Top 40 Under 40: Jeffrey A. Sedlak

Jeff Sedlak, a civil engineer specializing in design and construction of aviation facilities, earned his Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Oregon State University. At 23, Sedlak became the first licensed engineer in his class. Now 33, he already has more than a decade of private and public sector experience at numerous airports.

Sedlak’s proven record of dedicated service, leadership, strong management skills, and technical expertise were essential for the recent opening of Long Beach Airport’s new passenger concourse. As modernization program manager, Sedlak directed planning and development of the airport’s largest facilities projects.

Since 2006, he simultaneously managed the design and construction of a new on-site parking structure, a new passenger concourse, and reconstruction of the adjacent air carrier ramp. And his ingenuity has been instrumental in the successful implementation of the $140 million Modernization Program.

The largest element of the Modernization Program was the new five-story, 2,000-car parking structure. Sedlak negotiated an acceleration incentive with the design-builder, producing additional airport revenue. The garage opened four months early, under budget, and earned the International Parking Institute Award of Merit.

The Modernization Program’s feature element was an 11-gate, LEED Silver passenger concourse. Halfway through construction, the general contractor went bankrupt. Sedlak worked with local union representatives and subcontractors to keep the project on track. Sedlak resequenced activities to accelerate construction, and the concourse opened five months early, under budget, and received the California Transportation Foundation’s 2013 Aviation Project of the Year Award.

“The most exciting part of my years in aviation has been seeing the public reaction to the new terminal,” he says. “I love walking through the building and hearing what passengers are saying about it, especially when they come into the central garden area. Most people are blown away that this is actually an airport.”