Engineering firm GRAEF promotes two UWM alums to leadership roles

Two alumni from the college have been promoted to leadership roles at GRAEF – a Milwaukee-based engineering, planning and design firm – in the company’s structural engineering arm.

Steve Rech (’00 MS and ’98 BS, Civil Engineering) serves as the firm’s director of structural engineering. Kyle Poklar (’15 MS Civil Engineering) was named as structural practice area leader.

After nearly 25 years of contributions as an exceptional engineer, Rech leads the development of structural technical and quality standards and processes and oversee structural projects firmwide.

Rech brings a visionary approach to this new position. He started at GRAEF in 2000 and began to lead the Milwaukee structural group in 2017. A principal of the firm, he has worked on some of GRAEF’s top projects, including the Baird Center expansion, Komatsu South Harbor Campus, Fincantieri Marinette Marine and more.

Poklar has exhibited technical expertise and a keen understanding of the industry’s landscape. As GRAEF’s structural practice area leader, Poklar oversees the Milwaukee structural group and continues to provide expertise to our clients.

Poklar has worked on GRAEF projects, such as the Milwaukee School of Engineering Viets Tower, Marquette University College of Business Administration, Komatsu South Harbor Campus and more. He also is leading the structural team on Milwaukee’s Iron District Development, coming soon to downtown.

Poklar, an associate of the firm, began his career at GRAEF as a college intern in 2013.

GRAEF is led by another alum, president and CEO John Kissinger (’79 BS Civil Engineering). With a legacy of more than 60 years in structural expertise, GRAEF designs across a spectrum of dynamic markets, such as industrial, healthcare, commercial, residential, retail and sports centers.