Keith Knuppel Joins the ms Construction Business Unit
Keith Knuppel, PE, joins ms as the Senior Vice President of the Construction Business Unit. Keith brings over 17+ years of work experience in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries to his new position. His experience includes managing large construction management teams and leading new business development.
We Sat Down with Keith to Learn More About Him and the Industry
What drew you to ms? How did you land here?
Having grown up in the Youngstown area and living most of my adult life in Columbus, I have always admired ms. The continual growth of the company and its diverse service offerings really sold me on coming aboard. The AEC consulting world is small, and relationships are very important. Bill Johngrass and I worked together in the past and have kept in touch. I’m grateful for that because he connected me to the role when he found out I was looking for a new opportunity.
What are you most looking forward to in this role?
I’m excited to support projects and teams across our offices. There is a lot of growth in the regions we serve, and our projects help communities meet their infrastructure demands.
What advice do you have for someone beginning their career in the AEC industry?
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Try new things, offer to help with initiatives or high-profile projects, and don’t expect to be perfect. It took me many years to realize how important failing was to growth. Those mistakes improved my performance on future projects.
What are the biggest challenges you face on a day-to-day basis when it comes to meeting client/project needs within construction? How do you deal with these challenges?
The construction industry is facing a trade and management labor shortage. There are plenty of infrastructure project needs across the country, but it’s a challenge to find people to execute the work. Thankfully our ms colleagues have great networks, and we have been able to tap those networks to find new team members that can help us grow. We also look to grow from within using the intern/co-op programs.
What do you feel is the biggest trend/need in your specialty area(s)? Where do you see the industry in the next 10 years?
I see technology being the biggest opportunity now and in the next ten years to really move the construction industry forward. Every day it seems like a new app or modular building company is coming to market. Robotics, AR/VR, along with modular construction can really improve construction efficiencies that haven’t kept pace with other industries.
Okay, On to the Fun Stuff!
If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I’m not attending my kids’ sports activities, I like to work out, smoke meat on the green egg, and play golf.
It’s a tie between SweeTARTS and Reese’s Cups.
Who would play you in a movie?
Dolph Lundgren – I’ve been called “Drago” from Rocky IV in the past.
Next item to cross off your bucket list?
Island hop around the Caribbean on a catamaran with the family.
Favorite summertime activity?
It’s a tie between going to my kids’ travel tournaments and relaxing at the beach.
What was the last thing you watched on TV?
My wife and I have been really enjoying the show “Suits.”
If you could live in a fictional world from a movie or book, which would you choose?
“Star Wars,” so I can go visit all the crazy planets and taverns.