SmithGroup elevates five to principal at Chicago office

SmithGroup, one of the nation’s leading integrated design firms, has promoted Sylvia Billisics, Kris Lucius, Karthik Ramadurai, Brian Rener and Coty Sandberg to principal at its Chicago office.

As a designer at the Chicago office, Sylvia Billisics, Associate AIA, LEED AP strives to design spaces that emphasize the user-experience. Originally a trained cabinet and special object maker, Billisics uses her unique skill set and perspective to conceptualize projects from the inside-out. A truly global citizen, Billisics was born in the U.S., educated in Austria and Germany, and gained work experience in Germany and the U.K. Notable work includes the Wanxiang Innova Energy City Block 6, a development of three battery factory buildings on an 80-acre site in Hangzhou, China. Billisics is a licensed architect in Germany, an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a member of the Advisory Board for Women in Design and Construction. Billisics earned a bachelor of interior architecture from the University of Rosenheim, Germany, followed by a master of architecture from Academy of Art and Design, Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin, Germany. She currently resides in Chicago.

Kris Lucius, PLA, ASLA is a landscape architect at the Chicago office whose expertise lies in designing open spaces that engage communities, create unique experiences and improve overall human wellness. Lucius is currently leading the landscape and site design for Wanxiang Innova Energy City Block 6 in Hangzhou, China. He has also worked on the South Lakefront Framework Plan, helping to develop a 20-year vision plan for Chicago’s landmark Jackson Park and South Shore Cultural Center by facilitating a complex community involvement process. Lucius is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He earned a bachelor of science in landscape architecture from the Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, followed by a master of landscape architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. A native of Toledo, Ohio, he now resides in Chicago.

Karthik Ramadurai, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP is a design principal at the Chicago office who specializes in large-scale healthcare projects. Throughout his career, Ramadurai has been dedicated to designing high performing, resilient facilities that better the lives of its users and surrounding communities. He was the lead designer of the 1.3 million-square-foot Manazel Medical Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He also led the design on the recently completed 230,000-square-foot, 120-bed Sutter Health CPMC Mission Bernal Hospital in San Francisco. Ramadurai is a registered architect and member of AIA, and co-chairs the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health’s annual design awards committee. He earned a bachelor of architecture from the University of Madras in Chennai, India, followed by a master of architecture from Texas A&M University – College Station. Originally from Chennai, India, Ramadurai now lives in Chicago.

As the electrical engineering discipline leader at the Chicago office, Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP has over 30 years of experience in the design of critical electrical systems for health, government, university and science and advanced technology facilities. Rener is currently serving as the engineering design lead on Milwaukee School of Engineering’s new 64,000-square-foot Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall; and as the electrical leader on Lakeland Health’s $160 million Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion expansion and renovation. Rener is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Electric Association, Consulting Electrical Engineers. He also serves on the editorial advisory board of Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine. He is active in his community, previously serving 10 years as an elected official in the Village of Lake Bluff and is the current co-chair of the committee on sustainability. Rener graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He resides in Lake Bluff, Illinois.

Coty Sandberg, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a lead designer at the Chicago office who excels at creating thoughtful and innovative design solutions that positively impact the human experience. Her diverse array of expertise spans the health, higher education and science and technology markets. Sandberg has served as an architectural designer on multiple award-winning projects, including the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Center for Advanced Care in Chicago. She also served as lead designer on Lakeland Health’s $160 million Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion expansion and renovation, expected to complete in 2020. Sandberg is a member of AIA. She earned a bachelor of fine arts, followed by a master of architecture from Savannah College of Art & Design. Sandberg is a resident of Oak Park, Illinois.