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40 Under 40 Edition


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Ryan Hill, 35

Shield Engineering Group PLLC, Vice President

Ryan Hill, at only 35, has already been recognized as a leader in the Fort Worth and North Texas engineering design community, said nominator Craig Barnes, president, C.E.O. and co-founder of Shield Engineering Group.

Hill has doubled the revenue at Shield Engineering Group since becoming vice president by increasing the company’s client base and market share. And as a part of the recruiting team, he has helped Shield grow from 10 to 41 people.

Hill’s philanthropic involvement includes participation with a pro-bono project with nonagricultural farming for a church group to help feed the community. And through the American Society of Civil Engineers, he participates in Build-A-Bike, benefitting Make A Wish foundation. Other involvement is the TRWD Trinity River Trash Bash, the Zoo Run and various Blue Zones projects.

Barnes said Hill has made an extraordinary impact in the civil engineering industry and has become one of the premiere leaders in the single-family development engineering world. He values strong relationships and has made it a point to know all the movers and shakers in the industry.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

When I was a sophomore in high school I got my first job at a Tractor Supply Company. I started out loading feed and T-posts on the side-lot and eventually worked my way up to an air-conditioned cash register.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

My favorite movies growing up was the Rocky series. My dad was into boxing back in the ’90s so naturally I gravitated toward it as well. I felt drawn to the storyline of someone coming from nothing, finding a way (through hard work and grit) to become the best.

The influential video game was Heroes of Might and Magic (on PC). Nerdy I know, but it was the first video game my brother and I could play together with two players and on teams. (no more fighting over controllers).  It seriously was a great bonding opportunity for my brother and me as we would play for hours at a time and it laid the groundwork for my affliction for strategy and investment.

What other profession would you like to try?

I am pretty into health and fitness in both the learning and practicing aspects. I could see myself being a personal trainer or a strength coach. One thing I really enjoy is people approaching me for workout or nutritional advice. (I don’t know if they actually think I am knowledgeable or just approachable.)

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

Craig Barnes. He is the one that gave me the opportunity to join this great team at Shield. He saw my value and potential long before most others and fostered it into what I am today. He graciously offered me an opportunity into ownership which has been a lifelong goal of mine.  He has been like a big brother and someone I have looked up to both personally and professionally over the years.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be an architect when I was younger. I loved building things as a kid so I naturally gravitated towards structures and buildings.  It was in my undergraduate degree I realized that I did not have the artistic eye nor patience for multiple outcome scenarios so I made the switch to civil engineering and haven’t looked back. 

What is your favorite song?

Born for Greatness, Papa Roach

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

My props are a set of construction plans and a gym weight.


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