Rob Banas

President
Leach Wallace Associates

Rob Banas is a 1985 graduate of the Penn State Architectural Engineering program in the Environmental (Lighting/Electrical) option. Mr. Banas’ career started as an electrical design engineer at Mueller Associates in Baltimore, Maryland. After five years, he left to join a newly formed mechanical/electrical consulting firm, Leach Wallace Associates, as a project manager in 1990. He has been with Leach Wallace for over 28 years, working his way up the ladder from project manager to associate, vice president, and his current position as the President and a primary owner of the firm. The main office is near Columbia, Maryland, with branch offices in York, Pennsylvania and Charlotte, North Carolina and a total staff of 130. The firm has been ranked in the top 100 MEP firms by Consulting Specifying Engineer magazine for the past three years and is an ENR Top 500 design firm nationally.  Leach Wallace Associates is recognized as a leader in healthcare engineering design.

Mr. Banas received his professional engineer’s registration in 1985 and is currently registered in five states. Throughout his career, he has been heavily involved in various professional societies including the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE). He served as president of the Maryland Chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society and also president of the Baltimore Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and currently sits on the board for IEEE.    

Mr. Banas is originally from Pittsburgh and currently lives in Woodbine, Maryland with his wife of 28 years and two children. He has been maintaining his connection with Penn State and specifically the AE department via career fairs (back to 1988), supporting the Student Society of Architectural Engineers, and attending many football games along the way.

Brianna Basile, Class of 2018 B.A.E./M.A.E.

HGA Architects and Engineers

Brianna Basile graduated with an Integrated Bachelor and Master of Architectural Engineering (Mechanical Option) from the Penn State in 2018. Throughout her time at Penn State, Brianna interned with Ott Consulting Inc, H.F. Lenz Company, and HGA Architects and Engineers. Upon graduating, she returned to HGA Architects and Engineers in Minneapolis, Minnesota to work full time in the mechanical department, with the goal of achieving her Professional Engineering License.

During her time at Penn State, Brianna was very involved in both the Student Society of Architectural Engineers and the Penn State Student Branch of ASHRAE. She enjoyed serving as officers in both clubs and collaborating with both alumni and students to bring the Penn State Architectural Engineering Community together.

Brianna looks forward to continuing working with the architectural engineering community to facilitate connections with students, alumni, and industry members. 

Angela Cotie

Jonathan Dougherty, Class of 1999 B.A.E., 2006 Ph.D.

Director – Corporate Knowledge
James G. Davis Construction Corporation

Dr. Jonathan U. Dougherty is the Director - Corporate Knowledge for James G. Davis Construction Corporation, Rockville, MD. In this role, he leads the corporate education and knowledge management initiatives. An award-winning teacher, Jonathan served as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Building Construction at Virginia Tech and is an invited guest lecturer at several universities. 

Jonathan received his Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Penn State. He continued his academic career at Penn State and earned his Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering. Prior to joining DAVIS, he taught for six years in the Penn State AE Department.

He is a champion of students and lifelong learning, as evidenced by his service to various universities and the AEC industry. As an alumni leader, he is an active member of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus Advisory Board, a Board Member for the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society, and founding Board Member and current President of the Penn State Alumni Society of Architectural Engineers. An advocate of students, Dr. Dougherty serves as chair of the Student-Focused Environment Committee, is a practitioner juror for Penn State’s AE Senior Thesis, and mentors fourth-year engineering students. His industry service includes being a Trustee for the Laborer’s Joint Training Fund of Washington, D.C., serving on the Montgomery College Construction Industry Advisory Committee, and serving on the Membership and Student Competition Committees for the Architectural Engineering Institute.

In 2013, Jonathan was named to Engineering News-Record’s Top 20 Under 40 in the Mid-Atlantic and served as the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Commencement Speaker.  He has been honored with the PSEAS Distinguished Service Award, Hayfield Award for Excellence in Service to Campus (Penn State Wilkes-Barre), and Penn State Architectural Engineering Centennial Fellow.  In 2014, Jonathan received that Penn State Alumni Association’s Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year Award. 

Jennifer Harrington, PE, LC, LEED AP; Class of 2002 B.A.E.

Director of Lighting Design
Barton Associates

Jennifer graduated with a BAE (Electrical + Lighting) from Penn State University in 2002. Shortly after graduation, she began her professional career at Clark Nexsen in Virginia Beach, VA. While at the firm, Jennifer had the opportunity to design lighting and controls for a multitude of large commercial, international, and government projects including the Virginia Beach Convention Center.  She was very active in the Hampton Roads IES serving on the Board of Directors as a Member Retention Chair from 2003 to 2006. She also kept busy teaching IES introductory lighting courses to other professionals in the Hampton Roads area. In 2005, Jennifer was asked to join the Board of Managers for the STEM Pioneer Project of the Women’s Center at Tidewater Community College which provides mentorship opportunities for female students aspiring to be engineers.

