Meet Akhil Konegari, Structural Project Engineer
As a child, Structural Engineer Akhil Konegari was fascinated by the process of building structures and often accompanied his father to job sites. This sparked his interest in civil engineering, which he pursued as his major. During his final semester of a master’s program at the University of Southern California, Akhil was introduced to Joel Whitmer, the Structural Department Manager at FOCUS Engineering & Surveying, through a mutual connection.
After researching FOCUS and admiring the diversity of their project portfolio, Akhil began the hiring process and met with members of the Structural Department team. He was impressed by their emphasis on culture and how they prioritize teamwork. “For me, who I was going to work with was more important than what I was going to be doing,” Akhil recalls. “Ultimately, the opportunity to learn and work with them and become a part of the FOCUS culture is what enticed me.”
Now, two years later, Akhil is an essential member of FOCUS’s Commercial team, in the Structural Department. His projects range from designing podium and garden-style apartments, office buildings, townhomes, restaurant and retail shells, and tenant improvements, using a variety of structural materials such as wood, steel, concrete, and masonry.
The Pacific Yard Apartments
One of Akhil’s most challenging and rewarding projects was the 277-unit Pacific Yard Apartments in Salt Lake City’s Granary District. The five-on-two podium had a complicated lateral design with limited shear wall panel widths, requiring HVAC vents to penetrate these panels and reducing their effective width. Akhil collaborated with many trades to understand their needs and design the right solutions, which led to strong relationships and benefited the project and client.
Akhil enjoys working with clients, both internal and external, to develop creative design solutions that meet their architectural needs. “At FOCUS, we take on the role of a consultant and are always working closely with our clients to understand their needs and provide the right solutions,” he explains. “It’s the customer service we provide that differentiates us from the competition.”
Learning New Technologies and Engineering Tools
Akhil is known for his insatiable thirst for knowledge and enjoys designing diverse projects and learning new technologies. He uses 3D modeling programs like Revit and values the processes, templates, and engineering tools created by team members to identify and navigate challenging areas of a project, which helps boost efficiency and productivity. He also appreciates the support and teamwork within the FOCUS team.
Outside of work, Akhil enjoys playing video games, exploring new places, and trying new things. He also recommends trying biryani, a savory rice dish made with Indian spices, vegetables, and meat (or without).