Firm Biographies


Ralph E. Hoffman, PE, Principal

Ralph E. Hoffman, PE


Dive right in. ~ Ralph's first rule.

A large mechanical system can be so complex and connected that it is daunting knowing where to start. Ralph teaches young engineers at GAA to jump in. As they get their hands dirty unraveling the systems and challenges, they gain understanding, the complex become clear, and the solutions present themselves. "Keep it practical" is Ralph's second rule of design. Great architecture begs for your attention; great engineering you don't even notice. Don't find a complicated solution when a simple one will do. But it can take great experience and skill to find an elegant solution to a tangled problem, and this is where Ralph excels.

Ralph is a self-described "engineering-type," building, fixing, and tinkering since childhood. His skill and rigor is evident in everything he does, from a hydronic heating system to his home-brewed beer. If he hasn't been around for a week or two, it means he is white-water rafting or hiking a mountain in Ecuador with his wife and two children. Sometimes a project requires travel interstate, or even international travel. When that happens, everyone wants to go with Ralph, because they know after work is done, he'll find the best BBQ joint in Texas, get you into a distillery tour in Kentucky, or find a room with a view of the Acropolis in Athens.


  • Bachelor of Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 1982
Registrations and Certifications:
  • Professional Engineer | 1988
Professional Affiliations:
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)



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