Beacon Staff Profile: Marcus Lehner, Project Engineer & Surety Consultant
Marcus Lehner is a key member of Beacon's Medford, MA Construction Consulting team. Marcus joined Beacon in 2014 following his graduation from Northeastern University with a degree in Civil Engineering. After working on a wide range of assignments for Beacon in the NYC area, Marcus took a "break" for a year to obtain a Masters Degree in Structural Engineering (also from Northeastern University). He completed his degree while still working part-time for Beacon. After obtaining his masters degree, Marcus re-joined Beacon full time, relocating to our Medford, Massachusetts office where he has proven to be an invaluable member of our team.
Marcus brings a high level of technical competence to every assignment, but is also an excellent communicator and highly skilled at analyzing construction projects. For more than 9 years, Marcus has helped Beacon's clients to successfully complete a broad range of assignments in all of the following areas:
- Surety Claims Consulting
- Construction Management
- Project Monitoring
- Cost-To-Complete Analysis
- Construction Defects Analysis
- Construction Loan Monitoring
Please read on to learn more about Marcus.
Question: You joined Beacon back in early 2014 after graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in Civil Engineering. After working as a Construction Consultant for nearly 10 years, have you seen any notable changes in the industry during that time?
Marcus: There's been a significant increase in digital tools to track job documentation, changes, and progress. Tools such as Plangrid, BIM models, and online portals are becoming more and more common.
Question: What areas of your job do you enjoy the most? (for example, what types of projects do you find most interesting?)
Marcus: I enjoy the puzzles presented by construction defect cases. Especially in the case of water infiltration, it can be challenging to trace the source of a leak and identify how those conditions came to be during construction.
Question: Are there any specific projects that stand out in your mind that you are particularly proud of or that you found very rewarding to work on?
Marcus: In the past couple of years we have been working on a public library renovation project in New England for a leading surety company. I'm proud to say that we've been able to help the client move the project forward and overcome many unexpected challenges. I have also worked on many interesting construction defect cases around the country. I enjoy the puzzles presented by construction defect investigations, including building envelop/water infiltration forensic analysis. In these cases, we must investigate, analyze, and trace the root cause of the water infiltration and determine what (if anything) went wrong during construction to lead to the problem (or is some other factor causing the infiltration).
Question: What are some of the more challenging aspects of being a construction consultant?
Marcus: The challenging aspects are also what help make it very interesting. To be a really good construction consultant, you have to be versatile and develop skills in a number of areas. For example, sometimes I need to review project details with the eye of an engineer. Other times, I need to be on-site acting as a hands-on construction project manager. Still other times, the job requires other specialized expertise, such as drafting documents in preparation for litigation or analyzing detailed financial information about a project.
Question: Beacon is often hired by Surety companies to help manage, turn around, and/or monitor construction projects which are facing significant challenges (such as when a General Contractor fails to meeting their contractual obligations on a project). Are there any repeating issues or patterns that you tend to see which result in a contractor (or subcontractor) failing on a project?
Marcus: Communication is first and foremost. Most any project team can make it through a project if they maintain healthy and open communication. Projects fail when parties stop trying to resolve issues and become more interested in arguing about the past and placing blame, leaving no realistic path forward for either party.
Question: You grew up in Long Island, NY, but have been living mostly in the greater Boston area since graduating from college. What do you like about the area?
Marcus: The way I like to say it is that New York has 10 of everything you'd ever need, Boston will have 1 or 2. You get all the amenities of the city, but on a more comfortable scale.
Question: Do you have any hobbies or interests that you like to pursue in your free time?
Marcus: Board Game Design. I've been making a variety of family and party games for about 8 years now and am hoping to see some of those prototypes published soon!