Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, is expanding the firm’s Façade Engineering practice in 2011 and has appointed Sergio De Gaetano to head the growing practice and oversee its international expansion.
De Gaetano, a former associate director of the façade engineering team at Ramboll UK, joined Thornton Tomasetti on January 7th as director of the Façade Engineering practice. De Gaetano will bring 12 years of international experience in façade engineering and consultancy to the firm’s team, which includes practice leaders Mark Dannettel in Los Angeles and Edward Peck in Chicago. De Gaetano will be based in Thornton Tomasetti’s London office.
“For 2011, our skin practice with broaden its horizons globally, bringing the best Thornton Tomasetti has to offer to all of our skin projects,” said Joe Burns, Thornton Tomasetti’s managing principal in charge of practices. “Working with our established skin practice leaders in the United States…Sergio is responsible for profitably expanding the practice internationally. In addition to an extensive background in façade design, he brings a level of management sophistication that will help take our Building Skin practice to the next level.”
De Gaetano has prior experience developing an international team. At Ramboll, he was co-leader of the façade engineering group, responsible for a team of 20 engineers and involved in all stages of project development, including feasibility studies, bespoke detailed design, structural and thermal analysis, specification, tender appraisal, value engineering and testing, and site installation monitoring. He was also the founder and working director of the company’s office in Verona, Italy.
“I built up the Italian team from scratch,” said De Gaetano. “I am particularly proud of our work in Italy because it is not a booming market like China or India, yet the office there has grown significantly.”
Expanding the Façade Engineering practice beyond the United States and Europe will require considerable time and effort, De Gaetano concedes. “Outside of the U.S. and Europe, few understand the value of façade engineering and not many clients are prepared to pay for such services,” he said. “In areas like China and the Middle East, buildings tend to have inexpensive façades and curtain walls. We usually get involved only when the project is complex or iconic. So global expansion means more than just targeting growing markets, but seeking out the right projects and the right architects.”
“Façade Engineering involves a wide spectrum of services – everything from acoustics to thermal performance to sustainability – and Thornton Tomasetti has talented engineers and architects with expertise in many areas,” De Gaetano said. “My job will be to bring those skills together into a center of excellence and create a platform for sharing knowledge and resources across offices.”
A native of Bari, Italy, De Gaetano has a master’s degree in building engineering from Politecnico di Bari. He is a chartered member of the institution of Civil Engineers in the UK and a chartered engineer and a member of the Ordine degli Ingegneri della Provincia di Bari (the Order of Engineers of the Province of Bari). He is also a member of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) and will be visiting professor at the faculty of engineering of the University of Brescia in Italy. He has published numerous professional articles and papers, including several on sustainable building design, for which he has a strong interest.
De Gaetano has a number of high-profile projects to his credit. Among them are serving as project coordinator for the recently completed £800-million Ferrari World in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, said to be the world’s largest indoor theme park; lead façade and building physics engineer for the new £950-million Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia; and lead façade engineer for the £150-million Tate Modern II, an expansion of London’s renowned contemporary art gallery. His resume also lists several headquarters projects, including those for Pirelli in Milan, Ramboll in Denmark and KPMG at London’s Canary Wharf.
Prior to joining Ramboll’s predecessor firm Whitbybird, De Gaetano worked for Focchi, a leading Italian curtain wall and glazing contractor.
About Thornton Tomasetti (www.ThorntonTomasetti.com)
Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering design, investigation and analysis services to clients worldwide on projects of every size and level of complexity. We fulfill the needs of our clients at every stage in the building life cycle through seven integrated practices in Structural Engineering, Façade Engineering, Forensics, Renewal, Construction Engineering, Property Loss Consulting and Sustainability. Founded in 1956, today Thornton Tomasetti is an 800-person organization of engineers, architects and other professionals collaborating from offices across the United States and in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Great Ink Communications – 212.741.2977
Eric Gerard/Lindsay Church
Thornton Tomasetti – 917.661.7800
James M. Kent, JKent@ThorntonTomasetti.com
Follow these topics: