.
engage with Women@TT on our social intranet. The group’s mentoring programs help women in all positions move ahead in their careers and improve work-life balance. Program goals mirror those of the overall organization:
Long-Term Mentoring is a more traditional program, pairing people for six months, based on individual goals or shared interests. This program is open to all employees, women and men, from entry level to associates.
• Educate: provide opportunities for women to learn from one another’s experience and expertise
Senior Women’s Leadership Development Program Last September, we launched an additional program – sponsored by the firm’s executive committee and spearheaded by Senior Principal Hi Sun Choi – aimed at retaining experienced women, providing them with more opportunities to engage with upper management and preparing them for senior leadership responsibilities.
• Support: strengthen relationships and create outlets for women to seek advice and encouragement as they navigate their careers • Elevate: connect women across all experience levels to boost professional advancement and visibility
All women at senior-associate level and above were invited to participate, and 50 of them are now engaged in specialized career-development activities. The program includes mentoring, assessment of leadership capabilities, and exposure to key leadership skills and expectations. Participants work with senior staff for eight months to learn the art and practice of leadership, strengthen their business-development skills and create a personal development plan.
To make mentoring as accessible as possible, we offer a variety of programs: In the Coffee Breaks program, participants are matched up and commit to a single informal conversation. This framework strengthens connections between women at the firm and fosters a sense of solidarity. Group Micro-Mentoring places men and women in groups of five – drawn from different offices, roles and experience levels – that meet five times a year to discuss selected topics. In 2019, those include work-life integration; career development, learning and resources; creating an inclusive, diverse and engaged workplace; recruitment and retention; and business development.
“By promoting diversity and inclusion through several channels, we strive to improve employee satisfaction and retention, become more responsive to clients who value diversity, and attract a more diverse workforce and client base.”
Thornton Tomasetti/Jennifer Greenawalt
– Quinton Turner
Security Is Vital – To Our Clients & Our Business By Matt Kmetz, Senior Principal & Protective Design & Security Practice Leader
n just two years, Thornton Tomasetti has developed a strong international team of security design and consulting (SDC) professionals. We began by building a U.S.-based group (formerly known as OTSS, or operational and technical security services) before acquiring MFD, the premier security consultancy in the U.K. (see page 7). We believe that offering these services in-house makes our firm more vital. We added security design and consulting to our service offerings to solve a wider range of problems for our clients: SDC works in tandem with our well-known protective design services. Now we can develop and execute holistic security plans, instead of only designing blast hardening and perimeter protection plans recommended by others during a project’s early planning stages. This integrated approach delivers better results for our clients and enhances the level of protection we provide.
Everyone is concerned about security at some level. Clients who don’t need blast hardening may still require security cameras, access-control devices, or effective emergency evacuation plans. So we’re being entrepreneurial – and ambidextrous – with this move. And there’s another way that the SDC team is making Thornton Tomasetti stronger: it brings people of diverse backgrounds into our fold, such as ex-military, law-enforcement and intelligence specialists. Their training and experience are far removed from the building design, engineering and construction mindset that is prevalent in our culture. This broader perspective provides valuable ideas and insights for the entire organization.
But it’s also a forward-looking strategy for our business, because now we’re at the table for those early planning sessions, rather than coming on board after critical decisions have already been made or a design RFP is released. And while they’re there, our SDC providers can offer our client and the project team the perspectives and expertise of our other multidisciplinary services.
Matt has extensive experience in designing secure structures for private and U.S.-government clients at home and abroad. As a practice leader, he is charged with developing and implementing strategic plans that will increase the firm’s vitality.
Not Your Grandfather’s TVRA We’re working to redefine the effectiveness of TVRAs by combining detailed on-site assessments with new analysis tools. Escape and evacuation modeling enables our security experts to predict human responses to specific emergency incidents, such as fire, smoke, toxic products and other hazards.
Counter-concealed-shooter assessments evaluate facilities from a medium-tolong-range shooter’s perspective and use line-of-sight analysis tools to help our clients visualize their most vulnerable spaces. And a sophisticated proprietary analysis program quantifies loads from explosions to predict their impact on structures – and people. We’re also breathing new life into our deliverable. Instead of relying on dry reports with hard-to-understand matrices, our results are brought to life with virtual reality (VR). We develop realistic visualizations of proposed security
enhancements. Clients are able to see, and walk around in, before and after models, then work directly with our security experts to quickly realize the design they envision. VR is an engaging and powerful decision-making tool for our clients that can save time and money.
A screenshot from a demonstration of our VR tool. The 1:1 scale environment allows users to interact with security features such as turnstiles, doors and the front-desk monitoring station.
“Everyone is concerned about security at some level. Clients who don’t need blast hardening may still require security cameras, access-control devices or effective emergency evacuation plans.”
– Matt Kmetz
Evolving Expertise, Expanding Footprint: Security Design & Consulting Over the past year, we’ve hired subject-matter experts who have expanded the scope of services we offer. And with the addition of MFD’s stellar talent in the U.K., we can help clients in more places than ever before. Here’s an overview of how our SDC team can help your organization. How We Identify the Problem Threat, Vulnerability & Risk Assessment (TVRA) A TVRA is the foundation of all security work. It establishes the baseline threat profile and security posture for a client, site or location. Our experts in electronic, operational and physical security – including cybersecurity – provide clients with information that enables proactive protection of personnel, critical assets and infrastructure. We customize our process to provide clients with options that dovetail with their corporate culture and meet budgetary requirements. Security Systems Audits We evaluate existing security standards and procedures and deliver audit and compliance reports that provide an outside perspective on our client’s current security approach. Establishing a comprehensive understanding of a current system’s advantages and disadvantages removes bias and helps clients determine which products best meet their unique needs. Security Benchmarking Studies We review existing security measures and recommend enhancements to improve holistic risk management. Our
subject-matter experts review in-place security systems, staffing, operations and physical security arrangements to establish a client’s baseline. We then employ empirical methods to benchmark the program against similar client types – based on location, size (both square footage and tenancy) and other factors – to determine the changes needed. How We Solve the Problem Electronic Security Design We offer detailed recommendations, as well as complete security design from the ground up, with fully specified and integrated hardware, devices, software and sensors. We can also provide multiphase designs that allow clients to add layers to their security deployment over time, as budgets or appropriations allow. Performance-Based Security Design (PBSD) Our PBSD service delivers security-technology solutions tailored to each client’s objectives and risk-mitigation strategy. Offered as a stand-alone service or in tandem with a TVRA, PBSD uses realistic threat analysis to identify vulnerabilities. Our teams then deliver recommendations that focus on the unique combination of client priorities and the facility’s physical requirements. Detailed Security Design We provide our clients with all the specifics they need to implement a state-of-the-art security strategy. This includes types, locations, quantities and specifications for all equipment required by a client’s security plan (which is typically developed through a TVRA, our performance-based security design or a plan prepared by others).
