ESD names new CEO, president

Environmental Systems Design has announced Raj Gupta as CEO, and former executive vice president Kurt Karnatz as president.


ESD (Environmental Systems Design Inc.) has announced senior management changes that include Consulting-Specifying Engineer editorial advisory board member Raj Gupta becoming the firm’s CEO, replacing Hem Gupta, who remains chairman. Former executive vice president Kurt Karnatz was named president.

Hem Gupta founded ESD in 1967, and the firm has been responsible for designing systems for many of Chicago’s iconic buildings and for high profile projects around the world, including UBS Tower, Citadel Center, Hyatt Center and 111 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago; Masdar Headquarters and Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi; and several buildings for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Raj Gupta joined the firm in 1984 as a mechanical engineer and became vice president of the mechanical engineering department in 1990. In 1993, he was promoted to executive vice president and in 1998 was elected president. Throughout his career, Gupta has led design teams to integrate creative engineering solutions for a wide variety of project types, including governmental, educational, mixed-use, libraries, office buildings, cultural, and medical facilities. He is recognized within the industry for his leadership ability and professional and civic contributions.  He is a member of the executive committee and a trustee of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, a trustee of the Adler Planetarium, a member of the board of directors of the Advocate Charitable Foundation, a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a member of the Young President’s Organization. He is also active as a board member of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College.

Karnatz has been a driving force within ESD in the development of sustainable, optimized engineering solutions for high-performance buildings.  He has gained international recognition as a leader within the engineering industry for his ability to bridge a commitment for sustainable design with real-world constraints of real estate development.  A licensed professional engineer in 21 states, Mr. Karnatz is a registered energy professional in Illinois, a certified energy manager, and a LEED accredited professional. 

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