Celebrating 40 years of GeoEngineers
On September 29, GeoEngineers celebrates 40 years of high-quality technical work on behalf of our clients. Take a look at the timeline below to see important moments and turning points in the firm’s history.
Firm Founders Plant the SeedsMay, 1980
Early in 1980 Jon Koloski, Jack Tuttle and Gary Henderson began talking about their vision for what a consulting firm could be. Watch co-founder and first CEO Jack Tuttle’s recollections of the early steps that led the three men to found GeoEngineers.
Founders Establish GeoEngineers Inc.September, 1980
Jon Koloski, Jack Tuttle and Gary Henderson founded GeoEngineers in Bellevue, Washington. Their vision for the company was laid out in a guiding principles document which prioritized broad employee ownership, collaboration, seamless leadership transitions and high ethical standards.
Jim Miller Becomes PrincipalJanuary, 1986
Future CEO Jim Miller, who joined GeoEngineers immediately after its founding, took on new responsibility as a principal geologist. Watch the video to hear Jack Tuttle’s memories of Jim and his role in the firm’s early days.
Office Opens in Portland, ORJuly, 1989
Several new offices were founded in 1989 in an effort to both accommodate staff preferences and attract new business. GeoEngineers established the first branch office in Portland, Oregon with a local staff of four employees.
Office Opens in Tacoma, WADecember, 1989
The firm expanded to a second new office in 1989. Three employees established and worked in the Tacoma, Washington office, bringing the total number of GeoEngineers locations to three.
Firm Defines Guiding PrinciplesJanuary, 1990
At a strategic planning session, leadership identified a set of core guiding principles that defined the kind of firm they wanted GeoEngineers to be. These principles prioritized employee well-being, diverse ownership, quality of work and cooperation.
Corporate Headquarters Moves to Redmond, WAMarch, 1991
GeoEngineers moved its headquarters from Bellevue to Redmond, Washington. The new office housed a rapidly growing staff of more than 80.
Office Opens in Spokane, WASeptember, 1991
The firm continued to expand as Jim Harakas and a small group of dedicated staff members established an office in Spokane, Washington and opened up a completely new business market in Eastern Washington.
CECW Names Jack Tuttle Engineer of the YearJanuary, 1992
The Consulting Engineers Council, Washington (predecessor to the Washington State chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies) honored Jack Tuttle as their 1991 Engineer of the Year for his achievements and leadership in the field.
Office Opens in Bellingham, WAMarch, 1993
In order to expand services to clients north of the Puget Sound, the firm established an office in Bellingham, Washington with a local staff of four.
Jim Miller Becomes PresidentApril, 1993
Jim Miller took on the role of president as GeoEngineers continued to grow beyond 140 total employees. Jack Tuttle continued as CEO of the firm.
Office Opens in Seattle, WAAugust, 1997
As development expanded in downtown Seattle, Washington GeoEngineers decided to establish an office in the heart of the Seattle business district to better serve and participate in the city’s engineering and architecture community.
Firm Acquires Gifford Consultants in Spokane, WAApril, 1999
As demand for services in Eastern Washington increased, GeoEngineers expanded the firm’s capacity in Spokane, Washington through the purchase of local geotechnical engineering firm Gifford Consultants.
Office Opens in Boise, IDFebruary, 2000
GeoEngineers established a new officed in Boise, Idaho. The group worked to expand GeoEngineers’ work into southern Idaho.
Jim Miller Becomes Second CEOMarch, 2000
The GeoEngineers board selected Jim Miller, one of the firm’s most senior employees, to take on the responsibilities of CEO as the firm’s original CEO, Jack Tuttle, prepared for retirement.
GeoEngineers Passes 200 Employee MarkApril, 2000
GeoEngineers continues to grow with more than 200 full-time employees.
Co-Founder Jack Tuttle RetiresSeptember, 2000
Jack Tuttle, who founded GeoEngineers with Jon Koloski and Gary Henderson, retired after 20 years of service to the firm. Watch the video to hear Jack’s insights on leadership.
Gordon Denby Becomes President/COOMarch, 2004
Changes to GeoEngineers’ leadership structure separated the responsibilities of CEO from those of president. Jim Miller continued as GeoEngineers’ CEO while Senior Principal Gordon Denby took on a role as president and chief operating officer.
Springfield, MO Office Opens after AcquisitionApril, 2005
GeoEngineers purchased Advantage Professional Services, Inc. and opened an office in Springfield, Missouri to better serve the firm’s growing portfolio of oil and gas clients throughout the Midwest. Advantage Professional Services specialized in horizontal directional drilling (HDD), a rapidly growing service area for GeoEngineers.
