Ernie Katzwinkel has served as Director of the Physical Plant since May 2011.
Prior to joining Rensselaer, Ernie Katzwinkel served as Principal in Charge Job Corps Engineering Support Contract, Director Program Management & Integration, and Deputy Program Manager for FEMA Programs, where he managed all aspects of providing architect and engineering services to the DOD and DOL agencies for a top 40 engineering firm in the USA, with primary responsibilities for business development, strategic planning, fiscal performance, and operations providing professional service. Katzwinkel served as Assistant Commander for Engineering Programs and Resources, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, in Washington, D.C., where he managed all land and infrastructure for the Navy with an operational budget of $650 million, annual revenue of $8.5 billion, and field staff of 14,000 people. In addition, Katzwinkel served as Commanding Officer, Navy Public Works Center Great Lakes and Engineering Field Activity Midwest, in Great Lakes, Illinois, where he directed the business operations of a $240 million Navy "corporation" providing facilities engineering, construction, utility production and distribution, maintenance services, material procurement, environmental services, and transportation fleet management for the Navy's premier training center. Katzwinkel was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Naval Reserve Force and a Program Officer for Military Construction and NATO Infrastructure for the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. Katzwinkel earned his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and has completed an Executive Management Program in Strategic Planning from the Smeal College of Business. He is a registered Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional.