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Q&A With Project Manager, Hugo Avila

by Kat Phelps, Marketing Manager

Hugo Avila

PE | Project Manager

Hugo Avila, PE serves as a Project Manager based in the McAllen office of DBR and joined with over twenty-four years of industry experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at San Antonio and has been a licensed Professional Engineer since 2002.

Hugo’s project experience includes MEP system design work in the South Texas region in addition to several years on the client-side of the business as the District Staff Engineer for McAllen ISD. This experience has been beneficial in understanding how he can improve as an engineer and allowed him to build strong industry relationships that he brings to DBR.

When returning to the consulting side, Hugo spent the next several years working primarily in the Higher Education market for clients including the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas A&M University – Kingsville, and South Texas College. Hugo’s experience on the client-side, personal attention, and design philosophy on how to approach system design make him a valued leader in our McAllen office.


Q&A with Hugo:


Q: Having served on the client-side of the business for McAllen ISD in your previous experience, explain how has this changed your project approach on the consulting side?

A: Working on the owner’s side is where the rubber meets the road and where I experienced firsthand what good engineering is all about. Designs that consider how maintenance staff will work and interact with equipment that we specify are key to the project’s success. As the staff engineer for the District, I’d get called out to address issues and I would find myself scratching my head wondering, “How the heck did we (the District) accept this?” Our responsibility as engineers to protect the welfare of the public took on a completely different meaning. As engineers, it is our obligation to ensure that from design to final installation owners can safely and effectively maintain and eventually replace equipment.

Q: What are some of the best practices you have used to develop excellent customer relationships in the McAllen area?

A: Being upfront and truthful with clients is the key to developing a strong relationship. We celebrate successes with them, but then roll up our sleeves and help resolve issues.

Q: What do you see as key opportunities for the McAllen office in the next 5 years?

A: We saw a boom in public construction five years ago and as those major construction projects were completed, there was a shift to look at existing building systems. Owners are now looking for ways to stretch their operating budgets. Being able to leverage the expertise that DBR has as a firm in all aspects of K-12 and Higher Education MEPT helps set us apart from other firms. One sector that will continue to grow in South Texas is healthcare-related construction. This market will be a great opportunity for DBR in the future.


Hero image at top of page:
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD – Wells Elementary School | Texas-IBI Group | Cypress, Texas


Have questions? Give Hugo a call:

Hugo Avila, PE
Project Manager
[email protected]