To celebrate our members and their accomplishments, we have started a Member Spotlight blog series.
This month, Partnership Member T.Y. Lin International shares information about engineering, council involvement and the value of engaging young professionals in our BN360 program.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Tara Boggio, Senior Business Development Manager, and Bob Radley, East District Director and Senior VP, of T.Y. Lin International to learn more about what they’re most looking forward to as a Partnership member this year.
Q: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Bob. While I know that T.Y. Lin International is a multi-disciplinary engineering services firm, I am interested in learning more about the history and mission of the organization.
Bob Radley, East District Director and Senior VP of T.Y. Lin International
A – Bob: Thank you, Julia.
In 1954, T.Y. Lin started his own consulting firm in California. T.Y. was a Berkley Professor, and a world renowned structural engineer who pioneered the use of pre-stressed concrete in the U.S. for constructing buildings and bridges.
He originally started as a building designer, but over the years he became famous as a bridge engineer. His company has been involved in many major bridge structures that have been built around the world.
T.Y. Lin International has grown over the years, mainly through acquisitions.
FRA Engineering, a WNY Firm, was acquired in 2007 by T.Y. Lin International, as T.Y. Lin International was looking for a presence in New York and Georgia, along with a diversity of services.
At the time, FRA Engineering employed about 125 people. T.Y. Lin International now employs over 800 professionals in the United States and about 1,400 in Asia.
We are a full service firm engineering-wise, including architecture and code services. Our goal is to be the firm of choice when it comes to engineering work locally, and throughout the world and
A – Tara: Our staff has had the opportunity to work both on many great local projects, and also people have gotten involved in the global projects. It has allowed us to offer our staff a wide variety of projects, in terms of scope and scale, to get involved with.
Q: That’s really interesting! From a visit to your website, I can see that you have worked on some incredible projects. Which one, in your opinion, has been the most exciting to be a part of?
A – Tara: Locally, the Niagara Falls Park rehabilitation project has just been amazing for our team to work on. We have designed and are providing construction administration for over $20M in improvements over 3 years.
This is an Olmsted designed park and is the oldest state park in the United States. We have done all the site engineering, MEP, structural engineering and some architectural work for this historic park, and we are teamed with long-time partners The LA Group out of Saratoga Springs who are spearheading all of the landscape architecture elements.
Niagara Falls Park Plaza
The winter weather has made it a little challenging for the construction but come spring, many of the improvements will be visible with many more phases to come.
Prospect Park improvements are done, and that new overlook area is just a fantastic area to view the falls, and the initial work around the Cave of the Winds will be starting this spring and continue well into 2016.
A – Bob: On a national level, the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge (pictured below) is probably our most recognized and awarded project.
This amazing structure is perched 890 feet above the Colorado River and is the highest and longest arched concrete bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It’s truly an engineering marvel. The bridge has won 15 national and international awards at last count.
Another notable award winning project is the Bay Bridge in San Francisco which used innovative design and construction methods (self-anchored suspension span), and was designed to accommodate high seismic loads.
Q: That’s great. I look forward to seeing the updates in the park! I know that you joined as a Partnership member in 2012. Do you know what inspired your organization to join?
A – Tara: We’ve had a local presence in Buffalo since 1998 when FRA acquired a firm called EMS consulting. However, when you fast-forward to 2007 (when T.Y. Lin acquired FRA,) we still have work to do to improve our name recognition.
We want businesses in the area to know that we’re a full-service engineering, architecture and code compliance firm.
We also have an amazing staff that is interested in the renaissance happening in Buffalo. Our young professionals want to lend their expertise when they can, and get involved in the region, which is why a number of them have gotten involved in the Buffalo Niagara 360 program.
Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
I have attended the Power Up events and really look forward to getting more involved with that group of women.
We are also getting involved in the councils. One council we are excited to be a part of is the Logistics and Transportation Council.
So, our decision to join really was two-fold. We wanted increased exposure as we work on strengthening our brand in the Buffalo Niagara region, and we also wanted our staff to have the chance to provide their expertise and interact with their peers in regards to the rebirth of the region.
Q: It’s wonderful to hear that you’re getting involved with our councils and BN360 program. Aside from networking opportunities, what are you most looking forward to benefiting from as a member?
A – Tara: In addition to networking and increasing our brand exposure, we look forward to benefiting from the Partnership’s advocacy efforts.
The Partnership’s Regional Agenda directly impacts our business. I went to the Regional Agenda roll out and noticed that so many of the key initiatives mentioned have real, potential consequences to our industry.
The focus on infrastructure, for example, is obviously important to residents and businesses that need mobility options and safety – but for us, it is our livelihood and making transportation funding available is paramount.
We also have a strong company focus on sustainable planning and design so the areas of the Regional Agenda that focus on smart growth and development resonate with us.
We have some of the leading experts on the NYSERDA energy code on our team and they add so much value to our facilities projects.
So, providing expertise through our involvement in the councils to further these agenda items is definitely something we are looking forward to.
Tara Boggio, Senior Business Development Manager of T.Y. Lin International
Q: That’s great to hear. We know that our councils benefit our members not just by being educational, but by providing an opportunity to network and meet other businesses that have similar problems or challenges.
A – Tara: Definitely. I am really looking forward to that.
Q: What current challenges or opportunities does T.Y. Lin face that you think the Partnership might be able to assist in?
A – Bob: We are constantly looking for greater attention to infrastructure funding and the need for infrastructure improvements in the region. The Partnership is certainly helping put a focus on that.
Within T.Y. Lin itself, we are looking to meet the right people to be able to submit on some of the great projects that are happening in Buffalo.
We certainly want to grow in Buffalo, and your help in introducing us to the right people will be great for us.
A – Tara: You guys have an impressive group at the Partnership.
When I attended the Regional Agenda roll out, Kate and Dan were both so helpful in making sure that I had the chance to connect with the individuals I wanted to meet. Your team truly works very hard for its members and helps members take advantage of each opportunity.
Q: Thank you so much, I’m so happy to hear that. So, as you know, Partnership members benefit from the ability to work with companies like yours on procurement opportunities. Do you currently have any opportunities to collaborate or do business with fellow Partnership members?
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span
A – Bob: We are consistently looking for partners in the Western New York area to join our project teams.
Our partners typically consist of other engineering firms, construction firms, surveyors, and/or environmental firms. We’re always looking for new folks to team up with!
Q: That’s great to know. Have you had any recent accomplishments that you’d like the community to be aware of? For example, I know you recently won the top 2015 Engineering Excellence Award, the Golden State Award, from the American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC-CA) for your design of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span.
A – Bob: The Bay Bridge project is also supposed to get another award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
You could also go through a whole list of awards that the Hoover Dam project won; as I mentioned, it is more than a dozen awards.
Sometimes, we’re more proud of the smaller projects.
For example, we recently won the 2014 Structural Project of the Year award for our work on the Oatka Creek Bridge from the Western Branch Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). That project is a bridge replacement over Oatka Creek in Wyoming County.
We had some great innovation from our structural and hydraulic engineers to produce a structure that could withstand unique site conditions.
A – Tara: Thank you.
T.Y. Lin International won an award for work on the Allen Street Bridge in Wyoming Co
Q: So, are there any other current opportunities for employment with T.Y. Lin?
A – Tara: We have some amazing opportunities across the company in our 30+ offices. People can go to our website and find them there.
Locally, it’s been interesting to see our facilities side of the business take off in the last few years.
Our building-side has taken a big leap lately, so we are currently looking for structural engineers that are well-versed in the latest computer modeling techniques.
We are also looking for an electrical engineer and/or designer, as well as an entry-level architect.
Q: That’s great to hear! Is there anything else you want the community or our members to be aware of?
A – Bob: We are committed to the Buffalo Niagara area and are eagerly seeking opportunities to grow there.
Interested in being a part of our Member Spotlight blog series? Contact our Content Marketing Specialist, Julia Jornsay-Silverberg.