IMEG appoints Mike Lawless to new position of Senior Director of Innovation

Principal Mike Lawless, a 21-year IMEG employee/owner, has been named to the newly created position of Senior Director of Innovation. Most recently a client executive in the firm’s St. Louis office, Mike — a mechanical engineer — has led many of the firm’s largest healthcare and science & technology projects and was named one of ENR Midwest’s 20 Under 40 in 2015. Learn more about him in the following Q&A. 

Q: What is the main purpose of your position as Director of Innovation? 

A: My new position is focused on gathering and vetting innovative ideas from inside and outside of IMEG to ensure the firm invests its resources wisely so we can continue to help our clients succeed as the AEC industry continues to change more quickly. 

Q: How do you foresee the role of consulting engineers changing, and what is driving the change? 

A: Automation, data analytics, and industrialized construction are all impacting the industry and the role of consulting engineers. Moving forward, I think that consulting engineers will be even more focused than we already are on ensuring we help our clients achieve their desired outcomes. We will use data to advise our clients on the best solutions, utilize automated design/AI to implement the solution efficiently, and then complete the circle by using data and monitoring to ensure the desired outcome is achieved. 

Q: Every firm strives to be innovative. What sets IMEG apart in what it is, and will be, able to achieve? 

A: Our focus on outcomes and the fact that we are employee-owners set us apart. As owners, our employees are focused on using innovation to add value for our clients to get to the best outcome. This ownership helps us to rethink outdated processes, implement new ideas quickly, and achieve the goal of better outcomes.   

Q: The goal of being innovative is to provide new benefits to clients. Can you provide some general examples of what you hope to bring them? 

A: Better outcomes include but are not limited to achieving owner-focused needs such as efficient engineering systems and energy savings. We also strive to achieve better outcomes and experiences for the occupants of the buildings (students, patients, staff, etc.) as well as for the communities these buildings serve. 

Q: What motivates you day in and day out, and that will drive you in your new role? 

A: Intense curiosity and the idea that through innovation we can help our clients achieve the best outcomes and be the best possible stewards of their resources.