Press Releases

Welcome to our newsroom! Here you will find the latest information about our company, projects and people. Browse articles published by our engineers and scientists in national publications and conference proceedings, view our press releases and read through news coverage of Terracon.

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Liz Smith Named Geo-Institute Cross-USA Lecturer

Press ReleasesFebruary 23, 2021

First Woman to Receive This Honor

The Geo-Institute (G-I) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is pleased to announce that Liz Smith, P.E., G.E., D.GE, M.ASCE, has been named its Cross-USA Lecturer for 2020-21. Smith is a Senior Principal and National Transportation Program Manager at Terracon Consultants, Inc.

The Cross-USA Lecture Tour

The Cross-USA Lecture Tour is a program that, each year, brings a distinguished geoprofessional to speak at local G-I Chapters and Graduate Student Organizations. Lecturers are nominated by their professional peers and fellow G-I members, and are selected on criteria that include speaking skill, professional achievement, and prestige in the geoprofessional community. Smith is the tenth Cross-USA Lecturer; the first Lecture Tour was in 2011-12. She is the first woman to be chosen as a Lecturer.

Local G-I groups compete each year for the honor of hosting the Lecturer. The groups that will be chosen to host Ms. Smith will be announced later this year. She will work with each group to select the topic of her lecture.

“I think lots of G-I Chapters will be excited to host and hear from Ms. Smith,” says Jeremy Varner, P.E., M.ASCE, chair of the Local Involvement Committee and member of the Selection Committee. “When we were evaluating the nominees, Ms. Smith stood out because of her depth and breadth of experience. We wanted a national-quality speaker who could have something to share with any and all G-I Chapters. Also, she has been successfully competing as a practitioner for more than 35 years. The previous lecturers have been full-time or at least part time from academia, and we wanted to offer a different perspective on our diverse industry. The Cross-Country Lecture Series is a wonderful way for G-I Chapters to bring in top-quality speakers and content while remaining within their budget constraints.”

“The last five Cross-USA lecturers include George Filz, Andrew Whittle, Paul Mayne, Robert Bachus, and now Liz Smith,” says G-I President James G. Collin, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F. ASCE.The G-I is very pleased that Liz has agreed to be our 2020-2021 lecturer and knows that she will provide excellent lectures to the chapters lucky enough to host her.”

Liz Smith: a Geoprofessional Expert and Leader

Liz Smith, P.E., G.E., D.GE, M.ASCE is a senior principal and national transportation program manager at Terracon Consultants, Inc. With more than 35 years’ experience, she has developed significant expertise in geotechnical engineering for design-build transportation projects and slope and retaining wall failure evaluations and remediation. She has been involved in several other areas of transportation geotechnical engineering, including consulting for design-build teams to resolve geotechnical problems on complex projects; owner oversight; and evaluation and repair of foundation, slope, and retaining wall failures. She has successfully managed several complex geotechnical design-build projects with geotechnical fees up to $12 million and construction costs up to $2 billion.

Smith’s most recent design-build projects include Oak Hill Parkway, Austin, Texas; SH130 Forensic Studies, Austin, Texas; Transform 66 -Outside the Beltway Project, Segment 3, Fairfax County, Virginia; Loop 375 Border Highway, El Paso, Texas; US 183 South (Bergstrom Expressway) in Austin, Texas; and I-35E Managed Lanes Project in Dallas and Denton Counties, Texas. She has been geotechnical lead on major proposals and projects in locations across the U.S., including Hawaii, Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, and Virginia.

She has authored papers and given presentations at numerous professional and technical meetings.

Smith is an active member of the following organizations:

  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Geo-Institute of ASCE
  • Geo-Institute of ASCE - Deep Foundations Technical Committee
  • Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)
  • Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and its Drilled Shafts Committee and Women in Deep Foundations Committee
  • Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committees: Project Delivery Methods, AFH15; Foundations of Bridges and Other Structures, AFS30
  • Virginia Tech, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Alumni Advisory Board, Past Chair
  • Virginia Tech, CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni
  • WTS, Past President, Heart of Texas/Austin Chapter

Smith is a Hokie from Virginia Tech with her bachelor of science and master of science in civil (geotechnical) engineering. She and her husband Jack have been married 36 years and have three adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grand-dogs. Liz and Jack are happy empty nesters and live in Round Rock, Texas.

About the Geo-Institute

The Geo-Institute is a professional association of geotechnical engineers, geologists, and other geoprofessionals, with over 11,000 members in the United States and around the world. It is a specialty institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, created in 1996. For more information about the Geo-Institute, please visit or email


Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon ranks 22nd on Engineering News-Record’s 2020 list of Top 500 Design Firms.

