Brian Lawlor


Executive Vice President | COO


  • Combines his applied engineering skills with exemplary leadership abilities
  • Mentors young staff in both technical and business aspects of the profession 
  • Advises clients on complex permitting, site design, and sustainable opportunity strategies
  • Provides leadership and creative solutions to address needs of all parties in development by identifying mutual interests and advancing amicable agreements that lead to approvals
  • Committed to resolving environmental challenges and designing sustainable solutions that improve communities 
  • Applies his 25+ years of civil and site experience and knowledge of federal, state, and local approvals processes to shorten the planning and design phases of public and private projects 
  • Guides firm management and operations as a Principal and Board member 

Paying It Forward

Brian is known for his commitment to mentoring up-and-coming leaders, both inside and outside of SMMA. He focuses on helping others succeed, exhibiting a calm and rational approach to overcoming obstacles and solving problems. At SMMA, he helped inaugurate the mentor-protégé program, which encourages young professionals on staff to request a mentor they believe can assist in their professional development. He has mentored emerging firm leaders who are now integrated into the management team. 

“One of the strengths of our firm is providing hands-on leadership for our clients. The nuanced skills necessary are rarely taught in an engineering or architecture school, so the best way to learn them is with a long-term mentor.”


Brian’s involvement with the ACE Mentor program, which introduces high school students to career opportunities in architecture, construction, and engineering, includes leading the first ACE Cambridge project team. Students from several local schools meet weekly at SMMA to participate on projects and take a hands-on role working side by side with mentors from SMMA.

“With young staff, a key career lesson is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, identifying their needs first. If you can solve problems and help them be successful, clients will seek you above others for their toughest projects.”

Setting Goals, Meeting Challenges

Attracted perhaps by similarities between the challenges of project permitting and the diversity of surviving triathlons, Brian is training and competing with a goal of being ranked in the top 100 triathletes in his age group in the state. Before achieving this lofty goal, he admits, “I need to get much better as a swimmer."