Sr. Project Engineer James Bicamumpaka Joins Autodesk’s 40 Under 40: Champions of Construction List

Sr. Project Engineer James Bicamumpaka has been named on Autodesk's 2023 40 Under 40 Champions of Construction List.

December 8, 2023

Awards / Recognition

Twenty years ago, James Bicamumpaka was a child refugee in the Kingdom of Swaziland, a small country neighboring South Africa. Back then, he says, he never could have imagined he’d one day be a Stanford University graduate; a senior project engineer at one of California’s top general contractors; and now, an Autodesk 40 Under 40 Champion of Construction, a major industry honor recognizing his exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions to AEC.

“Autodesk is a relatively new app that we all need to learn how to use,” says Sr. Project Manager Leila Lilazi. “Having an experienced person like James on the job significantly eases the process. His initiative, hard work, attention to detail, customer management skills, and prioritization of project documentation consistency have made him an incredible asset to the team. We all appreciate James’ support and unyielding enthusiasm.”

Autodesk’s highly competitive annual list recognizes 40 standout construction professionals under the age of 40 who embody innovation and leadership—“the driving forces behind construction success.” This year, James distinguished himself from hundreds of applicants competing for placement in this esteemed program.

“I’m thrilled to see James’ hard work, contributions, and dedication to his career at Webcor recognized on this level,” says Sr. Superintendent Toby Bender. “I share in his excitement and look forward to his continued advancements within the construction industry.”

“James is one of the most dedicated and fiercely inclusive people I know,” adds Outreach and Partnerships Manager Sharla Sullivan. “His ability to connect with others is unique; you don’t see that in every engineer. He deeply values community and giving back to others, which I see as a powerful reflection of his roots.”

James and Sharla at a recent Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) NorCal event. COMTO is the premier organization for the training, education and professional development of minority transportation professionals.

After less than two years at Webcor, James has built a considerable list of achievements propelling the company’s continued success in innovation, sustainability, supplier diversity, and diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI), including:

  • Championing ambitious sustainability initiatives for tech and healthcare clients as a United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Total Resource Use & Efficiency (TRUE) Zero Waste advisor, LEED Green Associate, and LEED Advanced Professional with a Building Design + Construction concentration. He earned all three certifications in November 2022.
  • Thanks to James’ TRUE expertise, the Downtown West demo and abatement project diverted 96.2 percent of waste from landfills
  • James then transitioned to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) Behavioral Health Services Center’s (BHSC), where he managed the project’s pursuit of LEED Gold for Healthcare certification as the Sustainability Lead
  • Representing Webcor at industry events organized by leading supplier diversity groups, e.g. Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC) and the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC), as well as mentoring events hosted by Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement’s (MESA) Engineering Program (MEP) at San Jose State University (SJSU). “James emphasizes XBE partner inclusion in bidding and buyout and really takes the time to carefully match the right trade partner with the right scope of work and find opportunities for expanded XBE partner participation,” Sharla says. “He goes above and beyond to support our trade partners in their success, champion their capacity growth, and mentor them on a level that I greatly admire.”
  • Partnering with his fellow Webcorians to spearhead innovative solutions that have reduced costs and advanced efficiency through strategic use of technology (Matterport and Autodesk) on his current project.
  • Partnering with his fellow Collective (Webcor’s Black ERG) members in recruiting future Webcor interns from Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) as the company continues to diversify its college recruiting pools.

James joined the construction & utilities meet-ups at WRMSDC's 45th Annual Expo in August

James’ passion for uplifting underserved communities spans beyond the walls of Webcor, however. As a member of Engineers Without Borders’ Fiji team, James is currently planning, engineering, and implementing bio-sand filters (BSFs) to increase access to potable water within the remote communities of Buca, Loa, and Vunikara.

“I’m so proud of James and everything he’s accomplished,” Sharla says. “He’s a leader now and will continue to be in the future. I’m extremely excited for his continued success and accomplishments.”

Autodesk’s annual 40 Under 40 Champions of Construction program is an international competition. This year’s list honored industry disruptors hailing from countries including Singapore, India, United Arab Emirates, England, and Spain, as well as various states within the U.S. Represented companies included DPR Construction, McCarthy Building Companies, Obayashi Singapore Private Limited, Meta, and Rivian Automotive.

“I am greatly humbled and honored to receive this award,” James says. “Thank you to Webcor for the numerous opportunities you’ve made available to me!”