Bend, Oregon Office Opens after AcquisitionFebruary, 2006
To better serve clients in East Oregon, GeoEngineers purchased local firm High Desert Geo-Technologies and established a new office in Bend, Oregon with a small team of six dedicated employees.
Award-Winning Beaver Creek Habitat Restoration Launches Fish Passage WorkJuly, 2006
GeoEngineers’ stream habitat restoration and fish passage work improved the ability of salmon species to access Beaver Creek near Port Orchard, Washington. The project earned six separate awards and kickstarted the firm’s river science and fish passage work across the state and region.
GeoEngineers Passes 300 Employee MarkJanuary, 2007
Thanks to continued growth and strategic acquisitions, GeoEngineers continued to grow—with more than 300 full-time employees on staff.
Kurt Fraese Becomes Third CEOMarch, 2007
Senior Principal Kurt Fraese stepped into GeoEngineers’ leadership role in 2007, and deepened GeoEngineers’ involvement in professional organizations while emphasizing the positive role that geotechnical engineering and environmental science can have in healthy societies.
Baton Rouge, LA Office Opens after AcquisitionJuly, 2007
GeoEngineers continued to expand into new geographic regions with the strategic acquisition of Louis J. Capozzoli and Associates, a respected geotechnical firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Experienced local staff continued serving clients with a staff of 17.
Award-Winning Scott Paper Mill Cleanup BeginsJuly, 2007
GeoEngineers worked closely with the Port of Anacortes in Washington State to create a comprehensive cleanup program for multiple brownfield sites, including the contaminated Scott Paper Mill, one of the largest shoreline and sediment cleanup projects ever completed in Washington under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). In the following years, the project received five separate awards for technical excellence and client service.
Jim Miller Wins ACEC Washington Engineer of the YearJanuary, 2009
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Washington honored former GeoEngineers CEO Jim Miller as their 2008 Engineer of the Year for his contributions to the profession in the state.
Olive 8 High Rise Marks Arrival in Downtown Seattle Development MarketJanuary, 2009
GeoEngineers’ creative approach to shoring for the deep excavation for this 39-story residential high rise in downtown Seattle, Washington helped establish the firm as a serious player in geotechnical services for large development projects in the region. The owner estimated that the innovative shoring approach saved more than $1.5 million.
Overpass Wins National APWA Project of the Year AwardMarch, 2012
The City of Redmond, Washington’s NE 36th Street/SR 520 Bridge Overpass and Roundabout Project won the National American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year Award for transportation projects in the $25- to $75-million category.
WWU Renovation Earns LEED® Gold CertificationAugust, 2012
Western Washington University’s newly renovated Miller Hall was certified LEED® Gold by the US Green Building Council. GeoEngineers provided geotechnical engineering and construction monitoring services for the renovation.
Project Wins Exemplary Human Environment Initiative Award from Federal Highway AdministrationJune, 2013
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration awarded the City of Bellingham a 2012 Exemplary Human Environment Initiative Award for the Inspiration Point Overlook reconstruction completed in 2011. GeoEngineers provided geotechnical engineering and a geohazards assessment for this project, which is located at Woodstock Farm Park along Chuckanut Drive (SR11) near Bellingham, Washington.
Groundbreaking Trenchless Project Wins ACEC Missouri Grand Conceptor AwardFebruary, 2014
An innovative directional microtunnel project for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company won the Grand Conceptor Award for the best overall project in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Missouri’s 2014 Engineering Excellence Competition. The I-84 Pipeline Crossing Project included several innovative firsts in the cutting-edge field of trenchless engineering, including a unique combination of the thrusting technology of Direct Pipe with the short interlocking segments of Permalok pipe.
Gates Foundation HQ Earns First ACEC National Award for Engineering ExcellenceApril, 2014
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) gave GeoEngineers and teaming partners a national Grand Award for engineering excellence for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters project in Seattle, WA. This was the first national ACEC award for GeoEngineers, but not the last. The project earned one of just eight grand awards out of 143 entries representing some of the largest and most complex engineering projects in the country.
Oso Landslide Response Wins National ACEC Engineering Excellence AwardApril, 2015
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) gave GeoEngineers and our project partners a national Honor Award for engineering excellence for our work on the reconstruction of Washington State Route (SR) 530 after the Oso Landslide.
Office Opens in Salem, ORDecember, 2015
To better serve clients in the heart of the Willamette Valley, GeoEngineers established a new office in Salem, Oregon. The office provided a variety of services to the local market, focusing particularly on development, transportation and public works.
