No stranger to complex construction projects, Azad Kareem, PE, thrives on the toughest of challenges by staying in the moment and focusing on the task at hand. This approach has served him well during a 30-year career which began in his native country of Iraq and is now benefiting Urban’s Hartford, CT office.
Azad first cut his teeth on the construction of 75 miles of six-lane expressway, including 19 new bridges, in southern Iraq during the 1980s. Based on this experience, the Iraqi government selected him to manage 1,800 personnel, constructing 37 miles of a $3.6 billion, 752 mile, six-lane expressway connecting the Persian Gulf with Europe in the 1990s. He worked closely with German design engineers, as well as contractors from all over the world. The enormity of these projects was unheard of at the time in Iraq.
Seeking a better lifestyle, Azad immigrated to the United States in 1998, eventually coming to Urban in 2006. For the past five years, he has worked side-by-side with Charter Oak Communities (COC) in Stamford, CT as the construction inspector and on-site monitor of the construction of new, mixed-income housing properties. Projects like this are particularly rewarding for him because they are not only changing Stamford’s landscape by replacing aging buildings and blight with modern facilities, but they are being welcomed enthusiastically by the neighborhoods and entire community. Having successfully completed his most recent COC assignment, the Palmer Square Housing Project, Azad is now Chief Inspector on Section Five of the CTfastrak Bus Rapid Transit project in Hartford, CT. Staying true to his professional character, when asked to name his favorite project from this diverse career, Azad responded, “Every one is my favorite until it is done!”