Lighting the Way
Sam Alkhatib, PMP,
Inc., San Francisco,
In 2012, Cupertino Electric Inc., one of the largest specialty contractors in the United States, noticed a
divide in its workforce. On one side were the engineers who design the San Jose, California, USA-based
company’s electrical systems. On the other were the project managers who oversee installation of the
systems in residential and commercial buildings and industrial facilities (clients include Facebook, Pacific
Gas and Electric, and the Port of Los Angeles). To help improve project outcomes and bring those sides
together, the company hired someone with substantial experience as both an electrical engineer and project manager: Sam Alkhatib. Since then, Mr. Alkhatib has helped ensure Cupertino’s project managers
master best practices and exchange lessons learned on the job.
What unique challenges do electrical project managers face on large-scale
Electrical work is dependent on construction trade partners completing their work accurately and on time.
In order for electrical engineers to design an electrical system, they need to know what electrical loads are
required. Without final floor plans from the architect and exact equipment specifications from mechanical
trade partners provided in a timely manner to the electrical engineers and project managers, the electrical
team faces challenges designing electrical systems within the designated time frame.