ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/306864
F O C U S FINLEY Engineering has grown rapidly by blending bridge design and construction needs into a successful whole Only 6 years old, FINLEY Engineering Group Inc. has experienced rapid success both nationally and internationally with a wide range of bridge projects. The key to its success, Managing Principal Craig Finley says, comes from blending bridge design skills and construction engineering to maximize constructability. That approach has helped the Tallahassee, Fla.-based firm grow from one employee when it opened its doors in late 2004 to 30 employees today. The company has experienced 30% to 70% annual growth since then, and this year anticipates growing by another 80%. "We have the backlog of projects to make that happen," Finley says. "The only thing hampering us is finding good people." Even that challenge will be eased by the company's reputation, which saw it named one of the nation's 25 Best Structural Engineering Firms to Work For in 2008 by Structural Engineer magazine. The company got started after Finley resigned as head of the Bridge & Tunnel Division of Parsons Corp. The firm in 2001 had acquired Finley McNary Engineers, which Finley co-founded. "I had always wondered what it would be like to work for a mega-sized, engineering-contracting firm," he explains. "We had a lot of successes during my time there. One day I'd do engineering work, the next day contracting work, and every day was exciting." 50 Projects in 50 Months But he spent more time on traveling and paperwork than engineering and projects. "I missed being involved in innovative bridge work that coupled design and construction." That hasn't been a concern since, as FINLEY's client list quickly grew, along with its staff. In 2005, the firm added Jacques Combault as technical director; Cheryl R. Martin joined in 2005 as principal in charge of finance and administration, and Jerry M. Pfuntner came aboard in 2007 as principal senior bridge engineer and assistant technical director. In its first 50 months, FINLEY was involved in the design and construction engineering on 50 bridge projects. "The biggest benefit we offer clients is a combination of strong engineering skills with a technology background, which creates a practical approach to construction," Finley explains. "When we start to design a bridge, a key element is how it can be constructed faster and more efficiently. We have Blending Design and Construction FINLEY served as the primary engineering-design firm for Saddlebrook Construction Inc., which builds bridges for The Cliff Communities, a series of high-end residential communities in the Carolinas. The bridges consist of precast, prestressed concrete voided slabs transversely post-tensioned, with spans ranging from 25 ft to 60 ft. Photo: Saddlebrook Construction Inc. by Craig A. Shutt 8 | ASPIRE , Summer 2010 ASP10-1625.indb 8 6/21/10 12:19 PM