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Employee News

Category: Announcements

March 7, 2019 0 Comments

DWL Architects Celebrates 7 Decades of Design [1949-2019]

#7decadesofdesign #dwlcelebrates70years #dwlarchitects

Dwight Todd’s Retirement Party

DWL Architects celebrates the retirement of longtime friend and principal Dwight Todd.

Todd has worked at DWL for nearly 30 years and contributed his lifework to the higher education and healthcare industries as our Executive Vice President. Since 1995, he has focused almost exclusively on projects at Midwestern University at both the Arizona and Illinois campuses. Todd leaves DWL strongly positioned and experienced in the relationship between educational facilities and the opportunities that lay for its students.

Thank you for all you have done, and we wish you all the best Dwight!


November 20, 2018 0 Comments

Design Firm of the Year

In attendance at the ENR Southwest awards banquet luncheon to accept our award for ENR Southwest Design Firm of the Year! Congrats team!

November 7, 2018 0 Comments

DWL Promotes Two New Associates

Help us congratulate our newly promoted Associates Shawn Filip and Michael Hauer!


As a registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional with over 13 years of experience with aviation projects, Shawn’s in-depth understanding of the intricacies of an airport allows him to translate needs and requirements into a functional space. He works closely with each team member to solve technical challenges and transform a project’s design into an effective solution. As an expert in aviation planning, Shawn has played an integral role on many of the aviation projects throughout our office, including the recent $430M Terminal 3 Modernization at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Starting his architectural career in 2007, Michael’s keen ability for creativity and problem solving has been an important element in the success of his projects. Michael excels at leading teams through technically-challenging projects and ‘untangling’ them so that the resulting design is clean, simple, attractive and highly functional. He understands a project’s requirements, from pre-design through construction administration, and is able to define a clear strategy to execute those tasks. With an emphasis on efficiency and the desire to utilize design tools to their fullest potential, Michael manages design and document production through a comprehensive Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach.

September 14, 2018 0 Comments


DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. is looking to add entry level architectural staff and experienced project architects to our team.

Entry Level Architects

DWL Architects is seeking to add entry level architectural staff who will thrive in an atmosphere that encourages creativity and rewards self-motivation; a person who can be an integral part of a design team whether it consists of one person or twenty.

Education:  A minimum four-year degree in Architecture from an accredited university program is preferred.

Experience: 1-3 years in a professional design office setting.  Skill with Revit and presentation graphic software is preferred.  Experience with large public projects is also beneficial.  Upcoming projects at DWL offer an opportunity to participate in all facets of a diverse assortment of project types, many of them significant, high profile projects.

Project Architects

DWL Architects is seeking a Project Architect to join our Phoenix office. Depending on experience and the size of the project, the candidate will lead projects or be an integral member of a collaborative design team.

Education:  A minimum 5-year professional degree in Architecture from an accredited university program is preferred.

Experience: 3-15 years in a professional design office setting.  Revit and presentation graphic software experience is required.  Experience with public projects is also beneficial.  Must be a Registered Architect or have the ability and qualifications to become registered.

Why join the DWL team?

  • Competitive compensation
  • Benefits Package that includes Medical, dental, vision, life, short and long-term disability insurance, supplementary insurance, 401k with matching employer contribution
  • Flexible work hours with half-day Fridays
  • Professional growth environment including interest groups for design, sustainability, BIM, ARE prep, new materials/product sessions and more
  • Work with a diverse, knowledgeable, collaborative team on some of the best projects in the state and nationwide

To Apply

Please e-mail cover letter, resume and references to Vicky Ramella at  Please indicate the position you are applying for into the subject line. Salary will commensurate with experience and ability.


Help us congratulate our newest Vice President – Nithya Rachel Jebaraj


Phoenix, Ariz. – August 7, 2018 – DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Nithya Rachel Jebaraj, AIA, LEED AP to Vice President. Her promotion demonstrates the firm’s ongoing commitment to exceptional service and leadership in architectural design.

“Rachel came to us 15 years ago as a Master’s Degree student with an interest in construction management and we quickly realized that she excelled in just about everything.  A consummate professional and a joy to work with,” says Steve Rao, President of DWL.

“I have always been passionate about innovative design and in enhancing it through exceptional execution,” says Jebaraj. “DWL shares that dedication and I am honored to serve as a principal.”

Jebaraj’s focus has been the inventive design of large and technically challenging buildings prevalent in healthcare education and aviation. In the last five years alone, she has led the design and construction of more than 12 new facilities on the Midwestern University campus in both Glendale, Arizona and Downers Grove, Illinois, with the award-winning buildings helping to shape the University community and implement their vision.

