Mark DiNapoli, BS
Hometown: Lexington, MA
Degree earned at WPI: BS, Civil Engineering
Why did you choose to attend WPI?
As a high school student, I was fortunate to have a strong interest in math and science and a history of engineering in my family. The engineering field was always very appealing to me and was a natural fit when it came time to choose a career path. WPI was an obvious choice because of the school’s reputation in the field of civil engineering. The school curriculum was outstanding, and I was educated by highly esteemed professors in the field, who taught me the skills and fundamentals necessary to succeed in the construction field right out of school. Many of those professors are still at WPI today, teaching students and preparing them for their futures.
Present job title and employer:
President and general manager, Suffolk Construction
How do you feel your experiences at WPI prepared you for working in your field?
I’ve heard that once you choose your major in college, you’ve decided what you’re not going to do for the rest of your life. That was certainly not the case for me. My degree in civil engineering was the start of an exciting career in construction management. After a brief stint at another engineering firm, I was hired by Suffolk Construction as a project manager—I’ve worked for Suffolk for 27 years now, and today, I’m the president and general manager of the company’s Northeast region. I don’t spend as much time on our project sites these days, but my engineering knowledge and background allows me to add significant value to the organization because I have an in-depth understanding of the engineering, logistics, and processes involved in managing a complicated building construction project. This enables me to communicate effectively and intelligently with our clients and partners throughout the construction process.
How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, prepared you for facing real-world challenges in the workplace or graduate school?
For engineers and construction professionals to be effective in today’s construction industry, they must be able to work well in teams and have the skills necessary to build partnerships and long-term relationships with colleagues, business partners, clients, and subcontractors. As buildings become more and more complicated to design and construct due to new sustainable/green standards and the growth of the science-technology and health care markets, there is no room for communications glitches or mishaps.
WPI prepares its students for the real world by training students to engage in intensive collaboration; they receive hands-on training and skills development in their fields of interest. WPI also teaches the fundamentals of civil engineering and a base knowledge of engineering principles that provide students the tools they need to pursue any number of promising, cutting-edge fields.
Academic or professional awards you have received:
Under my leadership, Suffolk’s Northeast team won the following awards in 2011:
- "Best of 2011–Best General Contractor, Design-Construction," Gold Award, Banker & Tradesman
- "Best of 2011–Best General Contractor, Commercial," Silver Award, Banker & Tradesman
- "2011 Build New England Performance Award," Associated General Contractors of America for Elliot at River’s Edge Ambulatory Care Center project
- "2011 Pride in Construction Award," Construction Institute, Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Boston project
- "2011 Project Innovations Award," Grand Prize, BUILDINGS for Suffolk University Modern Theatre
- "2011 Reconstruction Silver Award," Building Design and Construction, Suffolk University Modern Theatre
- "2011 Preservation Achievement Award," Boston Preservation Alliance, Suffolk University Modern Theatre
- "2011 Preservation Achievement Award," Boston Preservation Alliance, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School