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Our People

Spread across over 60 cities, our team is a global collective of urban experts in design, architecture, engineering, civil, transportation, urban geography, real estate, landscape, communications, software development and so much more. These are the people defining the cities of tomorrow.

Supporting our global team of 2,600 difference makers is IBI’s Leadership team, setting out a compelling vision and guiding IBI Group towards the future.

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Chris Pickup

Studio Associate
Manchester, UK

Chris Pickup
#Studio Associate# #All# #Architecture# #BIM & 3D Visualization# #Community / Recreational Facilities# #Institution# #Civic & Government# ## #Education# #School# ## #Healthcare# #Higher Education# #School# #Education# ## #K-12 Education# #School# #Education# ## #Labs / Life Sciences# #Healthcare# ## #Learning+# #School# #Education# ## #Master Planning# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Research & Development# #Residential# #Subject Matter Expert# #UK Regional#
Manchester, United Kingdom, Europe
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-pickup-397373a0/

Chris has many years of experience across a broad spectrum of sectors at IBI Group, including education, healthcare, private housing, urban design, masterplanning and 3D visualisation. Chris has a role as leader, designer and deliverer of key projects within IBI Group, particularly education schemes, and is the studio sector lead for Schools in the UK.

Chris has strong interests in the design process and currently leads the UK Design Excellence agenda, having been instrumental in establishing and maintaining a successful design review process at IBI Group. He is highly adept at communicating concepts and turning these ideas into a deliverable reality.

#Europe#
Maarit Heinonen-smith

Architect
London, UK

Maarit Heinonen-smith
#Architect# #All# #Design Build# #Green# #Healthy New Towns# #Healthcare# ## #High Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Hotels & Resorts# #Commercial# #Hospitality# ## #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mental Health Care# #Healthcare# ## #Mid Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Parks# #Institution# #Civic & Government# ## #Placemaking# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Policy & Design Guidelines# #Residential# #Seniors Communities# #Residential# ## #Spiritual Places# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Church# ## #UK Regional#
London, United Kingdom, Europe
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maarit-heinonen-smith-65a3b4b6/

Maarit is an experienced, Chartered Architect with years of experience in high profile and award-winning sheltered and extra care housing, retirement villages and care homes located throughout the UK.

Maarit specializes in architecture and design for over 55’s, designing bespoke and inspiring residential architecture which allows for flexibility within the design for changing needs and individuality of the residents with a consideration to their health and well-being. Each design is a unique response to the site and brief, and developed through a dialogue with clients and end-users. During her career, her designs have achieved several awards for design quality, most recently at Healthcare Design Awards 2018 and Housing Design Awards 2017.

Maarit has designed retirement living developments worth £20m+ in value. Working with some of the largest local authorities, charities, housing associations and private developers in the UK, her knowledge has provided her with the best practice knowledge and innovation in this sector.

#Europe#
Donald Verbanac

Associate Director | Practice Lead, Architecture
Toronto, ON

Donald Verbanac
#Associate Director | Practice Lead, Architecture# #Active Transportation# #Transportation# ## #Airports# #Transportation# ## #All# #Architecture# #Bus Rapid Transit# #Transportation# #BRT# ## #Civil Infrastructure# #Design Build# #Light Rail Transit# #Transportation# #LRT# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Mobility Hub# #Transportation# ## #Mobility+# #Transportation# ## #Multi-Modal Transportation# #Transportation# ## #Ports# #Transportation# #Transit Facilities# #Terminals# ## #Project / Programme Management# #Rail# #Transportation# ## #Terminals# #Transportation# #Transit Facilities# ## #Transit Facilities# #Transportation# ## #Transit Management# #Transportation# ## #Transit Oriented Development# #TOD# ## #Transportation#
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/donald-verbanac-677b06a0

Don Verbanac is an interdisciplinary Project Manager specializing in transit facilities. Don has 20 years of combined experience in architecture, urban planning, transportation, retail and industrial design from Canada, the USA, Mexico and the Netherlands. For the past decade, Don has primarily worked on BRT, LRT and subway (metro) stations as well as bus terminals and on-street transit facilities. His multidisciplinary background along with his acumen for complex engineering projects have been applied to Waterloo?s King-Victoria Transit Hub, Mississauga BRT, and the successful bid for two large P3 LRT projects in Canada.

Don has professional degrees in urban planning (BAA) from Ryerson University and an architecture degree (M.Arch) from the University of Manitoba. Don is registered as an architect (Bureau Architectenregister-SBA) in the Netherlands, as an intern architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, as well as a registered professional planner (RPP) with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners. Don is currently the Segment (Design) Manager on Science Centre and Kennedy Stations where he is managing interdisciplinary design works in parallel with construction as part of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

#North America#
Joe Somfay

Associate Director | Practice Lead, Architecture
Waterloo, ON

Joe Somfay
#Associate Director | Practice Lead, Architecture# #All# #Architecture# #Automotive# #Industrial# ## #Design Build# #Education# #School# ## #Fire Stations# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Police & Fire Stations# ## #High Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Higher Education# #School# #Education# ## #Leader# #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mid Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Office# #Commercial# ## #Parking# #Planning & Urban Design# #Police Stations# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Police & Fire Stations# ##
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Drawing on 50 years of experience in cities as diverse as Sydney, Toronto and Waterloo, Mr. Somfay brings an acute urban sensibility and sustainability to the design of contemporary buildings.

As a designer and manager he has coordinated large multi-disciplinary teams collaborating on complex university, residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in the Waterloo Region and Southern Ontario. His projects include architectural designs for mixed used and high rise projects in Mississauga, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge and Elora areas.

He has taught design and building science for 17 years at the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Ontario. Comfortable with projects at any scale, northern latitudes or the tropics, Mr. Somfay always looks for design opportunities that further the clients’ goals with an original, practical and economical solution. Firmly committed to sustainability, he has taught and consulted on sustainable design for the past 50 years. 

Joe encourages original thinking and is willing to question norms.

Neil Elliott

Studio Director
Manchester, UK

Neil Elliott
#Studio Director# #All# #Architecture# #Education# #School# ## #Learning+# #School# #Education# ## #Office Lead# #Research & Development# #Residential# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #UK Regional#
Manchester, United Kingdom, Europe

Neil has over 20 years of experience as a Project Architect and Urban Designer. Neil has worked on commercial and housing sector projects throughout the UK but he has become a key figure in education and education masterplanning projects, bringing architecture and urban design skills to major capital projects. Neil is a lead member of the IBI Learning+ team, specialising in school and college design, and is responsible for the design, coordination and delivery output. Neil is recognised for leading high quality projects within the business.

Neil’s leadership ability and talent to communicate ideas both visually and verbally combined with his recent experience of designing and particularly in delivering EFA funded projects means that he and his team can hit the ground running on fast track projects.
Neil has experienced first-hand the new economic reality of centrally funded projects and has adapted to this by producing designs that make most of the budget.

Following the completion of the academic paper and acclaimed HEAD Study (Holistic Evidence And Design) carried out by Professor Peter Barret at the University of Salford, Neil has played a leading role in developing the practical application of this research through IBI THiNK, our in-house Research & Development team, culminating in the “Clever Classroom” design and school assessment toolkit.

Andy Simpson

Associate Director | Principal, Architecture
Houston, TX

Andy Simpson
#Associate Director | Principal, Architecture# #All# #Architecture# #Civic & Government# #Institution# ## #Education# #School# ## #Fire Stations# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Police & Fire Stations# ## #K-12 Education# #School# #Education# ## #Leader# #Learning+# #School# #Education# ## #Placemaking# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Police Stations# #Institution# #Civic & Government# #Police & Fire Stations# ## #Public Outreach# #Strategic Planning# #Subject Matter Expert#
Houston, Texas, United States of America
https://www.linkedin.com/in/fred-andrew-s-47ab456
Together, let’s make lasting places that delight and inspire the citizen leaders of tomorrow.

Andy brings over 27 years of professional experience and a keen interest in stakeholder consensus to educational and municipal projects. In addition to his focus on public school facilities in districts across Texas, Andy has led teams in the development of municipal facilities master plans and civic building designs, including police and fire stations and public works.

