SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — To deepen a commitment to Puerto Rico and support the island’s critical infrastructure projects, Burns & McDonnell announced Robert Vargas has relocated to Puerto Rico to lead the market strategy and opportunity development for transmission and distribution (T&D) projects.
Vargas, a native Puerto Rican, has two decades of experience performing a variety of roles in the power industry, including engineering, project management and business development. He has a diverse technical background in areas such as electric substations, telecommunications, overhead and underground transmission and distribution systems, and renewables. He has supported the execution of some of the most critical power delivery projects in North America, up to the 500-kV level, as well as international projects in Latin America.
“By collaborating with our team, we plan to work on projects that deliver a modern, efficient and sustainable infrastructure that enhances the well-being of the people of Puerto Rico,” says Gabriel Hernandez, vice president of business line operations in the T&D Group of Burns & McDonnell. “We believe that Robert will help us achieve our vision of promoting the greatest level of socioeconomic development in Puerto Rico.”
Burns & McDonnell has supported the design and construction of critical infrastructure in Puerto Rico for decades. The firm has provided consulting and construction services for public and private projects, including airports, manufacturing and energy projects. Following Hurricane Maria in 2017, the firm supported emergency recovery efforts, including power grid reconstruction.
“As a member of this community, I am focused on completing infrastructure revitalization for Puerto Rico in a reasonable time and delivering engineering solutions that are safe, innovative and cost-effective for the island,” Vargas says. “Burns & McDonnell is dedicated to investing in the surrounding community. As part of our commitment, we are hiring local employees, including native Puerto Ricans, and engaging local companies on our projects.”
The island’s skilled workforce continues to move out of Puerto Rico in search of work and opportunities. To combat the problem, Burns & McDonnell is increasing recruitment efforts on the island, particularly at engineering schools, and providing training to grow local talent capable of executing major infrastructure capital projects. Burns & McDonnell employs a number of native Puerto Rican professionals across the organization and a number are relocating back to Puerto Rico to support the island’s infrastructure revitalization.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies bringing together an unmatched team of 7,600 engineers, construction professionals, architects, planners, technologists and scientists to design and build our critical infrastructure. With an integrated construction and design mindset, we offer full-service capabilities with more than 60 offices globally. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned. Learn how we are designed to build.