Born in Chicago to parents who emigrated from India, Smita Shah followed in her father’s footsteps, entering the highly technical and demanding field of civil engineering. Because she did particularly well in math and science classes, her path to becoming an engineer was a natural fit. “My father always said that education is the key that will open doors for you,” said Shah.
In 1998, with the goal of managing her own civil engineering firm, Shah established SPAAN Tech, a certified disadvantaged, minority- and womanowned enterprise based in Chicago.
SPAAN Tech earned a wellestablished relationship with the Illinois Tollway doing maintenance facility inspections prior to the Move Illinois Program, but it is the company’s ongoing construction management and inspection responsibilities for the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project that has given Shah the incentive to expand SPAAN Tech’s range of services, accelerate its hiring schedule and assign more engineers to work on Move Illinois projects.