News

Chadd W. Yeatts, PE Promoted to Senior Associate

Chadd W. Yeatts, PE of Blacksburg, VA was recently promoted to Senior Associate/Senior Vice President at Schnabel Engineering. Yeatts will continue leading Schnabel’s Power and Energy pursuit team, helping expand the firm’s presence within the industry.

Yeatts has over 23 years of industry experience but has worked with the Glen Allen-based firm for nearly 10 years. He exhibits his extensive experience in geotechnical engineering on various projects, including electric transmission towers, substations, industrial facilities, highways, bridges and slopes throughout the Mid-Atlantic, South, and Midwest.

“I’m excited and humbled to be named a Senior Associate at Schnabel. I’m grateful for the support and mentoring I’ve received from all levels within our great firm,” said Yeatts. “Being named a Senior Associate further emphasizes Schnabel’s commitment to the Power and Energy market and reflects the great strides our team has made. I’m looking forward to helping contribute to our growth and helping our valued clients manage their project risks.”

When asked about what he is hoping to accomplish in his new role he stated, “I’m excited to help continue to find opportunities for our fantastic engineers and scientists. I’m looking forward to expanding our geographic reach, expanding our services, and most importantly, ensuring we are serving our Power and Energy clients with client first focused service.”

When he is not working, Yeatts continues to represent Schnabel with a high-standing involvement in the community. In 2019 he was named to ACEC Virginia’s Board of Directors and became the organization’s Western Region Vice President. He also is the Founder and Director of the Eddie Yeatts Memorial Foundation, Inc., in honor of his late father, Eddie Yeatts. With his leadership, the foundation has raised over $250,000 for those in need in the Roanoke and New River Valleys.

Schnabel Honors Veterans and Servicemen on Veterans Day

Principal Engineer, Chuck Wilson, is a 1971 graduate of the US Military Academy, West Point, New York. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers on June 9,1971. “I always wanted to be a civil engineer and my goal at West Point was to be commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. Being a Corps of Engineer officer provided the opportunity for a wide variety of experiences from construction equipment operations to terrain analysis. The skills I acquired in the military were very applicable to the work I have done in the private sector for four decades.” Wilson served nine and a half years on active duty and over 15 years in the US Army Reserve. He retired in April 1996 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Pictured in uniform in upper-left image.

Senior Staff Scientist, Jeremy Miller, is currently a Captain in the Georgia Army National Guard as an Engineer officer. He has been in the organization for six years of service. His current assignment is the Commander of the 848th Engineer Company SAPPER, a combat engineer company that specializes in providing engineer support to operations and reconnaissance. “My experience of working with Schnabel has been a rewarding one”, said Miller, “Schnabel has been flexible with my schedule and make transitioning into my duty status easy and help work with me when I have Hurricane/Civil disturbance call ups.”

Pictured in uniform in center image.

Project Scientist, Guy-Justin Nuyda, served in the Regular Army as light infantry from 1993 to 1997, at Fort Drum, NY with the units 1/22 and 1/32 of the 10th Mountain Division. “My favorite deployment was Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti. For part of that deployment, I was assigned Presidential/Foreign-Dignitary Bodyguard/Motorcade duties to protect two different presidents. We received Secret Service training for that. It was pretty cool.”

Pictured in uniform in upper-right image.

Melinda Dirdal Promoted to Associate Engineer

Melinda Dirdal was promoted to Associate Engineer. Dirdal relocated to the firm’s Longmont, CO office from Greater Philadelphia to continue her work in dam engineering and better serve dams clients.

Throughout her 13-year career, Dirdal developed or reviewed dam assessment and alternatives reports for over 50 dams and has inspected more than 100 dams. During that time, she gained experience in all aspects of dam engineering, including structural, hydrologic, hydraulic, and geotechnical engineering. She also has experience in hydraulic and structural analysis and design of reinforced concrete hydraulic structures, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, computer modeling of seepage and slope stability, evaluation of erosion potential, and geotechnical instrumentation.

When asked about the move to a new office at Schnabel she stated, “I’m very excited for this opportunity to work closely with our Longmont office. The move is bittersweet because I’ll miss the team that I’ve worked with for 13 years. However, I know that we’ll maintain our relationships. I have a great network from Chadds Ford, Longmont, and across the company. This network is very important to me as I launch into a new opportunity and as we all work to expand our services in Colorado.”

