Hector Ankrah, P.E., Resident Engineer
As a Resident Engineer in HAKS’ Construction Inspection Department, Hector has led dozens of infrastructure projects, large and small—several of them garnering prestigious industry recognition awards.
Changed Career Path
Hector earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Science and Technology, in Ghana, where he grew up, and worked with a government engineering consulting firm prior to relocating to the U.S. He earned his M.S. in Civil Engineering from City College of the City University of New York. Although initially interested in design engineering, Hector was attracted to construction inspection and worked his way up to resident engineer, supplementing his formal education with lessons learned on the job. “It is very satisfying to work on structures for which one was involved during their reconstruction,” he says. He likes the challenges of working in the field and resolving problems quickly. “You don’t want to lose the visual memory of an aspect of the project which will soon be hidden or buried.”
One major project for which he was Resident Engineer was the $191 million design-build reconstruction of Staten Island Ferry Terminal Ramps for the NYCDOT. The project reversed 60 years of deterioration and expanded the capacity of the terminal’s structures, roadways and facilities. Hector managed construction inspection for this project, which received the 2014 ACEC New York Gold Award for Engineering Excellence and the 2014 ASCE Met Section Design-Build Project of the Year Award.
Hector was also resident engineer for safety improvements and zone painting of the Casciano Memorial Newark Bay Bridge for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which was awarded Honorable Mention by ACEC New Jersey. On this project as others, he explains, he had to work with each member of the inspection team to understand the goals of the project and what it takes to have it completed successfully. One challenge, he notes, is “to work day and night at short notice due to traffic restrictions.” Hector also played a lead role on the award-winning $15 million rehabilitation of the I-87 Bridge Northbound Ramp over Saw Mill River Parkway for the New York State Thruway Authority.
As resident engineer, he says the biggest challenge in a successful project “is instilling teamwork in every member of the group – everybody counts in bringing the project to fruition.” Fostering teamwork, Hector says, is a prime characteristic of a successful resident engineer. An essential element of teamwork is “strict attention to detail to quickly resolve unforeseen field conditions which, if not caught early, can impact the project schedule as well as safety and quality.”