This year marks a significant milestone for our parent company 8-koi. Founded on August 8th, 2008 by University of Florida accounting graduate and show dog mom Inga Young, the woman-owned small business has grown to support millions of dollars in government contracts and hired hundreds of employees around the US. As a first generation American, Inga credits her success to her parents, and practices everyday gratitude for the opportunity to learn from her coworkers and peers in the industry. Design, build, staff, and supply… 8-koi offers full-spectrum contracting solutions with a human touch. See more about the EDWOSB’s capabilities in design engineering, construction, technical, and healthcare-related services.
Inspired by the hit television series “Prison Break,” CDE’s Kyle Findlater chose to pursue a career in structural engineering and successfully earned his Professional Engineering License from the State of Florida on July 1st, 2022. “After watching Michael Scofield apply structural engineering principles to break his brother out of the prison he designed, I knew that was the specialty I wanted to pursue,” Kyle muses.
Though being highly motivated, but not having a falsely imprisoned brother to free, Kyle admits his journey to be a Professional Engineer was not an easy road to walk. “I struggled to get back the motivation to study,” Kyle says after his first P.E. exam was cancelled in April 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I had spent the six months prior studying intensely and working practice problems. It was very frustrating and deflating.”
As disappointing as it was, I immediately jumped back in and rescheduled my test…
His next opportunity to test came in October 2021 when he sat for the last paper-and-pencil version of the P.E. exam before they switched to a standard computer-based exam. “Several weeks later, I received a failing result. As disappointing as it was, I immediately jumped back in and rescheduled my test for April 2022.” This time he passed.
“I then had to fill out the P.E. licensure application by gathering my work history and professional engineering references to be validated by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. A few weeks later after going before the FBPE committee, I was granted my P.E. License,” Kyle proudly explains of the process.
Kyle joined CDE in July 2021 and now serves as the lead designer and project manager for the structural engineering department. Prior to CDE, Kyle’s work experience included three years in residential structures with Apex Technology and three years in marine structures with JACOBS.
My biggest career highlight so far has definitely been achieving my Professional Engineering License…
A first-generation American, Kyle was born in New York after his parents emigrated from Jamaica, but he’s called Florida home ever since his family moved to Palatka when he was young. Kyle went on to attend the University of Florida where he received his bachelor’s in civil engineering and met his wife, Nureka, who was a nursing student from Jamaica. They have a lively young daughter and enjoy family travel and trips to the beach.
When asked about his future, Kyle says he’s focused on honing his design skills so he can eventually mentor and teach other young engineers. “My advice for aspiring P.E.’s would be to find great mentors and take your P.E. exam as close to your schooling as possible because it will be harder to re-learn how to study and prepare for a test of this magnitude if you wait.”
As for Kyle’s mentors who helped him along the way, “I would like to thank Jesse Dayhoff, P.E. with Apex Technology, Gary Ledford, P.E. with JACOBS, Josh Smith, P.E. formally with CDE, and currently Rob Sullivan, P.E. and Lutfi Mized, P.E. with CDE for their mentorship.”
Please join us all at CDE and 8-koi in congratulating Kyle on his well-deserved accomplishment of becoming a licensed Professional Engineer. You can connect with Kyle on LinkedIn.
Effective March 11th, Robert M. Sullivan will be taking the lead for current and future projects at CDE. Robert is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Florida who enthusiastically accepted the position of Vice President for 8-koi’s Engineering Division. CDE became a wholly-owned subsidiary of 8-koi in 2019.
Robert joins the team in Merritt Island with over forty years of experience as an innovator in the fields of capital project contracts management, civil environmental, structural, and construction engineering, planning, forensics, emergency and reconstruction management, expert litigation support, and safety.
With over 25 years of service with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department FEMA response team, Florida Task Force One (FL-TF1), Robert’s work as a Structural Specialist with this international response rescue team has been integral in the development of his operations management skill set to include accurate rapid assessment and detailed analysis to achieve mission-critical goals when time and resources are not always optimum.
“Robert brings a high level of industry expertise and keen understanding of senior/executive management to CDE and 8-koi. His multi-disciplinary experience and background in Earned Value Analysis (EVA) will be an asset to growing our Design Engineering capability for years to come,” stated Dean Rosenquist, 8-koi’s Chief Operating Officer.
With a portfolio that includes work on special capital projects related to construction of unique buildings/facilities, airport and airfield upgrades, harbor dredging, environmental and hazardous waste system upgrades, value engineering, roadway and bridge transportation project management, Robert will be tasked with aligning business development strategy to CDE’s in-demand capabilities.
My motivation and motto is: Plan the Work – Work the Plan,” says Robert. “I’m really looking forward to making the most of the next chapter in my career with this dynamic small business.”
Please help us welcome Robert to the Team and be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn to learn more about his work.
Li Li (her first name is the same as her last) was recently celebrated for her loyalty and longevity marked this month by 20 years serving CDE and now the 8-koi team. Currently, Li works to support new construction, having worked on projects that included: Daytona Beach State College Hosseini Center, Palm Beach State College Technical Education Facility, Space Shuttle Processing Facility (SSPF) Science Annex at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and the Eastern Florida State College (EFSC) Student Union and Health Sciences Building. She’s also worked on various renovation projects for EFSC, Brevard County School Board and Florida Power & Light.
“I like to work on different kinds of projects so I can always learn something new,” she said.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at TsingHua University in Beijing, China, she continued her education in the US earning her Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
In 2001, Li began working for CDE. With decades of experience, she’s skilled in handling projects through the beginning to end phases – from conceptual building, mechanical and plumbing system designs through the construction phase, and overcoming the challenges in between.