New Senior Principals and Principals Announced

Press ReleasesFebruary 16, 2021

Terracon is pleased to announce the promotion of 18 individuals from Principal to Senior Principal and appointment of 34 individuals to Principal. Terracon’s Principals Program provides recognition, rewards, and opportunities for employees who have distinguished themselves through their strong leadership and contribution to the continued success of the company. Please join us in congratulating the new Senior Principals and Principals.

New Senior Principals

  • John E. Agee, P.E., Regional Manager, Nashville
  • Peter E. Falletta, P.E., DFW Regional Materials Manager, Dallas-Fort Worth Metro
  • Ryan W. Feist, P.E., Assistant Service Line Director, Geotechnical, Colorado Springs
  • Gary K. Howalt, Department Manager, Environmental, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Stephanie P. Isenhour-Price, Director, Human Resources Operations, Olathe, Kansas
  • Guy L. Johnson, Office Manager, Cedar Rapids
  • Michael T. Jordan, P.G., Office Manager, Raleigh
  • Jesse M. Kocher, P.E., Office Manager, Round Rock/Austin
  • Bradley A. Levich, P.E., Office Manager/National Account Manager, Lincoln
  • Matthew R. McElvogue, P.E., Building Enclosure Services Director, Winter Park, Florida
  • Jeffrey A. Miller, P.E., LEED AP, CBCP, EBCP, Senior Engineer, Facilities, Houston
  • Abu S. (Mo) Mohammad Nasim, Ph.D., P.E., National Director, Geodesign, Washington DC Metro North
  • Aaron J. Muck, P.E., Assistant Service Line Director, Geotechnical, Cincinnati
  • Brett A. Pope, P.E., Manager, Regional Services, Texas Division (Austin)
  • George A. Tannoury, Ph.D., P.E., Office Manager, Wichita
  • Kenneth M. Valder, P.E., Regional Manager, Pacific Northwest Region
  • Matthew Y. Wheaton, L.G., P.E., Department Manager, Environmental, Seattle
  • David J. Wolfgram, P.E., Office Manager, Minneapolis and St. Paul


New Principals

  • Jesse H. Aguilar, P.E., Department Manager, Facilities, San Antonio-FAC
  • Charles M. (Mike) Basha, Department Manager, Materials, Charleston, S.C.
  • Michaela T. Brewster, CPG, Group Manager, Environmental, Omaha
  • Christopher R. Briggs, P.E., Department Manager, Geotechnical, Charlotte
  • Daniel J. De Battista, P.E., G.E., Office Manager, Las Vegas
  • Terry H. (Heath) Defoor, P.E., PMP, Office Manager, Seattle-Lynnwood
  • Zack L. (Lem) Dial, P.E., Office Manager, New Orleans
  • Ronda M. Freeman, Director, Procurement and Payables, Olathe, Kansas
  • Robert A. Garrison, Department Manager, Environmental, Dallas-Fort Worth Metro
  • Christopher S. Handley, P.E., Department Manager, Geotechnical, Little Rock
  • Alicia M. Hill, P.E., Senior National Account Manager, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Timothy A. Hohlt, Department Manager, Materials, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Byron C. (Casey) Jones, Department Manager, Facilities, Dallas
  • Travis J. Kassebaum, P.E., Department Manager, Geotechnical, St. Louis
  • Mingu Kim, Ph.D., P.E., Manager, Regional Services, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Mathew O. Knutson, Department Manager, Environmental, Minneapolis
  • Emily L. Kosmalski, E.P., Group Manager, Environmental, Atlanta
  • Daniel B. Mahrt, P.E., Department Manager, Geotechnical, Minneapolis and St. Paul
  • Paul J. (Jared) Mechetti, P.E., Sector Leader - Mission Critical & Digital Infrastructure, Sacramento
  • Anjula Mittal, PMP, Manager, Applications, Olathe
  • Vu T. Nguyen, EI, RRC, RWC, BECxP, CxA+BE, Senior Project Manager, Facilities, Charlotte
  • Scott R. Parker, Department Manager, Environmental, Seattle
  • Cheryl C. Pedraza, P.E., Department Manager, Geotechnical, Fort Worth
  • David C. Reynolds, P.E., Department Manager, Environmental, Minneapolis
  • Robyn R. Sargent, CHMM, Office Manager/Department Engineer, Environmental, Billings
  • Philip T. Schiele, P.G., Department Manager, Materials, Omaha
  • Ann M. Scott, Ph.D., RPA, Manager, Environmental Planning Group, Austin
  • Joseph E. Starr, P.E., Client Development Manager, Raleigh
  • Gregory J. Taddicken, P.E., Office Manager, Boise
  • Benjamin W. Taylor, P.E., P.G., Regional Manager, Louisville
  • Josiah D. (Sy) Winkelman, P.E., Department Manager, Materials, Salt Lake City

Terracon Foundation Awards $82,254 in University and Community Grants

Press ReleasesFebruary 12, 2021

Olathe, Kan. — The Terracon Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of $82,254 in grants and scholarships. The Terracon Foundation was established as the community investment arm of Terracon with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of company employees and the communities where they live and work.

