SIA New Member Profile: Burns Engineering

Burns Engineering security team

New Security Industry Association (SIA) member Burns Engineering is a nationally respected provider of specialized engineering services, founded and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

SIA spoke with Danielle Tabachnick, senior security specialist at Burns, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.

Tell us the story of your company.

Danielle Tabachnick, senior security specialist at Burns,
Danielle Tabachnick, senior security specialist at Burns

Danielle Tabachnick: Burns brings highly-technical, sought-after engineering expertise to transportation, commercial, health care and critical infrastructure projects. Established in 1957 by Robert C. Burns, the Philadelphia-based firm has since expanded across the country. An early client was Philadelphia International Airport, where Burns worked side by side with airport personnel on terminal expansions and other complex engineering-design projects. Today we have additional offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Florida; Los Angeles, California; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; St. Louis, Missouri; Boston, Massachusetts; and Denver, Colorado, employing more than 300 engineers, technical specialists and support staff. 

Danielle Tabachnick on site at IAH Airport
Danielle Tabachnick (center) on site at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas

What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings or your company unique?

DT: Burns’ security practice started over 20 years ago within our aviation business. Our security expertise has since expanded to provide strategic security consulting for commercial facilities, higher education, health care and transit facilities. We perform security engineering services both directly for clients and as partners to support larger A/E teams. Our roles span from initial analysis, conceptualization and design development all the way through construction and commissioning. In addition to our design services, Burns remains on the forefront of technology and innovation as industry thought leaders, publishing regularly on aviation security and presenting at nationwide conferences on critical security topics. Moreover, our experts are involved with guiding documents that establish best practices for the security industry.

Danielle Tabachnick on site at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas
Danielle Tabachnick on site at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas

What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company?

DT: SIA is plugged into the pulse of the security industry and, specifically, the development of important security standards. The SIA Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) standard is a perfect example of SIA driving change to provide a better, more secure product for our clients. We look forward to supporting SIA in developing the next set of industry standards.

Security LeadHER attendees at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee

How does your organization engage with SIA? What are your plans for involvement in the next year?

DT: As a company member of SIA, Burns engages by sending our team members to conferences, getting involved with RISE and mentorship and SIA’s Women in Security Forum. This past year we were excited to send a Burns representative to the inaugural Security LeadHER conference; we hope to send a larger delegation next year. Burns encourages growth and leadership, which can be seen by our employees speaking and presenting at conferences. We hope to expand upon our past involvement with ISC West and ISC East, deepening our engagement with Security LeadHER and the AcceleRISE conference.

Burns security team at Architecture Center Houston’s Gingerbread Build-Off

What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?

DT: Burns encourages everyone in the company to become leaders within our respective industries, supporting our individual professional development goals. Advancing my professional development has always been a major piece of my personal growth. While continuing to develop and broaden my personal skill set, I have pursued my Project Management Professional (PMP) and Physical Security Professional (PSP) certifications. I am impressed with how much Burns values its employees. Our team is always presenting at conferences or speaking events, publishing articles and white papers and attending industry conferences. It’s really been amazing to experience this level of engagement within each industry we work in, and specifically within the security space. Burns’ support allows us to connect with the mentoring resources these organizations provide, such as through SIA RISE. Burns’ deep level of support is so important for advancing my own personal growth and for ensuring that we as a team continue to deliver high-quality, leading-edge consulting services to our clients.

Burns also facilitates each regional office to engage with their local community. Each office takes pride in our community involvement, participating in regularly scheduled events and charitable initiatives. We want to be a part of the fabric of the communities we work in, and we do this by staying active and involved. Each office takes part in organization-hosted events, as well as regular company outings. Engaging with the community makes Burns, no matter how spread out we are, one company.

Burns security team at Architecture Center Houston's Gingerbread Build-Off
Burns security team at Architecture Center Houston’s Gingerbread Build-Off

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.