IT Y RIS K
HOW WE IDENTIFY TH E P ROBLEM COLLABORATION
HOW WE SOLVE TH E PROBLEM SE
TVRAs, Security Systems Audits & Benchmarking Studies
• Staff Certification: ASDA, ASIS (CPP, PSP, PCI), RSES • Experience in Military, Law Enforcement & AEC Industry • Security Clearances • R&D • Escape & Evacuation • Proprietary Blast-Analysis Software • Security Risk Management • VR Security Planning & Visualization
Innovating in Escape & Evacuation Modeling
Physical Security Design
Electronic Security Design
• Applied Science • Construction Engineering • Façade Engineering • Forensics • Property Loss Consulting • Protective Design & Security • Renewal • Structural Engineering • Sustainability • Transportation
Operational Security Design
COMP REH ENSIVE LAYERED & INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS HOLISTIC
D I S C I PL I NA
APPROPRIATE & PROPORTIONAL
In 2001, the University of Greenwich Fire Safety Engineering Group launched the first version of buildingEXODUS, a software package that realistically simulates human behavior in evacuations related to fire and smoke hazards. Today, we’re working with their team to extend the capabilities of the program’s latest version to active-shooter scenarios.
For any given shooter location, this software can now calculate how long every occupant of a building is exposed to the line of fire and specify danger levels based on proximity to the shooter. Coupled with the pedestrian evacuation features of buildingEXODUS, this represents a powerful leap in our ability to analyze – and therefore mitigate – risk in crowded spaces, government buildings, campuses and more.
R E SOURCES
Our team members work closely with client IT and facilities personnel to develop a design that fits with existing networks and operations requirements. Our drawings come with comprehensive narratives that describe security-equipment specifications and recommendations for integration into existing infrastructure. Physical Security Design We offer detailed recommendations and comprehensive security design for physical security measures. Because these measures work in parallel with electronic and operational security systems, it’s essential that they be well integrated. When we provide all these services, that integration is built in from the beginning. We have extensive experience across the gamut of physical security systems, including: • • • • • • • • • •
Security Doors & Walls Door Ironmongery Security Containers Hostile-Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) Barriers Pedestrian Security Barriers Access-Control Physical Hardware Security Windows & Shutters Intelligent Fencing Systems Turnstiles & Tube-Locks Secure MEP Design
Our experts have no links to manufacturers, and have been involved in independent physical trials on new products. We also helped write the European standards for HVM measures. Operational Security Design Our operational security services focus on the critical human element of security. We provide advice on policies and training for a variety of scenarios. Operations Center Design & Performance We fully design integrated command and control centers that collect and retain data and metadata from sensors and devices. This creates a cohesive operating posture that gives our clients a complete picture of a facility through real-time monitoring of critical
infrastructure, assets and people. We define critical requirements for staffing, duties and procedures. We focus on predictive analysis in all types of security environments and emphasize a collaborative approach to incident response. Security Systems Owner Representation We provide insight and peace of mind at every stage of the security system life cycle, from design and installation through long-term operations. During design and implementation of security plans developed by others, we search for gaps and possible improvements. Our teams review implementation plans and progress, helping our clients get the full value of money spent on security. And our ongoing representation services keep our clients abreast of new technologies in a rapidly changing security environment. Security Training We teach best-practice techniques, tactics and procedures tailored to various environments, raising security awareness among client stakeholders and staff. Our courses include sessions on executive overseas travel and active-shooter response. Specialized Security Program Development Our experts in operational, technical and physical security offer advanced levels of program development for clients seeking abovestandard security policies, procedures and protocols to further manage risk. • Executive Protection Program Review We review threat profiles – of organizations and individual executives – using open sources to determine if a business-oriented security concern exists. We then evaluate any existing program and provide recommendations for enhancements. • Tiered Security Protocol Development We assess a client’s security posture for its suitability to the current threat environment, then recommend additional levels of detailed security measures that can be implemented should threat conditions escalate. Tiered security protocols enable our clients to react decisively to a changing threat environment.
Typical output from an escape and evacuation simulation, showing potential congestion at the bottom of a stairwell.
Vitality at 70 Vitality is the capacity to explore new opportunities, renew strategy and grow sustainably. Here are some examples of how we are enhancing the vitality of our firm and our industry as Thornton Tomasetti approaches its 70th anniversary. transferring their knowledge to a machine. We have a huge reservoir of knowledge in our firm. Through knowledge capture and transfer, we’re all enabled to quickly become as smart as the smartest people. Rachel Michelin Senior Associate
Elisabeth Malsch Senior Principal An area of innovation that interests me is the exploding diversity of field instrumentation and better ways to show and explain data. Lots of firms can instrument a building to measure the effect of adjacent construction, for example. But we’re combining and displaying data in new, clearer ways to get a deeper understanding of what is happening to the building in real time. We’re starting to perform façade inspections by lowering a camera from the roof or via drone – and processing the images through AI to find damage. Ultimately, we will be able to do much more detection – and even track problems – in real time. It opens up new capabilities for rapid inspection work.
