Nothing conveys Robert Nickerson Jr.’s ambition, determination and grit more than his life motto: keep fighting.
And that’s why Nickerson describes himself as a “finisher” – because he keeps fighting until he finishes, whether it’s a construction project or an advanced degree. (He’s on track to obtain his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas in May 2022).
Nickerson has more than 20 of years of experience as an architect and builder. Over the course of his career, he’s been involved in a variety of commercial construction and development projects totaling roughly $2.5 billion. His ability to listen and to think through problems help him successfully tackle even the most challenging construction projects.
At KDC, Nickerson serves as a vice president in the design and construction group. Being an architect gives him a unique perspective. In his current role, he straddles the line between architecture and general contracting and is responsible for leading build-to-suit projects for large corporate clients.
Before joining KDC, Nickerson spent nearly six years as a Director of Capital Improvement Projects at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In that role, he was responsible for all development projects including the addition of a medical tower to an existing hospital, several clinical buildings, and a vivarium (an animal research building). Working directly with general contractors, design firms, and engineers, he successfully completed projects totaling $1.2 billion.
The most interesting project Nickerson has ever worked on is the 67-story Park Hyatt in Chicago. Located on Michigan Avenue across from the John Hancock Building, the mixed-use hotel, retail, and condo tower was one of the first projects he worked on as a young architect.
Growing up, Nickerson was fascinated by the way things worked. He liked to tinker – to take stuff apart and put it back together again. That, combined with his father’s work as a homebuilder, encouraged Nickerson to pursue a career in design.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington, Nickerson joined an interior design firm. That role eventually led to a role with a commercial developer, which sparked his passion for the development side of the business.
Outside of work, Nickerson keeps busy with his two sons, the oldest who plays high school football and a younger one who plays soccer and piano. He enjoys cycling, which keeps him in shape and gives him time to think. He also enjoys architectural photography and likes to visit new cities with his camera.
If given one free hour to spend any way he chose, Nickerson would spend that hour thinking about what he needs to do to move forward.
A native of North Texas, Nickerson is a registered architect in the state of Texas. He’s also a member of the Texas Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects.