Get to Know us

AKF provides a full range of professional engineering services to support and enhance the built environment. This includes HVAC, electrical, plumbing & sanitary engineering, and fire/life safety engineering. The firm has continued to evolve and expand our services and reach throughout the United States and abroad.

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Magnelli

Charles Magnelli

Charles Magnelli

Charles is a seasoned professional with exceptional project management skills, particularly in the healthcare sector. He has designed plumbing, fire protection, and life safety systems as well as medical gases, compressed air, and vacuum systems for numerous healthcare institutions. He excels at keeping clients fully informed about trends in healthcare facilities design, changes to building codes, and new technologies’ impact on engineering systems. Charles is also a member of the firm’s technical committee, responsible for reviewing projects to maintain quality control.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Pre-Engineering / Architecture, Bronx Community College
EXPERTISE:
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    HEDP, LEED AP, FASSE
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ASSE, NYCFPE, ASPE, Past Board of Directors Member for the National American Society of Sanitary Engineers
Charlie Marino

Charlie Marino

Charlie Marino

Co-Director of AKF's Energy + Performance Practice

Charlie is a national leader in energy optimization. Whether performing portfolio-wide energy analyses for major corporate campuses or enabling universities to achieve their sustainability goals, Charlie solves challenges today to build a more sustainable future. Charlie was the commercial sector chair for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability 80x50 Technical Working Group, and more recently a participant in Urban Green Council’s 80x50 Buildings Partnership to provide guidance and commentary to City Council as they refined Local Law 97. Currently, Charlie serves on the Boards of both ASHRAE NY and Building Energy Exchange to help foster communication between sustainability professionals and the consultant engineering community.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Manhattan College
EXPERTISE:
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    CEA
  • Professional Affiliations:
    NYC DOB LL97 Commercial Building Technology and Pathways Working Group
  • ASHRAE NY (President, 2015-2016)
  • ASHRAE NY BE-Ex Liaison
  • BOMA NY Rules & Regulations Committee
  • Professional Articles:
    “NYC Law Aims to Cut Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions” (FacilitiesNet)
  • “A New Era for Retrofitting - Is New York City’s 80x50 Legislation the Future of Urban America?” (Retrofit Magazine)
  • “New York City Green New Deal’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Bill” (New York Real Estate Journal)
Christina Mahady

Christina Mahady, PE

Christina Mahady, PE

Christina is an industry leader in mechanical design and project management for healthcare facilities. Her experience includes large-scale critical and ambulatory care facilities, campus-wide infrastructure upgrades, and multiple proton therapy projects. With a background designing complex and sophisticated mechanical systems for the world’s foremost healthcare providers, Christina has built an impressive portfolio spanning four continents. She believes successful healthcare construction projects have the potential to positively impact the lives of patients and their families, and that she performs her best work when viewing a project from the patient and medical professional’s perspective.

EDUCATION:
  • BE in Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering License:
    NY
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    LEED AP
Chris McHugh

Christopher McHugh, PE

Partner

Christopher McHugh, PE
Partner

Co-Chief Operations Officer

As Co-COO, Partner, and Mechanical Engineer, Chris is an industry-recognized leader and sought after partner on portfolio-defining projects in New York City and around the world. He has managed some of the firm’s most significant accounts and has built relationships that have lasted multiple decades. Chris keenly balances cost and constructibility with a drive to discover and implement innovative solutions. He leads AKF’s quality assurance and continual improvement program. His depth of experience and decades of leadership in nationally recognized industry organizations such as ASHRAE (past president of NY chapter) and his instrumental role in establishing DOB codes on various committees lay the groundwork for AKF’s engineering leadership.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Pratt Institute
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering Licenses:
    NY, NJ, KY, MO, KS, IL, ID, WV, CA, VT, MA, NV,
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    AEE CEM, LEED AP, NCEES
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ASHRAE, AEE, , ACEC, USGBC, NSPE
  • Professional Articles
    “Mitigating the Effects of Extreme Heat”
  • Code Committees:
    NYC DOB Code 2020 Update – Vice Chair of Mechanical Committee
  • Urban Green Council NYC Building Resiliency Task Force
  • Speaking Engagements:
    May 2020 – BOMA / IFMA / ASHRAE - Air Quality in the Post-COVID-19 Workplace
  • June 2020 – ASHRAE – BEEX - "Optimizing HVAC for Health & Efficiency" Webinar
David Moreno

