Steven M. Feller ’70: Building a Stronger and Safer Future for Southern Florida
Steven M. Feller ’70 nurtured his passion for all things engineering — math, science and buildings — at Stevens. In the years since, his expertise has been in high demand in south Florida, as the region grows and becomes increasingly cosmopolitan.
When Steven M. Feller ’70 got off the train in Newark, New Jersey, a trunk with all of his belongings in tow, it was a dreary autumn day — the kind the state’s residents are used to, but a far cry from the Miami sunshine he had grown accustomed to. His first thought? “What have I done!” Nonetheless, there he was in the city of his birth, ready to take on an engineering education at Stevens.
“I was born in Newark, but my family moved to Florida when I was young,” Feller explained. “When I was in high school, I worked for a small engineering business in north Miami, drafting. We were still making blueprints using ammonia.”
Feller found that he liked the work, as well as the idea of building things. Add to that the fact that he liked math and science, and it is easy to see why his family encouraged him to pursue an engineering degree. He had applied to a variety of schools, including Georgia Tech, Illinois Tech and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Stevens, however, had the added attraction of proximity to New York City, as well as the offer of a full scholarship. “I was first in my family to go to college,” he notes. “My family didn’t have the money to pay tuition, so we really needed the financial help.”
Feller has never forgotten that assistance, generously giving back to his alma mater, including serving on the Stevens Board of Trustees.
“I had a great four years at Stevens,” he says. “I was part of a fraternity and we had so much fun.”
After graduation, Feller went to work in New York City, but soon the lure of Florida sunshine had him back in Broward County, where he founded Steven Feller P.E., LLC, now one of the largest engineering firms in Southern Florida. The firm offers services ranging from HVAC, plumbing and electrical design to design of fire sprinkler systems, forensic investigative services and green building design. The firm’s clients include prestigious resorts, convention centers, high-rise residential and mixed-use projects, shopping centers, healthcare facilities and corporate campuses.
Feller has provided his expertise to state and local agencies, assisting in the development of codes of practical smoke control, life safety codes and compliance methods, and serves as a member of the Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals. He is supportive of other entrepreneurs in the region, committing to joint venture arrangements with several certified women-owned and minority-owned engineering firms.