Soil Testing Companies Background on soil testing companies



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Raney Geotechnical, Inc. (1979 – present)

Firm founded in 1979 by John M. Raney, GE (BSCE ‘72 UOP Stockton; MS ’73 Berkeley) in Sacramento, after working at Lee & Praesker in San Francisco, from 1973-79. The firm later moved to West Sacramento. In July 2000 the company was reorganized as Raney Geotechnical, Inc. Principal employees include: William Boli, GE, Peter Gathungu, GE, Jeff Showalter, Joe Brusca, and Chris French.


Wallace, Van Alstine & Kuhl (1984-88); Wallace-Kuhl & Associates (1989-present)

Founded by Thomas S. “Tom” Wallace, GE (BSCE ‘58; MS ’62 Georgia Tech), Charles L. “Van” Van Alstine, GE, CEG (MSCE ’66 Berkeley), and Douglas J. Kuhl, GE (BSCE ’68 UC Davis) in 1984 and based in Sacramento. Wallace had previously worked for the State Division of Highways (1958-62) and Lowry & Associates (after 1964); Van Alstine had worked for Moore & Taber; and Kuhl for Caltrans and Lowry & Associates. Wallace had served as President of SAFEA in 1977-78 and played a key role in passage of the Geotechnical Engineers title act in 1986. All three founders are now retired. From 1990-2003 Eric Hubbard, CEG, CHG (BS Geol ’83 CSU Fresno) was their senior engineering geologist.

Current partners are David R. Gius, Jr., GE, CEG (BS Geol ’84; MS ’89 SJSU), who serves as the firm’s president, and Andrew S. Wallace (BS marketing ‘87 CSU Chico) as the CFO/COO. Other principals include: Stephen L. French, GE as Director of Geotechnical Engineering, Project Engineers Matthew S. Moyneur, GE and Dominic Potestio, PE, Dennis Nakamoto, CEG, CHG senior hydrogeologist, Edward J. Uhlir, GE, CEG is Earthwork Services Director, while David A. Redford, GE and David Hunn, GE, and Michael Watari, GE are senior engineers. Gius served as President of CalGeo in 1999-2000.
Youngdahl & Associates (1984-99); Youngdahl Consulting Group, Inc. (1999-present)

Geotechnical and geoenvironmental consulting firm originally founded by Dennis E. Youngdahl, GE (1942-) as Youngdahl & Associates in Sept 1984, and based in El Dorado Hills in El Dorado County, east of Sacramento. Youngdahl served as a NOAA officer in the mid-1960s, prior to entering the geotechnical engineering field. In December 1999 they incorporated as Youngdahl Consulting Group, Inc. Their Associate Engineering Geologist is Roy Kroll, CEG (BS Geol ’79 CSULB), who joined the firm in 1986 after working for Zeiser-Kling in southern California. David C. Sederquist, CEG, CHG (BA ’80 CSU Sacramento) is their senior hydrogeologist, joining the firm in 1995. Martha A. McDonald, PE is an associate engineer, and David Rader, PG is a project geologist. The firm provides a range of construction inspection, materials testing, and analytical services through Youngdahl Labs. They have field offices in Loomis and at Folsom Lake.


Geocon Consultants (1984-present)

Geocon West is a full-service geotechnical firm founded in San Diego in the late 1960s, which was part of the Earth Systems group of companies (described above). In 1971 Jim Likins, GE purchased controlling interest in the firm and served as its CEO until 1999. The firm gradually expanded to include offices in Sacramento (1984), Temecula, Palm Desert, Temecula, and Los Angeles (Burbank). John Juhrend, PE, CEG serves as the senior principal of the Sacramento office. Their Senior Geologist is Jim Brake, PG (BS Geol ’83 CSU Chico; MS ’87 SDSU), and Associate Senior Engineer is Jeremy Zorne, GE (BSCE 1997; MS 2003 CSU Sacramento). From 2001-13 the senior geologist in the Sacramento regional office (in Rancho Cordova) was David Bieber, CEG, CHG, PGP (MS Geol ’84 Colorado).


Espana Geotechnical Consulting (1989-2005); Fugro West (2006-10); Fugro Consultants, Inc (2010-present)

Firm founded by Carlos Espana, GE (BSCE ’68; MS ‘69 Berkeley; MBA Harvard) of Fugro in Long Beach in 1989, and based in Roseville. The firm was purchased by Fugro West in December 2005, with Espana continuing to manage the Sacramento Valley office’s operations. The parent organization in the USA was reorganized as Fugro Consultants, Inc in 2010.


Holdridge & Kull Consulting Engineers and Geologists (1993-present)

Geotechnical firm founded in 1993 by Tom Holdridge, PE, CEG (BS Geol ’84 Colorado; MS EngGeol ’84 Purdue) and Chuck Kull, GE, CEG (BS Geol ‘84; MSCE ’87 SJSU), and based in Nevada City, as a certified small business enterprise. They also maintain branch offices in Truckee, Yuba City, Chico, and Fresno. Other partners include principal engineer Jake Hudson, PE, CEG (BS Geol ’89 UNR; BSCE 1991 CSUSac), and senior geotechnical engineers Dan Keller, GE (BSCE 2003; MS 2004 Berkeley), Robert Fingerson, GE (BSCE 1996 CPSU SLO), and Jason Muir, GE (MSCE Berkeley). Other principals include Don Olsen, PE, CEG, CHG (BS Geol 1982 SDSU; MSCE SJSU), Shane Cummings, CEG, CHG (BS Geol 1997 CSU Chico), Pam Raynak, and Heidi Cummings.


Mark R. Petersen, GE, CEG (1995-present)

Since October 1995 Mark R. Petersen, GE, CEG (BA Geol ’73 Berkeley; BSCE ’79 and MSCE ’81 SJSU) has operated as a consulting Geotechnical Engineer and Engineering Geologist in Twain Harte, California. He previously worked for Terratech, Geotechnical Consultants, and FEMA.


SAGE Engineers (1997 – present)

SAGE Engineers was founded in 1997 by Steven H. Sanders, GE (BS GeoE and BSCE ’85 CSM; MS ’89 Berkeley) in the Sacramento area (Granite Bay) after having worked for Dames & Moore and Geomatrix in San Francisco. They specialize in water resources related aspects of geological, geotechnical, and structural engineering. Tom Sell, PE is Associate Engineer and Operations Manager (BSCE 1997 CSU Sacramento; MS Eng Mgt Drexel), while Drew Kennedy, CEG (BS Geol ’90 UCSC; MS 2002 SFSU) joined the firm in 2003 as their Geosciences Group Manager. Darren Mack, GE (BSCE ‘96 UC Davis; MS ’97 Berkeley) joined the firm in 2005 as their Engineering Group Manager, and Don Kurosaka, SE (BSCE UC Davis; MS CSU Sacramento) is senior associate engineer. Other associates include Bill Millhone, PE, Ricardo Bedoy, PE, and Jerry Pascoe, GE. Since Nov 2014, John A. Egan, GE (BSCE ’75; MS ’77 Cornell) has managed the firm’s branch office in Oakland.


Blackburn Consulting, Inc (1998-present)

Geotechnical consulting firm founded by Thomas W. and Grace Blackburn in 1998, and based in Auburn. Previous to this Tom Blackburn, GE (BSCE, ’82; MS ’84 Missouri-Rolla) had worked for Anderson Consulting Group. In 2003 several senior partners joined the firm, including Tom Lokteff, GE (BSCE 1991, MS 2000 CSU Sacramento) manages the West Sacramento, Modesto, and Fresno branch offices, Sverel other partners joined the firm in 2003, Jeff Patton, PE (BSGeoE Nevada-Reno) in Auburn, and Patrick Fischer, PE, CEG (BS Geol CSU-Northridge) serves as their principal engineering geologist.


Crawford & Associates, Inc. (2012-present)

Firm founded by Benjamin and Sarah Crawford in August 2012, and based in Sacramento. Ben Crawford, GE (BSCE 2002 CPSU-SLO) previously worked for Blackburn Consulting and Anderson Consulting Group. One of their senior project managers is Eric Nichols, PE, CEG (BSGeoE 1990 Nevarda-Reno). They purchased Taber & Consultants in March 2016.


Corporate firms with geotechnical expertise - based in SF Bay Area
Bechtel Corporation (1898 – present)

Bechtel was founded by W.A. Bechtel in 1898, when he was just 26 years old. His younger brother Arthur assisted him in the management of the firm until 1944. The firm originally specialized in railroad construction in the western United States. Bechtel’s three sons Warren, Stephen, and Kenneth joined the family business between 1919-24. The firm has been based in San Francisco since the late 1920s. In 1925 the firm began building dams (for PG&E, and later, SCE), and added pipeline construction in the 1930s. From 1931-35 they joined with Henry J. Kaiser to have controlling interest in Six Companies, Inc., which built the Hoover Dam. In 1933-36 the firm joined with Kaiser again to help construct the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. In 1937 they began constructing chemical plants. Some of the famous people who started their careers with Bechtel include John A. McCone, Ralph M. Parsons, and George Schultz.

In 1940 Bechtel became one of the first design-build firms, capable of designing as well as building the largest engineered structures in the world. In 1941 they branched into mining, then shipbuilding, as well as shipyard and harbor construction, as part of the war effort. Shortly after the Second World War they set up their own in-house geotechnical engineering and engineering geology groups, which they drew upon in the 1950s, when they were designing and constructing a lot of dams and power plants. The first engineering geologists they hired and a case-by-case basis. In the early ‘50s these included: Ben Warner, Stanley M. Barnes, Victor L. Wright, Robert J. Farino, and Charles P. Benziger. During this time Bechtel used Roger F. Rhoades, CEG (1905-72), former Chief Geologist of the TVA (1930s-mid 40s) and of the US Bureau of Reclamation (late 1940s thru mid ‘50s), as their Chief Consulting Geologist on projects all over the world, throughout the late 1950s and 1960s (he had moved to San Francisco after retiring from federal service).

In 1960 Bechtel established an in-house engineering geology group with full-time employees, headed up by Charles “Chuck” S. Content, CEG (BS Geol ’34 Colorado) who had previously worked for the US Bureau of Reclamation in Denver. When Content joined Bechtel in 1956 there were only four geologists. By the time he retired as Chief Geologist in 1974, Bechtel employed more than 100 geologists! During his tenure the group worked on a number of geologically challenging projects, beginning with Homestake Dam. This 1960s group included; James Jensen (who went to Guy F. Atkinson in Jan ’63), Lynn A. Brown, ScD, CEG (who went onto the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver), Robert A.Bob” Schnaible, CEG, Larry West, CEG, Bert Hebbron, CEG, Don Rose, PE, CEG (BA Geol ’60 UCLA; MSCE ’68 Berkeley) (Rose went onto Leedshill-DeLeuw and then VP of Tudor Engineers), David G. Campbell, CEG, Robert C. Fox, Judson P. Elston, CEG, Billie G. Hicks, CEG, Merrill W. Forrest, CEG, Howard A. “Buzz” Spellman, CEG (to Converse Consultants in ‘65). Chuck Trantham, CEG (BA Geol ’58 Colo State; MS work Oregon) worked for Bechtel between 1964-73, mapping the geology of BART‘s Berkeley Hill Tunnels (along with Chuck Content). In the 1970s Chuck Wyatt, CEG, CHG and Julian C. Isham, CEG, CHG (BS Geol ’72 Wisc-Oshkosh; MS ’73 Michigan State) joined the group, with Isham remaining until 1987. The Bechtel geology group played an instrumental role in the rapid growth of AEG during the 1960s, hosting meetings and sponsoring numerous presentations. As Bechtel shifted their emphasis increasingly to nuclear power plants, the requirements for engineering geology input increased markedly, and the engineering geology group numbered some 60 professionals in the early 1970s. Cole McClure, CEG (BA Geol ‘50 Berkeley) succeeded Content as Bechtel’s Chief Geologist in 1973 (he had previously worked for CA DWR in the 1950s). In 1977 Arthur B. Arnold, CEG joined Bechtel after retiring from the CA Department of Water Resources, and was named Chief Geologist of Bechtel Civil & Minerals when McClure retired, in the mid-1980s.

The Bechtel Civil-Dams Department employed a number of soils engineers, who went on to form the core of the firm’s Geotechnical Engineering Group working out of the corporate headquarters in San Francisco. This group was brought together in the late 1950s, drawing on the project engineers who had supervised construction of the firm’s earth embankment dams during the 1950s. These included Gregory B. McCaughan in the early 1950s, who designed Bechtel’s earth dams. McCaughan was succeeded by Harris Burke, PE, who managed Bechtel’s soil mechanics group for 20 years, from 1957-77 (he died in 1982 or ‘83), assisted by Joe Anderson, PE, Hank Hunterman, PE, Harry Sutcliffe, PE, and many others. Burke came to Bechtel in 1956 to be the assistant resident engineer for the Swift Creek Dam and power canal project on the Cowlitz River in Washington, after serving as Head of the Field Test Section for the Garrison Dam of the Army Corps of Engineers, on the Missouri River. Harry J. Sutcliffe, GE (BSCE ’50 Univ Manchester; MS ’51 Caltech) joined the firm in Dec 1953, as a resident engineer during construction of the Vermilion Dam. In 1957 he joined the geotechnical group in San Francisco, where he became their lead tunneling expert. He moved into business development as Manager of Bechtel’s Transportation Engineering Group in 1970. Dick Harlan (BSCE ’52 Stanford; MS Columbia) came over from Dames & Moore in 1958 to work on Mammoth Pool Dam, then worked on Churchill Falls project in Newfoundland and Labrador, remaining until 1970.

In 1959 Australian geotechnical engineer Tom Lang, PE joined Bechtel’s Hydro Division, after Bechtel had served as the prime contractor on the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Project in southern New South Wales, Australia. He became VP of Bechtel Pacific and Manager of Bechtel International, and become President of Leeds, Hill & Jewett in the 1970s. One of those Lang hired was Augustus C. Flach, PE (BSCE ’38 Tulane). “Gus” Flach had been a grad student of Terzaghi and Casagrande at Harvard in 1939-40 before joining the Navy Seabees during the war. He then worked for TAMS on dams in Burma and France before joining Bechtel around 1960, where he remained until retirement. Harris Burke’s tenure as manager of the geotechnical group was succeeded by Henry J. (Hank) Hunterman, Jr., PE (1923-98), a decorated Marine Corps aviator in WW2, who also worked on the Swift Creek Project. When Hunterman retired (~1985), he was succeeded Rudy J. Dietrich (BSCE ’53 Washington Univ-St Louis; MS ’54 Harvard), who had worked for the Corps of Engineers and Shannon & Wilson. Dietrich was succeeded by Ignacio Arango, PhD, GE (BSCE Columbia; PhD ’71 Berkeley) as Manager of the Geotechnical Group (Arango had previously worked for Shannon & Wilson and Woodward Clyde).

