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.

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.

Andrew Harrison Promoted to Associate Scientist

Schnabel Engineering promotes Andrew Harrison to Associate Scientist. Since joining Schnabel in 2018, Harrison has managed several environmental contacts with key clients within the firm’s transportation and power initiatives. Throughout his career, he has exhibited strong technical and project management experience in environmental studies, most notably in areas of regulatory compliance, NEPA assessment, and stormwater management.

Harrison shared his excitement about his new role and goals he aspires to accomplish: “I am excited about the new opportunity I have with Schnabel. Working with such a talented group of people has been a pleasure. In this role I want to continue to support our engineering services and expand our environmental consulting expertise.”

Harrison has 28 years of environmental consulting experience, serving industrial, power, federal, state, and private client sectors. A respected and trusted employee, he routinely provides senior-level technical consultation and environmental guidance to both internal and external clients. He demonstrates a thorough understanding of environmental regulatory framework and client/project regulatory needs. As an Associate with the firm, he will continue showcasing his experience in staff management, mentoring, client development, and client maintenance.

New Office In Austin, TX

Schnabel Engineering opens an office in the northern suburbs of Austin, TX—its second in the Lone Star State. Located at 12301 Research Boulevard, Suite 150, Austin will join the Dallas office to better serve communities, clients, and business partners in and around Texas.

The Austin office is led by Jeremy Young, PE, a Principal Engineer, and is a vital component of Schnabel’s strategic plan to expand dam engineering services. Young will be supported by a team of technical professionals providing dam and levee, geotechnical, tunneling, and geo-structural engineering design services in the region. When asked about this exciting opportunity Young stated, “I am incredibly grateful for all of my co-workers who spent countless hours over the past few years connecting with clients, regulators, and other project stakeholders to develop a solid foundation of professional relationships in Texas. Without their tireless efforts, I would not have this exciting opportunity to open Schnabel’s Austin office.”

Young, holding undergraduate and graduate Civil Engineering degrees from Penn State and Villanova University, respectively, has 20 years of experience with the evaluation, design, and construction of dams. Throughout his 20 year career at Schnabel, he has supported the geotechnical, hydraulic, and structural design of new dams and repairs to existing dams for a variety of clients ranging from water suppliers, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and private entities.

An Engineering News-Record Top 250 design and Top 15 in dams and reservoirs, Schnabel Engineering provides specialized expertise for the planning, study, design and construction of geotechnical, dam and tunnel engineering projects in the United States and abroad. The employee-owned company has worked in more than 140 countries since its founding in 1956 and has pioneered the use of new technology, foundation systems and sustainable infrastructure. Headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia, Schnabel’s workforce exceeds 400 people across the United States.

Multiple Promotions and New Hires

Schnabel Engineering announces multiple Associate and Senior Associate promotions and new hires to support their continued growth in geotechnical engineering, transportation, and dam engineering.


Joan Bentel, PE promoted to Senior Associate Engineer. With over 15 years’ experience, Bentel has served as Schnabel’s project manager for prominent DC Institutions including Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the United States Institute of Peace, and other notable local projects including Howard County Circuit Courthouse, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus Academic Bldg. No. 1, several of The Yards parcels and the Pepco Waterfront Substation. She has extensive experience with government, educational and mixed-use development projects, and has been involved with national and international projects. Bentel will continue leading initiatives from Schnabel Engineering DC, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the firm.


Jeremy Brown, PE promoted to Associate Engineer. Brown joined Schnabel in 2014 and is located in the firm’s Chadds Ford, PA office. Since then he has successfully led Schnabel teams in the pursuit and execution of transportation, power/energy, water/wastewater, federal, and healthcare projects and clients. Brown is critical in maintaining and forming relationships with important clients, making Schnabel the go to firm when clients need sophisticated geotechnical investigations, complex designs, and construction documents/services for challenging geotechnical projects. He will continue to lead the firm’s geotechnical team within the Chadds Ford GeoDesign Group.


Kortney Brown, PE promoted to Associate Engineer. Since his start at Schnabel in 2007, Brown has helped solve challenges and successfully secure work from several major dams clients in Pennsylvania. As a Senior Engineer, he helped brand Schnabel in the industry by serving as a student mentor and teaching liaison with Villanova University. He is passionate about advancing innovation, and increasing efficiency and accuracy to reduce risk by implementing new tools for the entire company. Brown exhibited this passion by co-producing the firm’s BIM initiative and CADD workgroup to collaborate across offices, by creating a library of shared training videos, and resources for employees to view at any time. He will continue his initiatives from the Chadds Ford, PA office.


Jesse Wullenwaber, PE promoted to Associate Engineer. Wullenwaber began his career at Schnabel 12 years ago and has developed a unique skillset through his construction and design engineering experience on several projects in specialty dam construction techniques. He has become a well-respected grouting expert in the dam engineering community and has shared his knowledge by presenting case studies all across the country. Wullenwaber is also involved with implementing risk services for projects by participating in Schnabel’s Risk Apprentice Program. He will continue to maintain and grow relationships with several clients from the Chadds Ford, PA office,


Kami Deputy Gardella, PE hired as Senior Associate Engineer. Gardella has more than 15 years of experience with expertise in rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering explorations, analysis and design, and project management. She also has experience in engineering design for rock slope stability, developing and executing geotechnical site explorations for a variety of project sizes; QA and QC review; construction observation; and development and execution of a variety of instrumentation plans. Located in Schnabel’s new Longmont, CO office, Gardella will support Schnabel’s dams and levee business unit on projects nationwide.


Scott Newhouse, PE hired as Senior Associate Engineer. Newhouse brings over 30 years of geotechnical and civil engineering experience to the firm, most recently in the power and energy industry with Bechtel Corporation. He will showcase his industry experience from Schnabel’s Columbia, SC office where he will focus on power and energy, working with major national and international clients.