We’re also exploring the use of automated image collection and recognition in the Renewal practice. We’re applying AI methods developed by CORE, our R&D program, to accelerate and automate crack detection in the field (see page 10). We could put a camera on a rover and drive it through a parking garage to map all the cracks to a digital plan, instead of having someone walk around with a camera and a notebook. We’re also testing ways to use drones and other means of vertical access to detect cracks or spalling on façades. Automating this process allows us to be more efficient and precise in our work.
Robert Otani Chief Technology Officer Machine learning and AI are the most exciting things we’re working on in CORE. We built a tool called Asterisk that can design a building structure to a concept level in under a minute. This would have taken a project team probably three weeks before. So Asterisk offers value and design at a level that just didn’t exist until now (see page 23).
What’s also exciting is that we have the opportunity to lead in AI, which is really just very smart people in the industry
Doing the Deep Math: Computational Fluid Dynamics for Design Optimization
Our team in Edinburgh, Scotland, used computational fluid dynamics during the early-stage design of a campus master plan to help the architects optimize building shape and layout for high-speed wind flow and to reduce wind pressure on the façades. We performed multiple iterations of the building design to provide the architects with flow patterns around the building and a local pressure map. With these, they were able to optimize the building geometry and the location of a berm.
On the buildings, red denotes high pressure and blue denotes low pressure. Colors of the streamlines denote wind speed, with blue indicating low, green medium, and red high.
Joelle Nelson Wall Street Office Practice Leader, Construction Engineering My focus is on making construction sites safer. I recently moved into construction engineering, after “growing up” in forensics, where I investigated several crane collapses and failures.
Liling Cao Vice President In our forensics work, we help attorneys, owners and contractors determine the cause and origin of design, construction or operational problems. Often, we have a huge collection of field data and documents to sift through, so we’re always trying new ways to improve and expedite that process. We have a series of R&D projects with our applied science colleagues and universities to reimagine data acquisition, analysis and delivery. On the acquisition side, we are collaborating with a team at the University of Alabama to develop nondestructive testing equipment and methodologies that can have higher resolution than conventional approaches and go beyond the limitations of existing devices (see page 22). On data analysis, we’re simulating the mechanical behavior of structures and creating high-fidelity models of that behavior under various scenarios. Additionally – and perhaps most important to our clients – we’re developing high-speed, high-fidelity 3D rendering capabilities to make technical concepts clear and compelling.
The crane industry has a particular approach to operating in urban environments. Some of their assumptions – such as how cranes behave in turbulent airflow – are problematic. But it’s the established norm in that industry, and there’s understandable resistance to change. But general contractors want safer sites. They realize that enhancing safety through more-thorough engineering is worth the up-front cost, because it’s so terrible for them when something goes wrong.
Badri Hiriyur Director of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Being innovative sometimes depends on knowing when to not stick too strictly to the project scope. We’re working with the U.S. Navy to develop some code, and our deliverable was just the code. For the longest time, the client team was testing it manually – a laborious process. We set up a continuous integration framework so tests could be done automatically for every major code change. Even though it wasn’t included in our contract, we delivered the framework anyway. After our client saw its incredible value, they invested in this framework and added it to our contracts. In the long run, when you go above and beyond, it comes back to you in client loyalty.
“What’s also exciting is that we have the opportunity to lead in AI, which is really just very smart people in the industry transferring their knowledge to a machine.”
– Elisabeth Malsch
Vitality at 70
Kristopher Dane Director of Digital Design Many firms offer some of the security solutions that we do, such as blast engineering, access control, incident response, security training and operational planning. What we do that’s different is to push all of this earlier in the design process, so security issues become performance criteria that are baked into a design, not painted on later. We may look at how building geometry – curved hallways, for example, instead of straight ones – affects the outcome of an active-shooter simulation. One reason we can do that and other security firms can’t is because we understand building design and the design process. We understand simulation, and we can make dynamic graphics that allow owners to quickly see the implications of various design options.
Nondestructive Testing for Targeted Building & Infrastructure Repair
Bill Edwards Vice President of Security Design & Consulting We’re working on several innovations in the delivery of our TVRAs (see page 16). We conduct TVRAs on all types of structures across all markets. Thanks to CORE and our Edinburgh office, we can walk clients through virtual-reality representations of their facilities so they can see what we’re recommending from a securitydesign perspective. We used virtual reality, escape and evacuation, and blast modeling tools during a project we performed for the City of Lakewood, Colorado, which focused on customized security design for areas of the city’s main business district. We designed security mitigation measures for schools, government facilities and tall buildings. We used our Revit models as the backbone for a VR presentation, which included bollards in vehicle crash simulations. This innovative change to the conventional TVRA deliverable is setting us apart in the security consulting market space.
How can we look deeper into concrete structures to find damage? We’re researching coupled induction coils for nondestructive testing. This FLEX simulation, which is used to calibrate experimental and field data, helps predict the intensity and distribution of the magnetic field for a given coil design. The goal is to locate and characterize subsurface damage as a basis for planning structural retrofits or repairs. The colors indicate magnetic field intensity. The red-to-yellow range shows positive values, while the blues denote negative values.
Alejandra Menchaca Senior Associate “Better and faster” is crucial in sustainability design. In the Sustainability practice, we’re developing interactive web-based tools that give our clients all the data they need to make design decisions. When they use these tools, it’s as if we’re sitting there next to our clients. As a result, decisions get made faster, and sustainability concepts get integrated into the design process from the start.
Peter George McDonald Senior Physicist
Ali Ashrafi Associate Principal
For me, the most exciting thing we’re working on is the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to solve problems related to building design (see page 20). Our modeling or simulation work doesn’t replace wind-tunnel testing, but it helps direct early-stage design. We’re starting to use it to speed up the design process, exploring more options faster – which can save money and result in a better design. We also got an R&D grant to fund more extensive validation and verification of our CFD methodologies.