Although she greatly enjoyed her time in Virginia, Jennifer decided to return to Pennsylvania in early 2006 to be closer to her family. She began working at Burt Hill (now known as Stantec) in Butler, PA. While there, she was responsible for the lighting and controls design of various hospitals, one of which was located in Dubai UAE. Then in September of 2006, Jennifer decided to return to the place of her Alma Mater and joined Reese Engineering located in State College, PA.  After joining the firm, Jennifer was promoted to Director of Lighting Design while expanding her field of experience to include senior living, higher education, hospitality, and high-end residential projects. She also had the honor of presenting lighting-related topics at multiple national and state level senior living conferences. In March of 2016, Jennifer opened a new chapter in her career when she accepted the position of Director of Lighting Design at Barton Associates.   Barton Associates is the largest independent MEP consulting firm headquartered in Central PA.  In her new position, Jennifer is responsible for overseeing the development and production of architectural lighting design for all of Barton’s locations and markets.  As always, Jennifer continues to share her passion for creating highly functional, environmentally-conscious lighting solutions to meet her clients’ needs.

William R. Long, PE, LEED AP, FSMPS

Principal and Vice President
Canuso Jorden 

William R. Long is a Principal and Vice President with Canuso Jorden, a general contracting/construction management firm based in suburban Philadelphia.  In his role at Canuso Jorden, Bill is a member of the company’s senior management team and has multiple responsibilities including serving as a Project Executive and Account Manager for select clients, being responsible for the oversight of company-wide business development and marketing, and maintaining multiple firm-wide general management responsibilities.  

A registered Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional with over thirty years of experience in the construction industry, Bill possesses an MBA degree from Villanova University in addition to his Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree from Penn State. 

An active member of the building design and construction community, Bill has been quoted or profiled in Engineering News-Record, Building Design + Construction, Principals Report, The ZweigLetter, Professional Services Management Journal, Mid-Atlantic Construction, A/E Marketing Journal, New York Construction, and MarketingNow.  He has presented at local, regional, and national functions for AIA, AGC, ASLA, CMAA, CSI, ISPE, SMPS, PSMJ Resources, the Construction Marketing Research Council, and the Society for Design Administration. Bill has also been a guest lecturer at Penn State University, Virginia Tech, and Drexel University.   

Bill has authored numerous articles and columns for various building industry publications including A/E Rainmaker, The Marketer, Principals Report, and New York Construction.  He is a Fellow in the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and is a Past-President of the SMPS Foundation Board of Trustees. Bill is also a member of the Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia and a member of the Board of Directors for the Designing Futures Foundation, which promotes the brand and supports the financial future of Philadelphia’s Charter High School for Architecture + Design.  

Patrick Murphy, PE, LEED AP BD+C, CPHC, Class of 2007 B.A.E./M.A.E.

Director of Sustainable Design
Vanderweil Engineers

As Director of Sustainable Design for Vanderweil Engineers, Patrick is leveraging his passion and experience in sustainable, integrated, and innovative building design to inform design decisions through rigorous energy and water analysis. Patrick’s background as a Penn State architectural engineer with a focus on sustainable MEP systems informs his multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to building design. 

Patrick joined Vanderweil Engineers as a mechanical engineer shortly after his graduation from Penn State, was promoted to a team leader for the mechanical engineers in Vanderweil’s Alexandria office, and became a project manager for healthcare, academic, high-rise commercial, high-rise residential, and government projects. As a project manager, Patrick profitably managed nearly $2 million dollars in revenue annually for Vanderweil, with deep involvement, understanding, and leadership in the coordination of MEP/FP/IT and security system designs for numerous market sectors and project types and sizes. Patrick’s dedication and success at Vanderweil has earned him the promotion to associate in early 2015, and to his current position in 2017.

Through effective mentorship, Patrick saw professional opportunities flourish. In turn, he takes a pay-it-forward approach to lifting the next generation of engineers. Patrick leads a mentorship program at Vanderweil, and has maintained close involvement with Penn State’s AE Department since graduation by participating annually in the alumni mentorship program, alumni thesis jury, the career fair, and as a board member of the ASAE since 2018.

