Announcing 2024 Promotions

We are thrilled to announce the following promotions and leadership developments at Degenkolb Engineers and Ruby+Associates, a Degenkolb Company!


Uriel Galvan, Project Engineer

Ray Barakat, Design Engineer
Valentina Couse-Baker, Design Engineer
Alex Motzny, Associate
Chad Closs, Principal

Rory Lopez-Esce, Design Engineer
Garret Hagen, Principal

Luis Hernandez, Designer 3
Joshua Wang, Designer 3
Eden Wong, Design Engineer
Christian Hall, Associate
Michael Leung, Associate
Justin Tan, Associate

Charles Delaporte, Project Engineer

Yang Xie, Designer 3
Rainbow Lin, Project Engineer
Pearl Ranchal, Project Engineer
Michael Chisholm, Associate
Peter Fobel, Associate
Alan Roberts, Associate Principal
Yvonne Tsui, Senior Associate
Laura Weyl, Senior Associate

Corey Beck, Designer 3
Kim Bocanegra, Designer 3
Brendin Randall, Designer 3
Alex Barnes, Associate
Travis Chrupalo, Associate

Christian Ambriz, Designer 3
Catherine Moore, Designer 3
Jaelen Pearson, Designer 3
Jared Ouelette, Designer 3
Ruvim Skitsko, Designer 3
Ahmad Hassan, Design Engineer
Kate Worcester, Design Engineer
Emily Jahansouz, Project Engineer
Jordan Rutledge, Associate

Annika Udrys, Designer 2
Jon Yaldo, Designer 3
Nick Dulak, Project Engineer
Vincent Mortillaro, Project Engineer
Tim Francisco, Associate
Eri Ohlsson, Associate
Ron Young, Associate
Chad Fox, Principal

Allison Acosta, Senior Marketing Coordinator
Laurie Lumish, Principal
Maury Ballif, Principal
Mark Berkowitz, Principal




Daniel Zepeda



Chief Client Officer, Jorn Halle
Chief Operations Officer, Michael Braund

Director of Engineering Technology, Insung Kim
Northern California Group Director, Devon Lumbard
Michigan Group Director, Tricia Ruby
Oakland Office Director, Lucie Fougner

Construction Engineering Practice Area Leader, Tim Nelson
Specialty Systems Working Group Leader, Carrie Mitchell
Northern California Healthcare Practice Area Leader, Wayne Low
Industrial Manufacturing Practice Area Leader, John Matuska

Tricia Ruby

Charlie Chi

Megan Schroeder

Park Tower at Transbay – Second

Washington State Convention Center, On-Call GC Services, Seattle, WA

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Expansion, Excavation Shoring, Palo Alto, CA

Kaiser Oakland Hospital, Demolition Planning, Oakland, CA

Kaiser San Francisco Medical Center, 2200 O’Farrell Street MOB, Demolition Planning, San Francisco, CA

Highland Hospital, Demolition and Temporary Shoring, Oakland, CA

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Construction Engineering Support, San Diego, CA

Enrico Alvaro

Facilitating the Design: A Case for Construction Engineering and Structural Engineering Co-Existing

Before a critical building—like a healthcare facility—can open its doors to patients, medical personnel, researchers, and others, a design team is hard at work making sure the ideas can become a reality. A crucial step between design to opening day is construction engineering. Known at Degenkolb Engineers as CE for short, construction engineering facilitates the design of a structure by—sometimes literally—providing the necessary support which brings a design to life. Although CE serves to facilitate the design, its importance to the success of the whole project cannot be overstated. Robert Graff (Principal, San Francisco) knows this reality well. “Every project is different and shaped by the site itself.” Whether it’s accounting for existing adjacent structures, the unique geography of a lot, or every stakeholder involved, CE is there to find a solution.

When building Highland Hospital’s new acute care tower in Oakland, CA, the design team encountered a challenge with the Satellite Building and a significant grade change from one end to the other. In addition, there was an existing building scheduled for demolition that partially retained this very grade change. Degenkolb was providing SEOR services for the new hospital tower as well as bridging documents for the Satellite building, but was also contracted to provide construction engineering services for the entire project. By engaging our CE team early, all involved were able to find an economical, efficient way forward. The solution: a three-story retaining wall—comprised of new shoring wall elements and existing building walls reinforced with new tie back anchors—that separates the Satellite building from the hillside. By employing this method, the building no longer had to serve as the retaining wall, which proved to be more cost-effective, improved the seismic performance of the building itself, and repurposed parts of the existing building to facilitate the new Satellite building. Additionally, this allowed the architects to have the building “be what it wanted to be,” preventing unnecessary architectural sacrifices that could affect the design’s vision.

From left to right: The original hill, the hill after excavation, and Andrew Scott (Principal, San Francisco) in front of the three-story retaining wall while it was under construction.

Highland Hospital also required the demolition of wing buildings to make the new acute care tower. The CE team planned for a selective demolition and shoring of part of the adjacent structures, which facilitated a more streamlined process before the foundations were laid. Thanks to these decisions during the excavation shoring, temporary building support, and historic building monitoring, the 315,000 square foot, nine-story, 169-bed acute care tower came to life with minimal delays.

Stories like these illustrate how costly design decisions requiring resources and effort can instead be spent in the CE world where creative solutions abound. In the case of Highland, the CE and structural design team were one of the same, run by separate project managers but under the same roof at Degenkolb Engineers. Often the design firm hires a subcontractor that then hires another subcontractor engineer to implement the shoring work, introducing them to the project far later in the design process. “The earlier CE can be in the room, the better,” Robert adds. Not only does earlier involvement prevent potential issues down the line—including making things more challenging and costly to build or even triggering a possible re-design—but can allow for ideas on alternative ways forward to bring stakeholders’ vision to life when creating the next world-class facility.

Robert adds that “the level of understanding, communication, and coordination by having it run out of the same office is happening organically rather than being forced.” This integrated approach has many benefits, especially when communication and coordination are key to CE’s success. Although the integrated CE approach is a rarity with facilities of Highland’s size, comparable projects focused on critical facilities can thrive along this path, making every stakeholder and member of the design team satisfied with the result they are delivering to the community.

Pier 70 – Building 12 Lift, Construction Engineering Services, San Francisco, CA

SoFi Stadium, Steel Erection Services, Inglewood, California