This is a profile image of Jim Banaszak

Jim Banaszak


An expert in engineering, procurement, contracting, and major project planning and delivery. Advises clients on capital allocation, project team organization and design optimization.

Jim brings deep experience in major project planning and delivery, particularly in the construction of infrastructure for public agencies and energy, mining, and transportation clients. He has particular expertise in optimizing concept and design, and implementing advanced project-control systems. He also works with companies in other sectors to improve capital productivity, for example, helping retailers and manufacturing companies reduce the capital expenditures and time required to build new facilities.

Examples of Jim’s recent work include:

  • serving as interim project director for construction of an advanced manufacturing facility valued at $1 billion
  • leading feasibility studies for a $50 billion infrastructure program in Central America, covering port, rail, and airfield classes
  • helping a major mining company develop an integrated schedule for the sanction, design, and construction of multibillion-dollar mining and process-plant projects
  • assisting several global energy companies, both traditional and renewable, to optimize design, contracting strategy, and construction execution for projects ranging from megageneration facilities to distribution upgrades
  • evaluating the business case for a greenfield stainless-steel production facility for a leading basic-materials company
  • supporting a major North American electric utility company to design and implement a performance-management system across all business units
  • providing interim management for the design and construction of data centers and branches during a yearlong organizational transition at a major bank

Jim has provided claim preparation and financial advisory services for contractors, owners, and public agencies involved in construction and operational disputes. He has also provided expert witness testimony in litigation and arbitration proceedings on major public-infrastructure projects.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Jim was the office director and principal engineer at Exponent, a construction-management and construction-consulting firm. He also served as chief technology officer for OpenCEL, a manufacturer serving the water, wastewater, and other process industries. He has published widely in academic journals, particularly on water and wastewater topics, and holds several patents.

Jim has held a variety of leadership positions in nonprofits and professional associations. He is a former chair of the research subcommittee of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association and member of its planning-and-design board of directors. He also served on the advisory board of the Knapp Entrepreneurship Center at Illinois Institute of Technology, and the civil-engineering professional advisory council of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Published work

Collaborative contracting: Making it happen,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Stopping the insanity: Three ways to improve contractor-owner relationships on capital projects,” McKinsey & Company, March 2017


Northwestern University
PhD, civil/environmental engineering

Illinois Institute of Technology
MSc, environmental engineering

Colorado School of Mines
BSc, metallurgical engineering