Around the Merritt Island office Li has a reputation for working smart and hard. She is the proud mother of her high school son, who has also earned a reputation for his smarts and she’s the wife to her husband engineer. When she’s not working, she enjoys gardening – planting all kinds of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees.
8-koi and CDE are grateful for Li’s dedicated 20 years of service to the team and customers. As 8-koi’s COO, Dean Rosenquist, put it, “There is no doubt that you have made your presence an invaluable one in our company. As you continue to commit yourself to uphold our values and vision, we won’t ever stop appreciating you.”
CDE’s Vice President of Design Engineering, Victor Diaz, personally delivered KN-95 masks earlier this month to the Dean of Academic Affairs and Health Science’s Edward Willey at Palm Beach State College to ensure practical training could continue safely for the faculty and students of the school’s acclaimed nursing program.
The delivery was a part of parent company 8-koi’s community outreach during the COVID-19 public health crisis to ensure frontline personnel, first responders, schools, and non-profit organizations could continue their important work safely.
“We had to learn a lot in the beginning, but we are so fortunate to have these supplies on hand and fill a need when so many lives are at stake. These donations exemplify our company’s core values of being thoughtful and dependable and represent the ‘human touch’ our team strives to deliver in service excellence every day – even at a safe distance.” says CDE Owner Inga Young.
CDE and 8-koi have provided design engineering and construction services to PBSC and other Florida schools over the years and regularly offer student internships. You can see more about these projects at https://www.cdeco.com/projects/.
Palm Beach State College (PBSC) selected Cape Design Engineering (CDE) to provide Professional Engineering Services in several disciplines across the college’s five campuses in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee, and Palm Beach Gardens.
As a preferred service provider, CDE will have the opportunity to perform on PBSC’s structural and mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) continuing services contracts for single projects under $1,000,000. CDE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of 8-koi, a minority- and woman-owned small business headquartered in Merritt Island, FL.
“Our CDE team has a long-standing reputation for excellence in supporting academic institutions across Florida. I’m proud of the work we do to help students learn and teachers teach. We look forward to meeting PBSC’s physical plant needs for years to come,” says 8-koi President Inga Young.
CDE has provided engineering support to PBSC on a variety of projects for almost two decades. In 2010, CDE successfully completed work on the 34,000 SF Technical
Education Facility at the College’s Belle Glade campus and was responsible for MEP design of the facility and for modifications to the campus central energy plant. It was the first public State College facility to earn the prestigious USGBC LEED Platinum rating in the State of Florida. Also, thanks to CDE’s ingenuity in the design, PBSC enjoyed a NET ZERO increase in energy costs despite adding a new building to the campus. [To see more about this project click here!]
Other related higher educational projects completed by CDE include the Daytona State College 2.5-million-gallon Thermal Energy Storage System, the Wayne Densch Athletics Administration Building at the University of Central Florida, and the Eastern Florida State College Health Sciences and Student Union Buildings.
In March 2019, 8-koi acquired Merritt Island design-build firm Cape Design Engineering Co. (CDE) to expand WOSB design engineering and mil-spec construction capabilities. Since its founding in 2008, 8-koi has grown to offer a diverse range of services that helped to earn the title “Florida’s Companies to Watch” in 2018 by GrowFL.
8-koi is an 8(a) certified minority- and woman-owned small disadvantaged business headquartered in Melbourne, FL. Founded in 2008 by Inga Young, 8-koi specializes in providing Design Engineering, Construction, Training/Technical and Administrative Support, and Healthcare-Related Services to government agencies across the United States. 8-koi’s work within these divisions meets rigorous training/technical specifications to include Mil-Spec design-build, facility renovation, medical admin and direct care, quality assurance and risk management. See more at https://www.8-koi.com/.
About Cape Design Engineering
Cape Design Engineering Co. (CDE) was incorporated in 1997 by Lutfi M. Mized, P.E. and Kannan Rengarajan, P.E. to offer full-service, multi-discipline engineering and construction firm. CDE is well-known for commercial, industrial, educational, medical, institutional, military, and government facilities to include the designs of critical launch systems and facilities for NASA and USAF rocketry programs. Acquired in 2019 by 8-koi as a wholly-owned subsidiary, CDE continues to provide exceptional contracting services on time and within budget. See more at https://www.cdeco.com.
We are excited to announce the latest iteration in the growth of CDE. Our company, now in its 22nd year, is transitioning to the ownership of 8-koi, a vibrant, multifaceted, Melbourne-based firm that is recognized as one of Florida’s fastest growing companies.
We are also pleased to announce that co-founders Lutfi Mized and Kannan Rengarajan will remain at CDE, only now with the enhanced ability to focus their energy on their first passion – engineering. This latest evolution of the company allows Lutfi and Kannan to be even more hands-on with client needs.
“Our commitment, as it has always been, is to continue to provide the best professional engineering services to our clients,” Mized said. “CDE will not only maintain its name, its Merritt Island offices, and its staff, but most importantly its same standard of excellence.”
Rengarajan noted that “this is a great fit that solidifies CDE’s future growth. This was an important step and we are thrilled to be making it with 8-koi, a company with so much vitality and a gold-standard commitment to client services.”
For the past several years, CDE has often partnered with 8-koi and its owner, Inga Young. Her savvy business sense impressed us from day one – and still does today. She also shares the same core values that we do. We are confident that combining her talent, energy, and ambitious leadership with CDE’s well-established reputation and business model will ensure our company’s future success.
“I am delighted to be bringing the management expertise and personal touch of 8-koi to CDE,” Young said. “And I am even more delighted to have the expertise of Lutfi and Kannan still onboard to help guide the company.”
Lutfi and Kannan look forward in the coming weeks to introducing Inga to our clients.
The CDE Team
For more about 8-koi, please visit their website here.