Young Suh, director and chief engineer: Ensuring the safety of NYC’s workers and inhabitants

March 03, 2020 - Owners Developers & Managers
Young Suh

New York, NY As director and chief engineer of Alan Margolin & Associates (AMAA), Young Suh, P.E. has guided the firm to be a leading provider of special inspection services in the greater NYC metro area. With an emphasis on safety, he and his business partner and firm’s managing partner, Andrew Borek, AIA, have quickly grown the class 1 accredited special inspection agency while having successfully lent their services to many large institutions. Today, with Suh’s leadership, the firm performs inspection and testing services for billions of dollars in construction throughout the New York metro area. 

Born and raised in Maryland, Suh’s strong work ethic was apparent early on. His family emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea with the goal of starting a small business of their own. Shortly after their arrival, Suh was born, and by the time he was eight years old, his parents were able to achieve their goals. As he was always eager to assist in any way possible to contribute to their success, Suh assisted his family with their business from elementary school through college. He went on to attend the nearby University of Maryland studying mechanical engineering and earning a Bachelor of Science in 1998.

Rendering of Savanna’s 106 West 56th Street,
AMAA is providing special inspections and
testing for construction of the new building.

Starting his career at a forensic engineering firm, Suh was exposed to multiple engineering disciplines and reviewed the causation of engineering related failures. A year later, he joined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority as a project engineer and was quickly promoted to project coordinator. As a project coordinator, with the Transit Authority, Suh managed over $8 million in annual procurement contracts, coordinated project controls for construction, engineering, and infrastructure renewal, performed field inspections and reported on the progress of infrastructure projects directly to the CEO and Board of Directors. 

Following a move to New York in 2006, he accepted an offer at New York City firm Rand Engineering and Architecture. While at Rand, Suh earned his P.E. license and was promoted to team leader, overseeing the mechanical engineering department. As team leader, Suh was responsible for preparing engineering service proposals for new and existing clients, preparing and presenting learning seminars for managing agents and building maintenance staff, reviewing, interviewing and recommending potential new MEP project engineers and staff members, as well as reviewing and monitoring the project statuses of all MEP work, ensuring projects remained on track. Suh thrived in this leadership role and ready to take on greater responsibility, joined AMAA as the firm’s technical director in 2013. 

Founded originally as a MEP design firm in 1981 by Alan Margolin, Borek and Suh succeeded Margolin and built the firm to what it’s become today. With a strong background in construction, Margolin’s knowledge and experience drove the early successes of the company. When Suh joined AMAA in 2013, he hit the ground running and immediately began working to advance the then 30-year-old engineering firm. 

Promptly after joining the firm, Suh focused on acquiring additional certifications and licenses to expand his ability. To hone his expertise, beyond the many certificates he already carried at the time, Suh became an ICC-certified master of special inspections. With several notable qualifications under his belt, Suh was able to translate his knowledge and leadership skills into new business and engineering practices to drive the firm toward further growth. He did so by increasing the services provided as an IAS-accredited agency, a distinction held by few firms in the country, implementing a modernized reporting and project management system, and created a framework for standards, expectations, and qualifications of the firm’s engineers. Suh is constantly encouraging employees to pursue continued education and each staff member has been trained and educated to fully understand construction in NYC and all processes that are involved. In doing this, he has built an indispensable team of engineers responsible for the firm’s development and the services they are able to provide.

AMAA conducting a concrete cast-in-place inspection at 60-74 Gansevoort Street - Manhattan, NY

As a result of Suh’s efforts to expand the firm’s services, productivity, and ability, AMAA has grown fivefold under his leadership. The firm expanded their portfolio and introduced a suite of non-destructive testing services, as well as material testing services provided through the firm’s laboratory in the Bronx. With these newfound capabilities, Suh and Borek were able to expand AMAA’s project portfolio to include new large high-rise construction, building additions, and renovations of existing buildings, ranging from 100 s/f to hundreds of thousands of s/f. Suh and his team have continually cultivated strong industry relationships, allowing the firm to successfully provide services to many large institutions including fortune 500 companies, large health care institutions, REITs, universities, developers, utilities and more.

Today as director, Suh guides the engineering process and is responsible for the development of the firm’s engineers. He has a proven skill in managing inspection projects and coordinating with other project members to complete and sign off on projects in a timely fashion. He is a master of special inspection, certified to perform structural inspections, and is familiar with all aspects of mechanical design, installation, and inspection. He leads the team to ensure that each member of the organization maintains complete professionalism and dedication. Suh constantly reviews and monitors project statuses to ensure that all processes run smoothly and all parties involved are satisfied with the services provided. 

Through his guidance and leadership as director and chief engineer of the firm, Suh has helped catapult the AMAA almost 40-year legacy into the firm it is today. He remains dedicated to elevating and propelling the standard for special inspections and will always strive to improve and further the services provided to AMAAs’ clients.

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