James Feuerborn oversees our New York, Wall Street office and has more than 20 years of experience in structural analysis and design, peer review, due diligence and condition assessments, failure and forensic investigations, renovations, litigation support and property loss consulting.
James has worked on a variety of building types and has extensive experience with a range of construction materials, including reinforced concrete, steel, aluminum, cast iron, masonry and wood. James has overseen numerous projects in the Greater New York area, including the deconstruction of the former Yankee Stadium and 130 Liberty St. (Deutsche Bank Building) and investigations involving crane collapses and roof and foundation failures. He also provided emergency response services following the 2001 World Trade Center disaster and CAT-90 Sandy in 2012.
Who are you and what do you do at Thornton Tomasetti?
I am a structural engineer by trade, licensed in numerous U.S. states and currently oversee the Forensics practice in New York, helping with the expansion of the practice across the Northeast U.S.A.’s office director for Thornton Tomasetti’s Wall Street office, I am responsible for growing the office in both size and revenue through coordination with the other nine TT practices. I also assist the Property Loss Consulting (PLC) practice and with projects that are challenging and/or complex.
What made you want to become a structural engineer?
I became a structural engineer because I enjoyed mathematics and the sciences. I wanted to be able to utilize my talents to build something that in the end I could reach out and touch. Research, testing and laboratory work were not of interest to me.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
The diversity of the work is the best part. Every day brings new challenges. In the Forensic and PLC worlds, most projects have tight deadlines. Clients are keen on getting back up and running as soon as feasibly possible. Making that happen through collaboration with the owners, contractors, adjusters and the insurance market is very rewarding. The work is exciting and having a satisfied and grateful client are what makes me want to come to work in the morning.
If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you would be doing?
I most likely would be in construction on the contracting end.
What do you do to relax away from work (hobbies)?
Work around the yard, play golf when I can, and spend time with friends and family.
What would be your dream project?
A large complex project that challenges me and my team technically and in the end satisfies the client both financially and schedule-wise. A large-scale clean-up project in a nearby city would be one of these dream projects.
Tell us something about yourself that people wouldn’t know?
I played soccer (or football as they call it across the pond) growing up and in college (Division 1) as well as semi-pro after college (New York Athletic Club). I roomed with TT’s Weidlinger Protective Design Practice Leader Peter DiMaggio in graduate school. We played together on the same college and semi-pro teams.
Where do you come from and where do you live?
I was born in New York City and currently reside in Glen Head, NY. I have dual citizenship – United States and Switzerland.
What’s the best and worst thing about where you live?
Worst thing is the commute to work, which takes approximately an hour and 20 minutes each way. The best thing is the fact I can go home after work and sit outside and enjoy nature without the sight and sound of traffic jams and honking vehicles.
How many countries have you worked in?
I have only worked within the United States on projects, but they have taken me to Europe for client meetings and the like.
What’s your favourite food/drink/film/music?
My favorite meal is a nice and juicy porterhouse steak with a lovely bottle of Bertani Amarone. I enjoy comedy films (life is too serious) such as “Caddyshack” and “Stripes,” and action films such as “The Matrix” and “Stars Wars” trilogies. I’m a fan of country music, as well as classic rock, like Pink Floyd, Rush, and Journey.
What’s your favourite building or structure?
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, NY. I had the pleasure to work on the recent renovation of the landmark cathedral.
You can contact James on firstname.lastname@example.org.