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Specifically Speaking with Danielle Tabachnick – 'My role is to develop integrated security designs'

Specifically Speaking with Danielle Tabachnick – 'My role is to develop integrated security designs' Senior security specialist at Burns Engineering discusses security design integration, new/emerging technologies, and more

Specifically Speaking with Danielle Tabachnick – “My role is to develop integrated security designs”

YARMOUTH, Maine—For Danielle Tabachnick, it’s all about serving clients’ security needs.

Tabachnick is a senior security specialist at Burns Engineering, a multi-disciplinary specialized engineering firm based out of Philadelphia.

Danielle Tabachnick“My role is to develop integrated security designs for various mission-critical facilities in coordination with our clients’ requirements and in partnership with Burns’ discipline leads,” Tabachnick told SSN. “As a registered architect, I focus on early integration of security mitigation measures during the planning stages to mitigate often late bolt-on security measures.”

As part of Security Systems News’ monthly column Specifically Speaking, the following is an exclusive Q&A with Tabachnick:

SSN: What kinds of systems do you design/specify and what services does the company provide?

TABACHNICK: Burns provides integrated risk-based security strategies and innovative security engineering solutions. Our services include security planning, physical security, electronic security, operational security consulting, and so much more. I primarily lead the design of physical and electronic security systems, drawing upon my architectural background to integrate security solutions within each facility’s aesthetic.

At Burns we specialize in addressing complex operational security programs often within limited and constrained schedules and budgets. We focus not only on risk mitigation-based solutions but also on how these systems can be delivered most effectively and efficiently, maximizing the initial capital investment and long-term operational costs. We draw upon our extensive project experience to meet project challenges and needs.

As independent professional consultants, we can remain agnostic, while providing unbiased opinions and recommendations on proposed project solutions, serving as the clients’ trusted advisor.

SSN: What vertical markets does the company specialize in? Any interesting projects that you can mention?

TABACHNICK: Burns supports clients across aviation, higher education, healthcare, and rail & transit markets from planning to full security design projects.

Two recent projects to highlight are from the aviation vertical. We recently published a security guidance for airports to plan for the impacts and security implications of new impact of new electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft on airport operations. This is an industry-first guidance document which provides recommendations and considerations for security needs depending on the arrival and departure locations of the eVTOL.

The second project I would like to highlight is the Mickey Leland International Terminal expansion project at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. I have been involved with this project since joining Burns as the on-site special system project technical oversight lead. The program is the most significant expansion in the history of Bush Airport and is the largest capital improvement project for Houston airports. The new international terminal includes four significant projects: building a brand new International Central Processor, a replacement of the international baggage screening facility, a renovation of the Terminal D concourse and the addition of a new concourse in Terminal D, called the D-West Pier.

SSN: How did you get started in security and designing/specifying?

TABACHNICK: I graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. After initially working in the construction and architecture fields, I found my place in technology and security design consulting.

I enjoy the challenges that come with visualizing the entire facility and understanding how the users will interact with the building. This full visualization enabled me to approach projects with a mindset of how security needs to support not only the functions of the facility but also how the occupants will interact with the space. Utilizing my architectural background, I can propose functional layout changes to a facility to mitigate risks without the need for additional security technology or staffing which adds a significant operational cost to owners.

SSN: Can you talk about what new or emerging technologies you are seeing or specifying today?

TABACHNICK: AI is becoming an ever-present component of the security industry. Understanding what that means, how AI or analytics are integrated or how they are leveraged to enhance existing technologies is very exciting. It will be interesting to see how full and true AI, self-learning algorithms, will change the security industry, especially with video surveillance. I’m interested in seeing if this will change how the U.S. market handles data privacy with video surveillance, and if the U.S. will move more toward European models for video surveillance data privacy and public signs alerting users within spaces.

SSN: What is your view on the industry moving forward?

TABACHNICK: We need to get the message out to owners, planners, and architects that security system design should not be reactionary based on the final facility layout. Early involvement by security professionals enables us to better implement physical protection using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The CPTED approach will help to prioritize security as a design element that needs to be coordinated and considered by the architectural design team early in the project design process.

We need to continue to educate our clients that potentially simple architectural changes can not only improve security, but also reduce capital costs and long-term operational costs to maintain security devices needed in response to a layout which did not consider security at the core.


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