Patrick Murphy addresses the crowd at a ceremony celebrating the 100th insulating concrete form (ICF) home built in Lubbock, Texas.

At a time when most contractors are wondering where they will find work for 2009, McHugh Construction's schedule is full, as long as their projects can secure the funding they need. David Alexander is the senior vice president and Dale Hendrix is the senior vice president of concrete field operations for Chicago-based McHugh. Together, they have helped to make the company the biggest builder of super-tall buildings in the U.S, building five of the top 12 on the list maintained by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

John Gajda, CTLGroup

At CTLGroup, Skokie, Ill., John Gajda works with anything that involves temperature and heat transfer, but his specialty is mass concrete. He designs concretes with low heats of hydration and develops cost-effective placement-specific measures to avoid excessive temperatures and thermal cracking issues. Projects include buildings, bridges, refineries, water treatment plants, and governments projects—anything with large volumes of concrete. He is so well known, it's hard to find a mass concrete project in the U.S. that he hasn't worked on.