Leadership Expands: Meet Our New Senior Principals

07 November 2023
Casual photo of Dirk Kestner in navy blazer with windows in the background.


The Board of Directors recently welcomed seven new Senior Principals to the leadership team, reinforcing the firm’s expertise across diverse market sectors. Get to know these exceptional individuals who bring unique talents and experiences to our team. From half-marathon runners and backyard smoking enthusiasts to hiking aficionados, they each add their distinctive flair to our team.

Dirk Kestner

Senior Principal, Director of Sustainable Design  /  Executive, Austin

Dirk is from Melrose, New York, and graduated from Cornell University and The University of Texas at Austin. As the Director of Sustainable Design, Dirk provides firm-wide guidance with 22 years of structural engineering experience. He ensures all designs integrate top-tier sustainability strategies. His project involvement, coaching, and industry influence uphold Walter P Moore’s national leadership in sustainability. Dirk’s passion for environmental accountability elevates team knowledge and enhances client project outcomes. As the founder of ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Sustainability Committee and an SEI 2023 Fellow, he is recognized as a national thought leader in life-cycle assessment and embodied carbon. He currently serves on The Carbon Leadership Forum’s Board and previously chaired USGBC’s LEED Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group. Dirk is also a key member of SEI’s SE 2050 leadership team, regularly presenting on structural design and the embodied impacts of construction materials. He finds work satisfaction in seeing the final product and his hobbies include hiking, camping, and skiing.

Sridhar Baldava

Senior Principal, Senior Project Manager  /  Structures, Austin

Sridhar is from Hyderabad, India, and graduated from The Indian Institutes of Technology and The University of Texas at Austin. Sridhar, a dedicated Senior Project Manager in the Austin office, joined the firm in 2004. In addition to 19 years of structural engineering experience, he is also a member of the firm’s Research and Development team. During his career, he has gained extensive expertise in advanced analysis and design of methods for structural systems including systems using alternative materials and configurations. Sridhar is an expert at parametric modeling and developing efficient structural systems to fit the architectural form. He is also a firm believer in promoting the use of technology through seminars, blog posts, workshops, and the development of custom workflows. His proudest moment is running a half-marathon, and his best advice is “when learning something new, revise the knowledge gained every hour.”

Randy Braun

Senior Principal, Senior Project Manager  /  Structures, Kansas City

Randy is from Alton, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State University. Randy joined the team in 1997 and is a Senior Project Manager in the Kansas City office. He has made significant contributions to many of the firm’s prominent sports projects, including the Arrowhead Stadium Expansion and the Rogers Centre Retractable Roof Modernization. His expertise in collegiate stadiums, practice facilities, stadiums as well as major and minor league ballparks has allowed him to recognize the unique aspects of every stadium structure. Randy is a consensus-builder who fosters a team atmosphere. Clients recognize his proactive service approach, active listening skills, and technical excellence. Randy leads the firm’s efforts on numerous projects with responsibilities including management production activities, systems development, communication, coordination, and construction administration venues. If he desired a second career choice it would be owning a lawn care company and his hobbies include running, reading, and golfing. Randy is also a backyard smoking aficionado and hot wing contest competitor.

Guy Decker

Senior Principal, Senior Project Manager  /  Structures, Dallas

Guy is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Lafayette College and Clemson University. Guy is a Senior Project Manager in the Dallas Structure Group. With 17 years of experience in structural engineering, he is an expert in concrete design, steel design, and façade support. He has designed major healthcare facilities and has a variety of project experience in higher education, healthcare, sports venues, and hospitality. Guy works closely with clients and owners to bring their vision to life. Possessing a balanced combination of experience and creativity, he asks the right questions to identify which skills are needed for a given project. He values innovation and teamwork and enjoys creating impressive project structures that are constructible and efficient. His greatest accomplishment is experiencing completed projects with family and his role model is Lowell MacDonald.

Adam Johnson

Senior Principal, Managing Director  /  Structures, Austin

Adam is from Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Vanderbilt University and The University of Texas at Austin. Adam began his career in 2004 and serves as the Managing Director of the Austin office, leading the structural engineering practice. With a wealth of experience, he has led the design of residential, mixed-use, and commercial office buildings, with projects totaling over 5 million square feet. Leveraging his expertise and strong contractor relationships, Adam develops tailored, cost-effective solutions for each market. Adam excels in collaborating with the project team to uncover design solutions that bring the most value to the overall project. He instills a culture of effective communication, quality, and an integrated approach to project design and delivery within his team. He believes engineering makes a difference because our civilization has a symbiotic relationship with engineering, and as one grows and advances, the other is reinforced and nurtured. The best advice he’s received is, “Maintain a positive mental attitude, for one’s own sake and to inspire others around you.”

Annie Lo

Senior Principal, Managing Director  /  Diagnostics, San Francisco 

Annie is from Pasadena, California, and graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Columbia University in the City of New York. Annie is a Managing Director in the San Francisco Diagnostics Group. As a licensed architect across seven states, she brings nearly two decades of experience in forensic architecture focused on building enclosures and waterproofing systems. Annie’s expertise encompasses the design and investigation of below-grade waterproofing systems, plaza and podium assemblies, exterior walls, fenestration, and roofing. Drawing from her background in historic preservation, Annie has played a pivotal role in the restoration of significant landmark structures. She has served as the past President of the Western Chapter Association for Preservation Technology, currently holds a position on the board of directors for the International Concrete Repair Institute of Northern California, and serves as the Retrofit Committee Co-chair for the Rainscreen Association in North America. If she chose a second career, she would be a graphic designer with her own print shop and her unique hidden talent is that she can move her ears.

Jeff Nixon

Senior Principal, Managing Director  /  Structures, Los Angeles

Jeff is from Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Auburn University. Jeff serves as the Managing Director of the Los Angeles office. Joining the firm in 2006, he brings a wealth of experience to various market sectors including sports, aviation, healthcare, entertainment, hospitality, convention centers, education, and adaptive reuse. Over the course of his career, he has led numerous projects across a diverse array of sports, including football, soccer, basketball, and more serving the specific needs of professional, minor league, and collegiate clients. Jeff has also been successful in building a stronger presence in aviation on the West Coast. His leadership empowers teams to translate these architectural visions into reality, with a keen eye on cost and schedule efficiency. His reputation as a reliable and efficient leader and seamlessly merging creative and logistical aspects of projects is a testament to his commitment to client satisfaction. His greatest accomplishment is his family and outside of the office, he fires up his smoker and refines his own recipes for pork shoulders, ribs, brisket, wings, and sauces.

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