Engineering Week 2.18.19






February 17-23, 2019

In 1951, the National Society of Professional Engineers founded National Engineers Week in

conjunction with George Washington’s birthday. The week is a time to recognize the contributions

to society engineers make, and for engineers to emphasize the importance of learning math,

science and technical skills.

Here are some of the companies and organizations with a presence in the region that are focused

on developing education and careers within the engineering industry. >>

10 Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 Corridor Business Journal

College of Engineering

A prestigious engineering program

is nothing without passion —

inspiring future engineering

leaders, pursuing groundbreaking

research, transforming technology

to make a difference, celebrating

diversity of thought and culture,

and creating solutions to make

Iowa and the world a better place.

» 13 engineering majors and 6 minors

» 9,530 student enrollment

» Average 95% placement rate six

months after graduation and average

starting salary of $63,500

» Assisted 1,705 Iowa businesses

generating an economic impact of

$621 million and 4,954 jobs added

or retained

» 300+ faculty dedicated to teaching,

research and student achievement

» Provide statewide K-12 STEM outreach

and training programs

» More than $105 million spent on

externally sponsored research

» Internships, learning communities, study

abroad, 80+ engineering organizations

and hands-on experience help shape

student success

Corridor Business Journal Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 11





ESCO Group’s three business units

are fused together by collaboration.

The company specializes in automation,

electrical and power to provide

comprehensive expertise to its clients.

Launched in 2018, its OneESCO initiative

is an internal push to thoughtfully

and strategically eliminate team silos.

Based in Marion, ESCO Group works

with businesses across 47 states and

multiple countries. Its services range

from plant automation and electrical

construction to electrical and power

engineering. In order to serve its commercial

and industrial clients, ESCO

employees are encouraged to cultivate

partnerships outside of their immediate


“Leveraging our subject matter expertise,

our goal is to know your facilities

and processes as well as you do. We

not only have intimate knowledge of

your site’s requirements and technologies,

but that information is shared

across our groups,” explained Michael

Azevedo, business unit director for

ESCO Automation.

On a traditional jobsite, separate

companies are hired to perform individual

services. But each firm only

has a narrow viewpoint based on their

specialty area. They also may not have

open communication with the other

project partners.

“Charity has

been part of

the company’s

DNA since it

was founded in


Stacy Cannoy,

Director of Marketing,

ESCO Group

“This can result in anything from

project inefficiencies like electrical design

changes due to physical worksite

constraints to protective device coordination

issues that impact a facility’s

overall Electrical Safety and Risk Mitigation

Program,” noted Azevedo.

ESCO recognizes that collaboration

is the key to safer, more efficient projects.

Each project includes numerous

kickoff, coordination and alignment

meetings to ensure every team member

is fully briefed.

With 250 employees, ESCO Group

frequently hosts events such as holiday

dinners and family baseball nights to

bring together employees.

“It’s important for everyone to have

the chance to socialize and make connections

outside of the normal work

day. We even have a golf outing where

every team has people from different

divisions,” said Stacy Cannoy, director

of marketing.

ESCO’s philanthropic work is another

avenue for employees to form relationships.

“We are only as strong as our community.

Charity has been part of the

company’s DNA since it was founded

in 1964. An opportunity like



ESCO Group 11

FOX Engineering 14

HR Green 14

McClure 15

Miron Construction 13

MMS Consultants 15

Nelson Electric 16

Shive-Hattery 13

Shoemaker & Haaland 16

Snyder & Associates 17

Stanley Consultants 17

Terracon 18

Veenstra & Kimm 18





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12 Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 Corridor Business Journal



into Reality

Specific Expertise in Three Business Units

The Full Spectrum


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Project management


Material handling

Plant services

Front-end engineering

Electrical engineering

Software development

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Complete installations

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Special systems

Fire/security/fiber optic

Lighting projects

Turnkey projects


Design and build

24/7 support



Arc flash analysis

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Infrared field work

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Grounding studies

Engineering and design

Power drafting

Electrical safety training

OSHA/NFPA 70E training

Safety program


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Corridor Business Journal Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 13



United Way’s Day of Caring helps unite employees

from all parts of the company,” Cannoy explained.