Patrick’s career is highlighted by his involvement and leadership in the design of several LEED Platinum projects, an off-grid net zero energy facility, and two projects earning the highest certification by Green Globes. His leadership in sustainable design has been recognized with over a dozen regional and national awards, including multiple Architectural Engineering Institute professional project awards. 

Brian Nahas, Class of 2012 B.A.E.

Integrated Construction Manager 
Mortenson Construction: Sports + Entertainment

Brian Nahas is a 2012 graduate from the Penn State Architectural Engineering Program where he focused on the Construction Option. He joined Mortenson’s Sports + Entertainment group as an intern and transitioned into full-time upon graduation. During his time at Mortenson, he has worked on notable collegiate and professional sports venues and training centers across the United States with Penn State, Kansas State University, the University of Missouri, the Buffalo Sabres, the Atlanta Braves, and the Golden State Warriors.

In his role, Brian provides input and leadership to the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) elements of the project. Brian understands technical and planning attributes of venue design and provides meaningful input to the project’s programming and conceptual activities to support improved design and construction coordination. He collaborates closely with the project team on the BIM execution plan, design model management, and trade partner and self-perform coordination. He develops the site logistics and utilization plans, four-dimensional models to portray construction logic, and virtual mockups to review select definable pieces of work.

Brian has been recognized in The Athletic and the Sports Business Journal for implementation and integration of technology on large-scale, complex projects. He has presented at local, regional, and national functions for the ACG, COAA, and various construction technology events. Brian also has been a guest speaker at Penn State and Stanford University.

Brian resides in San Francisco, Calif. where he oversees VDC implementation on the Chase Center Arena & Warriors mixed-use office and retail development project, a $1.2 billion, 11-acre campus that is set to open for the 2019 - 2020 NBA season. In his free time, he enjoys sailing in the bay and snowboarding in Tahoe with his wife, a fellow Penn Stater.

Kevin Potter, Class of 1985 B.A.E.; 1994 M.S. 

Senior Manager, Projects - Project and Development Services
Jones Lang LaSalle

Kevin J. Potter earned a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering (Construction Management Option) and a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (Environmental/MEP Design Option) from the Pennsylvania State University.  While a Master of Science Candidate he developed and taught an undergraduate level MEP Construction Management course in the AE Department.  He continues his ties to the AE Department, presenting and jurying AE 472 – Building Construction Planning and Management.

A former Naval Civil Engineer Corps officer, Kevin has been with Jones Lang LaSalle since April 2010.  He is a Senior Project Manager and Team Lead assigned to the Corporate Solutions Life Science PDS Group on the Merck & Co., Inc. He manages a portfolio of lab renovation, critical infrastructure, electrical reliability, and energy conservation projects totaling over $30 million in eastern Pennsylvania.    He is a subject matter expert in capital planning and funding. 

Kevin brings over 30 years of industry experience in a variety of design professional, owner, and construction management organizations to the Board of Directors.   He has extensive experience in managing project execution in a number of states along the Eastern seaboard.  He has overseas experience with the U. S. Navy SEABEES and vast experience in building mechanical, electrical and plumbing/fire protection systems.  He and his wife Ellen live in Glenside, Pennsylvania where he serves the local community in a number of volunteer capacities.

Drew R. Potts, P.E., Class of 1988 B.A.E.; 1998 M.C.E.

Assistant Professor, Department Head
Civil Engineering and Surveying Technology Department
Pennsylvania College of Technology

Kevin J. Potter earned a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering (Construction Management Option) and a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (Environmental/MEP Design Option) from the Pennsylvania State University.  While a Master of Science Candidate he developed and taught an undergraduate level MEP Construction Management course in the AE Department.  He continues his ties to the AE Department, presenting and jurying AE 472 – Building Construction Planning and Management.

A former Naval Civil Engineer Corps officer, Kevin has been with Jones Lang LaSalle since April 2010.  He is a Senior Project Manager and Team Lead assigned to the Corporate Solutions Life Science PDS Group on the Merck & Co., Inc. He manages a portfolio of lab renovation, critical infrastructure, electrical reliability, and energy conservation projects totaling over $30 million in eastern Pennsylvania.    He is a subject matter expert in capital planning and funding. 

Kevin brings over 30 years of industry experience in a variety of design professional, owner, and construction management organizations to the Board of Directors.   He has extensive experience in managing project execution in a number of states along the Eastern seaboard.  He has overseas experience with the U. S. Navy SEABEES and vast experience in building mechanical, electrical and plumbing/fire protection systems.  He and his wife Ellen live in Glenside, Pennsylvania where he serves the local community in a number of volunteer capacities.

