SSOE Group CEO Vince DiPofi Named Engineer of the Year

Firm’s James Burtnett-Grigsby Named Young Engineer of the Year

TOLEDO, Ohio, February 21, 2022 – SSOE Group (, a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce the Toledo Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) has awarded Chief Executive Officer Vince DiPofi, PE, and Chemical Process Engineer James Burnett-Grigsby, PE, with two of the organization’s most esteemed honors—Engineer of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year, respectively. The announcement comes as the firm kicks off Engineers Week, a week aimed at ensuring a diverse and well-educated future workforce by increasing interest in engineering and technology-related careers. Both DiPofi and Burtnett-Grigsby will be honored at the TSPE Engineer of the Year Ceremony held virtually on Thursday, February 24th at noon.

DiPofi: Engineer of the Year with a Career-Full of Contributions to the Field

A mechanical engineer by trade, DiPofi has more than 40 years of professional experience in the AEC industry. He was hired as the business leader for SSOE’s food and consumer products group in 2000, which he was responsible for building into an Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 5 ranked business. By 2007, SSOE was ranked the #2 Food and Beverage Design Firm nationally by the industry-leading publication, ultimately rising to $50 million in annual revenue in engineering and construction from the less than $5 million in revenue in 2000 and sustaining its market position ever since.

DiPofi concurrently managed SSOE’s Ohio offices—located in Toledo, Lima, and Cincinnati at the time—along with the firm’s St. Paul, Minnesota and Omaha, Nebraska offices and was instrumental in developing engineering alliance relationships with several of SSOE’s Top 10 clients. He spearheaded SSOE’s Value Promise program, which has now documented more than $1.5 billion in savings for clients initiated by SSOE. Named a principal in 2006, DiPofi has been influential in fostering a culture of business development strategy within SSOE, holding previous roles such as Director of Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer, for which he provided oversight of SSOE’s international operations that included opening an office in León, Mexico that continues to grow exponentially.

A native Toledoan and 1985 University of Toledo College of Engineering graduate, DiPofi has been a professional engineer for more than 30 years and is currently licensed in both Ohio and Michigan. He was the recipient of the ABET-accredited school’s Distinguished Alumnus award in 2019 and served as a Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board Member from 2013 to 2018.

Commenting on his connection to the city, DiPofi shared, “I made the choice to continue my career in the Glass City following my graduation from the University of Toledo. Beginning as an intern, I learned drafting and design on the board, coming up through the ranks until I found my niche in business strategy. Toledo served as my home base while I traveled the globe gaining significant international experience. It’s truly an honor and a lifelong dream to be named Engineer of the Year in the city where I was born and raised, have enjoyed an extremely fulfilling life, and enjoyed a highly rewarding and successful career. It’s also exciting to have a fellow colleague right here at SSOE named Young Engineer of the Year and serving as a role model for the next generation of engineers responsible for advancing our profession.”

While his day job as SSOE’s CEO keeps him busy, DiPofi is still actively involved with several Toledo-area organizations. He currently serves as Director for ConnecToledo, a board member for the United Way of Greater Toledo, and is incoming Chair of the Board for the American Heart Association of Northwest Ohio. DiPofi also has a long-standing history with TSPE. In 1991, he was named Young Engineer of the Year and is still very active in the organization, currently an officer of the board and holding previous positions that include Director, Vice President, and President for the 2019-2020 term. In addition, he is a published thought leader in industry publications that include ENR, Area Development, and Food Engineering.

Nominees for the Engineer of the Year award are judged in seven categories: technical knowledge, professional interest and habits, personal character, leadership, public relations, civic spirit, and contributions to the community, state, and / or nation.

Burtnett-Grigsby: From Co-Op to Go-To to Young Engineer of the Year  

A Youngstown, Ohio native, Burtnett-Grigsby joined SSOE in 2009 as a co-op working part-time on process and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), equipment sizing and modeling, hydraulic flow calculations, and many other engineering tasks for the firm’s clients in Ohio and Michigan. In 2011, Burtnett-Grigsby graduated from the University of Toledo College of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Chemistry. Upon graduation, he quickly transitioned to full-time Chemical Process Engineer and has worked on a plethora of different projects within the semiconductor, automotive, food and consumer products, agricultural, general chemical, natural gas, and other industries.

As a result of the wide variety of projects and industries that he’s had the opportunity to work on while at SSOE, Burtnett-Grigsby has built a unique skill set that has allowed him to become a go-to person for fluid flow hydraulic modeling, chemical process simulation, relief valve calculation and sizing, and code requirements for chemical handling. He earned his Fundamentals of Engineering certificate in 2012 and his professional engineers license in 2016.

Burtnett-Grigsby currently serves as a Trustee for TSPE and is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers. He’s served as the local Engineering Week Committee’s Public Relations Chair for the last three years and volunteers for Toledo’s MATHCOUNTS competition, a program that provides STEM engagement for students in grade school. Additionally, he volunteers annually to assist with mock interviews that aid in preparing freshmen chemical engineering students.

Nominees for the Young Engineer of the Year award are judged in seven categories: educational and collegiate achievements, professional society activities, technical society activities, civic humanitarian activities, continuing competence, engineering achievements, and professional experience.

About SSOE Group

As an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, SSOE is known for delivering unparalleled client value that advances the AEC industry. They have been named a “Great Workplace” (Great Place to Work®) and one of the “Best AEC Firms to Work For” (BD+C).

Over the company’s 75-year history, it has earned a reputation for providing quality project solutions to high-tech and general manufacturing clients in the semiconductor, automotive, battery, food, chemical, and glass industries. SSOE also provides forward-thinking design across healthcare and general building sectors such as corporate workplace, education, and judicial—with projects completed in 40 countries. Visit for additional information and career opportunities.

Media Contact:
Jenni Roder
(419) 469-1918
(419) 351-6480 cell