When she is not working, Dirdal enjoys being active in her community through tutoring and participating in community events. She was an active member of the United States Society on Dams (USSD), where she served as a Young Professional Advisor to the board. She also was a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE), where she served as a board member and the secretary.

Cybersecurity on Schnabel’s IMS—Keeping your Data Safe

As our industry and systems move from servers in closets to cloud-based technologies, our end-to-end monitoring solutions must incorporate many layers of data security. Applications such as IMS and InSAR processing bring you invaluable insight with confidence. Schnabel’s IMS offers multiple levels of data security while monitoring your physical critical infrastructure. Our cloud-based application uses multiple security layers to establish a secure environment and provide real-time data monitoring. Here are three ways Schnabel’s IMS can help keep your data secure:

Transmission level 

The use of data encryption protocols between nodes on the ground and to cloud-based hosting such as the IMS platform provide security at the local level.  Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption protocols maintain data security when shared over networks. When we use European Space Agency radar data, a block-chain type technique creates an immutable data log that allows any user of a derivative data product to verify it has not been modified.

User Access 

Access to functions within the cloud-based IMS platform and InSAR results are restricted to authorized users via authentication tokens and credentials where administrators can determine access within their organizations.

Support 

Cloud-based IMS offers 24/7 security support compared to the part-time, obsolete, and/or deficient security support associated with on-premise servers. Together, we are able to securely access your data and support your operations.  

Promotion of Principal Engineers and Scientist


Gary Brill, PE has 34 years of both geotechnical/geostructural and dams design experience. Throughout his career at Schnabel Engineering, he has designed and managed the construction of numerous high-hazard potential coal refuse tailings impoundments and is considered an expert in this field. His geotechnical / geostructural experience includes landslide and slope evaluation and repair; retaining wall systems; design of in-situ ground modification systems for underpinning and excavation support; sinkhole studies and remediation; and forensic studies and expert work for litigation and insurance claim evaluations. Brill has been the Branch Leader for Schnabel’s Knoxville, TN office since 2019.


Graham Elliott, PE has over 20 years in geotechnical engineering practice and leads Schnabel’s geotechnical services in the Southeast United States from the firm’s Alpharetta, GA office. He brings geotechnical expertise in various sectors, with emphasis in ground engineering for heavy civil infrastructure. Elliott has served as lead geotechnical engineer on major design build projects and has led subsurface exploration programs on land and over water in various geological conditions.

Chad Mayers, PE is the Branch Leader of Schnabel’s Sterling, VA and Rockville, MD offices and is responsible for Schnabel’s northern region geotechnical operations as the Executive Vice President of Geotechnical Services. Since the start of his 16+ year career with Schnabel, Mayers has gained extensive experience in the Mid‐Atlantic region and worldwide providing geotechnical engineering services including field and laboratory testing for soil, aggregate, concrete, asphalt and other geotechnical‐related tests. This includes construction monitoring, testing, and consultation; geotechnical design and analysis including the use of finite element analysis; expert witness services; and preparation of reports on both horizontal and vertical projects of all sizes. Mayers has also been involved with some of the Metropolitan Washington region’s largest projects and projects of all sizes and complexities worldwide.

Gary Rogers, PG serves Schnabel Engineering’s clients with 35 years of experience working on hundreds of dam, tunnel, and large infrastructure projects. Roger’s versatility is shown by his active involvement in complex field and construction projects, project management of multi-million dollar projects, and participation in professional organizations at the local and national levels. Rogers supports Schnabel’s geoscience staff who are responsible for site investigations, instrumentation monitoring, and construction support for transportation, water resources, and environmental projects. He also is involved in risk assessments and senior review for large dam and hydropower projects. Rogers works in Schnabel’s Greensboro, NC office.

Throughout his 20-year career at Schnabel, Jeremy Young has supported the evaluation, design and construction of new dams and repairs to existing dams for a variety of public and private clients. Young recently opened Schnabel’s new office in Austin, TX as part of the firm’s strategic plan to expand dam engineering services in the region. Prior to his relocation to Texas, Young managed the dam engineering department in Schnabel’s Philadelphia-area office and participated in over 45 dam rehabilitation projects. Young is particularly interested in advancing the practice and developing emerging technologies related to embankment overtopping protection, having managed a collaborative research effort with Villanova University to investigate grout enriched Roller Compacted Concrete and incorporation of air-entraining admixtures to improve freeze-thaw resistance, and serving on the ASTM subcommittee on Articulating Concrete Block revetments.