First Ever Direct Pipe® Crossing of a USACE Levee Wins ACEC Grand AwardFebruary, 2016
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Missouri chapter honored GeoEngineers’ Direct Pipe® crossing of the Sabine Neches Waterway with a Grand Award in their annual Engineering Excellence Awards. This was the very first trenchless crossing of a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-regulated levee using Direct Pipe® methods. The 48-inch-diameter pipeline stretches for more than a half-mile under the Sabine Neches Waterway, levee and railroad tracks in Port Arthur, Texas.
Firm Earns Recognition as Best Place to Work in Baton RougeSeptember, 2016
The Baton Rouge Business Report ranked GeoEngineers as the best large company to work for in Baton Rouge. The magazine highlighted GeoEngineers’ employee wellness program, performance recognition, emphasis on safety, a relaxed and creative office culture, broad stock ownership, profit-sharing, management style and the freedom given to every employee to grow and excel.
Mike Hutchinson Becomes Fourth CEOMarch, 2017
GeoEngineers selected Principal Hydrogeologist Mike Hutchinson as CEO. Mike built his reputation on successfully leading the company’s Puget Sound operations before taking on the challenge of CEO. Former CEO Kurt Fraese retired after 29 years with GeoEngineers.
SR 520 Floating Bridge Wins ACEC’s National Project of The YearMay, 2017
The SR 520 Floating Bridge in Seattle, Washington, won the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) Grand Conceptor award, marking it as the year’s most impressive engineering project in the United States. GeoEngineers played a critical role on the construction team, providing geotechnical consulting, design and construction support.
Sanpoil Emergency Spill Response Earns ACEC Oregon AwardJanuary, 2018
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Oregon gave the Sanpoil Emergency Response Project a Best Project Award in the Environmental & Water Resource category. Gasoline from a tank trailer accident along a remote stretch of State Highway 21 in northeastern Washington threatened to enter the Sanpoil River on the opposite side of the highway. GeoEngineers and project partners rapidly responded to the spill and prevented environmental impacts to the river’s ecosystem, removing the majority of gasoline from the subsurface in less than three months.
Palermo Superfund Investigation Wins ACEC WA Best In State AwardJanuary, 2018
GeoEngineers’ Palermo Data Gaps and Feasibility Study received a Gold Best in State Award in the Client/Owner Satisfaction category from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Washington. The award recognized a groundbreaking subsurface investigation that helped GeoEngineers’ client better understand environmental contamination at the long-running Palermo Wellfield Superfund Cleanup in Tumwater, Washington.
Office Opens in Kennewick, WAMay, 2018
GeoEngineers kickstarted a new office in Kennewick, Washington by hiring an experienced group of six water resource professionals. The new office initially focused on groundwater and water rights services for clients in Washington and Oregon.
Bridge Project Wins AASHTO National AwardSeptember, 2018
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) gave a GeoEngineers project its 2018 President’s Transportation Award in the Environment category. GeoEngineers contributed geotechnical services to the winning Big Wood River Bridge project near Sun Valley, Idaho.
Office Opens in Charleston, SCApril, 2019
GeoEngineers established a new office in Charleston, South Carolina to serve East Coast performance-based engineering clients—focusing primarily on transportation and development projects in soft soils vulnerable to liquefaction and other risks.
Office Opens in Houston, TXMay, 2019
The continued growth of GeoEngineers’ oil and gas business prompted the firm to establish an office in Houston, where staff would be ideally placed to work with the many large industrial companies in the region.
Gulf Coast Project Wins National Beach Restoration AwardJune, 2019
GeoEngineers’ Caminada Headlands Beach and Dune Restoration project for the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority (CPRA) won the national award for 2019 Best Restored Beaches from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA). The Caminada Headlands project, located southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana, restored more than 13 miles of beach and dune along the coastline.
Affiliated GeoEngineers USA Office Opens in Boston, MAAugust, 2019
GeoEngineers USA, an affiliate of GeoEngineers Inc. that operates in Massachusetts, opened a Boston office to serve clients in the region, with an emphasis on temporary structural and geotechnical engineering along with other construction services.
Office Opens in Nashville, TNJanuary, 2020
GeoEngineers launched a new office in Nashville, Tennessee after the acquisition of Ardent Geotechnical Consultants, a local geotechnical engineering firm owned by Rick Heckel, who also joined GeoEngineers as a principal.
COO Dan Campbell Wins ACEC Washington Engineer of the Year AwardJanuary, 2020
The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Washington selected Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer and COO Dan Campbell as their Engineer of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the engineering industry.