Road Transportation Sky Clouds

For These Transportation Leaders, Sky’s the Limit

Our ENR Regional Top Young Professionals Design Smart,
Look Ahead

Problem solvers. Innovators. Leaders. Mentors.

Our recently honored Top Young Professionals have shown themselves to be all of these, adept at working at the highest level, at delivering smart designs and at finding the best solutions for our clients.

Eight of our transportation experts were named Top Young Professionals by Engineering News-Record’s regional publications. Three others from HDR were also honored by the publications.

Many in the group knew from an early age that they wanted to work in the field. Nick Burdette, for example, remembers crossing the Ben Franklin bridge between Philadelphia and Camden in his family’s minivan at age 10, watching the water below and feeling like he could fly. He knew then that he wanted to design bridges.

A number of them also give of their time to local schools or nonprofits to help develop the next generation of engineers and leaders in the industry. As honoree, Tim Erickson said, “The future of engineering is in the hands of our children.”

The group has worked on projects worth hundreds of millions — or billions — of dollars, while helping manage costs for clients and implement the latest transportation technology. As proven performers, they tackle some of our clients’ most complex challenges and bring strong expertise and know-how to the custom-fit teams the we deploy.

They were chosen for this latest honor by a diverse group of industry leaders and previous winners, who judged them on three primary criteria: industry experience and education, career and industry leadership, and community service and involvement.

About Our ENR Regional Top Young Professionals

Brett Brandle, AIA, LEED AP, Assistant Project Manager, Architecture | Los Angeles, California, ENR California


Brett is a California licensed and LEED Accredited architect with more than 10 years of transportation experience with HDR. Her passion for transit was first illustrated in her award-winning thesis project which imagined a multi-use metro platform and has only grown during her tenure at HDR. During her career, Brett has participated in transportation design, coordinating project teams and delivering multidisciplinary projects in Southern California, as well as school and bridge restoration work in California, Missouri and New York. Brett combines her expertise in transit and critical infrastructure design in order to deliver dynamic solutions to clients within the boundaries of budget and schedule.

Nicholas Burdette, P.E., Project Manager | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ENR MidAtlantic


Nick knew at an early age what he wanted his life’s work to be.  At age 10, while crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia headed to vacation, Burdette remembers looking up at the enormous suspension cables which seemed to hang from the sky, and thinking this was as close to flying as he had ever been. That’s when he knew he wanted to make bridges. An HDR employee for 14 years, Nick has held significant leadership roles on a number of nationally and internationally recognized HDR projects. He has deployed accelerated bridge construction techniques on a wide range of structural components for major projects including the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo (New NY Bridge) in New York and the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement in Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Today, Nick serves the 35-person Pittsburgh bridge group as the assistant section manager for production. 

Tim Erickson, P.E., Montana Transportation Manager | Billings, Montana, ENR Mountain States


Tim became one of our youngest vice presidents after excelling in our Career Skills development program, and now serves as manager of the transportation practice in Montana. In this role, Tim leads 37 transportation professionals in the success of a $6-10 million transportation business in Montana. He is sought after for his technical leadership and expertise for various transportation projects, including highway and interchange geometrics, bike/pedestrian facility implementation and design, and alternative delivery project execution. His dedication to client service and developing beneficial projects for the community sets him and his team apart.

Mike Martello, P.E., Bridge Structures Delivery Section Lead | New York, New York, ENR New York


Since joining us in 2008, Mike has continued to develop into a leader within the company and the industry. His demonstration of superior knowledge and proficiency in developing bridge engineers led him to become a Professional Associate. In 2017, he became our New York/New Jersey bridge structures section lead, where he provides day-to-day leadership over 45 bridge engineers. Mike relies on integrity, organization and communication to lead his team, and to effectively serve his clients. His experience includes engineering leadership positions on large alternative delivery projects such as the Tappan Zee replacement project, Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, and Kew Gardens Interchange Phase 4. Beyond HDR, Mike shares his knowledge as a graduate structural engineering professor at his alma mater, Manhattan College.

Ronald L. McPherson, P.E., Senior Ports and Harbors Coastal Engineer | Anchorage, Alaska, ENR Northwest


Currently leading our maritime and coastal program in Alaska, Ronny has worked around the world in his decade with HDR. He has provided professional services in Central America, Middle East, Central Pacific and throughout the United States, focusing on Alaska, Texas, Louisiana and the Northwest United States. In 2015, McPherson moved to Alaska to lead our maritime program in the state. His leadership roles include acting as procurement lead for the Port of Alaska Modernization Program, currently the largest port development project in Alaska, and as designer of record for two large shoreline protection projects: the Kodiak Airport runway extension and storm repairs to St. George Harbor. He also led the team that won an Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities coastal engineering term contract, which has cemented HDR’s position as the leading coastal engineering firm in the state.

Andrew Mull, P.E., Rail & Transit Section Manager | Irvine, California, ENR California


Called a “rising star” by his nominator, Andrew offers it all with the technical expertise, interests for challenging large scale projects, passion for mentorship, and the right amount of competitiveness mixed with a collaborative nature. He has distinguished himself among his peers as the ultimate self-starter and as a highly dedicated professional since joining HDR 10 years ago. With a strong work ethic, attentiveness to details, timely responsiveness, and high level of personal integrity, Andrew has significantly contributed to the transit’s group recent successes and growth in Southern California. An example of his outstanding leadership is his mentoring of younger staff and engineering interns. Design staff and project managers in Southern California, have come to rely on Mull for engineering and project delivery advice.

Guinevere Ngau, Project Manager | New York, New York, ENR New York


Guinevere joined us in 2007 and has worked on preliminary and detailed designs of highway, bridge and transit facilities. She has applied her engineering and management skills and training on a number of alternative delivery mega-projects, including the $4 billion Gov. Mario M. Cuomo (New NY) Bridge for New York State Thruway Authority. She was responsible for the project’s financial performance, managing the costs, schedules and project controls for a design team, which peaked at more than 700 staff from 35 firms and five countries that delivered the new 3-mile twin structures. She also worked on the $1 billion Rapid Bridge Replacement Project for PennDOT and most recently, the tender design of the $3 billion Goldie Howe International Bridge for the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority as well as the tender design of the $3 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion for VDOT.

Joshua Salazar, P.E.,Transportation Business Group Manager, Michigan | Ann Arbor, Michigan, ENR Midwest


With more than 14 years of experience, Joshua is a rising engineer and management star within HDR, the state of Michigan, the transportation sector and his community. Throughout his career, Salazar has built a reputation for being an innovative problem solver. To colleagues and clients, he serves as a source of unique process improvements involved in project delivery, frequently leveraging technology. And he shares his inspiration within the industry, contributing to advancements for infrastructure projects, professional societies, and outreach in the community. His diverse experience within the transportation industry spans both the public and private sectors. It has taken him from engineering production to roles of increasing responsibility, including leading the Michigan transportation practice in our Ann Arbor office.