David Moreno, PE

Partner

David Moreno, PE
Partner

Dave has been an integral part of the strategic growth and development of AKF’s Philadelphia and Washington DC locations. Much of this success can be attributed to Dave’s creative leadership and his commitment to building and maintaining long-term relationships of trust. He has led his technical teams in projects from 600 SF to over 1 million SF and of various project types such as Commercial, Healthcare, Higher Ed, Central Plant / Infrastructure, Transportation, Residential / Mixed-use, and more. Additionally, Dave has spoken at professional conferences on Energy Modeling and BIM and his work has been published in trade journals.

EDUCATION:
  • Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering Licenses:
    DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, NC, SC, VA
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ASPE, NFPA, ASHE
Dave Roberts

David Roberts, PE

Partner

David Roberts, PE
Partner

Dave is a pivotal member of AKF’s New England region, serving as a partner in charge and mechanical engineering technical leader for the firm. He is also a member of the firm’s Technical Committee, whose responsibilities include the QA/QC program and technical training of the staff. Dave’s strengths shine when he works on healthcare facilities. His depth of technical expertise in controls, steam, and HVAC systems has earned him the respect of clients and colleagues alike. Dave provides hands-on guidance in the field and mentors junior engineers in system design, project management, and client relations. He believe that integrated design is the key to a successful project, and uses his past experience to provide project teams with guidance and direction throughout the project lifespan.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering Licenses:
    MA, ME, MD, MI, NH, NY, OH, RI
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ASHRAE
David Thornhill

David Thornhill

Partner

David Thornhill
Partner

Chief Financial Officer, Co-Chief Operating Officer

As the firm’s COO / CFO, David is responsible for maintaining and improving efficient operations in support of the firm’s revenue producing efforts. He exercises a consistent, fair, and pragmatic approach to management, holding people accountable, yet allowing them the flexibility to function on their own. In collaboration with his partners, he takes a strategic leadership role in long term planning to assure the firm’s financial success for many years to come.

EDUCATION:
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Virginia
  • MS in Civil Engineering, Columbia University
  • BS in Civil Engineering, Cornell University
Debbie Reider

Deborah Reider, PE

Partner

Deborah Reider, PE
Partner

Minnesota Division Leader

Debbie is a proven leader and expert project manager which she leverages in her role as Minnesota Division Leader. Debbie remains diligent and detail-oriented with each client through project completion while offering tailored solutions across sectors. She is valued by clients and colleagues for her knowledge, communication skills, and professionalism. Debbie is well respected in her region, serving on the board of directors for ACEC MN as well as ACE Twin Cities Mentor Program. Additionally, Debbie believes in paying it forward, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the Society of Women Engineers.

EDUCATION:
  • MS in Management Technology, University of Minnesota
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering Licenses:
    AZ, IA, IL, KY, MI, MN, MO, NC
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    LEED AP
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ACEC
Dennis Froeder

Dennis Froeder

Partner

Dennis Froeder
Partner

Director of AKF's Commissioning Practice

Dennis brings a wealth of knowledge to his leadership role as the Partner in Charge of the AKF Commission and Testing Practice. His hands-on, electrical commissioning field experience on a broad range of project types brings exceptional value to the projects he oversees. Dennis prides himself on putting client’s needs first, ensuring that all systems and components of a building are designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained according to the client’s operational requirements and business goals. His passion for commissioning has allowed him to build highly accomplished team of experts, who share his commitment to client satisfaction.

EDUCATION:
  • Electrical Engineering Courses at Various Educational Institutions
Dino DeFeo

Dino DeFeo, PE

Managing Partner

Dino DeFeo, PE
Managing Partner

AKF Managing Partner Dino DeFeo is a respected and admired leader whose market knowledge and passionate commitment to clients have formed the foundation of a 25 year career. He understands working as an integral part of a design collective with the express goal of realizing the direct client’s vision; this has fostered decades-long relationships with business partners and major institutions across the United States. Since joining AKF in 1994, Dino has overseen the significant growth of AKF, specifically our national healthcare and higher education sectors. In his role as Managing Partner, Dino brings the same client-focused tenets to sustainable overall firm growth.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Manhattan College
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering Licenses:
    AK, MT, NY, OK
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    LEED AP
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ASHRAE, ASHE, HES
eric sawinski new

Eric Sawinski, PE

Eric Sawinski, PE

Eric has nearly two decades of academic and practical experience in engineering. Having gone through training in the Merchant Marines early in his career, he gained hands-on experience in ship engine rooms and in military contracting/ ship design. In shifting to commercial engineering over a decade ago, he brought his acquired cutting-edge engineering expertise and knowledge to the industry. In addition to a diverse portfolio of commercial and residential buildings, Eric excels at troubleshooting complex issues involved in the design and operation of MEP systems. These experiences have made him a valuable resource to facilities engineers, contractors, and clients in executing complex projects. Eric shares his knowledge with others as the P/FP NY Commercial Technical Leader.

EDUCATION:
  • MS in Marine Engineering, US Merchant Marine Academy
  • BE in Marine Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Option, SUNY Maritime
EXPERTISE:
  • Engineering License
    NY
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    Third Assistant Engineer
  • Professional Affiliations:
    ASSE, ASME, NYC Fire and Existing Code Committee Member, 1st Vice President of ASSE NYC Chapter

Erin Anthony

Erin Anthony, PE

Erin Anthony, PE

Erin is an invaluable member of the electrical engineering leadership, specifically in the commercial industry. She is an accomplished resource for electrical design from electrical infrastructure to lighting controls. She works personally with clients to provide electrical design solutions to meet their specific needs. She has given AIA presentations, is instrumental in internal training initiatives, and has created custom training seminars for client initiatives. Her broad experience ranges from iconic historic landmarks that were among the world’s first skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, the Woolworth Building, and the Waldorf Astoria, to brand new supertall buildings and large-scale redevelopments like Hudson Yards and the World Trade Center’s retail redevelopment.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas
EXPERTISE:
  • Professional Engineering Licenses:
    IL, NY
Frank Dodge

Frank Dodge

Frank Dodge

Frank is the ideal project manager and team leader, highly valued for his hands-on leadership skills, responsiveness, and commitment to quality in everything he undertakes. He leverages his experience in electrical engineering to help clients realize their vision while seamlessly coordinating all trades, allowing for a fully integrated team. Frank’s outgoing personality, reliability, and dedication to projects have earned him the respect of clients across the industries in which he’s worked. His experience has fostered countless relationships with clients who rely on him for his clear and concise direction and sound advice.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Architectural Engineering Technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Frank Thaloakotur

Frank Thalakotur, PE

Frank Thalakotur, PE

Frank’s expertise encompasses serving as project manager and designing mechanical systems for healthcare and life science facilities. With a deep understanding of sterile compounding pharmacies and their unique complexities, Frank is an industry leader in USP 797 and USP 800 compliance. He has designed USP 797 and 800-compliant facilities from New Hampshire to Virginia and is well-versed in the specific requirements of local authorities and is experienced in adapting projects to meet state guidelines. That knowledge influences the design of all associated programming within healthcare and laboratory facilities. Frank understands the importance of ensuring healthcare facilities remain fully operational throughout the duration of a project, keeping critical and life-saving systems online.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Boston University
EXPERTISE:
  • Engineering License: MA
  • Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE, Vice Chair - Lean Construction Institute: New England Chapter
Gabe Pescosolido

Gabriel Pescosolido

Gabriel Pescosolido

Gabriel’s collaborative attitude and commitment to client goals have led to his success as a project manager. As the point person on projects he is dedicated to both internal and external clients; valuing responsiveness, accountability, and quality. Gabriel uses his excellent communication skills to keep project teams well informed, building lasting relationships within design team and owner-direct environments.

EDUCATION:
  • BS in Technology Education, Montana State University
EXPERTISE:
  • Accreditations/Certifications:
    LEED AP BD+C
  • Professional Affiliations:
    USGBC Minnesota Chapter, International Facility Management Association, Minnesota Energy Code Compliance Collaborative