headshot of Jacobs

Leon “Lonnie” Jacobs, P.E., F.ASCE, a construction engineer with Halmar International, has been named a fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

Jacobs has almost 40 years of heavy civil and underground construction experience in the New York metropolitan area. He began his career working for Joint Venture of McLean-Grove, Grow Tunneling and Kiewit in 1982 as a co-op student, and then after graduation in several engineering positions on the New York City Third Water Tunnel. In 1988, he went to work for Perini as a project engineer on numerous subway, bridge, and wastewater projects in the New York City region until joining Frontier-Kemper in 1995. He recently joined Halmar International.

Some of the projects Jacobs has headed with Frontier-Kemper over the past 28-plus years are the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) Water Tunnel Shaft 26B, the NYCDEP 26 Ward Water Pollution Control Plant Pilot Program, the NYCDEP Inspection and Testing of the New Croton Aqueduct Rehabilitation Project, the TBTA Queens Midtown Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, the NJ Transit Hudson Bergen Light Rail Weehawken Tunnel / Bergenline Avenue Station Project, the Rehabilitation of the 33-mile NYCDEP New Croton Aqueduct, the MTA East Side Access Manhattan North Structures, and the 11-mile NYCDEP Cleaning and Inspection of City Tunnel No. 3.

In addition to his work experience, he has served several industry associations and presented at numerous conferences. Highlights include service on the George Fox Conference committee since 2007, including as its chairman in 2008, 2009, 2015, and 2016. Jacobs is a member of the Underground Construction Association (UCA) Executive Committee and was recently nominated as vice chair, North American Tunnel Conference planning committee. He has participated in organizing NAT’s 2012, 2014, and 2016 Stage 2 in Queens and Brooklyn, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Westside Purple Line Extension Project, Section 3–Tunnels. 

Jacobs’ professional responsibilities at Frontier-Kemper have covered all facets of heavy construction from project management to engineering, including experience in design, schedule, cashflow, insurance, safety, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, estimating, budget production, risk management, quality control, change order negotiation, customization of equipment, design of specialized equipment, value engineering, claims, depositions, human resources, and strategic planning.

He was the 2016 UCA North American Tunnel conference vice chairman when it was held in conjunction with the World Tunneling Conference.

He is a member, trustee, and publicity committee chair of the Moles, a fraternal organization of heavy construction industry distinguished professionals. Jacobs’ other industry association memberships include the Civil Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Underground Construction Association, and the New York State Society of Professional Engineers.

Jacobs earned a bachelor of science degree cum laude in civil engineering from Northeastern University in Boston in 1985, and a master of science degree in construction management from Brooklyn Polytechnic University in 1988. He is a professional engineer in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. He is also a Board Certified Safety Professional.