Steve Frei


My career is dedicated to three core missions: enhancing our client's research environments that improve the human condition, mentoring the next generation of colleagues who will advance our practice, and developing the strategic means for AEI to succeed in the future.”

Steve Frei is a principal with AEI and the firm’s Science & Technology Practice Leader. Over his 39-year tenure, he has collaborated in numerous of AEI’s 50-million-plus square feet of research-building work for medical, academic, federal government, and corporate research clients nationwide. During this time, AEI projects have been honored with 14 Lab of the Year competition awards from R&D Magazine.

Through Steve’s specialization in energy-intensive research facilities, he has become an industry expert in energy-efficient engineered building systems and sustainable building strategies. He openly and frequently shares his professional learnings with his industry peers through brown bag lunches and web conferences internally at AEI and in conference forums sponsored by ASHRAE, AALAS, and Tradeline, to name a few. His leadership, foresight, and technical knowledge have made him a much sought-after project team member, from planning and design through performance optimization. Currently, Steve focuses on applying optimization/fault detection diagnostics, maximizing research-building productivity, working with other industry leaders to address enhanced cost and schedule control via alternative project delivery, and collaborating with others to understand the impact digital practices and Artificial Intelligence will have on the future of the professions. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.