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ESD announces senior management changes

March 18, 2011 |

CHICAGO, IL – March 17, 2011 – ESD (Environmental Systems Design, Inc.), an international leader in the design of high performance building systems, announced senior management changes that include Raj Gupta (a member of BD+C's editorial advisory board) becoming the firm’s chief executive officer, replacing Hem Gupta, who remains chairman, and Kurt Karnatz being named president.

Since Hem Gupta founded ESD in 1967, the firm has grown to be one of the largest consulting engineering firms in the U.S.  ESD has been responsible for designing systems for many of Chicago’s iconic buildings and for high profile projects around the world, including UBS Tower, Citadel Center, Hyatt Center and 111 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago; Masdar Headquarters and Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi; and several buildings for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Mr. Gupta will continue to play an active role as chairman of the board of directors.

As chief executive officer, Raj Gupta oversees all operations and strategic planning for ESD.  He joined the firm in 1984 as a mechanical engineer and became vice president of the mechanical engineering department in 1990.  In 1993, he was promoted to executive vice president and in 1998 was elected president. Throughout his career Mr. Gupta has led design teams to integrate creative engineering solutions for a wide variety of project types, including governmental, educational, mixed-use, libraries, office buildings, cultural and medical facilities.  He is recognized within the industry for his leadership ability and professional and civic contributions.  He is a member of the executive committee and a trustee of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, a trustee of the Adler Planetarium, a member of the board of directors of the Advocate Charitable Foundation, a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a member of the Young President’s Organization.  He is also active as a board member of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College.

Mr. Gupta is a licensed professional engineer in 33 states and a LEED accredited professional.  He earned a masters of science degree in communications from Northwestern University, a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelors of arts in management engineering from Claremont McKenna College.

Formerly Executive Vice President, Mr. Karnatz has been a driving force within ESD in the development of sustainable, optimized engineering solutions for high performance buildings.  He has gained international recognition as a leader within the engineering industry for his ability to bridge a commitment for sustainable design with real world constraints of real estate development.  A licensed professional engineer in 21 states, Mr. Karnatz is a registered energy professional in Illinois, a certified energy manager and a LEED accredited professional.  He holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

ESD is a global consulting-engineering firm that focuses on the delivery of high-performance buildings.  They deliver value by making healthy and productive environments and by making facilities more cost effective, flexible, reliable, and sustainable. Utilizing an integrative design process, their engineering and design professionals (200+) apply innovative technologies such as energy modeling and BIM (Building Information Modeling) to address owners’ needs.  Founded in 1967, the firm is a valued partner for many public and private clients seeking to enrich collaboration through diversity.  ESD’s services include: Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineering;  LEED Certification Consulting;  Sustainable Design / Energy Modeling;  Commissioning; Technology Systems; and BIM.  For more information, please visit:

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