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Karen Hand, PE

Needham DBS

Karen began working in tilt-up construction shortly after joining Needham DBS in 1998. Trained in tilt-up design by TCA College of Fellows honoree Jeffrey Needham, a protege of David Kelly, she has been instrumental to the success of the concrete tilt-up division for Needham DBS. She has a clear understanding of construction methods as a result of hands on experience and the close relationships developed with design-build clients and contractors.  With 20 years of experience in design and detailing of tilt-up panels, including innovative and specialty applications, she is known and admired in the industry.

With a master’s degree in Engineering Management, Karen has grown the concrete division within Needham DBS and has turned over many of her accounts to next generation leaders to focus efforts on business operations, business development, marketing and sales for the firm. Karen is responsible for engineering management, project management and engineering for Needham DBS. In July 2018 she was promoted to President of Needham DBS and is managing the Operations of the Kansas City office.

Karen is currently serving on the TCA Board of Directors and the ACI 551 Tilt-Up Concrete Committee. She actively participated in the High Wind Task Force that assembled a report in response to the Joplin MO EF5 tornado. This engagement enabled her to work with peers in the industry, gathering information and effectively disseminating it to others.

Photo of Karen Hand

David L. Kelly Distinguished Engineer Award

The David L. Kelly Distinguished Engineer Award recognizes those individuals or firms whose commitment to engineering excellence has allowed for industry advancement and achievement.



The award honors the career-long commitment of Dave Kelly to the constant evolution of engineering solutions for the tilt-up industry. Learn more >

Upcoming Talks

Project Dylan
Tilt-Up Academy - January 1, 2021

Past Talks

Creepy Things in Panel Design
Tilt-Up Academy - November 11, 2022

Creepy Things in Panel Design
Tilt-Up Convention and Expo 2022 - Denver - October 6, 2022

Case Study: Project Dylan
Tilt-Up Convention and Expo 2019 - Atlanta - September 27, 2019