BD+CCatherine Corbin, health practice leader for our Chicago office and member of our board of directors, is featured on the cover of the October issue of Building Design + Construction (BD+C). A 40 Under 40 honoree, Catherine is included in BD+C’s 2016 list of “superstars” representing the next generation of leadership in the architecture, engineering and construction industries.

As leader of our Chicago office’s health practice, Catherine’s day-to-day responsibilities include client engagement, business development, design team mentorship, and providing leadership on healthcare projects throughout the Midwest and beyond. From 2014-2015, her teams brought in more than $17 million in sales, won contracts for four replacement hospital projects, and had 6+ million SF of healthcare facilities under design for clients worldwide.

Catherine is the first to admit that she does not see herself as the archetypal architect. Though her aesthetic sensibilities are intact and she has a strong appreciation for well-designed spaces, she identifies more as a builder of teams and a master problem solver. In her work, she uses these strengths to help healthcare organizations address the myriad challenges they face every day — from improving access to care and growing market share to managing population health and attracting top physicians. Her clients include a number of well-known healthcare systems in the U.S., as well as those in India and Qatar; she recently partnered with Hamad Medical Center in Doha to help the system increase its ability to provide emergency and trauma services to its growing population.

Catherine’s interest in design spans back to childhood; her story is a common one among those in the architecture profession — Girl meets LEGO. After falling in love with the art and science of building and designing things in her living room, she decided to pursue the craft as a career and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. After working at CannonDesign for two years, she left the firm to obtain her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with a focus in health industry management and finance.

Upon receiving her MBA, Catherine worked as the Administrative Director of Orthopaedic Surgery, Neurosurgery and Physiatry for NorthShore University Health system in Evanston, IL. Working on the “other side of the table” helped her develop a further sense of appreciation for the challenging nature of healthcare administration, and a renewed sense of empathy for how we take care of people. Ultimately, missing the collaborative studio environment, Catherine rejoined CannonDesign, and today, one of her greatest strengths is her ability to use her insider’s perspective to balance design excellence with the demands of the healthcare industry.

Earlier this year, Catherine was also named to ENR Midwest’s Top 20 Under 40 list.