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Donny Harris, S.E., LEED AP


In 2017, JLA welcomed Donny to the team. Donny has over 20 years of experience as an engineer and enjoys figuring out effective solutions to projects in the team environment. He has completed over 500 projects in his career. On each project Donny works on, he draws from his variety of experience, whether it be the 400 bed state-of-the-art skilled nursing facility for the VA West LA or the million square foot parking facility and retail town center in La Jolla or one of the many spectacular mansions in the Los Angeles area he has completed, to work with the project team and get to the most effective structural solution.

From a young age, Donny was fascinated and curious about how buildings got put together. That curiousity combined with many years in the construction industry have shaped him. In the present day he enjoys mentoring and sharing his understanding of construction materials and building practices with young engineers. Passing on his knowledge and seeing the dozens of engineers he has worked with develop into the project managers and senior engineers of the future continues to be one of his most satisfying accomplishments.

Donny is a member of the Domestic and International Urban Search and Rescue team CA-TF[M1] -2 or USA-2. He is a structural specialist on the team and evaluates building damaged during disasters to help rescue people from collapsed structures and aid communities after catastrophes. As part of the team he completed many days of annual training with the Los Angeles County Fire Department to stay current with certifications for FEMA and OFDA requirements.  He has been part of the team’s deployment to the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti, the 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami in Japan, and 2015 Nepal Earthquake. The position is very rewarding; mainly because of the many people rescued and communities helped, but it is also an opportunity to see how building fail first hand, often the structural specialists on these teams are the first engineers to see a collapsed building, many times before or during aftershocks and before any demolition or shoring has been implemented.

Donny was a student athlete at UCSB and graduated with an engineering degree and as the all time points leader on the men’s volleyball team, a record that still stands today. Before starting his engineering career he played professional volleyball for several years in Italy, Belium, Peurto Rico and Spain. Currently in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, coaching youth sports, wood working and all things related to the beach and ocean.