Richard M. Kunnath, P.E., DBIA, is the Chief Executive Officer for Pankow Operating, Inc., the holding company for the various entities that constitute the Pankow group of companies. These entities include Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd., Pankow Special Projects, L.P. and Mid-State Precast, L.P. Pankow is internationally recognized for its innovative construction methods, and as one of the industry’s foremost practitioners of Design-Build as a project delivery technique. Projects include urban, high and mid-rise office buildings, mixed-use developments, hotels and residential, health care, public and education facilities. Mr. Kunnath joined Pankow in 1979 and has been in the construction industry for more than 30 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Detroit, and is a registered Civil Engineer and licensed contractor and real estate broker in numerous states. Rik is a frequent speaker to industry groups and academic institutions on trends affecting the design and construction industry, alternative delivery models, and innovation in construction. Mr. Kunnath was recently named Engineering Alumnus of the Year by his alma mater, the University of Detroit Mercy, College of Engineering and Science. In 1993, Mr. Kunnath was among a handful of practitioners that founded the Design-Build Institute in Washington, DC. He served as its National Chairman in 1995 and as President of the Design Build Education and Research Foundation. Currently, he serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Charles Pankow Foundation, serves on the Board of Directors of SPUR (San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association), and on the Advisory Council of the University of Detroit’s School of Engineering and Board of Advisors of the Children’s Hospital of Oakland. Mr. Kunnath is a Certified Arbitrator for the Large and Complex Case Panel of the American Arbitration Association of Northern California.
In this episode, Rik talks about the need for additional creativity and innovation via economic incentives as well as the challenges presented by existing project delivery methods in the engineering industry. He also touches on both the opportunities and threats that commoditization and globalization present for the future of the industry.