Serving as DWL’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) Director for the last seven years, she leads the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) effort across all projects at DWL, using it to design, simulate, coordinate and refine all aspects of the firm’s projects before committing to construction. She has helped establish DWL as an industry leader in BIM and in providing personalized post-occupancy services to owners.

Jebaraj is a graduate from Arizona State University, with a Master’s Degree in Science in Building Design with a focus on architectural development and management. She is also a graduate from Anna University in India with a Bachelor of Architecture.

About DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.

Founded in 1949, DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. is one of the region’s premier architecture firms, bringing expertise and strategies from a range of industries such as aviation, higher education, civic, and healthcare. Since 1949, DWL Architects has drawn from their design experience to create welcoming environments that respond to function, form, and innovation. DWL Architects’ work has been consistently recognized locally, nationally, and internationally. For more information:


2018 Canstruction ‘Best Meal’ Award

DWL Architects, Schaefer Engineering and Floor Associates, are thrilled to have won the 2018 Phoenix CANSTRUCTION® award for ‘Best Meal’.

We would like to thank our sponsors once again for helping make this year a huge success!

Silver Level Sponsors: Floor Associates, Schaefer, LSW Engineers, Arizona Lighting, Superlite an Oldcastle Company, Maglin Site Furniture, HuntAustin, and Forms+Surfaces.

Friend Level Sponsors: Acker-Stone Industries, Allegion, ARC Document Solutions, Daltile, Dave Bang Associates, Dave Wooster, Fry’s Food Stores, Granite Express, Jay Harris, Kelly Reese, Landscape Forms, Pioneer Industries, PRI Graphics, and 115 Degrees West.

All of the non-perishable items used during Phoenix CANSTRUCTION® 2018 are donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank to help fill the more than 400,000 Emergency Food Boxes St. Mary’s distributes into the community annually.


June 29, 2018 0 Comments

Thank you CANstruction Sponsors!

DWL Architects, Schaefer Engineering and Floor Associates, would like to thank all of this years sponsors for their contributions! Sculptures will be on display July 14th – July 20th at the Phoenix Convention Center.




Sandra Kukla, a Partner at DWL Architects + Planners, was honored with Corporate Member of the Year at the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) Annual “Dutch Bertholf” Spring Conference last week in Tucson, Arizona. The Corporate Member of the Year is a new award, given to honor a Corporate or Associate Member for their dedication and support of aviation in Arizona during the last year. Sandra was previously recognized by AzAA in 2016 and 2012 with the President’s Award and has been actively involved with the organization for several years.



April 9, 2018 0 Comments

6th Annual Run the Runway

DWL was excited to attend this year’s 6th Annual Run the Runway at Scottsdale Airport this past weekend. Our team ran/walked in the 10K and 5K in support of Scottsdale Airport and Playworks Arizona.



The Scottsdale Airport’s Redevelopment Project designed by DWL is currently under construction and estimated to be complete by late summer. The project includes a new Aviation Business Center and two executive hangars.

All race proceeds benefit Playworks Arizona a nonprofit organization sending trained, full-time coaches to low-income urban schools to help kids and teachers get the most out of every learning opportunity.

Tucson TOP Wins RED Award for Best Project

The Tucson International Airport Terminal Optimization Project has been awarded for Best Project in the Public/Utilities Category. Congratulations to the team and to everyone involved that helped make this project so successful!

The RED Awards highlight impressive projects completed in the last year, as well as the companies and people that make each project possible.

Owner: Tucson Airport Authority
General Contractor: Sundt Construction, Inc.
Project Manager: Hill International
Architect: DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.

March 5, 2018 0 Comments

DWL Architects Ranked #1 Architecture Firm

DWL Architects is so excited to announce our firm has been ranked #1 in the Architectural Firms category by Ranking Arizona – The Best of Arizona Business – for 2018! We are honored with this recognition and want to thank all of our supporters for voting for us.

Throughout the past eight years, DWL Architects has received various rankings in this category but this year marks our first year receiving the #1 spot.






February 15, 2018 0 Comments

New Automated Exit Lane Technology at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

February 14, 2018


AZA Incorporates New Automated Exit Lane Technology – a First of its Kind in the Southwest

PHOENIX –– The expansion plans of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) focus on transforming the passenger experience and improving operational efficiency. The new design incorporates technology to improve passenger flow and reduce congestion to the existing exit lanes, a priority for the airport in response to continued growth.

“Expanding our TSA Security Screening Checkpoint and adding a new Fully-Automated Exit Lane enables us to better serve the growing number of air travelers choosing Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport”, said Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Executive Director/CEO J. Brian O’Neill, A.A.E. “These projects provide enhanced security, increased efficiency and a better overall passenger experience.”

