Engineering Alum Honored at FSU’s 2024 Seminole 100 Event

photo of famu-fsu engineering and florida state university alum adam russel accepting the seminole 100 award from marla vickers

FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and Florida State University alumnus Adam Russell accepts the honor as Seminole 100 awardee from Marla Vickers Vice President for University Advancement and President, FSU Foundation in Tallahassee. (Courtesy FSU Alumni Association)

The 2024 Seminole 100 Celebration recently released a list of the top hundred fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. owned by Florida State University graduates. The event recognized graduates across a broad spectrum, including Adam Russell from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. 

Russell, a civil engineering graduate in 2009, was honored at the event and his company, Russell Rowland, Inc., ranked #55 among the 100 honorees. He is the co-owner and vice president of an independent engineering firm in Jacksonville, Florida. 

“It is truly an honor to be recognized as a member of the most recent Seminole 100 and to be associated with other successful graduates of FSU,” Russell said. “This recognition is even more significant to me since the last three generations of my family have dedicated more than 100 years of combined work service for the university. So, I guess you can say Seminole 100 runs in my blood.”

Russell shared some thoughts about his journey and had warm memories of his time at the university.

What is your fondest memory at the college?

My entire time at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering was great (minus tests and studying). One of the best experiences was during my senior design project with Dr. Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry. Our team developed the layout and the site plans for the Burns Lake Campground in Big Cypress Preserve in the Everglades. Not only were we able to put our engineering education to practice, but we also took a trip down to the actual site, stayed in a cabin, rode a swamp buggy and learned about the Everglades firsthand.

How did the college help you get to where you are today?

It provided the foundation necessary to be successful in my career. It was instrumental in teaching me basic engineering skills and how to strive to gain knowledge continuously. Professional development is essential as an engineer, so I try to stay current in the construction industry by learning about new products, design and construction methods.

Who was your favorite teacher?

One of the instructors who helped me solidify my career path as a structural engineer was Bilind Armaghani. He was passionate about engineering and had a unique teaching style that related the subject matter directly to actual fieldwork. I try to embody this in my structural designs to ensure they can be implemented in the field.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Don’t be afraid to take chances if you are willing to learn from your mistakes. It’s how some of the best breakthroughs and innovations are achieved.

Russell has ten years of experience as a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in structural engineering for commercial and residential projects. Before co-founding Russell Rowland, he worked in the commercial cold-formed steel industry designing trusses, diaphragms and lateral bracing systems and eventually transitioned to residential structural design. He serves as the Engineer of Record for thousands of commercial and residential projects and holds engineering licenses in eleven states. 

Russell and his wife, Laura, stay busy with their two children, Madilyn and Kellan. He enjoys working on his classic cars and taking things apart when he has time.

The Seminole 100 is an awards program hosted by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, the Florida State Alumni Association and EY, a global organization affiliated with Ernst & Young. FSU holds this annual event to recognize top-performing alumni-owned businesses and to reveal their Seminole 100 numerical ranking. EY verified the information from each company and ranked businesses based on a compound annual growth rate.


Scott Collins and Orlando Project Controls donate $50,000 for new senior design lab

Four FAMU-FSU Engineering alumni businesses recognized in 2020 Seminole 100 list

From college hackathon to a new job at Ally Financial