This ‘second generation’ of Bechtel’s geotechnical engineers in the 1960s and 70s included: Ignacio Arango, Ralph Talmage, R.C. “Dick” Harlan, GE, Herb Bensinger, Ron Bisio, Jack Blanck, Larry Tabor, Curtis Scott, Rob Fox, Robin Nowinski, GE, John Ross, G. Grant Cherrington, GE (BSCE ’58 Toronto; MS ’63 Purdue) (1968-78), and many others. In 1990s their Chief of Earth Structures was Richard L. Kulesza (who joined the firm in 1963 to work on the James Bay Project in Ontario). Other senior geotechnical staff included P.N. Sundaram, PhD, GE (PhD ’78 Berkeley), who moved to Caltrans, Mark Wahler, GE (MSCE ’77 Berkeley), David J. Umstot, Freddie Tajirian, PhD, PE (MSCE ’76; PhD ’81 Berkeley) who later founded Seismic Isolation Engineering of Oakland, Patrick M. Griffin, PhD, GE (BSCE ‘71; MS ‘72; PhD ’80 Berkeley), and senior engineering geologist William H. Godwin, CEG (moved to MACTEC, and then to Fugro). Farhang F. Ostadan, PhD, PE (BSCE ’75 Tehran Univ; MS ’79 Michigan; PhD ’83 Berkeley) joined Bechtel in 1985, replacing Ignacio Arango as Chief Soils Engineer of the San Francisco office in 2002, and became the firm’s Chief Engineer and a Bechtel Technical Fellow in 2012. Annie Kammerer, PhD, PE (BSCE ’94; MS ’98; PhD 2002 Berkeley) left the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to become Bechtel’s Chief Seismologist in November 2013.
International Engineering Co. (1946-81); Morrison-Knudsen International (1981-91)

International Engineering (IECO) was founded by a group of former Bureau of Reclamation engineers in Denver and Sacramento just after the Second World War, initially, to design Bhakra Dam in India (delivered in 1947). They used Reclamation projects as patterns (for example, Bhakra Dam is a virtual copy of Shasta Dam). The firm employed structural engineers for design of concrete dams, and geotechnical engineers for design of rockfill and embankment dams, as well as a few engineering geologists. By the late 1950s they had projects in ten different countries. Their resident engineer on Bakhra, Punjab, and Karnaphulu Dams was Stuart H. “Bart” Barrtholomew, PE (BSCE ’48; MS ’53 Berkeley). By the 1970s they were designing some of the largest projects in the world, including Itapu Dam in Brazil, the world’s largest hydroelectric facility for many years.

Some of the San Francisco principals included: Richard E. Kohne, PE (BSCE ’48 Berkeley) was Vice President, President, and CEO, Gurmukh S. Sarkaria, GE, NAE (BSCE ’45 Punjab Univ; MCE ‘47 Brooklyn Polytech; MS ‘48 Harvard; National Academy of Engineering ’81) joined the firm in 1956 and became the Senior Vice President. Edwin S. Smith was the firm’s Chief Soils Engineer in the early 1970s, succeeded by Rodney D. Shaw (BSCE ’65 Brighton; MS ’70; PhD ’73 Newcastle) in the late 1970s, James P. Hawke, PE was a senior engineer in the 50s and early 60s. Other senior staff included James F. Lackey, Dean R. Schnaible, Patrick M. Griffin, GE (BSCE ‘71; MS ‘72; PhD ’80 Berkeley), Sunirmal Banerjee, PE (MS ’77; PhD ’80 Berkeley; joined faculty Univ Washington), Joe Long, and senior engineering geologist Dale L. Roberts, CEG. In 1981 the firm was acquired by Morrison-Knudsen, and became Morrison-Knudsen International, until closing down in 1991.


Jacobs Associates (1955-2014); McMillen Jacobs Associates, Inc. (2014-present)

Founded in 1955 by J. Donovan Jacobs, PE, NAE (1909-2000) (BSCE ‘34, Minnesota) in San Francisco, as Jacobs & Associates. Don Jacobs was elected to the NAE in 1969 for invention of the “tunnel sliding floor,”patented in 1959. The firm is well known for their expertise in tunneling and underground construction. In the 1960s the firm branched into developing construction estimating and scheduling services for heavy construction projects. Between 1963-1972 they were continuously involved in construction of the BART subway system, which extended the firm’s expertise, nationally.

All of the early partners came from the ranks of heavy construction, most involved with tunnel construction. Early partners included Alfred M. ‘Pete’ Petrofsky (BSCE ‘50, MIT), J. J. Daly, James L. Wilton (BSCE ’50 Stanford), John W. Nichols (BSCE ‘50 MSM-Rolla), and Howard B. Lewis (BSCE ’51 Illinois; JD ’76 GGU), who founded the firm’s Washington, DC office. In 1970 Nichols established their construction claims department, which eventually comprised half of the firm’s annual output. In 1970 Nichols established a construction claims department that eventually comprised half of the firm’s workload. One of the firm’s staff engineers in the early 70s was Joseph Covello (BSCE RPI; MS Stanford), who became President of Harris & Associates in Concord.

In the mid-1990s their principal engineers included: Peter J. Lukins (BEng Australia-Sydney; MEng ’82 Berkeley), President William W. Edgerton, PE (BA Eng Tufts; MBA GWU-Wash DC), William H. Hansmire, PE, NAE (BSCE ‘68 Nebraska; MS ‘70; PhD ‘75 Illinois) from PBQ&D (1977-2007), former firm president [1992-99] Norbert A. Tracy, PE (BSCE ’72; MS ’73 Berkeley) (1936-2003), Daniel E. Kass (BSCE UOP), CFO Stephen J. Klein (BSCE ’77 Illinois; MSCE ’79 Berkeley), Michael T. McRae (BSCE ’81; MS ’83; DEng ’94 Berkeley), Victor S. Romero, GE, CEG (BS GeoE ’90 CSM; MS ’91 Berkeley), Carl W. Lafraugh, PE (BSCE Cornell; MS Berkeley), Bhaskar Thapa, PE (BSCE ’82; MS ’84 Carnegie Mellon; PhD ‘93 Berkeley) (1963-2013), and D. Scott Kiefer, PE, CEG (BA Geol UCSC, MSCE ’93; PhD ’96 Berkeley), until he departed for CSM-Golden and then Graz University in Austria. From 2007-12 the Chief Operating Officer was R. John Caulfield, GE (BSCE ’83 Berkeley; MS ’84 Stanford), former COO of Rogers/Pacific (1993-97). In 2012 he moved to Jacobs Engineering Group in Oakland.

Jacobs established a Los Angeles office in 1996, and surprised many by purchasing St. Louis-based Sverdrup Civil, Inc. for $198 million in January 1999, taking over their St. Louis office. In a similar manner, Jacobs added offices in San Diego in 2002, Seattle in 2003 (purchasing Milbor-Pita & Associates in 2007), and Las Vegas and Boston in 2006. They also established an Atlanta office in 2010 when they purchased Jordan, Jones & Goulding. In 2002 Bill Hansmire became the second member of the firm to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

In December 2014 McMillen Jacobs Associates, Inc. was formed as an employee owned holding company, with Dan Adams in Seattle serving as President/CEO and Mara McMillen in Boise as COO (of McMillen Associates). Rafael Castro, Mort McMillen, and John Kaplin rounded out the corporate leadership team serving as VPs for Corporate Development, Water Resources, and Construction Management, respectively. Jacobs Associates and McMillen will both continue as wholly owned subsidiaries of McMillen Jacobs Associates, with Dan Adams and Mara McMillen leading each. The combined resources of the merger provide clients access to 380 staff located in 19 offices across North America, New Zealand, and Australia.




