PHILADELPHIA Professional Systems Engineering, a Philadelphia-based engineering design firm specializing in building technology applications, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary.
The penitentiary, which was built in 1829 and housed such notorious criminals as mobster Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark open to the public.
Despite the fluctuating economy, Professional Systems Engineering is going strong, said Jerry Forstater, the firm’s chief executive officer.
“It’s feast or famine. A third of the firms have no work, a third of the firms struggle with the work they have and a third of the firms are doing very well, but it’s hard to find the firms that are doing really well,” said Forstater. “It’s tough times but we’re here, 25 years. We have tons of correctional projects, lots of justice [projects] and other stuff, too, [such as the] Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.”
The company recently appointed two new partners: Michael Michalski, who spent more than 10 years with the firm as a project manager and engineer, and Jason Delp, who has been with the firm for more than five years as a project manager and engineer. “They’re great guys, smart,” said Forstater.
Rounding out the team is Tom Pilson, who formerly worked in detention, and Vice President of Engineering Jerry Schorn.
“[The firm] has a great future,” said Forstater. “I was talking to Joe Haines at DLR, and he said, ‘your company gets it, you understand technology.’ That was really amazing for him to say.”
“As a national firm based in Philly, our best practices have, for 25 years, repeatedly prove that our model projects have reflected the most appropriate technology applications in homeland security, wireless and digital communications, fire protection and life safety, lighting and energymanagement, A/V, and public safety,” wrote Forstater in an email.
The firm’s website originally launched in 2000 has a new “front-end,” featuring project examples in 15 states and North Africa. The web content includes over one dozen professionally produced ePortfolios viewable as electronic magazines, with full content navigation.
In the coming months, the firm’s engineers and technical staff will begin issuing technical bulletins that it says will affect daily technology decisions on CCTV cameras, energy savings, lighting controls, fire codes, cyber/network vulnerabilities, commissioning and more.
The anniversary tour at Eastern State Penitentiary was followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.