Leading SMRT’s Life Science Practice into the Future

Jeff Talka, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, has joined SMRT Architects and Engineers to lead the life science branch of our Science / Technology / Industry practice.  Jeff comes to us with broad experience designing labs, vivaria and corporate offices throughout the U.S. and in locations as far away as Dubai and the Republic of Korea.

He has more than 30 years of experience designing specialty research, laboratory, vivarium, healthcare and corporate facilities for clients in the pharmaceutical and life science, healthcare, education and government sectors.

Selected past work includes projects for Sanofi Pasteur, the Rashid Medical Complex in Dubai, Biolab Chemical, Elan Pharmaceuticals, Jansen Pharmaceutica (the research arm of Johnson & Johnson), the Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and the Institut Pasteur Korea. His experience designing specialized facilities for higher education includes work for Case Western Reserve University, Chonbuk University in the Republic of Korea, the universities of Georgia, South Florida, Texas and the Georgia Institute of Technology, among others.

“As designers we need to stay ahead of new challenges and trends in research so we can develop solutions to support researchers in a flexible and long-lived way,” says Jeff.

“It’s rewarding to know your efforts are giving practitioners the tools and foundation they need. I’m excited to join SMRT – an integrated architecture and engineering firm focused on listening to their clients – to lead their life science practice.  SMRT’s emphasis on understanding their clients’ businesses and designing to meet their individual needs, with a seamlessly integrated architecture and engineering solution, saves both time and cost.”

Brad Hodges, PE, who leads SMRT’s Science / Technology / Industry practice, commented, “Jeff brings tremendous depth to the life sciences arm of our STI group, benefitting our technology clients as well as our education, government and healthcare sectors. The entire STI team is looking forward to introducing him to our clients and industry partners, and working with him as we continue to grow our science, technology and industry practice.”

Jeff served as a grant reviewer for the NIH and is a member of AIA, ASHRAE, SEFA, ABSA and ISPE.  He has spoken domestically and internationally on laboratory and vivarium design, most recently presenting, “Future-proofing Your Facility” at the International Laboratory Design Conference in Madrid. He has authored numerous whitepapers and articles, including for the ILAR Journal and Laboratory Design News. He earned his Bachelor in Architecture from the Pratt Institute in New York.

Jeff can be reached at or 1.877.700.7678.