Andy has provided facility planning projections for cities and school districts, property condition assessments for commercial real estate developments, and building design visualizations for community support and funding initiatives.

Andy has served on the board of directors for multiple community service oriented organizations. He is a strong believer that the form of the built environment can be a great contributor to positive outcomes for student learning, public health and economic development. He is a licensed architect in the state of Texas.

Steve Lenderman

Associate - Manager, Architecture
Raleigh, NC

Steve Lenderman
#Associate - Manager, Architecture# #All# #Architecture# #Automotive# #Industrial# ## #Industrial# #Maintenance Facilities# #Transportation# ## #Project / Programme Management# #Water Resources Management# #Industrial# ##
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
Spectacular achievements come from unspectacular preparation - Roger Staubach

As Project Manager, and a Registered Architect, Steve has brought a wide range of experience over his 35 year career to IBI. Since joining IBI almost 4 years ago, he has specialized in industrial and automotive work. Originally hired in the Southfield, MI office, Steve has since transferred to the Raleigh, NC office where he has been for the past 3 years. His automotive/industrial experience has given him the opportunity to work for all the major automotive manufacturers while completing large or complicated projects of note for Toyota and Tesla.

Since joining the Raleigh office, he has begun to diversify his experience, by working on a myriad of projects ranging from Maintenance & Operations (M&O) facilities for local and out of state municipalities, to working with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission, NCWRC, on the re-design of a shooting range.

In May of 2019, he was promoted to an L1, Associate Principal, level within the IBI Global Leadership and more recently became the Operations Manager for the Raleigh office helping with the day to day operations of the office.

#North America#
William Sanabria

Associate Director | Practice Lead, Infrastructure
Toronto West, ON

William Sanabria
#Associate Director | Practice Lead, Infrastructure# #All# #Bridges, Roads & Highways# #Transportation# ## #Civil Infrastructure# #Engineering# #Environmental Assessment# #Development Engineering# ## #Project / Programme Management# #Subject Matter Expert# #Transportation# #Transportation Engineering# #Transportation# ## #Water / Wastewater# #Industrial# ##
Toronto West, Ontario, Canada

William Sanabria has over 24 years of experience in the management of transportation design and construction projects in the areas of highways, freeways, arterial roads and urban streets, as well as, storm and sanitary sewers. His design work includes all aspects of highway and municipal infrastructure, including Class Environmental Assessments, roadway, drainage, roadside protection, utility coordination, drafting and contract documentation. William has a sound knowledge of relevant legislation, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and applicable codes and standards, including York Region Design Standards and Guidelines and Ontario Provincial Standards.

He is fluent in both English and Spanish and is a member of the Transportation Association of Canada Geometric Design Standing Committee.

#North America#
Grace Gao

Associate | Manager, Urban Design
Toronto, ON

Grace Gao
#Associate | Manager, Urban Design# #All# #Civic & Government# #Institution# ## #Green# #Master Planning# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Mobility+# #Transportation# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Project / Programme Management# #Transit Oriented Development# #TOD# ## #Transportation#
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Grace Gao has over 16 years of multidisciplinary experience in urban design, planning and architecture. Her approach to urban planning strives to create healthy, meaningful, balanced and connected communities in a sustainable framework. Grace contributes to a broad range of local and global projects including: urban design and place making; mixed use master planning; TOD neighbourhood development; open space and streetscape, and sports events, on behalf of private, public and institutional sector clients.Her architectural and planning background combined with extensive work experience in a landscape architectural firm have strengthened a comprehensive academic knowledge and a keen sense of scales/ coordination for various type developments. Her effective project management skills, team collaborative spirit, multitasking efficiency and creative design capabilities, are a constant asset to her projects and teams.