I have worked on performance-based design in wind and seismic applications. The idea of performance-based fire engineering came up when we were working on The Shed in New York, and I immediately said, “Yes, let’s do this.” With a little seed money from CORE, we focused on learning everything we could – current technologies and techniques, markets, codes and regulations. We’ve undertaken a few projects and have joined a research effort, funded by the Charles Pankow Foundation and overseen by AISC, to establish exemplary performance-based fire designs that will be published for the benefit of the industry (see page 8). We’re creating new knowledge for the industry and establishing Thornton Tomasetti as a leader in the field.
Chuck Van Winckle Senior Associate The coolest project I’m working on has more to do with process innovation than technological innovation. We’re working on impressed-current cathodic protection (ICCP) for the Helmsley Building in New York City, to both monitor and arrest corrosion. The ICCP approach is fairly common in the U.K., but still relatively rare in the U.S., so we had to work closely with the Landmarks Preservation Commission in New York to get their approval. Once complete, the project will be one of the most prominent uses of ICCP in the United States.
“We’ve undertaken a few projects and have joined a research effort . . . to establish exemplary performance-based fire designs that will be published for the benefit of the industry.”
– Ali Ashrafi
How to Design a Structure in Under 60 Seconds CORE developed Asterisk, a web application that uses tailored AI algorithms to design a wireframe building structure to concept level in seconds, saving days or weeks compared to traditional methods. Asterisk enables a project team to test
multiple options earlier, and provides information on their potential impact on cost, function and schedule, so better design decisions can be made sooner. With the click of a button, a design option can be tested in steel or concrete, and the program can visualize the effect of subsequent design changes on structural elements, such as floor area, column sizing or spacing, and cost per square foot. Asterisk also tallies the embodied energy of every option, so sustainability implications can be understood before critical decisions are made.
Making the World a More Vital Place How are we benefiting the communities where we do business?
s a responsible corporate citizen, Thornton Tomasetti is committed to enriching the lives of clients, employees and communities through our business practices and charitable activities. We asked four of our leaders whose work directly impacts our firm’s ecosystem how they are collaborating to enhance the vitality of the world we share.
Tanya de Hoog Principal & Doing Good Business Initiative Leader Gunnar Hubbard Principal & Sustainability Practice Leader
Wayne: Let’s start off by defining the areas we’ll be discussing: resilience, sustainability, Doing Good Business and corporate altruism.
Amy J. Macdonald Global Head of Resilience
Amy: We define resilience as preparing, adapting, enduring and thriving in a disruptive and changing world.
Wayne Stocks Managing Principal (moderator)
Gunnar: Sustainability helps clients reduce their impact on the environment, improve their approach to health and wellness in buildings, and resolve issues related to climate change to create a better built environment.
“Corporate altruism is about ‘doing well by doing good,’ giving back to communities by donating time and resources to causes and endeavors that have a positive impact on people and their environments.”
– Wayne Stocks
Tanya: Doing Good Business is an initiative that aligns our core skills with social problems to come up with new solutions. Wayne: Corporate altruism is about “doing well by doing good,” giving back to communities by donating time and resources to causes and endeavors that have a positive impact on people and their environments. Through our TT Gives Back program, we offer paid time off for volunteer days, support the ACE Mentor Program and send teams of employees to participate in international service projects. Last year, the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation celebrated its 10-year anniversary (see below). Amy: The foundation supports organizations like Engineers Without Borders, Build Change, Bridges to Prosperity and GeoHazards International. Most of the nonprofits we work with bring technical AEC skills to remote underserved communities.
In its 10th year of service, the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation distributed scholarships, fellowships and grants worth $121,500 – pushing its total past the $1 million mark. The foundation has donated to more than 40 organizations to date. This year’s Thornton Tomasetti National Scholarship winners, Bowen Plogmann (University of Notre Dame), Sophie Sisson (Northwestern University) and Joanna Zou (Columbia University), each received $10,000 to pursue graduate
Courtesy Bridges to Prosperity
Thornton Tomasetti Foundation Celebrates 10 Years, Exceeds $1 Million in Donations
Local residents celebrate the completion of the Gonchu Mayu suspended footbridge in Bolivia, which was designed and constructed in association with Bridges to Prosperity.
(Clockwise from top) Tanya de Hoog, Wayne Stocks, Amy Macdonald and Gunnar Hubbard
studies in building engineering, design or technology. Student Innovation Fellowship winner Fei Ding (University of Notre Dame) received $5,000 to fund a project promoting innovation in structural engineering and applied mechanics. And Catherine Wolfe (The Cooper Union), our first-ever Technical Literacy Fellowship winner, received $5,000 for her work in clarifying engineering concepts for nonengineering audiences. Our gift of $23,500 to Build Change helped retrofit homes in Indonesia to better withstand natural disasters. We
gave $12,500 to support the work of four Bridges to Prosperity chapters – the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, University College London and Duke University – toward construction of the Gonchu Mayu and Misión Mayu suspended footbridges in Bolivia. Our $8,000 award to Hofstra University funded research into the rapid deployment of rope bridges.
We also donated $2,500 to Columbia University’s AISC Steel Bridge Competition and $10,000 to the Urban Assembly, which teaches underserved students the life skills necessary for college and career success.
A grant of $25,000 helped the Florida State and Florida A&M University chapters of Engineers Without Borders build a small schoolhouse in the remote community of La Cantun, Guatemala.
Curious? Learn more at www.ThorntonTomasettiFoundation.org.
The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Making the World a More Vital Place
“Part of our resilience approach is to help people understand their risks ahead of time, not just looking at what has occurred in their own area, but considering other regional risks and projected changes.” – Amy Macdonald
For example, Bridges to Prosperity helps build bridges that connect people to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.
Wayne: Give an example of a project in which your services have combined for the benefit of the community.
Tanya: In 2016, our London office teamed with Grimshaw to work on a bridge in Rwanda with Bridges to Prosperity. The project had a positive impact, but I felt if we had been able to apply our skills and do more than one bridge every few years, we could influence a lot more people’s lives. That’s where the idea of “doing good business” – developing our corporate altruism into a business strategy – came from.
Gunnar: One example that comes to mind is an affordable housing project we did for a nonprofit in Maine, where it’s really cold. We drove toward a passive house solution for people with not very much money. By spending money up-front on better architecture and a better envelope, we were able to right-size equipment and eliminate perimeter heating. That paid for better windows and insulation. The building is really tight, from a standpoint of passive survivability, which is part of resilience. It was one of the earliest multifamily passive house projects in New England, if not the country. It put us on the map, and that’s led to more projects.
Wayne: Last year, we completed our second bridge with Bridges to Prosperity. Through an open application process, we selected 10 volunteers from across the company, who joined forces for two weeks to construct a bridge in Panama. These projects allow staff to connect, give them leadership experience and create a sense of community. They form relationships in these countries. This July, we’ll have a team in Rwanda, building bridge number three.
Tanya: The organization recently celebrated its one-millionth bridge crossing. When you think about all the lives it’s changed and the lives it’s saved, it’s a powerful charity. Amy: The Thornton Tomasetti Foundation also works with Build Change, an organization that focuses on disaster risk reduction and resilience. They just completed a seismic retrofit – co-funded by the foundation and the New Zealand Agency for International Development – of a school in Indonesia. Build Change doesn’t just go into developing countries, do the work for them and leave. They teach local residents how to do it themselves, which results in scalable impact, so resilience enhancements can continue after Build Change leaves the area.
Coming Soon! A Meaningful & Purposeful Existence: Corporate Responsibility Report 2018 26
Tanya: That’s a perfect example of how sustainability, resilience and Doing Good Business fit into a project. I like that it targeted an underserved community. It often takes more work to get those projects and be paid for them, but the impact is greater than on people who can afford to pay more for heating and other necessities. Amy: Another example involving an underserved community is the work we’ve been doing after Hurricane Maria to create the new Keep Safe Puerto Rico housing resilience guidelines. They will keep people safer, not just from hurricanes, but from other natural hazards like landslides and earthquakes, and they consider future climatic conditions. This work ties in with Doing Good Business, resilience and altruism. We’ve been working with local partners and resilience experts from around the world to develop solutions that are locally applicable and build on the community’s long-standing knowledge and best practices to enhance resilence. Wayne: The cost of not being prepared for a hurricane is significant. The National Institute of Building Sciences found that every one dollar invested in disaster mitigation saves six dollars.*
Find out what we’re doing to make sure Thornton Tomasetti is a lifestyle-friendly workplace and accelerate inclusion and diversity. Learn how our engagement efforts are encouraging our people to volunteer, both locally and in communities around the globe. Discover programs and projects that are making the world a better place through sustainable design and resilience – and saving lives through advances in life sciences.
Our corporate responsibility goals are closely linked to the three areas of the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. We’ll report on our progress toward the three-year targets we established in 2015, and gauge our long-term progress in areas like industry leadership in embodied-carbon measurement and reduction of our carbon footprint. Our 2018 Corporate Responsibility report will be released in June 2019. Find it at GreenReport.ThorntonTomasetti.com.
Amy: One problem is that when people in one area learn from a disaster, that learning isn’t shared with others who could benefit from it. Because we work in locations around the world, we bring that knowledge together and distribute it again, remaining sensitive to local culture and building best practices.
Insurance markets and building codes tend to be reactive. They change after the devastation occurs. Part of our resilience approach is to help people understand their risks ahead of time, not just looking at what has occurred in their own area, but considering other regional risks and projected changes. This points to one of the vitality factors: forward-looking strategy. We employ a risk-informed but future-focused approach to resilience. Gunnar: Do we wait for building codes to change? If we know there’s a problem, even though the code hasn’t changed, what’s our obligation?
Tanya: Working in the built environment, we see some dramatic influences, like climate change and natural disasters, that we know are going to affect the way our buildings perform. We may be aware of improved practices that go beyond current codes, which might have a cost impact now but save money in the future. It’s our responsibility to help the client understand the cost benefit of those practices. Sustainability should be ingrained in our thinking on every project, but resilience is key, and so is security. Wayne: Thornton Tomasetti’s purpose is to embrace challenges to make lasting contributions. What has been your most notable lasting contribution?
Amy: When we’re brought in on a project, the reception can sometimes be chilly: “Resilience? We don’t need that – we have the building code.” But by the end of that project, the design team is prompting us for resilience measures. That’s fulfilling because it means they’ve learned from the process and have a new mindset they’ll take to the next project. Sharing the resilience mindset with a much wider audience is an important lasting contribution. Another is what we’re trying to achieve with resilience in general: to help our clients prepare, adapt, endure and thrive. We believe this sets our clients up for success, and this is a lasting contribution that we, as a company, can be proud of. Wayne: One of our lasting contributions has been to provide a welcoming and challenging environment for our employees. One thing I love about our industry is that it blends engineering and business. You get to do both almost as long as you want to, and it’s fun. I hope the people I connect with, in our organization and outside, look at me and think, “He’s been doing this for 30 years, and it looks like he still loves it. That’s crazy.” It’s a credit to our company, and to our industry, that we can remain passionate, and hopefully that passion rubs off on each other and our partners.
Tanya: What we do has a positive impact on people in our communities and society. If we do the best job we can in a moral and ethical way, we’re going to have a positive impact on the built environment and the vitality of communities. People are keen to get involved in humanitarian work, and if you pick a STEM profession, you get to help people. You can do it for your entire career. I think that’s the strongest impact, from a vitality perspective, that we can have on our communities.
* “National Institute of Building Sciences Issues New Report on the Value of Mitigation,” National Institute of Building Sciences, January 11, 2018.
