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Talking engineering with Marc Kurowski, president and CEO of K&W Engineers

About Marc Kurowski

Marc Kurowski, 49, is the co-founder and owner, as well as president and chief executive officer, of K&W Engineers. The company recently celebrated 15 years in business, but he has more than two decades of experience in the field. He is also president and CEO of NFS and King Mansion Events, a mixed-use commercial building and events venue in Harrisburg.

Kurowski has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Penn State University and is a registered professional engineer (PE) and LEED Green associate. 

He lives in Harrisburg.

Q: How does the company marry civil engineers and landscape architects?

A: Engineering tends to be more right angles and somewhat rigid and numbers-driven, which is important, but the landscape architecture side brings kind of a softness, and more of a master-planning vision and certainly function. We work in design teams, engineers and architects working together, so we find that nice balance right in the middle. Folks that are doing heavy work like highway design, that’s straight-up engineering, but site design, which is like college campuses or K-12 education or healthcare, it’s a different feel. We find for our client types that’s a very important part of the equation, and we’re very deliberate about making sure that happens. 

Q: Going from two people in a basement 15 years ago, to 20 people in a mansion on Front St. in Harrisburg, what do you think is the biggest change you’ve seen over that time?

A: Certainly all of us dealt with a downturn in the economy in 2010ish. We were young in business at that point, we had grown pretty quickly, and that was a hard time for a few years. We all have long memories about that. We’ve learned how to be very efficient and a bit lean. But we’ve rebounded nicely and the economy is in a great place right now. It was a hard lesson in a lot of ways but I think there were some good takeaways on how to run more efficiently. 

Technically, one of the biggest things we see in our world is stormwater management. The requirements have become more stringent and it’s become a much more complex component. That particular aspect of regulatory requirements is a huge driver in site design, in having to know your way around it. We’re marrying the art and the science of stormwater management to meet the optical requirements and try to make a facility that’s aesthetically pleasing – or at minimum, not obtrusive – and that an owner, who is going to be dealing with the long-term operation and maintenance issues, is going to understand, and we try to minimize that impact to them over the long term. 

Q: What are some of the more interesting or challenging projects you’ve worked on?

A: We were fortunate enough to work with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts on Chocolatetown, which is basically the complete overhaul and improvement of the main entrance to Hersheypark. It is transformative. We’ve been involved in that project for two years and it’s still hard for me to envision it without going out there and walking around. It will be such a change to anybody who’s ever visited the park before. It’s probably the most complicated complex project I’ve ever done, super fast-paced, a lot of utility coordination, tons of regulatory and compliance stuff on a very aggressive schedule. That is definitely a standout project for us and we’re thankful to have been part of that team. I’m passionate about all our projects, but this one’s just super fun.

Q: What are you binging on TV right now?

A: I’ve been watching The Outsider, a Stephen King, supernatural thriller kind of series, really good. The other one (is) a documentary called McMillions, it tells the story about the McDonald’s Monopoly game and how it was completely rigged for years. It is fascinating. The characters are real and awesome, and the story is just like a movie. It’s hard to believe it was true. I’d recommend both.

 

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