Engineering and Architecture have always been major landmarks to effectively measure the growth of the technology and expertise of the human race. With the changing times and technologies, many design marvels have been built up, showcasing the talent, skills, and advancement of many companies in this domain.
A design is something that needs delicate attention to detail, complex structural input, and, to top it off, a design that is not only intelligent and resourceful, but most importantly a bliss to view and occupy.
Many companies are aiming and fighting to become the top contender as one of the best in the domain, but only a few have the mettle, the team, and, most important of all, the vision to create something that is out of the box and futuristic yet elegant and extremely useful.
Paul VanDuyne, President and CEO of IMEG Corp., has given the world a company that is not only one of the best but also one of the most futuristic and capable of becoming the leader of their field in the coming years. Paul and his entire leadership team bring to the table years of experience, skills to tackle any situation, intricate and extensive knowledge of the industry, and much more.
Paul’s most important quality, however, is his effervescent, capable, and visionary leadership that not only pushes the team of IMEG to deliver their best performance every single time but also keeps the team motivated and ready for their next design endeavour. Paul has inspired budding entrepreneurs and upcoming individuals in the A/E/C industry. He has showcased not only his persona and commanding leadership but has also led IMEG to the path of success and development.
Paul truly defines the true qualities of an able, disciplined, and effective leader as well as a resilient and dedicated entrepreneur.
The Company, the Journey
IMEG is a leading U.S.- based engineering design firm with a more-than 100-year history. The firm delivers a rare combination of the broad expertise of a national leader with the personal relationships and deep collaboration of a local firm throughout its 60 locations and 1,800 team members.
IMEG is 100 percent employee-owned and results-driven with a passion for transforming environments and communities through high-performance design and infrastructure. The firm serves regions and markets with full-service, in-house engineering design and is a Top 6 Engineering Firm in the U.S. (BD+C) and ranked #71 on ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list.
IMEG’s journey has been tremendous, growing from a one-room office with 16 employees to 1,800 employees at 60 locations. The firm faced several hurdles, but their vision to provide nothing but excellence and their drive for perfection fuelled their spirits and helped them achieve respect, recognition, and success. During its initial stages, IMEG’s limited manpower and inability to provide all engineering services made it difficult to establish clientele.
Eventually they became a full-service engineering firm, and growing quickly no longer posed a problem. The hurdle, however, was generating awareness and educating people on the need for state-of-the-art engineering design and IMEG’s ability to provide it. They also wanted clients to know that providing state-of-the-art design is much more than a job to them, it is their vision, mission, and dream.
Services offered by IMEG, and new additions
IMEG is focused on the built environment and infrastructure. Their services range from building design services to advisory services as well as infrastructure planning services such as bridge engineering. The firm brings full-service engineering design and consulting expertise to each of its markets along with civil engineering and a breadth of specialty services.
Few firms have as deep of a bench of industry expertise and knowledge. IMEG also recognizes the importance of data in the built environment, using such data to fuel intelligence in buildings and analyzing building performance data as part of its “concept to consumption” project approach that delivers outcome-based design.
As a Top 10 engineering firm in the U.S., IMEG can deliver a deep national bench of expertise to support their local, niche-focused teams. This helps set IMEG apart from its competitors as they deliver their work on a local, collaborative level, bringing in additional expertise as needed.
They don’t win work and produce it back at “headquarters.” IMEG’s specialty services add to the firm’s overall depth and include commissioning, security design, protective services consulting, healthcare information technology (HIT), medical equipment planning, architectural lighting, and reality capture services, to name a few. Most of their competitors can’t bring a full-service, 360-degree view to project design.
When looking at what’s next for IMEG, “Intelligent Buildings,” or “Smart Buildings,” have been a growing trend in building design for several years, but IMEG is approaching this strategy differently. They feel the focus should be on the “intelligence in buildings” – no matter the size or type of the building.
For IMEG, intelligence in buildings represents an integrated approach that includes the thought leadership, design, construction, commissioning, and operations of the building. Their goal is to redefine what high-performance design means for the A/E/C industry. Through data analytics and intelligent building technologies, IMEG is focused on helping clients achieve specific and intentional outcomes.