“We are pleased to award grants to eight universities to allow students to complete their degrees, participate in research and further their professional relationships,” said Laura Campa, P.E., chair of the Terracon Foundation and manager of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, office. “We are also excited to award 10 additional grants to community organizations across the nation that are doing crucial work to educate and mentor children, increase health, and more in their communities. Each grant was championed by a Terracon employee who is actively involved in the organization or university.”

As part of an ongoing effort to support higher education, the Terracon Foundation presents university grants for scholarships, fellowships, and programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

University Grants

The Terracon Foundation has presented a total of $53,500 to eight universities:

  • Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
  • Cloud County Community College, Concordia, Kan.
  • Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tenn.
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • University of Kansas School of Engineering, Lawrence, Kan.
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • Virginia Tech Foundation, Blacksburg, Va.

Community Grants

The Terracon Foundation has awarded $28,754 in community grants to 10 nonprofit organizations:

  • ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa
  • Archbishop Chapelle High School, Metairie, La.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus, Ga.
  • Caterpillar Ministries, Huntersville, N.C.
  • EveryoneOn, Washington, D.C.
  • Girls on the Run International, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Latinx Education Collaborative, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Museum of Arts & Sciences, Inc., Macon, Ga.
  • Rutherford Outdoor Coalition, Rutherford, N.C.
  • The ALS Association, Mission, Kan.

For more information about the Terracon Foundation, visit

About Terracon

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon ranks 22nd on Engineering News-Record’s 2020 list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit


Press ReleasesFebruary 10, 2021

During Pandemic, More than 100 Businesses Recognized for Workplace Wellness and Steps Taken to Keep Employees Healthy

OLATHE, Kan. — Terracon, a leading provider of environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services, has been recognized as gold level Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certified by The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Healthy KC Initiative.

The Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certification program recognizes area organizations for innovation and excellence in promoting a culture of health in the workplace. Certifications range from Honorable Mention up to Platinum and are based on five pillars of health: healthy eating, active living, tobacco cessation, work-life integration, and design-built environment.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, remote workforce challenges, and an increased need in mental health services, these organizations made valuable pivot moves to keep their workforce healthy. This year’s Workplace Wellness Certification had a specific focus on what policies and measures businesses implemented to ensure the health and wellbeing of their workforce as well as creating a more inclusive and equitable environment to ensure employees’ mental health.

For more information about the Healthy KC initiative, visit:

“Terracon employees are deeply committed to their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of their family members,” said John Prutsman, Terracon chief people officer. “We plan to expand our health and wellness program offerings to continue this momentum.”

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon ranks 22nd on Engineering News-Records 2020 list of Top 500 Design Firms.

Terracon Welcomes California-Based Burleson Consulting Inc.

Press ReleasesJanuary 11, 2021

Acquisition enhances West Coast environmental compliance, engineering services

OLATHE, Kan. – Terracon proudly announces it has acquired Burleson Consulting Inc. (Burleson), a leading provider of environmental compliance and engineering services for federal, state, municipal, and industrial clients throughout California.

Burleson provides quality environmental compliance, site assessment and remediation, biological habitat restoration, and water resources services to government and private-sector clients from its headquarters in Folsom, Calif., and location in Monterey, Calif. Burleson’s professionals have environmental experience and in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies, developments in environmental compliance, remediation, and permitting services. The firm provides expertise in NEPA, CEQA, CERCLA, RCRA, and water quality permitting and monitoring.

“Navigating the environmental compliance and permitting process can be challenging and time-consuming for many of our clients,” said Gayle Packer, Terracon president and CEO. “The addition of Burleson further strengthens our existing environmental practice in California and the Western U.S., and complements our focus on delivering an outstanding client experience throughout the project life cycle.”

All Burleson’s 14 employees will immediately become part of Terracon. The firm will continue to operate locally as Burleson Consulting Inc., A Terracon Company, and the transition will be seamless for clients.

“We’re excited to join Terracon as the next step of our company’s evolution and growth,” said Nadia Burleson, P.E., QSD, Burleson president and CEO. “Our clients will continue to enjoy the responsive, trusted service they’ve come to expect, along with access to Terracon’s national presence and resources.”

The new acquisition is supported by Terracon’s existing California offices in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as others throughout the state and region. Burleson joins other West Coast Terracon acquisitions in the past five years including NORCAL Geophysical Consultants of Cotati, Calif.; Mayes Testing Engineers and Argus Pacific in Washington state; and CHJ Consultants of Colton, Calif.

Terracon is an employee-owned consulting engineering firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 22nd on Engineering News-Record’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms.

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