2021 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Sri Kumar, PE, Senior Project Specialist, Connico

Dec. 9, 2021

Sri Kumar was “boots on the ground from the very first hour of the very first day” of his first job out of college, working on a runway reconstruction project at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I walked onto the airfield and I never really left. And now I do airfield construction projects all over the country. And when I'm not onsite, I do the the indoor version of construction management, which is estimating, scheduling, plan, review, constructability analysis, etcetera,” said Kumar

Kumar is the youngest employee to be asked to join Connico’s Senior Leader Team in their over-30 year-history. In his role at Connico, Kumar consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to exceeding client expectations and reaching project goals. He is known for his innovative thinking and ability to build consensus among stakeholders across teams and projects.

The puzzle solving and responsibility of being charged with solving sometimes complex engineering challenges is one of the aspects of his job that Kumar says he enjoys the most.

“We had an issue where a couple of years ago on a project. We had the runway closed at night to rehabilitate it and we're drilling out these big 36-inch cores. We've got a 36-inch wide, 3-foot wide drill bit, and the drill bit got stuck in the runway. And there was literally no way we could get it out.

“The first flight was going to depart at 5:15 a.m. So at four in the morning, there isn't anyone you can call. All the final decisions rest with me. And how are we going to get this runway back open? So, I feel privileged in a way to be able to have the responsibility to make those big decisions,” recounted Kumar.

In addition to his career success, Kumar is active in the industry. In 2015, he was selected to participate in the Leadership PE program in Kentucky, a highly competitive leadership development program designed to encourage, strengthen and build the professional careers and the civic involvement of engineers. He’s widely known for his work and contributions and has presented numerous times at the ACC/AAAE Design Symposium over the last 10 years. In 2017, he was nominated as Chair for the ACC Young Professionals Forum and currently resides on the ACC Board of Directors. He’s also currently serving as Chair for the ACC’s 2022 Annual Conference and is the Secretary at the ACC Foundation. Kumar is also the current President of the National Society of Professional Engineers Northern Kentucky Chapter.