Chris Schoonover, PE, LEED AP, CPMP; Class of 1993

Chris is a 1993 AE graduate with a mechanical emphasis and began his career with Scheeser Buckley Mayfield serving as project manager and lead engineer on a wide variety of projects.  These projects have included buildings and infrastructure for healthcare, higher education, and government agencies.  Chris has experience in various project delivery methods including Design-Build and Performance Contracting.  Recently he was project manager for the MEP design of an $80 million capital improvement campaign at Northeast Ohio Medical College which included a new STEM school, vivarium expansion, new research laboratory building and a student/staff wellness center.  Chris has also been involved in numerous chiller and boiler plant projects including a multi-phase 18,000-ton district chilled water plant in Cleveland, Ohio.  Chris is a LEED Accredited Professional and an ASHRAE Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP).  Chris has participated in the ASAE/SSAE mentoring program, has periodically presented at the AE Options Seminars and appreciates this opportunity to serve on the board of the Alumni Society of Architectural Engineers.

A native of the Poconos, Chris resides in Stow, Ohio with his wife and two teenage daughters (one of whom has fallen in love with Penn State).  In his free time, he enjoys visiting Penn State, fly fishing at his hunting camp an hour north of State College and cooking for family and friends. 

Mary Taylor, Class of 2018 B.A.E./M.A.E.

Mechanical Designer
SmithGroupJJR

Mary Taylor is a 2018 graduate from the Penn State Integrated BAE/MAE Architectural Engineering program where she focused on the Mechanical Option. After graduation, Mary began working for SmithGroupJJR in the Washington, D.C. area as a mechanical designer where she is working towards her professional engineering license after having gained EIT Status upon graduation. 

Previous work experience includes internships at Vanderweil Engineers as a Mechanical Design Intern, Reese Engineering as a Mechanical Design Intern, and Christman Company as an assistant project engineer. Through the course of these internships she has been involved in a wide variety of projects from medical facility design to historical renovation. She is especially interested in sustainable design for the mechanical systems as well as the complexity of the health care sector.

Mary is excited to now be a part of the professional world of architectural engineering and is looking forward to staying involved with the Penn State AE community.

John M. Thorsen, Class of 1986, B.A.E.

Project Executive
The Norwood Company

John M. Thorsen is a Project Executive with The Norwood Company, a general contracting/construction management firm based in Malvern, Pa. In his role at Norwood, John is a member of the company’s senior management team and has multiple responsibilities including serving as a project executive on the company’s largest project in company history.  

John’s 33-year career in commercial construction management started after graduating from Penn State in 1986, when he went to work for a Bethesda, Md.-based construction company.  After several years in the Washington, D.C. metro area, he moved his family to Lancaster, Pa. to work for a Lancaster general contractor for almost 14 years. While at that firm, he moved up to vice president while creating that firm’s first safety program, internship program (with Penn State AE students) and was instrumental in starting an internal operations training program. In 2006, John had an opportunity to manage his own small general construction firm as president and COO, adding to his abilities and experience all the corporate financial aspects of running a construction company. In 2013, he joined Norwood and serves as project executive on multiple projects of all sizes and types. 

John has held just about every project management and executive role during his 33 years in the business starting as a project engineer through senior project manager, project executive, vice president, COO, and president. This has provided him with an extremely well-rounded, realistic viewpoint of how a construction project is planned, supervised, staffed, and managed, while keeping in mind how the overall company is managed as well. 

John’s career has afforded him varied experiences with every project delivery method, contract type and building type. He has built office buildings, medical suites and buildings, senior living facilities, government defense buildings, casino and off track wagering facilities, restaurants, parking garages, a baseball stadium, performing arts theaters, academic sports facilities and field houses, dormitories, multi-family living, hospitality including high end hotels, supermarkets, a police station, a private residence, financial institution facilities, and even a turf field for a football stadium. 

John has served on the board of the Keystone Chapter of ABC, currently serves as president of his Fraternity Alumni Group (Delta Tau Delta, Tau Chapter of Penn State), and has won numerous awards for many of his projects. His passion is mentoring, teaching, and helping his teammates grow and succeed. He also is a bit of a schedule and sequence geek.

John is originally from N.Y. and currently lives in Lancaster, Pa. with his wife of 33 years who he met at Penn State. They have three children. He has been maintaining his connection with Penn State and specifically the AE department via career fairs and interview sessions stemming back to 1988. He has interviewed and hired many Penn State AE’s over the last 33 years.

 

 
 

About

Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394