David Downs, PE

Downs is an expert in strategic management consulting and innovative project delivery. For the past 20 years, he has led the delivery of more than $12 billion in construction of design-build projects and advised owners using other innovative delivery approaches.

30 seconds with David Downs …

Q. What characteristic would you say exemplifies HNTB’s approach to providing program management/construction management services? 
A. "The cornerstone of our PMC methodology is success management. We assist our clients and their stakeholders in defining success, developing innovative solutions to achieve success and then managing uncertainty during implementation to arrive at a no-surprises, ribbon cutting celebration."

Q. What value do PMCs provide?
A. "PMCs allow project owners to tap into an array of resources when and as they are needed. Many owners are seeing their budgets and resources reduced. At the same time, they are expected to deliver larger, more complex projects. There are new technologies and alternative delivery methods to help them, but today’s owners often don’t have the time or resources necessary to get up to speed on those concepts. A PMC can bridge the resource/knowledge gap."

Q. When is program management applicable?
A. "It can be applied to massive programs that span multiple years and include multiple projects, such as the Illinois Tollway’s Move Illinois program. Or, it can be applied to single projects, such as New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge design-build project."

Q. What makes a good program manager?
A. "Local knowledge, sophistication, expertise and a library of national lessons learned or best practices. A PMC also needs to understand financing and funding issues, how to manage, develop and administer contracts, and how to assist owners in delivery of those projects or programs."

• American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, President’s Transportation Award, 1999
• AASHTO Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, 2002

• Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, University of Utah