HAKSWorking on high-profile projects and mentoring up-and-coming professionals give HAKS a hand in shaping the world of tomorrow.

By Eric Slack

Founded in 1991, HAKS has grown from a two-person operation into a 650-person, full-service consulting firm thanks to an enduring commitment to excellence. Based in the heart of New York City’s financial district, the company has 15 branch offices in the United States and international offices in India and Bahrain. The company has been involved with many high-profile projects that have helped the company to stand out in the industry.

“Established as a minority-owned firm, we started doing design for bridges and other infrastructure projects and got into construction inspection work,” Chairman and CEO Husam Ahmad says. “We worked at many locations throughout New York, and within a few years we were getting opportunities to lead projects and show agencies that we were capable of helping them to achieve their goals.”

Extensive Skills

HAKS offers a diverse set of skills to its clients. The company provides construction management/inspection, environmental, engineering design, architecture/facilities design, land surveying, material testing and special inspection services. This allows the company to be present in a number of market sectors.HAKS info box

“Today we either are the prime consultant or the lead consultant on joint ventures for the overwhelming majority of our work,” Ahmad says. “These projects typically are in the $50 million to $500 million range, and we perform at a level that has built trust with our clients.”

The company has worked with private and public sector clients to plan and design transportation infrastructure such as bridges, highways and roadways, mass transit and railroads, tunnels, ports and aviation facilities. It has experience in the engineering design and construction management of medium- to large-scale municipal and private water projects.

HAKS has also been involved in a wide array of buildings and facilities projects - everything from housing, education and healthcare facilities to parks and recreation and institutional/commercial facilities. Additionally, the company has broad experience with the design and construction of electrical, communications, water, sewer, gas and steam lines.

Beyond that, the company understands how to devise solutions for buildings, institutional facilities, bridges and tunnels, rail transit systems and other sites that require monitoring for the safety of people and property. Asset management services are another part of the HAKS portfolio, as the company has inspected more than 3,000 buildings, building components, structures and systems for public and private sector clients.

“We provide many engineering services and keep adding services so we can become a one-stop shop,” Ahmad says. “We are also expanding and opening into new geographic areas and finding new niches. To grow and provide the best quality, our focus is on finding bright people, mentoring and training them while keeping on top of the latest technologies and techniques for design and construction. We are ISO 9001 certified, which ensures that our services meet the highest levels of quality.”

HAKS has been able to adapt as its industry has changed. Ahmad says design-build, guaranteed maximum price and public-private partnerships have all become more prevalent among its projects. “We see a lot of these types of alternative delivery projects happening in the public and private sectors,” he says. “They are all becoming more attractive, and these areas are the future of the industry.”

Providing Support

At the same time that HAKS seeks to partner with a growing client base of public agencies and private entities, it also strives to have a lasting positive impact on its communities. This commitment extends beyond its projects. HAKS supports various scholarships to build tomorrow’s engineers and architects, sponsors community events, mentors diverse DBE and MBE firms, helps support science and technology in public schools, and its leaders serve on a number of industry and community association boards.

For example, HAKS runs a program for mentoring small businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and other groups. It enrolls these architecture, engineering, construction management, surveying, testing and inspection firms in its program at no cost. The company’s executives and managers lead education sessions, and the companies get the chance to work on projects with HAKS after graduating from the program.

“Diversity is important to us since we started as minority firm and we are still minority owned,” Ahmad says. “We are very dedicated to promoting and engaging diversity in our company. We want to bring more women into our company, and it is important to promote the growth of careers in this industry, because it is challenging to find candidates of all backgrounds in our industry.”

This year, to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, HAKS established scholarships for engineering college students, awarding five $5,000 scholarships to four women and a male minority. The company’s scholarship efforts also extend to supporting organizations such as the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), the South Asian American Association, the American Council of Engineering Companies and others. The company also works with PENCIL, a New York City organization that fosters collaboration between businesses and public schools.

This commitment has helped HAKS to build a strong reputation as a firm that gives back in countless ways. Having achieved much in its first 25 years, HAKS is confident that many more years of exceptional performance and giving back remains ahead.

“We have to make sure we keep hiring the right people,” Ahmad says. “They must understand the value of quality, commitment and professionalism. We need to support the growth of the next generation of talent in the industry. There is a lot of prestige, honor and respect to be found in building quality projects that last into the future. We are committed to working with many organizations for the common goal of building the next generation of architects, engineers and construction professionals.”

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