Leeds, Hill and Jewett, Inc. (1962-1978)

Leeds and Barnhard was founded in Los Angeles in March 1913 by Charles T. Leeds and Wilfred K. Barnard (described in the Southern California Threadline). This firm became Leeds, Hill, Barnard and Jewett (1940-46), then Leeds, Hill & Jewett, from 1946-78. Charles T. Leeds (1879-1960) was a Corps of Engineers officer who graduated #2 from West Point in 1903, just behind Douglas MacArthur. He served as the Corps’ Los Angeles District Engineer in 1909-12 and 1917-19. Raymond A. Hill (1892-1973; RCE 160) received his BCE from Michigan in 1914 and CE degree in 1922, after working for the Reclamation Service (1909-17) and serving in the Army Corps of Engineers during WW1 in France (1917-19). He moved to the Los Angeles area in 1913 and joined Quinton, Code & Hill in 1919. He served on the management board of ASCE and chaired the Rio Grande Compact negotiations in the 1930s. In 1940, he was elevated to partnership status, along with John Q. Jewett (1899-1973).

After the death of Charles Leeds in 1960, Ray Hill decided to move Leeds, Hill & Jewett’s headquarters from Los Angeles to San Francisco, allowing the LA office to wither away during the 1960s. Retired CA DWR Director Harvey O. Banks (BSCE ’30 Syracuse; MS ’33 Stanford) joined the firm in January 1961, and served as its vice president during the 1960s. Another senior partner, Walter G. “Cliff” Schulz (BSCE ‘35 Berkeley; retired DWR Chief of Design and Construction), managed the firm in the 1960s, while Harvey Banks concentrated on marketing. This team had worked with one another for many years previously (Banks and Schultz at DWR, with Hill on DWR’s California Water Project Advisory Board).

The firm specialized in water resources engineering and hydropower schemes. In April 1965 Ray Hill was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to the Atlantic-Pacific Interoceanic Canal Study Commission, charged with evaluating the practicality of using nuclear warheads to excavate a sea-level canal across the Central American Isthmus (the other members were Robert B. Anderson (chairman), Robert G. Storey, Milton S. Eisenhower, and BGEN Kenneth E. Fields. In accepting this post, Ray Hill felt obliged to retire (in April 1965) and named Cliff Schulz to succeed him as president, and he became Chairman of the Board (which he retained until shortly before his death, in 1973).

Australian native Thomas A. Lang (BSCE ’32; MS ’33 Royal Melbourne Inst Tech) left Bechtel International around 1969 to become the firm’s president during the 1970s. Lang was known internationally as the “father of rockbolts,” which he pioneered to reinforce underground powerhouses for the Snowy Mountains Project in Australia in the 1950s (see T. A. Lang, 1972, Rock Reinforcement: AEG Bulletin, v.9:3, p. 215-239). Vice President Albert C. Bardin ran the day-to-day operations of the firm’s SF office, while his brother Bill Bardin was one of the supervising engineers. In 1968 Jack G. Wulff, PE (BSCE ’50 UNR) resigned his post as Chief of Earth Dams Design at CA DWR to become the firm’s Principal Engineer for Design and Construction (he went onto become President of Wahler & Associates, see above). John R. Peckham, PE, Charles G. Wolfe, PE (BSCE ’50 Berkeley), James M. Lenhart, James S. Jenks, Jan Jacob Roggeveen, Walter A. Brown, Phillip G. Harris, and Dean R. Schnaible were some of the principal and associate engineers at Leeds, Hill & Jewett in the early 1970s.
Leedshill (1978-82); Leedshill-Herkenhoff (1983-90)

Leeds, Hill & Jewett specialized in water resources, dams, tunnels, and coastal engineering. Sometime in 1977-78, the firm started calling itself Leedshill.  The Dams and Tunnels Group of Leedshill was acquired by Woodward-Clyde in 1982, later on the same year, the remaining part of Leedshill - the Water Resources Group (hydrology and hydraulics) was acquired by Herkenhoff of Albuquerque, NM, and they operated under the name Leedshill-Herkenhoff. In November 1990, the SF office of Leedshill-Herkenhoff was acquired by Kennedy/Jenks/Chilton (headquartered in SF). Leedshill-Herkenhoff maintained its home office in Albuquerque, which is still operating.
The Mark Group (1983-99)

Formed in 1983 by N. Dean Marachi, PhD, GE (BSCE ’65 Oregon State; MS ’66; PhD ’69 Berkeley) and David K. Rogers, PE, CEG (BSGeE ’75, MSGE ’77 Nevada-Reno) of Converse Consultants’ San Francisco office (and prior to that, with Woodward Clyde in Oakland). By 1991 the firm had 98 employees and three offices. Their main office was located in Pleasant Hill, another in Livermore, and a southern CA office in Santa Ana. They did a lot of water resources and geoenvironmental work, including construction management of environmental remediation. Their major clients were Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, State of California, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and the Corps of Engineers, among others. Some of their senior project engineers included Christopher R. Nardi, GE (MSCE ’81 Berkeley), Corey Dare, GE (BSCE ’77; MS ’78; MEng ’79 Berkeley) and Mark. H. Stanley, GE (BSCE ’88; MS ’90 Berkeley).

In February 1999 they were absorbed by Harza Engineering Co. of CA (HECC) and moved to new offices in Concord. Marachi left Harza in April 2001, shortly before they merged with Montgomery Watson. Fugro West purchased HarzaECC in 2003. Dean Marachi began consulting on his own, mostly forensic work, while David K. Rogers remained with Montgomery Watson-Harza, which became MWH-Americas, then as a Director with MWH Energy & Infrastructure. Fugro West was absorbed by Fugro Consultants, Inc. in 2010.
William Cotton & Associates (1974-90); Cotton-Shires, Inc. (1990-present) [in Leighton threadline]

William R. (Bill) Cotton, CEG grew up in the oil producing hamlet of San Ardo, in the upper Salinas Valley. He attended San Jose State, receiving his BA in geology in 1962, and departing to teach geology at Pasadena City College, alongside Harry Lawrence, CEG. Bill continued working on his master’s degree to gain tenure at PCC, while he and Harry worked part-time for F. Beach Leighton, a geology professor at nearby Whittier College. Bill completed his masters at San Jose State in 1967 and moved to the Bay Area in 1970 to work for the USGS Branch of Western Environmental Geology. In 1972 he began teaching geology at DeAnza College in Cupertino, while doing consulting work for Leighton on the Seal Cove Landslide problems in San Mateo County (he continued teaching at DeAnza College until 1992). Ijn January 1974 Bill founded William Cotton & Associates in Los Gatos, providing the same style of engineering geology consultations that Leighton & Associates had been performing in southern California.

Patrick O. Shires, GE, PGP (BS Geophy ’72; MSCE ’75 Stanford) grew up in Porterville and came to Stanford as a premed major in 1968. After taking a geology course with Dick Jahns he switched to geology and geophysics, earning his BS in geophysics in 1972 and an MS in geotechnical engineering with Prof. Wayne Clough in 1975. After graduation he took a position with Earth Science Associates in Palo Alto and became registered as a civil engineer and geophysicist. The partnership between Bill Cotton, CEG and Pat Shires was established in 1984, but the firm didn’t change its name until 1990. It has always been based in Los Gatos.

Over the years, some of the senior staff included Edward A.Sandy” Hay, PG (BA Geol ’57; MA ’61 Berkeley) and N. Tim Hall, CEG (BA Geol ’61 Hamilton College; MA ‘65 Berkeley; PhD ’84 Stanford), who were fellow geology profs with Bill Cotton at DeAnza College; John Coyle CEG (BS Geol ’75; MS ’85 SJSU), David A. Cochrane, CEG (BA Geol CSU Humboldt), Bill Fowler, CEG (BS Geol ’81 Colo Col; MS ’82 Stanford), Bill Johnson, CEG, Bill Cole, CEG, CHG (BS Geol ‘77; MS ’80 Texas A&M) came from McClelland Engineers inVentura, Barry Milstone, GE, CEG, (fm 1985-90), Mike Pearce, David T. Schrier, GE (BS Geol ’85; MSCE ’86 Stanford), Ted Sayre CEG (BA Geol ’81 Berkeley; MSGE ’85 CSM), Philip L. Johnson, CEG (BA Geol ’87 SFSU; MS ’90 SJSU), Dale Marcum, (BS Geol ’83 CWS-Gunnison; MSCE ’87 Berkeley). They have also employed a number of consultants, including Philip A. Frame, CEG (1946-2010) and Professors Gerry Weber, Dick Goodman, Jonathan Bray, and J. David Rogers.

Shires remains active in the firm’s management. As of 2009, Ted Sayre, CEG, John M. Wallace, CEG (BS Geol ’85 USC; MS ’91 SJSU) and Michael Phipps CEG (BS Geol ’87 USC) are the Principal Engineering Geologists, Dale Marcum, PE is the Principal Geological Engineer, and David Schrier, GE is the Principal Geotechnical Engineer. Other senior personnel include: Gordon Stolla, CEG (BS Geol ‘98 CSU Humboldt), Joe Durdella, PG (BA Geol ‘97; MS 2001 Purdue), and Tim Sneddon, PE (BSCE 2000 CPSLO; MS 2001 Berkeley).

Some derivative firms include; Barry Milstone, GE, who founded Milstone Geotechnical in 1990 based in Los Gatos; John Coyle was a consulting geologist for many years before moving to the Washington Dept of Natural Resources in 2007. Bill Cole founded Geoinsite, Inc., while Steven F. Connolly, Gerry O’Regan, and several others work for corporate entities.



Branch offices of geotechnical firms based elsewhere
Kaiser Engineers (1946-94); ICF Kaiser Engineers and Constructors (1994-2000)

Founded in 1914, Kaiser Engineers moved its headquarters to Oakland in the 1950s. They did some of their own geotechnical and engineering geology work in the 1950s and 60s, and were heavily involved in all sorts of heavy construction projects, including power plants and mining. In the late 60s-early70s their Chief Soils Engineer was Harold C. Shandrew, PE. Edgar (Ed) Becker (BSCE ’52 Berkeley; MBA Columbia; PhD ’72 Berkeley) became Chief Geotechnical Engineer for Kaiser Engineers in the mid-70s, after leaving Lee & Praszker to pursue his doctorate at Berkeley, on the strength & deformation of rock fill materials for Oroville Dam, btwn 1969-71. Alden McElrath, Jr. was a staff geotechnical engineer and Lynn E. Morlan, CEG was their engineering geologist. Kaiser gradually transitioned to using Shannon & Wilson for much of their geotechnical work, especially, nuclear power plants.

In 1989 Kaiser Engineers purchased Tudor Engineering Co. of San Francisco, founded by Ralph A. Tudor (1902-63) (BSE ’23 USMA; CE ’25 Cornell) in 1950. Tudor had a large role in the construction of BART between 1964-75, in the joint venture Parsons-Brinkerhoff-Tudor-Bechtel. The conjoined firm was renamed ICF Kaiser Engineers. In 1993 the firm name changed to ICF Kaiser Engineers and Constructors, with offices in Oakland and San Jose. In late 1993 they moved their corporate headquarters from Oakland to Fairfax, VA. Hatch Mott MacDonald (described below) acquired ICF Kaiser Engineers in 2000.
Shannon & Wilson (1964-80)

Based in Seattle, WA, they opened a SF Bay Area branch office in Burlingame around 1964, headed by Senior Vice President Rudy J. Dietrich (BSCE ’53 Washington Univ-St Louis; MS ’54 Harvard; at WES-Vicksburg then onto Bechtel) with Delmar D. Yoakum (BSCE ’62 Washington; MS ’63 Harvard) as senior associate. Dietrich was succeeded by J. Ronald Salley (BS, ‘62; MS ‘63 Harvard; PhD ‘67 Illinois), who moved the office to 350 Sansome Street in San Francisco.

Other senior staff included Ignacio Arango (BSCE Columbia; PhD ’71 Berkeley), Chris Groves (BSCE ’68; MS ’69 Missouri-Rolla); Allen W. Hatheway (BA Geol ’61 UCLA; MS GeoE ’66, PhD GeoE ’71; PD ‘82 Arizona), Pedro A. De Alba (BSCE ’64 UNAM; MS ’69, PhD ’75 Berkeley), P. Erik Mikkelsen (BSE ’64 Schous Tekniske Institut; BSCE ’66 Utah; MS ’67 Berkeley), Robin B. Nowinski (BSCE ’64 Stanford; MS ’69 Berkeley), and Robert D.Bob” Perry. Hatheway held a PhD in geological engineering from Arizona, while Arango and DeAlba received their PhDs in geotechnical engineering from UC Berkeley.

The office‘s largest client was Kaiser Engineers, based in Oakland. They did lots of work for Kaiser on nuclear power plants, some work for the Union Pacific Railroad (a long-time client of S&W), and the geotechnical work for the second Dumbarton Bridge in 1973, for the Southern Pacific Railroad (then headquartered in San Francisco). When the San Francisco office was closed in 1980, Office Principal Ron Salley transferred to the St. Louis office of S&W, and went onto Seattle as President of the firm in the 1990s.


Thomas M. Leps, Inc., Consulting Engineers (1963-94)

Thomas M. Leps, PE, NAE (1914-2010) was born in Keyser, West Virginia in December 1914 and his family moved to Palo Alto in the early 1930s. He attended Stanford University, where he received his general engineering degree in 1936. He worked two years for the Bureau of Reclamation in Nebraska before attending graduate school at MIT, where he received his master’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis on soil mechanics in 1939. He then worked for DeLeuw Cather Company and the Army Corps of Enmgineers before joining the Navy Seabees during the Second World War, achieving the rank of commander. After the war, he took a position with the Southern California Edison Company, engaged in constructing dams for hydroelectric power development in the Sierras. During the next 16 years he established himself as an expert on the strength and deformability of rockfill embankment dams, publishing approximately 30 articles during his professional career. He rose through their ranks to become Chief Civil Engineer, before leaving to become Chief Engineer of Shannon & Wilson, between 1961-63.

In 1963 he established his own consultancy in Atherton specializing in geotechnical engineering. He was named to the Baldwin Hills Reservoir review panel convened by the Department of Water Resources in December 1963. He served as a consultant on many dam and hydroelectric projects around the world, including the New Exchequer, Palmdale, Lopez, Los Angeles, and New Spicer Meadows Dams in California. He incorporated his firm as Thomas M. Leps. Inc. in March 1971. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973 and was a frequent guest lecturer at Stanford for three decades (1963-94). In June 1976 he was named to the Independent Panel to Review the Causes of the Failure of the Teton Dam by the Governor of Idaho. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the U.S. Society of Dams in 2006. His wife Catherine died in November 2005, and sometime after this he moved to Dinuba. He then moved to Lake Forest, in Orange County, where he died on April 23, 2010.


F. Beach Leighton & Associates (1970-74; Leighton & Associates (1974-81)

F. Beach Leighton & Associates was based in Whittier, and later, Irvine, in southern California (profiled in the Southern California Threadline). They opened a field office in the San Francisco Bay Area in September 1970, out of Bill Cotton’s home in Los Gatos (he was working for the USGS in 1970-72), because he had previously worked for the firm while teaching geology at Pasadena City College (1962-70). Bill Cotton, CEG assessed the landslide problems in Seal Cove for San Mateo County (see County Geologist write-up, below).

In 1974 Cotton established his own consultancy (profiled above) and Leighton established a branch office in Redwood City to service his clients in the San Francisco Bay region, re-oraganizing itself as Leighton & Associates. F. Beach Leighton, PhD, CEG (BSEng ’46 Virginia; MS Geol ’49, PhD Geol ’51 Caltech) served as the reviewing geologist for San Mateo County under contract, from 1970 until Al Neufeld, CEG was hired as the full-time County Geologist, in 1975. In the summer of 1974 Sally Widhelm Bilodeau, CEG, CHG (MS ’76 Stanford) came up from Leighton’s home office in La Habra to work part-time in the Redwood City office while attending grad school at Stanford (1974-76), and she managed the Bay Area office until 1977. Sterling Atkinson, PE, CEG (1928-96) succeeded Bilodeau as the office manager in 1977. Other geologists who worked in the Redwood City office included Rod Weick, Paul Newman, and Richard Harris. After Leighton’s branch office closed in 1981, Atkinson and Tom Tejima formed Tejima–Atkinson (profiled above) in 1984.
Joseph A. Ward & Associates (1973-78)

In 1973 Joseph A. Ward & Associates opened a branch office in San Francisco, with Gene Miller of Harding Miller Lawson Assoc as the managing principal. The firm was based in Caldwell, New Jersey, with other branch offices in Washington, DC and Tampa. In 1978 Converse-Davis & Associates of Pasadena merged with Joseph S. Ward & Associates and became Converse-Ward-Davis-Dixon, making them a coast-to-coast geotechnical firm. At that time the Washington, Tampa, and San Francisco office of Joseph S. Ward and Associates was also absorbed into the new firm. Joe Ward stepped down as President and CEO of the firm in 1983 and retired to Florida, where he died of a heart attack in January 1994. The firm name changed its name to Converse Consultants West around ~1983.


Converse Ward Davis Dixon Associates/Converse Consultants (1979-99); Converse Environmental West (1989-99)

Converse Consulting Foundations Engineers was established in 1946 and headquartered in Pasadena, CA. This became Converse, Davis & Associates in 1966. In 1978 Converse Ward Davis Dixon Associates joined with Joseph A. Ward & Associates to become Converse-Ward-Davis-Dixon. Ward’s branch office in San Francisco assumed this new name in March 1979, and Gene Miller, GE continued managing the SFO office, having joined Joseph A Ward in 1973. N. Dean Marachi rejoined the firm at this time, after returning from Iran in Dec 1978 (he had previously worked for Converse in Pasadena, between 1969-73). In February 1982 Marachi took over management of the SFO office, when Gene Miller left to form Harlan-Miller-Tait.

In 1983 the firm name reverted to Converse Consultants because Schaffer Dixon started his own firm in April ’82 and the founding partner, J. Robert “Bob” Davis, died of bone cancer in July 1982. In 1983 Marachi and David K. Rogers, PE, CEG departed to form The Mark Group (profiled above). Richard J. Woodward, III (MSCE ’64, PhD ’66 Berkeley) succeeded as principal of the SFO branch office (he went onto become head of the hazardous waste group at Brown & Caldwell in Pleasant Hill). The senior geotechnical engineers at the San Francisco office included Pat Lucia, PhD, PE (1980-83) and Corey T. Dare, PE (1979-89), while their staff geologist was Mike Carey, CEG (BA Geol ’75 UC Davis). Their bay area office was closed in 1999.
Geotechnical Engineering, Inc. [GEI] (1979-present)

GEI Geotechnical Engineering, Inc. was established in 1979 in Fremont by Taghi Manbeian, PhD, PE (PhD ‘72 Berkeley) and Alan S. Boris, GE (BSCE ’61 UCLA). John N. ‘ Jack’ Alt, CEG (BA ’68 Geol SJSU) and Michael N. Clark, CEG (BA Geol ’77; MS ‘78 UCSB) have served as the firm’s principal/contract geologists at various times. Jack Alt went onto open his own consultancy Epigene International, and Michael Clark moved to Kleinfelder’s San Jose office.


CH2M Hill (1982-2015); CH2M (2015-present)

CH2M-Hill was formed by the 1971 partnership of Clair A. Hill & Associates of Redding with CH2M (Cornell, Holland, Hays & Merrifield) of Corvallis, Oregon. Both firms were founded in 1946. Clair A. Hill, PE, NAE received his BSCE from Stanford in 1934 and established his first consultancy in Redding in 1938, while serving as Deputy Surveyor for Shasta County. He was the longest serving member of the California Water Commission (from 1949 to 1996), and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1992.

CH2M-Hill established a branch office in Emeryville in 1982 that was managed by Loring E. Hanson (BSME ’45 Berkeley), who retired in 1984. The office was engaged primarily in water resources and geoenvironmental work. The office moved to Oakland the late 1990s. Don V. Roberts, GE (BSCE ’50 Stanford), a partner at Dames & Moore’s Los Angeles office, was brought in as Vice President and Director of Corporate Planning and Development. In the 1990s Senior VP and Principal Geotechnical Engineer was Lawrence H. Roth, GE (BSCE ’70; MS ’74 Wisconsin) until 1998, when he moved to Subsurface Consultants, before joining ASCE’s national staff (through 2009). Other senior geotechnical engineers included Howard Schirmer, GE (BSCE ’64, MS ’65 Berkeley) who became President of CH2M International in Denver in the 1990s. Jill T. Sideman, PhD was the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area manager between 2004-10; when Vijay Kumar, PE (MSCE ’89 Hawaii) took over the managerial role of the 450 employees working in the Bay Area. In February 2015 the firm’s board of directors decided to delete “Hill” form the corporate name, becoming “CH2M.”
BSK Associates (1982-present)

BSK Associates was founded in 1966 in Fresno, California by Wes Braun, PE, Robert Skaggs, PE, and Hugo Kevorkian, PE as a full-service geotechnical engineering company. In 1977 they established BSK Analytical Laboratories as a division of BSK to analyze water quality, becoming an AICL certified facility. By the mid-1980s they were providing a range of environmental, geotechnical and construction testing and inspection services. The branch manager in Fresno is Danny Cohen, GE. Jim Olbinski, CEG (BS Geol ’76 NAU; MS ’83 Oregon State) was the firm’s senior geologist until retiring.

Over the years they established branch offices in Bakersfield, Visalia, Pleasanton/Dublin, and Sacramento. The branch office in Pleasanton opened around 1982 and was managed by Howard D. Barlow, GE, who also operated a separate entity incorporated as JHA Geotechnical in 1984 (profiled below). Since Feb 2006 the firm’s president has been Richard Johnson, CEG (BS Geol ’83 CSU Chico).

In 2013 Bradley E. Steen, GE (BSCE ’76; MS ’77 Berkeley) left Kleinfelder to become manager of the firm’s branch office in Dublin. One of their senior geotechnical engineers in Dublin is Carrie Foulk, GE (BSCE ’96 Washington; MS 2002 Berkeley). Christiano Melo, GE (BSCE ’97; MS 2000 Idaho) departed Kleinfelder in August 2013 and became the Geotechncial Group Manager for the firm’s San Francisco office and laboratory.


JHA Geotechnical Consultants, Inc. (1984-91)

JHA Geotechnical was founded by Howard D. Barlow, GE and Hugo Kevorkian of BSK Associates in April 1984, and based in Pleasanton. They soon moved to Hayward, where they operated until May 1991, when the corporation was dissolved. Their staff geologist was Dale E. Plume. They performed numerous geotechnical and engineering geologic studies for hillside residential development in the East and South Bay areas. Barlow moved back to Fresno in 1991 and resumed his position as a principal with BSK Associates at their home office.


Environmental Geotechnical Consultants (1986 – present); Pyramid Geotechnics (1990s-present)

Environmental Geotechnical Consultants was founded by San Francisco native Donald R. Poindexter, GE (BSCE ’69; MS ‘74 Minnesota), a former partner with BSK Associates in the 1980’s, who then worked as an associate with Purcell-Rhoades in Pleasant Hill. In 1986 he established Environmental Geotechnical Consultants in Pleasant Hill, which he sold his interest to John T. Phillips, CEG in 1992, who with Noel Lerner, PE, operated the firm from an office in Sacramento. John F. Hicks, PE now owns the firm, which is based in Hayward. In the mid-1990s Poindexter moved to Petaluma and established Pyramid Geotechnics. In 2006 Poindexter incorporated Pyramid and moved the business to Bodega Bay.


Golder Associates, Inc. (1986-present)

Golder Associates North American operations are headquartered in Toronto. They established a branch office in Alameda around 1986, now located in Sunnyvale, with about 20 employees. They were primarily engaged in performing geoenvironmental assessments and remediation. Ajay Singh, GE (now with BAGG) and Craig Hall (who went to Kleinfelder) were senior engineers, while Shah Vahdani was an associate engineer in the mid-1990s. In 2005 Golder acquired Conor Pacific/ EFW and expanded their market share in the S. F. Bay area. Bill Fowler, CEG (BA Geol ’80 Colorado College; MS ’82 Stanford) of Einarson, Fowler & Watson joined the firm as an associate in 2004, and was named principal geologist in 2013.


Geosyntec Consultants (1991-present)

The firm was established in 1983 by Jean-Pierre Giroud PhD, NAE of Woodward-Clyde Consultants and Joe Fluet, based out of Boca Raton, FL. They specialized in providing consulting services in geosynthetics, mostly for the emerging geoenvironmental industry. In 1986-87 Drs. Rudy Bonaparte (BSCE ’77 Texas; MS ’78; PhD ’81 Berkeley) and Neil D. Williams (BSCE ’77; MS ’79 Utah State; PhD ’82 Berkeley) joined the firm and it grew rapidly soon afterwards, from headquarters in Boca Raton, particularly, in support of landfills, working for Browning-Ferris Industries and other waste disposal clients.

By 1995 the Principals included J. F. Beech, N.D. Williams, J.P. Giroud, T.R. Sanglerat, Jeff Dunn, Pat Lucia, Rudy Bonaparte, NAE and Ed Kavazanjian, NAE (BSCE ’73 and MS ‘75 MIT; PhD ’78 Berkeley). Thierry Sanglerat opened a branch office in Southern California (Huntington Beach) and Kavazanjian left Stanford to join the firm and began managing that office in 1992. Jeff Dunn PhD, GE (now with ARUP) opened the Geosyntec office in Walnut Creek in 1991, which has continued to grow, and is now in Oakland. Patrick C. Lucia, GE (BSCE ’74; MS ’75, PhD ’81 Berkeley) joined this office in 1993, coming from Woodward-Clyde, where he had served as a principal and VP. Senior associates included Scott Huntsman, GE (BSCE ’75; MS ’76; PhD ’85 Berkeley) (since moved to Black & Veatch), and Nancy Tannaci Bice, CEG (BA Geol ’79; MSCE ‘82 Berkeley). Lucia served as Chairman from 1994-2013, while Rudy Bonaparte is President and CEO of the parent firm, at their Atlanta headquarters. Bonaparte was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2007, Giroud in 2009, and Kavazanjian in 2013. Lucia retired in 2013 and teaches courses at UC Davis.

Their Bay Area office includes Christopher Hunt, GE (BSCE ’93; MS ’95; PhD GeotE 2000 Berkeley); John Gallinatti, CHG (BS Geol ’79 Stanford; MS ’84 Washington); Jennifer Donahue, PE (BS OceanE 1995 Texas A&M; MSCE 2003; PhD 2007 Berkeley);


Harza Engineering (1992-2001)/MWH Americas, Inc. (2001- present)

Harza Engineering of Chicago and Montgomery-Watson of Pasadena merged companies in June 2001 to become MWE Americas, Inc. In the San Francisco Bay region Harza ECC acquired Kaldveer Associates in 1992 and the Mark Group in 1999. These were grouped together with Montgomery Watson’s office in Walnut Creek, while they operate another branch office in San Francisco (13 offices in CA altogether). MWH Americas, Inc is a subsidiary of MWH Global, Inc., which has 170 offices and more than 7,000 employees around the world (headquartered in Bloomfield, CO). Another subsidiary firm is MWH Constructors, Inc., offering construction management services.




Haley & Aldrich (1994 – present)

Haley & Aldrich is a Boston-based firm founded in 1957 by James F. Haley and Dr. Harl P. Aldrich, which currently employs 600 people in 30 offices, nationwide. They established a San Francisco branch office in 1994, when they secured a contract to manage construction of the Richmond [sewer] transport tunnel in San Francisco. The firm now sports branch offices in Oakland, Walnut Creek, and San Jose, with a combined staff of about 40 people. They specialize in geoenvironmental assessesments and remediation, mostly on redevelopment of legacy sites. Some of the principals include Susan Gallardo GE (BSCE ’80; MS ’84 Berkeley) as Senior VP and Principal Consultant (from AMEC/Geomatrix), Principal Hydrogeologist Murray D. Einarson, CEG, CHG (BA Geol ’82 UCSB; MS 2001 Waterloo) (from AMEC). Einarson, Fowler, and Watson joined the firm in 2012. Peter Bennett, CHG (MS Geol ’98 Western Ontario) is VP and Lead Hydrogeologist; Adrian Fure, PE (BSEnE 2001 Michigan Tech; PhD EnvE 2005 Florida) is senior remediation engineer; Peter Scaramella, PE (MSCE 2007 Colorado) is senior risk assessor, Jennifer Duffield, PE (BSCE ’93 UCLA, MS ’95 Berkeley) is senior project manager. In February 2016 Catherine Ellis, G.E. (BSCE UOP; MS SJSU; MBA Berkeley) was named Senior Client Leader in the firm’s Walnut Creek office.


GEI Consultants (1994-present )

GEI Consultants, Inc. of Woburn, MA purchased Roger Foott & Associates in 1994, establishing a branch office in San Francisco. Frederick N. Brovold, GE (BSCE ‘65 MSE ’67 Florida; CE ’71; MS ’71 MIT) served as the Branch Manager from 1995-99, and Roy A. Bell, GE as Senior Project Engineer (see Roger Foott & Associates and Harding Lawson). Gilles J. Bureau, GE (Dipl Nat’l Upper Mining Sch (France); MSCE ‘71 Berkeley) departed URS/Woodward-Clyde in 2003 to become a senior consultant to the Oakland office. Mark Freitas, GE became principal engineer of their San Francisco office in August 2009. Kyle Bickler, GE, Michelle Shriro, GE (BS EnvE 1997; MSCE ’99 Berkeley), and Enrico Rufini (BS Geol ’89 Univ Perugia; MSCE ’98 Berkeley) are senior geotechnical engineers, and Graham Bradner, CEG, CHG (BS EnvGeol 1999; MS Hydgeol 2002 Clemson) is a senior hydrogeologist.


Arup & Partners California Ltd. (1995-present)

Ove Arup was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in London. Currently goes by the name Arup and operating out of 73 offices in 32 countries, with 7000 members of staff, Arup is made up of a number of inter-related practices. They established branch offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles around ~1995 as Ove Arup & Partners California Ltd. Annie Kammerer, PhD, PE (BSCE ’94; MS ’98, PhD 2002 Berkeley) established the geotechnical group at this office in 2002, remaining till 2006. Principal SF office contact is Mike Kaye. Demetrious Koutsoftas, GE, NAE (BS AgEng ’68 Technion-Haifa; MS ’71 and CE ’72 MIT) joined as a senior associate in 2006. They provide civil, structural, geotechnical, mechanical, and electrical engineering design services. In 2007, the San Francisco office grew to a whopping $30 million in revenue -- nearly double its 2005 total. In 2010 they were joined by Daniel J. Peluso, GE (BS Geol ’83 UCSB; MSCE ’87 SJSU) from Pacific Geotechnical Engineers. In 2013 R. Jeffrey Dunn, GE (BSCE ’75; MS ’76; PhD ’83 Berkeley) came over from Kleinfelder to head up the firm’s geotechnical engineering division in the S.F. Bay Area.
Ninyo & Moore (1999-present)

Founded in 1986 by Avram Ninyo (BSCE ’71 Robert College-Istanbul; MSCE ’74 Syracuse), who managed Leighton’s branch office in San Diego, along with Roy E. Moore, (son of William Moore of Dames & Moore), based out of San Diego. A branch office was established in Oakland in 1999. Terrance K. L. Wang, GE (BSCE ’75 Rice; MS ’76 Berkeley) left Fugro West to become managing partner of the Bay Area office in August 2005.


Fugro (1972-75); Fugro West, Inc. (1997-2010); Fugro Consultants, Inc. (2010-present)

Fugro was founded in September 1970 by Jaap “Jack” Schoustra, PE (1931-1997) (BS, MS Delft Tech Univ) and Jay Smith (BS Geol ‘58 UCLA), who were both partners at Converse-Davis in Pasadena. Fugro Inc., the American affiliate of the Dutch firm established an office in Long Beach. In 1972 they established a Bay Area office in Redwood City, bringing in Howard F. Donley, PE (BSCE ’60 Wyoming; MS ’61 Montana State) from Dames & Moore as a vice president and office principal. Donley had joined D&M in 1963. This officen remained open until he formed Howard F. Donley & Associates in 1975 (described in the D& M threadline).

McClelland Engineers of Houston, Texas was founded in 1947. In 1977 McClelland partnered with Land and Sea Surveys of Louisiana to establish a West Coast office in Ventura to service the offshore oil industry (Land BS Sea Surveys had been working in California since 1950). Fugro is a European-based company founded in 1962 in the Netherlands. In 1986 Fugro merged with McClelland Engineers to form Fugro-McClelland, which allowed them to dominate marine and offshore geotechnical exploration and assessment, while offering geotechnical, hydrogeologic, geoenvironmental services.

In 1991-92, Fugro acquired KC Geotechnical Engineers of Santa Barbara and Staal, Gardner & Dunne of Ventura (profiled in the Southern California Threadline). When Fugro acquired John E. Chance of Louisiana in 1994, their Ventura operation (formerly Land and Sea Surveys) became a part of Fugro-McClelland West, which became Fugro West, Inc. in November 1997, with Timothy N. Dunne, GE serving as the president, in Ventura.

In 1997 Fugro West established a branch office in Oakland, which was managed by Tom McNeilan, PE (BSCE ’73 Cincinnati; MS ’74 Purdue), who had previously worked for McClelland Engineers in Houston, San Francisco, and Ventura before becoming VP of Fugro West in 1993. Their Chief Geotechnical Engineer is Ron Bajuniemi, G.E (BSCE ’71; MS ’73 UC Davis), and from 2002-12 one of their principal geotechnical engineers was Corey T. Dare, GE. Their VP and principal geologist is William Godwin, CEG. In 1998 they landed the $12.5 million geotechnical exploration contract for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span, which eventually expanded to $18 million. McNeilan supervised site characterization for the new bridge, which reduced the cost of the pile foundations by $200 million, and was constructed without any changed conditions claims.

Fugro West's Bay Area operations were significantly expanded with the acquisition of Subsurface Consultants (SCI) in 2002 and the infrastructure operations of MWH Energy & Infrastructure, Inc. (MWH E&I) and the Oakland office of Harza (also in 2002); and Lettis & Associates in 2007. In 2010 Fugro West (which included all of Fugro’s operations in California and Nevada, and headquartered in Ventura) was recaptured in the national organization known as Fugro Consultants, Inc. (FCL), headquartered in Houston.

In January 2008 Fugro West, Inc. landed a contract to assess 1200 miles of ''non-urban'' levees in California's Central Valley. Fugro is part of two teams that have been awarded contracts with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The total contract value for both contracts over five years is $120 million. Fugro's share is approximately $35 million.

Geosphere Consultants, Inc. (2007 – present)

Eberhart/United Consultants was originally formed by Dan Eberhart, CEG in 1985 in Placentia (described in the Southern California threadlines). Geosphere Consultants was founded in 2007 when Eberhart/United was combined with the Geotechnical Division of Consolidated Engineering Laboratories. Geosphere Consultants operates offices in San Ramon, Salt Lake City, and Honolulu, and is an independent firm within the Engineering Testing Services Corporation (ETS) family of companies, an ENR 500 firm. The firm’s principals include: President Eric J. Swenson, GE, CEG (BA Geol ’87 Berkeley; MSCE ’94 SJSU), Principal Engineer Corey T. Dare, GE (BSCE ’77; MS ’78; MEng ’79 Berkeley), Senior Geotechnical Engineer Greg R. Hanson, GE, CEG (BS Geol ’70 Illinois), and Senior Pavement Engineer Raghubar Shrestha, PhD, PE.
Hatch Mott MacDonald (2009-present)

In 1996, the English firms Hatch Ltd. Of Toronto and the Mott MacDonald Group of Croydon, UK, combined forces to form Hatch Mott MacDonald to provide comprehensive engineering design and construction management of transportation systems, including tunnels, rail transit, bridges and highways, and aviation in North America. In 1996, Hatch began ecquiring other North American firms, including Billiton Engineering (1996), Rescan Mining (1998), BHP Engineering (1999), Kaiser Engineers (2000), and Acres International (2004). Hatch Mott MacDonald’s American headquarters is located in Iselin, New Jersey. HMM’s staff of 2,700 operates from 76 branch offices in Canada and the USA.

The firm’s branch office in Pleasanton was established in 2009 (moving to the Hacienda Business Park in January 2011) to service contracts with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission as construction manager for their New Irvington Tunnel $4.6B project, and on the Calaveras Dam replacement project. The office is also providing consultations for the Transbay [Rail] Transit Center in San Francisco, and the California high-speed rail tunnel investigations. The office principal is John Davenport and Ray Akkawi is a senior project manager. Scott Ball, CEG (BS Geol ’83 BYU; MS GeoE ’85 MichTech) is working on the Irvington Tunnel and Calaveras Dam.
Other firms/Consultants (without defined threadlines)
LACO Associates (1954-present)

General civil engineering, surveying, soils mechanics, and materials testing firm founded in Eureka around 1954, by unknown individuals. It was reorganized in 1975, and again in 1982, to its present names and livery. From 2000-10 the firm’s president was Leonard Osborne, PE (BSCE ’81 Utah), VP was Tim Hoover, John L. Bergenske was COO, David N. Lindberg, CEG (BS ’81; MS ’89 HSU) was senior engineering geologist, and Philip Taylor, PLS. Jared Chaney, David Lindberg, Frank Bickner, and HSU Prof. Gary Carver did some of the original work on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (see Chaney, R., Carver, G., Bickner, F., Conversano, G., Lindberg, D. 1991. "Seismic Risk Analysis for a Site Along the Gorda Segment of the Cascadia Subduction Zone," Second Int’l Conf Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics, Vol II, 1313-1321).


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