Studio Leader-Technology-Chicago

A global company, ESD is a leader in Improving Society Through the Built Environment. We create solutions that produce economic, environmental and experiential benefits for our clients, many of whom are the biggest names in the worlds of business, technology — and beyond. We embrace technological change and are in the forefront of developing Intelligent Buildings. We emphasize innovation, adaptability, and sustainability when providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, life safety, and technology engineering.

Position Summary

The Studio Leader is responsible for execution, planning, directing, and coordinating the operations and business development of a Studio within a Vertical or Service group.  The Studio Leader is responsible for execution and ensuring the performance, productivity, efficiency, and profitability of a Studio through the implementation and delivery execution of effective methods and strategies.

The Studio Leader is primarily responsible for the daily operations of a team(s) of employees.  The Studio Leader’s role is to ensure that the team(s) functions in accordance with the company policies and is operating in a manner that achieves the strategic plan and initiatives of the Vertical or Service group.  The Studio Leader is responsible to coordinate with the Operations Director for resource management, financial matters, and employee matters as it relates to their specific studio and team(s).  The Studio Leader is responsible to coordinate with the Practice Leader for business development support in meeting sales goals and for developing marketing materials as it relates to their specific studio and team(s).

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Works closely with the Operations Director (OD) or Practice Leader (PL) to develop group specific operations plan that identifies revenue, profitability, utilization, etc. goals for their Studio.
  • Assists the OD and PL with developing and achieving the practice or services vision, strategy, and goals.
  • Identify, maintain, and make corrections to all staffing within the Studio as required to achieve business plan, effectively deliver projects, maintain client relationships, develop new business, and positions the Studio to accomplish and achieve long term goals.  Assign staff to projects with experience commensurate with project complexity.
  • Review and monitor project level financial performance on a constant basis using financial data to improve profitability.  Prepare and oversee project operational budgets.  Plan effective strategies for the successful execution of projects to ensure financial well-being of the project.
  • Coordinate and monitor the work of staff.  Monitor performance and implement improvements.  Ensure quality of product in accordance with ESD standards.  Manage quality and quantity of employee productivity.  Provide technical support where necessary.
  • Participate in preparation, review and approve RFPs response content and pricing with the respective Practice Leader, Operations Director, team leads, and project Leader
  • Review and approve contract requirements and engage company council and Operations Director when required.
  • Maintain contractual, business, and financial related records as it relates to their Studio.
  • Assist Operations Director or Practice Leader with improvement of processes and policies in support of operational goals.  
  • Formulate and implement departmental and organizational policies and procedures to maximize output.  Monitor adherence to rules, regulations, and procedures.
  • Participate in regular project reviews with Practice Leader, Operations Director, team leads and project Leaders as it relates to their Studio, at intervals appropriate for each project (minimum of once per month) to review the operations and financial progress compared to annual goals.  Result of the reviews will provide a summary status report and establish appropriate course of corrective action for the following:
  • Contracts status
  • Manpower resources
  • Work in progress
  • Client satisfaction
  • QA/QC issues
  • Business Development Activities 
  • Profitability
  • Invoicing
  • Accounts receivables
  • Technical issues
  • HR issues
  • Plan the use of all Studio staff by partnering with the Operations Director or Practice Leader.  Establish organizational structures, work schedules, task responsibilities, and accountabilities.  Supervise, monitor, and evaluate staff performance.
  • Ensure PMs adhere to all policies and procedures set in place. 
  • Monitor, manage, and improve the efficiency of the 5X and support services such as Technology, Energy + Eco, Commissioning, and Finance.
  • Work collaboratively with the client executives to coordinate, discuss, implement, and manage operational plans.  Assist the Operations Director or Practice Leader in the development of strategic plans for operational activity.
  • Participate in resource planning meetings and coordinate with other Studio Leaders and the Operations Director or Practice Leader for the sharing of manpower resources when necessary.
  • Perform annual employee performance reviews for all direct reports such as team leads or project Leaders.
  • Review annual employee performance reviews completed by team leaders within the Studio.
  • Ensure objectives of employee career development plans are achieved.
  • Evaluate staff training programs to confirm results are produced. 
  • Implement Employee performance, improvement, discipline, and documentation strategy and coordinate items with the Operations Director or Practice Leader
  • Assign mentors and provide proper onboarding process for new employees with their Studio.
  • Assist PLs in marketing and business development for the Studio as well as coordinating with corporate marketing.
  • Participate in project execution as needed for technical or client management support.
  • Provide strong technical skills and ethics leadership to the Studio 
  • Demonstrates personal and professional responsibility for reputation of ESD and is accountable for upholding ESD’s reputation with employees, clients and the community.
  • Mentorship of middle and junior level technical staff in developing project management and execution skills.
  • Holds both themselves and the members of their Studio responsible for understanding, supporting and adhering to company policies, processes and procedures.

Qualifications / Skill-sets

  • Experience in managing engineering business operations and finances.
  • Experience in business development and marketing background.
  • Strong client and employee interfacing capabilities.
  • Demonstrates extensive knowledge and leadership of engineering practices.
  • Needs to be a critical, analytical thinker with the ability to create, convey, and successfully deploy engineering and business strategies.
  • Needs to be a highly motivated, articulate leader able to work independently with high speed of execution with attention to detail; make timely decisions.
  • Demonstrate strong written, oral and presentation skills with the ability to discuss technical and business concepts to a variety of audiences, including executive level technical decision-maker; articulates ideas and solutions clearly when dealing with complex and uncertain situations.
  • Demonstrates initiative, self-discipline, a positive attitude and strong work ethic with attention given to detail.


  • Contribution Margin / Net Income
  • Client Satisfaction
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Project Claims and Write-offs
  • Utilization
  • Contract Execution
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Revenue Target Achievement
  • Revenue Growth
  • New Client Key Account Development
  • Project Claims and Write-offs

Education / Certification / Experience

  • BS in engineering
  • 10+ years of consulting specifying engineering, focused in the area of the practice or service.
  • Licensure – Professional Engineer and ability to gain licensure through reciprocity.
  • MBA is a plus.

AA / EE / Veterans / Disability

We are an equal-opportunity company.