2017 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Kris Koch, PE

Nov. 3, 2017

Kris Koch, PE
Manager Aviation Services, Jacobs
AGE: 39

  • Alma Mater: University of Tennessee
  • What is your dream job? Professional golfer
  • Who has impacted your career the most? Todd Marrihew
  • If I could go anywhere, it would be: Paris  
  • If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead: No idea  
  • Favorite airport restaurant: Tortas Frontera at Chicago O'Hare International Airport  

When Kris Koch was starting out in his engineering career, aviation wasn’t the first area he had in mind, but it’s one that took his interest.

Koch was a structural engineer, who did work on various projects like telecommunications and rail, but one winter he got a chance to work on a runway project. By summer, he was the resident engineer of the project.

“As soon as I was out in the field, I fell in love with it,” he said.

Koch’s dedication, hard work and commitment to Jacobs and the aviation industry are noted as exemplary by his coworkers. His strength of his character, high ethical standards and positive attitude set a bar for other to strive for. His high ethical standards and level of integrity that is respected and appreciated by both his team within Jacobs and the airports he supports.

Koch was also a key team member for the ORD Runway 10C-28C design that won several awards including American Council of Engineering Companies 2014 National Honor Award.

He is engaged in the ACC Engineering Committee that reviews and comments proposed federal regulation changes. He also presented a webinar this year in conjunction with a co-worker and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding utilization in changes in FAA design requirements for taxiway fillet design. The concept of team is important to Koch and he works closely with junior staff to promote their growth, train them in aviation design and proper practices to provide quality work that exceeds client expectation. This extends to mentoring them to help grow their careers and maintain a positive work/life balance.

Koch looks to incorporate new ideas into all of our projects that can improve quality, reduce cost, improve sustainability and/or improve safety. He identified a means to improve safety for an airfield inspection project by working with air traffic control to set up a visit for inspectors to view the site from the control tower at dusk to gain a better understanding of the complexity of working on an active airfield and the diligence that would be required to remain safe.