#North America#
Santosh Mishra

Associate Director - Practice Lead, Transportation Engineering
Boston, MA

Santosh Mishra
#Associate Director - Practice Lead, Transportation Engineering# #All# #Engineering# #Leader# #Mobility Hub# #Transportation# ## #Mobility+# #Transportation# ## #Multi-Modal Transportation# #Transportation# ## #Operations# #Project / Programme Management# #Research & Development# #Software as a Service# #SaaS# ## #Subject Matter Expert# #Systems# #Systems Integration# #Systems# ## #Traffic Engineering# #Transportation# #Traffic Management# ## #Transit Facilities# #Transportation# ## #Transit Management# #Transportation# ## #Transit Technology# #Transportation# #ITS# #Intelligent Transportation Systems# ## #Transportation# #Transportation Engineering# #Transportation# ## #Traveller Information# #Transportation# #511# #ATIS# #Advanced Traveller Information System# ## #Wayfinding & Signage#
Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
www.linkedin.com/in/smishra-transit

Santosh Mishra has over 15 years of experience with a specialization in transit technology, consulting for all transit modes. Santosh’s work encompasses planning, procurement and implementation of a full range of transit technologies that address the full spectrum needs of a transit agency and to date, he has assisted more than 50 agencies nationwide.

Apart from transit technology deployments, Santosh has significant expertise in large transportation data (transit and non-transit) acquisition, management and utilization and was invited to write a guest article in the Mass Transit Magazine under Best Practices column. Santosh also has significant experience in transportation technology research and evaluation and co-authored TCRP Project A-31 Transit, Call Centers and 511: A Guide for Decision Makers, and TCRP Project J-09, Task 12: ‘New and Emerging Technologies’. Further, he has led several tasks related to recent USDOT research and demonstration projects, including United We Ride/Mobility Service for All Americans and Connected Vehicle/Dynamic Mobility programs.

Tony Burley

Director | UK Sector Lead, Buildings
London, UK

Tony Burley
#Director | UK Sector Lead, Buildings# #All# #Architecture# #Design Build# #Healthcare+# #Healthcare# ## #Leader# #Office Lead# #P3# #Public Outreach# #Regional / Sectoral# #Senior Management# ## #Senior Management# #Strategic Planning# #Subject Matter Expert# #UK Regional#
London, United Kingdom, Europe

Tony Burley is the UK & Ireland Managing Principal for the Buildings group. He has led the design and management of project teams for all scales of healthcare, research and mixed use projects. His broad experience spans new build, refurbishment and strategic planning of facilities, in roles as both designer and client representative, and covers Traditional, Design and Build, Framework and P3 procurement routes. The multiple perspectives from this broad experience provides Tony with a real understanding of the opportunities and challenges that face developers and end user clients, and fuels a passion for ongoing innovation in the built environment at the intersection of design and technology.

Tony is an excellent communicator and regular conference speaker, who enjoys building strong relationships with clients, users and wider stakeholder groups.

Deborah Richmond

Associate Principal | Mixed-Use, Buildings
Los Angeles, CA

Deborah Richmond
#Associate Principal | Mixed-Use, Buildings# #All# #Architecture# #Civic & Government# #Institution# ## #Commercial# #Entertainment Centre# #Commercial# ## #High Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Hotels & Resorts# #Commercial# #Hospitality# ## #Living+# #Residential# ## #Low Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mid Rise Residential# #Residential# ## #Mixed Use# #Commercial# ## #Office# #Commercial# ## #Placemaking# #Planning & Urban Design# ## #Planning & Urban Design# #Research & Development# #Residential# #Retail# #Commercial# ## #Smart Cities# #Strategic Planning# #Systems Integration# #Systems# ##
Los Angeles, California, United States of America
https://www.linkedin.com/in/debrichmond

Deborah is an award-winning architect with over 20 years of experience with public, private and non-profit sector projects. She has worked steadily to refine a vision of architectural practice based on collaborative endeavors with partners, consultants and clients. Prior to joining IBI Group, she worked for two Pritzker-prize winning architects on the design of cultural and institutional projects and on large-scale, mixed-use and retail-entertainment projects internationally. Designing buildings that foster creativity among their inhabitants by providing spaces that inspire rich and enduring experiences is her personal criteria for design excellence. Previous clients have included the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California State Parks, The City of Santa Monica, Universal Pictures and many private development entities. She has been an educator in her field for over 15 years and is considered a specialist in performative building envelopes and parametric design.

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