Unconventional Paths


12:50 pm-1:40 pm
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MAE-A Room 303
939 Sweetwater Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611


Unconventional Paths

Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 12:50pm
Location: MAE-A-303

Steve Kowkabany
Executive Vice President
Fire Protection and Life Safety Services

This talk will explore unconventional career trajectories from engineering school that I have experienced and witnessed, and some lessons learned that I think could be of benefit to students.

Our commencement speaker is UF alum Steve Kowkabany, who currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Fire Protection and Life Safety Services for The Vertex Companies; a 750-person consultancy based out of Weymouth, Massachusetts. After attending undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech and receiving his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UF, where he conducted research under Dr. Carl Crane in CIMAR, he worked for Fuji Photo Film at a manufacturing facility where he was introduced to the specialty field of fire protection engineering. He returned to Florida in 2003 and founded his own company Neptune Fire Protection Engineering shortly thereafter, which he sold in April of 2022 to The Vertex Companies.
Steve currently leads a multi-disciplinary group of engineers, designers and administrative staff in a hybrid environment to tackle complex projects around the world. Outside of his corporate efforts, Mr. Kowkabany is passionate about advancing the field of fire protection and civic involvement. He serves as the president of the Florida chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, serves a board member for the Florida Engineering Management Corporation and was appointed to the Florida Fire Code Advisory Council.

MAE Faculty Host: Kerry Costello


Hosted by

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering