Specifically Speaking with Kathryn Bartunek

Program manager and security engineer for AECOM in New York
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What's your role at AECOM?

As a program manager and security engineer based in AECOM’s One Penn Plaza office in New York City, I have extensive experience in security master planning and budget development; security programming and engineering; procurement management; construction oversight; and building-wide systems integration.

I have managed site-wide World Trade Center (WTC) security programs, including One WTC, consulted on Critical Infrastructure Protection, Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards and defense contracts, and branched into education, embassies and art museums before joining AECOM.

I am now spreading my wings to reach bigger career goals, collaborating across AECOM business lines and geographies to address cities resiliency, security and stability concerns in US and emerging markets.

What kinds of systems do you specify? What vertical markets do you work in?

Major system deployments include video surveillance and analytics, access control, intrusion detection, emergency and non-emergency communications, RFID, vehicle and pedestrian checkpoints and interdiction, building-wide systems integration, situational awareness rules development, and sophisticated command and control.

How did you get started in consulting?

As a director for my family’s staffing firm, Bartunek Group, I became familiar with the scouting, program management, and performance expectations of engineering, security and IT clients.

In 2008, after training with the Peace Corps and based on connections I made through Bartunek Group, I joined a major engineering and defense contractor headquartered in my home town of Kansas City. My work spanned NERC-CIP, CFATS, defense, and global clients. I subsequently moved to New York and joined a smaller firm founded by one of the industries most respected leaders, Bob Ducibella. I managed numerous World Trade Center projects and branched into education, embassies, and art museums. With recommendation from my colleagues and clients, I moved to URS and was part of the AECOM merger that took place two years ago.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

For the past two years, I managed one of AECOM’s large global accounts. In this role I was engaged across many of the client’s internal departments, including Global Security, Operations, Executive Protection, Standards, Technology, IT, Corporate Real Estate and Procurement. I enjoy working with a wide range of fields and people of various backgrounds to affect a larger program.

What is your proudest achievement at AECOM?

I was honored to be awarded one of URS’ 2014 Outstanding Newcomers. I’ve also enjoyed working with senior management, AECOM legal, and a great team of U.S. security professionals to re-designate AECOM Threat and Vulnerability Assessments as Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology under the DHS Safety Act.

Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

From roving patrols to technology interfaces in corporate lobbies, my clients are increasingly interested in the prospect of deploying robots. The potential application of robots and robotic systems in the security industry is apparent. 

I have also seen a shift in the security culture of large organizations. Employees and customers have a growing interest in participating in the deterrence, detection, and reporting of security related incidents. The policies and technology mechanisms to support this interest are more regularly specified.