KOP Insiders delves into the stories of the people who make King of Prussia one of Pennsylvania’s most dynamic live-work-play-stay destinations.
In depth interviews provide insight into the companies that make up our diverse business community and put a face to the individuals behind the business. In this edition, we are joined by Jennifer Waters, PE – Vice President, Philadelphia Regional Manager of Urban Engineers.
Can you give us some background about Urban Engineers and what you do as a company?
Urban Engineers is a multidisciplinary firm that focuses on engineering, construction management, planning and environmental services across various infrastructure and facility markets. Our markets include rail and transit, surface transportation, aviation and buildings and development. We work on large-scale highway, bridge, rail, transit, port, and aviation projects. We also do a lot of facility-related work; facility services including structural, mechanical, electrical geotechnical and civil engineering, environmental services, and construction oversight. Urban Engineers, founded in 1960, started as a small 7-person firm, and it’s grown to over 450 employees. We are headquartered in Philadelphia, and we have offices all along the East Coast, as well as locations in Los Angeles, Texas and in the Southeastern portion of the US.
Tell us a little about your experience and how it led to you becoming the Vice President of Urban Engineers.
I have been with Urban Engineers for over 20 years and I’m an Environmental Engineer by background. In 2019, I accepted the position as the Philadelphia Regional Leader. In my previous role, I worked with and really got to know numerous people in all the different divisions in the company, which was incredibly helpful when I transitioned into my new role.
As the Philadelphia Regional Leader, I oversee the eastern side of Pennsylvania including the Philadelphia and King of Prussia offices. I work on business development, project performance and quality control. I also have the privilege of working with our team to support staff development through mentoring and by setting and achieving retention goals, while spearheading several different task force groups in our organization.
After being founded in the city of Philadelphia and with numerous locations throughout the country, what motivated Urban Engineers to establish a presence in King of Prussia?
We had been considering an office in Montgomery County for many years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to be close to many of our clients and teaming partners. In addition, this office location was established to improve work/life balance for our employees that live outside of Philadelphia in an effort to reduce their commute time. So in 2020, we signed a lease for office space in The Judge Group building in King of Prussia. I was in favor of this building because everything in KOP is so convenient for our employees that reside in the surrounding counties. Not only to our employees that reside in Montgomery County use this office, regularly, but it has been a hit with our employees that live in other nearby counties including Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties. To this day, more and more people want to use our KOP office, and when it comes to new hires, many choose to work out of the KOP office. It has been helpful in our recruitment and retention efforts and we expect it to continue to grow.
While there was a technical component that made this location desirable, it was really King of Prussia Town Center that we fell in love with. Having everything you need within walking distance, a quick commute for our staff to get to and from work every day, and being in the heart of it all, made KOP the easy choice.
What makes KOP a good fit for your employees and company culture?
KOP is an excellent location because it offers a city atmosphere with the added convenience of quick access and parking. There are so many exciting happenings to enjoy in the area that our employees can enjoy.
Since a significant portion of our client base is within the county, we frequently hold meetings here, which allows our team to easily pop in and out of the office. This central location contributes to casual interactions and conversations that foster a vibrant office culture that’s hard to replicate when working remotely. This benefits everyone, from newcomers to long-standing employees.
What are some of your favorite things to do in KOP?
This location is a perfect fit for me, given the nature of my role which involves a lot of business development activities. I find myself meeting people over coffee, lunch or drinks multiple times a week in Town Center. Places like Founding Farmers, City Works and Yard House by KOP Mall have become some of my go-to spots.
Our team has a tradition of heading out for happy hour after work, and we’re also planning some exciting team-building exercises in the near future. With the array of fantastic venues nearby, we’ll have no shortage of choices. Topgolf, for instance, is high up on our list of potential destinations for some fun team activities.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about moving their company to KOP?
I would tell them about all the fantastic advantages and benefits KOP has to offer. It’s not just about the office; it’s about the entire experience. One of the major perks is the ability to walk to a variety of establishments that are nearby. It truly is at the center of it all, and you get that city vibe in a more accessible location for many of our employees. It’s like having the best of both worlds, and that’s what makes KOP so unique and appealing.
The floor is yours. Tell us anything you’d like to share about yourself, KOP, or Urban Engineers.
King of Prussia has become our home over the recent years, and it’s a place we’re committed to for the long haul. It’s not just a location; it’s a destination where our folks want to be.
About Urban Engineers
Behind every built environment, there’s an engineering solution at work. Urban Engineers problem-solves, plans, and designs with clients across the country to enhance how people live, work, and play. We provide engineering, construction oversight, environmental and planning services for facilities, ports and waterways, public transportation, railroads, airports, energy and utilities, bridges and roadways. Urban is committed to providing quality professional services that meet our clients’ requirements. We implement a quality management system that is ISO 9001:2015 certified and is focused on client satisfaction and continual improvement.
Urban Engineers, Inc.
151 S. Warner Road