Dam Safety 2019 Conference

Logo: Dam Safety 2019 | Orlando, Florida. September 8-12We are thrilled to be a Platinum Sponsor for this year’s Dam Safety 2019 Conference in Orlando. Nine of Schnabel’s engineers will participate in six different sessions. Stop by Booth #800 to meet our team and learn more about who we are and what we do!


Tuesday, September 10

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Risk Informed 2D Breach Analyses for Vermont’s Flood Control Dams
Concurrent Session 10: Breaches, Levees, and Dam Breaks
Kevin Ruswick, PE

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Lake Ogletree Spillway­—Rehabilitation in the “Holey” Land
Concurrent  Session 12: Spillway Construction
Tyler Coats, PE; James Crowder, PE

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
QA/QC in Spillway Chute Joint Construction
Concurrent  Session 12: Spillway Construction
John Harrison, PE

Wednesday, September 11

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
20th Anniversary of El Guapo Dam Failure
Concurrent Session 24: Decade Dam Failure Series Part II
Jonathan Pittman, PE

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Upstream Riprap Slope Inspection by Drone­­—A Case Study
Concurrent Session 25: Technological Advancements in Inspections
Travis Shoemaker, EIT

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Cooper Lake Dam: Benefits of a Safe Yield Model for Understanding Water Supply Risk during Dam Rehabilitation Construction
Concurrent Session 35: Mitigating Construction Risks
Kevin Ruswick, PE, CFM; David Railsback, PE

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
The Devastation of Hurricane Camille, Schuyler Dam Incident, August 1969, Nelson County, VA
Concurrent Session 36: Decade Dam Failure Series Part III 
Jonathan Pittman, PE

Lightning Talks

A New Tool for Summarizing Complex Results of Incremental Flooding Analysis 
Carmen Soller, EIT

Emergency Preparedness of Select Dams during Hurricane Florence in North Carolina
Laura Shearin-Feimster, PE

Yeager Airport Reopens Full Length Runway

The reopening of Yeager Airport’s full length runway in Charleston, WV was celebrated with a ribbon cutting event on July 19th. In 2015, catastrophic failure of the 240-foot-high reinforced soil slope and the emergency overrun structure upon which it sat occurred. The resulting failure swallowed buildings and caused major flood damage to upstream structures by blocking a portion of Elk Two Mile Creek. The collapse also destabilized the surrounding area and left a vertical face of partially reinforced fill looming over a massive debris field covering Keystone Drive. Schnabel Engineering was enlisted to develop a mitigation plan to stabilize the vertical face and debris field. Using risk based decision processes, Schnabel and its consulting team developed remediation plans and subsequently selected a repair alternative to restore the runway safety area. A new 85 foot high retaining wall with geofoam as a significant portion of the backfill was designed and constructed within 22 months.

Schnabel Hires Senior Associate Dam Engineer, Steven A. Samuelson, PE

Steven A. Samuelson, PE Steven A. Samuelson, PE, has joined Schnabel Engineering as a Senior Associate engineer in our Seattle, WA office. Samuelson is a civil engineer experienced in structural analyses of hydraulic structures. In particular, he specializes in the computer modeling of concrete dams and has evaluated concrete arch, buttress, and gravity dams, including the use of three-dimensional nonlinear time history dynamic analysis methods.

Samuelson is a FERC-approved Independent Consultant since 2002 at 21 sites in the West and Midwest. He was part of the FERC pilot Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA) program in 2002, developed training materials used by them for its roll-out the following year, and was privileged to have the FERC incorporate some of his comments into the 2018 revision of their arch dam guidelines. He also completed dam safety studies, designs and analyses for projects owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and sites regulated by the Division of Safety of Dams in the state of California.

Samuelson commented, “The addition of my specialized dam modeling expertise to the company’s existing dam engineering services resulted in a great fit for both me and Schnabel. I’m excited to be able to offer my dam modeling experience from the past couple of decades to Schnabel’s many existing and future clients.”

A licensed professional engineer in six states, Samuelson earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Idaho.

Brian K. Banks, PG to lead Schnabel Engineering Transportation pursuits

Brian K. Banks, PGSchnabel is pleased to announce that Brian K. Banks, PG, Principal, has been appointed to lead the firm’s transportation business. Based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, Banks will dedicate his efforts to expand our transportation practice across the country.

“Schnabel has a large team of very talented geotechnical, geostructural, tunnel and geo-environmental experts with a wealth of experience on design-bid-build, design-build, and public-private partnership (P3) transportation projects. Our responsiveness in providing practical and cost-effective solutions is what really sets us apart. This is why we’ve become trusted partners for complex transportation projects for prime designers, contractors and owners alike.”

In his new role, Banks will focus on leveraging Schnabel’s transportation experience and expertise to grow our transportation business. Banks’ relocation to North Carolina allows him to work more closely with our southern offices to increase our transportation presence in the southern states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas, as he continues to coordinate the transportation efforts across the firm.

Banks has 23 years of geo-engineering consulting experience and has been with Schnabel for 16 years. While at Schnabel, he has served as branch leader, board director, and senior project manager for a wide variety of large, multidisciplinary infrastructure projects, including highway, bridge, airport, railroad and transit projects. He has worked around the world with projects in North America, Hawaii, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Antarctica. Banks has also been heavily involved in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Metropolitan Washington (ACEC/MW), serving as vice president (current), board director, and chair of the transportation committee.

We are excited for these changes to position Schnabel as a transportation leader in the United States and to commit the necessary resources to grow this critical part of our business.

Schnabel Engineering Employees Serve in Key DBIA-MAR Leadership Positions

Design Build Institute of America Mid-Atlantic Region elects Schnabel Engineering’s Mary Anderson, Senior Vice-President as the Region’s Board President and Sherry Miller as Secretary. Muriel Rodriguez-Franqui, Vice President serving as DBIA Central Virginia Chapter Membership Committee Chair.

Schnabel Engineering’s commitment to DBIA continues, as three employees will serve in key leadership positions in the Mid-Atlantic region. The DBIA Mid-Atlantic Region covers the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, offering activities and events for those interested in learning more about design-build project delivery or advancing its use.

Mary Anderson

Mary Anderson

Recently elected as DBIA-MAR Board President, Mary Anderson, F. SAME, serves as the primary liaison between the regional and chapter leadership and serves on the board of directors for the region. She represents the chapter at regional DBIA meetings and workshops, schedules and presides over meetings and events, and presents chapter issues in regional DBIA forums.

Anderson, a 30-year industry veteran, senior associate and senior vice president at Schnabel, leads business development efforts for the firm’s federal government market. Anderson also served in numerous leadership roles with the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), including Regional Vice President for the Middle Atlantic Region and Post President for the Northern Virginia Post.

Anderson commented, “This is an exciting time to fully engage with DBIA, as we are moving into the next era, following our 25th anniversary. All of our construction industry market sectors are reporting growth, and all states in the Mid-Atlantic Region are touting major economic development announcements. Within the DBIA-MAR, we are fortunate to have a wealth of opportunities and examples of ‘Design-Build Done Right™.’ I look forward to supporting DBIA-MAR and working with my design and construction colleagues.”

Sherry Miller

Sherry Miller

Sherry Miller, office manager to Schnabel Engineering’s Sterling, VA, since 2001, joins Mary as an executive member of the DBIA Mid-Atlantic Region’s board of directors, serving as secretary for the chapter. Miller maintains the chapter’s formal documentation, prepares and issues minutes, and maintains documentation of board and chapter meetings and other events, including approved decisions and actions. She is also responsible for coordination with the region on administrative matters affecting the chapter.

As Chair of the DBIA Central Virginia Chapter Membership Committee, Muriel Rodriguez-Franqui, associate and vice president at Schnabel works to recruit new members and retain existing members of the chapter. A key business development professional for Schnabel since 1988, Rodriguez-Franqui has held numerous leadership and committee positions with industry organizations and now brings that experience to DBIA Central Virginia.

Muriel Rodriguez-Franqui

Muriel Rodriguez-Franqui

“I am very excited to help grow this multi-discipline, newly formed DBIA Central Virginia Chapter,” she said. “We are already off to a great start with programs and sponsorship opportunities for 2019.”

Newly established in 2018, DBIA’s Central Virginia Chapter provides programming, networking, and educational programs related to the fast growing design-build project delivery method and advancing its use in the Commonwealth. The Central Virginia Chapter joins the Hampton Roads and Maryland Chapters as part of the DBIA-MAR.