“If you pick a STEM profession, you get to help people. You can do it for your entire career. I think that’s the strongest impact, from a vitality perspective, that we can have on our communities.”
– Tanya de Hoog
Thornton Tomasetti/Momo Sun
A vivid reminder of the 150 million tons of plastic that still litter Earth’s waters, Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale), in Belgium, was designed by StudioKCA. It is composed of five tons of plastic waste collected from the Pacific Ocean.
Cultivating Vitality Five years ago, the Harvard Business Review published a study* that ranked the construction industry as dead last in its rate of innovation. We took that as a challenge to build our firm into a driver of change and innovation in our industry. This report has highlighted a portion of that ongoing journey. As we progressed, we recognized the importance of nurturing and measuring our vitality. We hope that by sharing what we have learned so far, we will spark a wider conversation about how we can all contribute to the vitality of our organizations, our industry and beyond. *Darrell K. Rigby, â€œDigital-Physical Mashups,â€? Harvard Business Review, September 2014.
Pete DiMaggio and Mike Squarzini (fourth and fifth from left) discuss organizational vitality with a group of young professionals in our New York office.
Purpose & Values Awards Our employees, who work from more than 50 offices in 12 countries, nominated 78 of their colleagues for this year’s Purpose and Values Awards. The winners embody the guiding principles of our firm – and we’re pleased to celebrate them by sharing brief bios and excerpts from their nomination letters. Value: We challenge people to grow.
Value: We look beyond the obvious to solve the real problem.
Associate, Fort Lauderdale
Director of Learning, Austin
Financial Systems Supervisor, New York
Michelle has worked in the structural engineering practice since 2004, specializing in mid- to high-rise concrete building design for clients in South Florida, New York and internationally. With compassion and drive, she serves as a guiding light to our rising engineers in Florida and beyond.
Linda’s role as director of learning is about challenging people to grow. In all her work, she lends her perspective as she listens – and she listens carefully – asks the right questions, and challenges people in a nonconfrontational manner to think in fresh and productive ways.
Ben joined the firm in 2015, having just started at Weidlinger when it and Thornton Tomasetti merged. With exemplary energy and collaboration, he administers the technology that is at the center of our project and financial management, which affects nearly all our financial transactions.
“Michelle takes the time to get to know the young staff members, and helps them find a path to achieving their ambitions. After gaining proficiency in post-tensioned (PT) concrete design, I wanted to increase my expertise in additional areas. Michelle set up a two-week lunchtime workshop where I shared my PT knowledge with colleagues, and they helped me build other skills. She started the Women@TT group in the Fort Lauderdale office and initiated monthly office-wide project-management meetings for the Florida offices. I don’t attend these meetings, but I have definitely felt a difference.”
“Linda never comes across as, ‘I’m the expert, and you should listen,’ but as someone who listens, asks questions and helps us put into words the concepts that we sometimes know instinctively but cannot explain. I think anyone who has worked with Linda will see that her passion for personal and professional growth is woven into everything she does.”
“Ben really blossomed to get where he is now. I’m sure much of his learning did not happen on company time. He understands the constraints of our available resources and seeks optimal solutions that work. In this situation, many people would ventilate and complain about barriers – but I never hear that from Ben. He has a positive can-do attitude and never backs away from a challenge, even when his plate is already full.”
Value: We see opportunity where others focus on risk.
Value: We are passionate about what we do.
Purpose: We embrace challenges to make a lasting contribution.
Associate Principal, Los Angeles
Senior Engineer, Washington, D.C.
Senior Principal, Kansas City
Ross leads our Protective Design and Security practice on the U.S. West Coast, applying his wide-ranging experience in physical security design for public and private facilities around the world.
In addition to carrying a full load of structural design projects, Jen has been a prime mover in Women@TT, organizing discussion groups, roundtables and mentoring programs (see page 14), overseeing a grant program and leading our effort with Bridges to Prosperity to build a pedestrian bridge in Panama.
With his exemplary care, candor and creativity, Robert has led our Kansas City office to become one of the most successful in the firm. Following his philosophy to “always say yes to opportunities,” he also served on the firm’s earthquake-response team in New Zealand in 2011.
“Time and again, I have seen that when an opportunity is put in front of Ross, he focuses first on all the things that could go right. He’s not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, though. He also makes plans to handle the challenges and mitigate the risk. He is never incapacitated by the challenges.”
“Jen is the leader of the Women@TT employee resource group, where she was instrumental in developing goals, discussions, meetings and events, as well as collaborating with successful women throughout the AEC industry. She cares deeply for her fellow employees, remembering even the smallest details, and is always eager to converse. For Jen, it’s not a show or a PR grab – it’s a deep and abiding commitment and passion.”
“When I asked Robert to be the first senior leader to contribute to our video series on lessons learned, which often means sharing difficult stories of mistakes and missteps, Robert had no hesitation about jumping in so others could learn from his experience. His well-received video has been viewed in many offices, and started a cultural shift at our firm – when the very best of our staff can admit to mistakes, it allows all of us to do so and to understand that we are a collection of collaborative, supportive engineers who will quickly engage and solve the problem.”
Many deserving colleagues were nominated by their peers from across the organization: Cheri Allcot Ryan Anderson Mike Bauer Shaun Butcher Tom Byrne Tony Byrne Liling Cao Larry Castaneda Mark Chiu Jeff Cipolla Gavin Colliar Matt Cummins Kris Dane
Geoff Dauksas Antonio De Luca Mark Dewey Paul Dineen Gwen Dowdy Bill Dwyer Lee Earl Alejandro Fernandez Pierre Ghisbain Ostap Gladoun Jenna Halpern Adam Hapij
Andrew Hartmann Amy Hattan Angela Heinze Steve Hofmeister Onur Ihtiyar Rose Ilardi Kevin Jackson Peter Johnson Karen Jones Alex Kelly Shawn Leary Serena Li Gijs Libourel
Brad Malmsten Claudia Mazzocchetti Zoe McBride Peter McDonald Nathan McGraw Jose Medero Chris Minerva Mike Oakland David Ojala John Peronto Mike Pulaski Jason Reither
Mike Roberts Reza Salari Lorenzo Sanjuan Catherine Sanso Tyler Schmidt Curtis Scott Suzanne Shaw Brian Shen Carolina Simoes Lynn Simon Sarina Singh Euan Stoddart Joanne Tarleton
JJ Tobolski Zach Treece Billy Tse Heather Walters Margaret Wang Chris Wenderoth Eric Wheeler Sophie (Mei) Xue Sherry Yin
n 2016, shortly after the merger of Thornton Tomasetti and Weidlinger Associates, we established TTWiiN, an independent company devoted to accelerating the development of each firm’s intellectual properties – and those incubated through our CORE R&D program. 2018 was an exciting year for TTWiiN, due to the conclusion of a Series A investment in OnScale and the strategic sale of a portion of Hummingbird Kinetics. In addition to the four companies already in TTWiiN, CORE is developing a number of other products, some of which will offer commercialization opportunities through TTWiiN. TTWiiN Investment Partners, a TTWiiN sister company with investments in Building Ventures (buildingventures.com) and MetaProp NYC (MetaProp.org), added an investment in Shadow Ventures (Shadow. vc), which is focused on earlier-stage AEC technology firms.
In December, we closed our Series A financing with Intel Capital and Gradient Ventures (Google’s early-stage AI investment arm), adding growth capital to further address and capture the expanding 5G market. New OnScale board member and highly regarded Silicon Valley investor Gaurav Manglik said, “I’m delighted to be a part of this industry-changing company as we continue to penetrate new mega-markets.” Silicon Valley venture veteran Arun Chetty of Intel Capital has also joined the board, along with Zach Bratun-Glennon from Gradient, rounding out a world-class board of directors. OnScale is a cloud-based software-as-a-service application that enables researchers to perform accurate computer-aided-engineering simulations in drastically reduced time frames, limiting the need for physical prototypes and accelerating product design cycles. OnScale offers a variety of subscription pricing options. OnScale.com
PUMPKIN Mounts We continue to explore various manufacturing and distribution partnerships to find the most beneficial licensing arrangement for our shock-and-vibration mount technology. PUMPKIN Mounts provide protection for critical systems and structures in the military and security, civil and industrial, and transportation sectors. PUMPKINMounts.com
Konstru supports the most widely used design and analysis applications.
Thornton Tomasetti/Elizabeth Swinton
Konstru Our cloud-based automation platform enables the viewing, editing, synchronization and sharing of models among a variety of BIM and structural analysis programs. The Konstru platform continues to expand across Thornton Tomasetti’s user base, driving cost and time savings and becoming more robust. Our base of external users – both individual licensees and enterprise clients – also continues to grow. Konstru.com
OnScale accelerates R&D and reduces costs.
Thornton Tomasetti/Pierre Ghisbain
PUMPKIN Mounts provide improved shock and vibration absorption.
Hummingbird technology is an innovative alternative to conventional TMDs.
Hummingbird Kinetics In April 2018, we closed the sale of 50 percent of our ownership to strategic investment partner RWDI, the premier firm for wind-damping solutions worldwide. “With the space and cost savings we offer for reducing sway in tall buildings and other structures,” said Jamieson Robinson, Hummingbird’s new CEO, “our innovative tuned-liquid damping technology has the potential to capture a significant share of this growing market.” Hummingbird technology is more economical, easier to install, and more effective than conventional tuned mass dampers (TMDs), and it can be distributed throughout a building, rather than being installed in a single location. HummingbirdKinetics.com
“2018 was a very productive year for TTWiiN, advancing the commercialization of several of our products and incubating next-gen candidates in CORE – all in pursuit of our goal of being the global driver of change and innovation in our industry.” – Tom Scarangello, Thornton Tomasetti Chairman & CEO
Protective Design & Security
We undertake research, development and design to engineer practical solutions that manage risks to life across a diverse range of military and civilian applications. We analyze and model everything from buildings, infrastructure and industrial facilities to vehicles, biomedical devices and novel engineered materials. We leverage a unique combination of technologies and expertise to solve complex problems. Military, government, corporate and academic clients value the validation of our software and the critical insights gained from correlating analysis with testing.
We help architects, owners, developers and public agencies achieve security objectives while upholding each project’s aesthetic, functional and budgetary goals. A recognized leader in security services, we collaborate with clients and project teams to develop physical, electronic and operational security solutions for facilities of every type, use and size.
Construction Engineering We help developers, contractors, designers, fabricators and erectors move projects efficiently and effectively from initial concept to final completion through early involvement in the design process. With backgrounds in structural design, construction management, procurement and construction engineering, our specialists have the expertise to fully integrate design and construction teams to maximize constructability. Façade Engineering We provide comprehensive façade consulting services to architects, building owners and developers. Our suite of specialty analyses solves complex design challenges, improves constructability, maximizes energy efficiency and increases security. From material research and specialty analyses through detailed design, engineering and construction support to glass and façade failure investigations, our expert staff helps clients realize ambitious architectural visions. Forensics We investigate engineering problems and provide evidence-based solutions founded on rigorous science and physics. We assist attorneys, property managers, building owners, contractors, manufacturers and design professionals with a wide range of engineering and architectural issues. Our multidisciplinary professionals help clients mitigate engineering issues of all kinds and work to prevent future problems. Decades of experience enable us to quickly generate hypotheses and evaluate them based on physical evidence, interviews and operational data.