These outcomes begin to lay the foundation for unified connectivity and BIG DATA strategies that enhance a building’s user experience – and ultimately reduce energy and water costs, improve building operations, increase staff productivity, and provide a framework for the future.
Factors that pushed IMEG to explosive success, and keeps their long-standing success intact
IMEG has had success in organic growth throughout their history but in 2015 they began to gain momentum with strategic acquisitions, laying the foundation for the firm’s structure today and vision for their continued growth. Paul VanDuyne — who had become President and CEO in 2004 — has been a driving force for the firm’s vision and growth. His forward-thinking, quick-start management style constantly challenges firm leadership to think beyond being an engineering design firm, finding ways to deliver more and help evolve the A/E/C industry and the built environment.
Not content with the status quo, IMEG has helped drive industry trends and has delivered many “firsts” to the A/E/C industry from sustainable design approaches to their strategic acquisition approach, which intentionally localizes their focus to serve carefully chosen regions and markets, allowing them to put relationships first without sacrificing expertise.
By delivering new and innovative approaches to building design and infrastructure planning, IMEG helps push the industry forward. They monitor existing trends and are always looking for opportunities to push the status quo. Their engineering design solutions are often cutting-edge and sometimes a glimpse of the future, providing examples for the A/E/C industry while providing superior service, and exceptional performance and project delivery for clients.
Leadership at IMEG
IMEG has been a company oriented toward the future, their vision showcased in every project they do, striving to be innovators and create benchmarks for the A/E/C industry. Achieving such goals requires a leader with a great persona and charisma, an effervescent and bold visionary who is an expert in engineering and extremely capable. IMEG’s leader checks all the above qualities, and brings much more to the table, leading the firm to a height that many thought was a dream in the early stages of the company.
As President/CEO, Paul VanDuyne defines the firm’s business objectives for performance, collaborative operations, and staff development. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 1974. He then attended Rutgers University to work on an MBA and later earned a Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College. He ultimately chose a career in engineering, having joined IMEG (then KJWW) in 1976 as the firm’s 16th employee.
He became the firm’s vice president of engineering in 2003 and its president in 2004. As president and CEO he has been the driving force behind the firm’s strategic acquisitions and rapid growth. He also was named Senior Engineer of the Year by the Quad City Science and Engineering Council and a “Mover and Shaker” by the Quad City Business Journal. He is a member of the Design Futures Council, NSPE, IES, and AEE, and serves on IMEG’s Board of Directors. Additionally, he has served as chairman of multiple not-for-profits, is a member of Strategic Coach and Chief Executive Network and attends the EFCG annual conference.
The team and work culture of IMEG
IMEG is much more than a group of seasoned industry experts with extensive industry knowledge and equipped to handle jobs of all sizes, regardless of the difficulty. The various disciplinary, market, and service teams that make up the firm work together as a single unit and close-knit family, tackling each project with a sense of ownership, which they truly have, as the company is owned by all employees via their ESOP.
Thus, the engineering teams and leaders of the company work synchronously, day in and out, relentlessly striving for perfection, working toward the future where intelligence in buildings and infrastructure becomes a full-fledged reality.
Paul’s views on constant vigilance as a need or strategy, and his take on the rat race in the market.
Constant vigilance is a critical component of Paul’s leadership strategy as well as for the firm’s other executive-level leaders. Constant vigilance always looks toward the horizon and the emergence of new technologies and methods that will someday become a need for a client, a tool for the engineering firm, or both. Deciding how to use the new technology or method, and being prepared to do so as an early adopter, is where the strategy comes in.
Paul is more oriented toward constant vigilance and IMEG’s goals than keeping up with the “rat race” of the industry. His top priority is his health, his mental well-being, and his time, all of which are important for making good decisions on the next moves for the company.
IMEG has always been a leader in the engineering industry, with a driving focus on providing the highest quality design and customer service and continuously differentiating themselves from the competition.
Each year during strategic retreats, the company’s main stakeholders plan and strategize on how the firm can continue to stand out among clients and the industry in general. They also examine the performance of other firms, but rather than focusing on the competition IMEG looks toward future changes in the industry in general and making sure the firm is prepared to be able to meet clients’ needs better than anyone else.