With DWL Architects’ expertise and extensive knowledge of airport operations, AZA and DWL Architects collaborated with DPR Construction and dormakaba to execute a workable plan. Having previously completed a study on exit lane technology, DWL Architects prepared a solution to meet the airports requirements.

“As we assessed the different needs with AZA, we knew larger security improvements were necessary to accommodate the demands of today’s airport. In addition to the dormakaba automated exit lane, the checkpoint has also been expanded from four to five lanes, with the space to accommodate a sixth lane.” said Sandra Kukla, executive vice president of DWL Architects. “AZA is paving the way for the region by integrating this new exit lane technology and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

For improved passenger efficiency, DWL Architects created a “gateway” for the new exit lane. The retrofit from a serpentine hallway to an unmanned exit lane required that the exit lane run perpendicular to current traffic flow and necessitated creative way finding ideas to guide passengers through the portal.

The dormakaba Exit Lane Breach Control (ELBC) system was selected due to its modularity and “smart technology” interface which optimizes airport operations. Replacing guards with technology not only eliminated the possibility of human error, it has proven to offer more control, airside protection against security breaches and substantial cost savings without compromising passenger safety. “This installation at AZA incorporates a two lane, three-door unit with new sensors and object detection,” said Bill Seibert, Business Development Manager at dormakaba. “It is the first of its kind to be installed in the Southwestern United States.”

As one of Arizona’s premier technical builders, DPR Construction’s extensive knowledge working on TSA checkpoints, and occupied spaces paved the way for seamless execution on this project. To ensure a superior experience and minimal disruption for passengers and staff, the team devised a strategic phasing plan that underscored the safety of the travelling public and ease of traffic flow. This resulted in completing the project an entire month ahead of schedule, just in time for the Valley’s influx of flights due to Spring Training season in March.

“Our real strength on this project was in the phasing plan that put the passenger, staff and the operation of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport first, ultimately making it ‘just plane easy’ for our client,” said Jim Lauer of DPR Construction. “We’re thrilled to re-define and contribute to PMGAA’s growing presence in the Valley and its role in supporting the region’s economy while providing a streamlined traveling experience for residents and visitors alike.”


About Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport: Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (PMGAA). PMGAA consists of representation from Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Gila River Indian Community, Phoenix, and Apache Junction. Gateway Airport offers nonstop passenger service to 46 cities via Allegiant and WestJet Airlines and welcomes more than 1.3 million passengers each year. Corporate, military and general aviation customers are served by Gateway Aviation Services, a 24-hour full service FBO located just north of the passenger terminal.

About DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.: Founded in 1949, DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. has established itself as a local leader in aviation design. Playing the leading role in the development of several aviation projects across the state, DWL Architects’ aviation team focuses on terminal expansions, renovations, concourses, concessions, checkpoints and more. We bring expertise from a range of industries like aviation, hospitality, civic, healthcare and higher education. Among the most dynamic and respected locally owned architecture firms in the Southwest, DWL Architects has a legacy of connecting people with places through design. Further information at

About dormakaba: dormakaba is one of the top three companies in the global market for access and security solutions. With strong brands such as Dorma and Kaba in our portfolio, we are a single source for products, solutions, and services related to doors and secure access to buildings and rooms.  With around 16,000 employees and numerous cooperation partners, we are active in over 130 countries. dormakaba is headquartered in Rümlang (Zurich/Switzerland) and generates an annual turnover of over CHF 2 billion. SIX Swiss Exchange: DOKA (formerly: KABN / KABNE) Further information at

 About DPR: DPR Construction is a unique technical builder with a passion for results. Ranked in the top 50 general contractors in the country since 1997, we are a national commercial contractor and construction manager that has grown with our customers by delivering measurably more value. Whether a multi-million-dollar technical facility or a conference room renovation, we execute every project with relentless accountability. We listen to your goals. We develop strategies based on your business. We track our performance. We do everything we can to earn your trust and build great lasting relationships.


AZA Automated Exit Lane – Landside

Check out our latest Midwestern University Downers Grove Campus Photography

Little do many know, DWL Architects has been working with Midwestern University since 1995, not only on their Glendale, Arizona campus but also in Downers Grove, Illinois. Throughout the past two decades, we have helped the university grow into one of the nation’s largest Osteopathic medical schools – completing nearly 100 projects on their two campuses. These leading-edge facilities include state-of-the-art practice labs, classrooms, lecture halls and libraries, as well as community clinics providing dental, optical, family medicine, podiatry, behavioral and now veterinary care.

Check out some of our recent photography below, captured by Kyle Zirkus Photography, and learn more about our extensive experience on the Downers Grove campus.



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