Renewal We provide owners and managers with solutions to a wide range of structural, building systems and envelope issues in existing buildings of every use, age and construction type. Our multidisciplinary design and assessment services meet a wide range of needs. We perform condition assessments, investigations, feasibility studies and peer reviews. We also design repairs, renovations and alterations and oversee their execution in the field. Structural Engineering We collaborate with architects, owners and builders to design elegant solutions for projects of all types, sizes and levels of complexity. From advanced structural analysis and optimization to performance-based design, and acoustics and vibration consulting, our engineers focus on meeting – and exceeding – client needs. Sustainability Sustainability is essential to the way we design, build and operate our buildings. We collaborate with owners, architects and contractors to create high-performance, low-energy buildings that are comfortable and healthy at every stage of their life cycles. With more than 25 years in the green building industry, we continue to expand the boundaries of sustainable design. Transportation We offer multidisciplinary engineering expertise – in structural, civil and geotechnical engineering – for new and existing bridges and other transportation infrastructure. Our broad expertise provides clients with creative solutions for a variety of transportation structures.
Property Loss Consulting Our architects, structural engineers and MEP experts provide investigation and analysis services to insurance clients worldwide on cases large and small, across a wide range of market sectors. Our work spans the spectrum of pre- and post-loss risks, and damage and claims arising from natural or man-made perils.
Board of Directors & Officers
Board of Directors
Thomas Z. Scarangello, P.E. Chairman & CEO
Applied Science Najib Abboud, Ph.D., P.E. Senior Principal
East U.S. Tod Rittenhouse, P.E. Managing Principal
Jim Dray Chief Information Officer
Construction Engineering Darren R. Hartman, P.E. Senior Principal
Mid-Atlantic, South U.S. Mark J. Tamaro, P.E., LEED AP Managing Principal
Faรงade Engineering Sergio De Gaetano Dott. Ing., CEng Senior Principal
Midwest U.S. Faz Ehsan, Ph.D., P.E. Managing Principal
Raymond Daddazio, P.E. President Aine M. Brazil, P.E. Vice Chairman Dennis C. K. Poon, P.E. Vice Chairman Joseph G. Burns, S.E., FAIA Managing Principal Peter DiMaggio, P.E., SECB Managing Director Bruce Gibbons, S.E., CEng Managing Principal W. Steven Hofmeister, P.E., S.E. Managing Principal Grant McCullagh GIBSCorp, LLC Gary F. Panariello, Ph.D., S.E. Managing Director Tod Rittenhouse, P.E. Managing Principal Michael J. Squarzini, P.E. Managing Principal R. Wayne Stocks, P.E. Managing Principal Yi Zhu Managing Principal Founding Principals Charles H. Thornton Ph.D., P.E., NAE, Hon. AIA Richard L. Tomasetti P.E., NAE, Hon. AIA Matthys P. Levy P.E., CEng, NAE, Hon. AIA
Forensics John Abruzzo, P.E. Managing Principal Property Loss Consulting Bruce K. Arita, AIA Senior Vice President Protective Design & Security Matthew Kmetz, P.E. Senior Principal Renewal Gary P. Mancini, P.E. Managing Principal Structural Engineering W. Steven Hofmeister, P.E., S.E. Managing Principal Sustainability Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA LEED Fellow Principal Transportation Samuel Summerville, P.E. Senior Principal
West U.S. Bruce Gibbons, S.E., CEng Managing Principal Pacific Rim Yi Zhu Managing Principal Europe Phillip Thompson, CPhys, MInstP Principal
Andrew Goldbaum, CPA Chief Operating Officer Amy Hattan, LEED GA Vice President of Corporate Responsibility Robert L. Honig, Esq. General Counsel Jim Kent Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Robert Otani, P.E. Chief Technology Officer Carol Post, P.E., S.E. Chief Quality Assurance Officer Dan Stauthamer Chief Human Resources Officer Rimma Zaleznik, MBA, CPA, PMP Chief Financial Officer
The 11 factors of vitality provide a framework for evaluating organizations and industries (see page 5).
Laying the Groundwork for New Ideas to Flourish 1. Forward-Looking Strategy Do we have a precise long-term strategy that is clearly and understandably communicated, both inside and outside the company? 2.
Flexible & Flat Organization Is our organization flexible and efficient enough to quickly adapt to changing business environments and promote fast decision-making?
Entrepreneurial Culture Do we have the ability to self-disrupt, before being disrupted, by fostering idea generation and innovation in our culture?
Thought Leadership Do we actively shape and influence our business environment with best practices and leading-edge innovations?
Diversity of Thoughts Do we have a diverse talent pool in place to catalyze innovation in an environment that embraces inclusion and diversity?
Identifying & Generating New Ideas 6.
Pipeline of Captured Ideas Do we have a solid volume of captured ideas to continuously renew our portfolio of bets?
Quality of Stage-Gate Mechanism to Develop Ideas Generating, collecting and funding ideas to maximize the likelihood of realizing the valuable ones is critical. Is there a clear, simple and rigorous process in place to generate, collect and fund them?
In-House Developments & Investments Do we make appropriate investments in support of organic growth, including a relevant and fresh portfolio of patents?
Relevant External Investments Are we able to identify and acquire relevant businesses and knowledge to continuously feed our pipeline of future growth options?
Maintaining a Sufficient Portfolio of Bets 10. Constantly Renewed Pipeline of Bets Do we have a sufficient pipeline of fresh bets to allow for a growth record above industry averages? 11. Well-Balanced Portfolio of Bets Is our portfolio of bets balanced, in terms of maturity and practice application, to secure future growth?
All photos without adjacent credit are by Bess Adler, Thornton Tomasetti. All models or renderings without adjacent credit are ÂŠ Thornton Tomasetti. Design by Barber Graphic Design
We use engineering principles to solve the worldâ€™s challenges â€“ starting with yours. From practical tasks to creative asks, we have your solution. We are a team of problem-solvers who understand that collaboration leads to better results. When faced with any challenge, we look at the big picture and work to nail the details while fulfilling your broader goals. Serving clients from 50+ offices worldwide.
Vitality – the capacity for an organization to explore new opportunities, renew strategy and grow sustainably – is critical to the future su...
Published on May 2, 2019
Vitality – the capacity for an organization to explore new opportunities, renew strategy and grow sustainably – is critical to the future su...