Robert Marshall

Associate | Manager, Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineering

At SMMA

  • Bob leads the Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineering Department, which supports all projects at SMMA
  • Applies his 35+ years of experience in designing plumbing and fire protection systems for commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential buildings 
  • Draws on his expertise in designing green-building technologies, water and waste treatment, compressed air, and other process systems 
  • Excels at going beyond code requirements to ensure that project objectives are exceeded and client interests are protected well into the future 

Shaping a Growing Team 

When Bob joined SMMA over three years ago to lead the Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineering Department, his central goals were to improve the team’s processes and promote greater collaboration within the firm. “We make an effort to learn as much as possible from the architectural and interior designers and other engineers we’re working with,” he explains, “and they reciprocate. Sometimes we communicate very formally—at a meeting, for example—and other times it’s just a passing chat while grabbing coffee.”

“I’m deeply involved throughout all stages of every project—it’s the way I’m wired. We’re working hard to steer things in the right direction from the very start, and then regroup at the end of the project to determine what we learned and how we can utilize the lessons the next time around. There’s always something more to learn and apply.”

Early Experience

A family friend offered Bob a drafting position right out of high school. “I was immediately inspired that I could build a career out of making buildings work,” he says. “I consider myself very fortunate in that I discovered, so early on, that this industry is where I belong. Although I initially thought I wanted to become an architect, I was drawn to the engineering side of things. Now, at SMMA, I love seeing how much of a kick the more junior employees get out of hearing how things were done almost 40 years ago.”