Schnabel Engineering Acquires Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc.

Schnabel Engineering announces the acquisition of Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc. (D&A), a Water Resources, Civil, and Geotechnical Engineering services firm with locations in Longmont, Colorado and Boise, Idaho. The addition of these two locations will expand Schnabel’s national presence, increasing the companies’ capabilities, and benefit clients and partners. The companies merged on February 29, 2020.

Founded in 2005, Deere & Ault is sought-after for water resources, geotechnical, dam, tunnel, and mine reclamation expertise. Led by industry veterans with decades of experience, the company provides investigation, analysis and design solutions for challenging projects. Deere & Ault brings a diverse portfolio of clients to Schnabel’s footprint, expanding the company’s skill set and encouraging new opportunities for the combined firms within the Rocky Mountain and the Western regions for Schnabel, as well as the East coast for Deere & Ault.

“I have known and respected Schnabel Engineering for many years. Over that time I have admired their technical and business capabilities and their many project accomplishments,” said Don W. Deere, Chairman of the Board at Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc. “I am excited at the merger of our two fine organizations and I am certain that we will continue to serve our clients well and accomplish many great things over the coming generations.”

An Engineering News-Record Top 250 design firm and Top 10 dam and reservoirs firm, 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 and design approaches for foundation systems and dam designs, as well as for managing risk and solving all sorts of complex infrastructure challenges. Headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia, Schnabel’s workforce exceeds 400 people in 21 locations.

“Occasionally something comes along that just feels right from the onset,” says Schnabel Engineering’s CEO Walter Rabe. “The merger of our two firms is one of those occasions. We are extraordinarily similar to one another, and there is a very strong cultural alignment between our two firms. We are both incredibly committed to our employees and we are both passionate stewards of our communities. Together as one bigger and stronger firm, we will work side by side with our clients to improve many lives in the communities in which we work.”

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.