Brian Irsch Joins Schnabel

Brian Irsch joins Schnabel Engineering as a Dams and Levee Engineering Business Unit Associate. Irsch has 22 years of experience in geotechnical investigations and construction management on civil engineering and environmental projects. He specializes in providing design and technical oversight of various grouting programs, using state-of-the-art techniques for new dam construction of the rehabilitation of existing dams, including foundation preparation in karst, highly fractured/jointed rock, and faulted geologic formations.

Irsch will be based in Schnabel’s Greensboro, NC, office, and will use his unique expertise and extensive experience to serve clients across the country by providing field management and engineering support services for a variety of dam investigation, rehabilitation design, and construction projects.

“I’ve never had such a warm welcome from everyone at a company,” said Irsch. “I’m excited to be working with the best and the brightest in the industry!”

Irsch earned his B.S. in Applied Geology from Illinois State University and is a licensed Professional Geologist. He is a member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Florida Association of Professional Geologists.

Celebrating 64 years of Service

When Schnabel’s legacy began in 1956 with the founding of Foundation Test Services, Inc., structural firms often provided their own foundation designs without the benefit of a soil and foundation engineer’s recommendations. This practice soon changed as structural engineers became comfortable working with soils and foundation engineering consultants. The use of a consultant expanded as the economic value of compacted fill for foundations solutions was recognized. This branded Schnabel Engineering as the first true consulting firm in the Mid-Atlantic region to offer both subsurface investigations and soil and foundation engineering consulting services. Our growth and expansion of services over the decades has secured Schnabel’s reputation as a quality geotechnical, dam and tunnel engineering firm throughout the United States, with projects across the globe for many public and private clients. Today we celebrate 64 years of innovation and the commitment of our hard working employees to our clients and partners. Here’s to the next years to come!

Eva Hartmann Promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer

Eva HartmannEva Hartmann was promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer at Schnabel Engineering, and will continue to lead the firm’s Human Resources Department from the Glen Allen, VA corporate office.

Hartmann began her career at Schnabel Engineering as Director of Human Resources in 2018 to help drive the company’s employer brand and employee engagement initiatives and to advance and develop the HR strategy and services. With the help of her team, she since has improved the firm’s HR processes, including talent acquisition and development, succession planning and employee engagement. As a key member of the leadership team, she will continue to enhance the firm’s strategic planning, business partnerships, and organizational design.

“Eva has brought a much-needed strategic mindset to our human resources team. She is a critical member of our leadership team – a team that is united with a focus on our vision as well as the growth of the firm”, stated Chief Executive Officer, Walt Rabe.

Hartmann shared her excitement for her new role stating, “Working at Schnabel has been such a pleasure, as it is exciting to work in an employee-owned company where people truly live the core values every day, and employees are the most important asset.”

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