Internal communications also promote cohesiveness.

ESCO emails a company-wide Project Spotlight

every week. The newsletter is so popular that it averages

a 70 percent open rate.

“In addition to celebrating recent successes, Project

Spotlight helps employees learn about services in another

division,” Cannoy said. “They can use this information

to direct clients to the right resource. We think

of every employee as a member of our sales force.”

ESCO Group also shares a bulletin called Near Misses,

which discusses how to learn from close calls in the field.

“We have improved our safety rating by 14 percent

in the past year by being transparent about safety situations

and providing employees with actionable takeaways,”

Azevedo noted.

Even office staff participate in safety training. Called

4 Hours to Save a Life, it covers first aid, CPR and vehicle

safety. The company also purchases all employee

safety equipment. Every piece of safety gear is then

tracked, especially as flame-resistant items must be replaced

after the expiration date.

ESCO started as a family company and that spirit

continues today. All non-union employees

are ESOP (employee stock ownership plan),

owning 40 percent of the company.

“We are proud to have an employee-first

mentality,” said Cannoy. “When you take

care of your employees, they will take care

of your clients.” •



For Miron Construction, the credo “You Are Where You

Live” is more than words; it is standard.

“This is great place to live and work,” said Michael

Muhlenbruch, Miron’s vice president of business operations

in Cedar Rapids. “And this is a great company to work

for. We might be a big company, but we are still primarily a

family business and that’s what makes us special.”

In recent years, Miron has constructed a number

of notable projects in the region including the Hotel

at Kirkwood Center, Paramount Theatre, University of

Iowa Mary Louise Petersen and Elizabeth Catlett Residence

Halls, University of Iowa Visual Arts Building,

Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center and the

Westdale Mall Redevelopment.

They are also deeply involved in the community.

“We are heavily involved locally with great organizations

like the United Way and Green Square Meals,”

Mr. Muhlenbruch said. “At the university we support

Summer of the Arts, loaning them scaffolding for

the shows, putting up signs, things like that. We encourage

our entire to team to work on these. And if

they have service projects that aren’t on our list, we

encourage our team members to bring them to us

and we’ll help too.”

Miron is always looking for great candidates to join

their team, but Mr. Muhlenbruch said that in one area,

those candidates are getting harder to find.

“Lots of people want to get into construction but they

end up wanting to be in the office more than out doing the

heavy work,” he said. “There’s a real shortage of carpenters,

sheet metal workers and other skilled laborers. We are

running out of people to do the quality work that we need

done and that’s really unfortunate. As an industry we need

to go out and find those valuable individuals.” •

“We might be a big company, but

we are still primarily a family business

and that’s what makes us special.”

Michael Muhlenbruch, Vice President of Business

Operations, Miron Construction


With nearly 900 years of celestial wisdom under his

fictional belt, Yoda taught us, “Always in motion is

the future.” The constant evolution and ubiq-



Marion, Iowa

IOWA CITY: 319.354.3040

CEDAR RAPIDS: 319.364.0227


14 Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 Corridor Business Journal



uity of technology are changing the way we approach

solutions and influence success for nearly all of today’s


Technological advancements in graphic virtualization

and real-time engineering simulation are transforming

the design process for buildings and infrastructure.

At Shive-Hattery, our architects and engineers

understand that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality

(VR) are natural extensions of building information

modeling (BIM). They have embraced the benefits

of transforming traditional two-dimensional drawings

into interactive 3-D digital models.

How do our clients benefit from this technology?

Providing detailed and accurate visualizations transforms

your project into a living, breathing representation

of a building or site. Clients and designers can

take a 3-D walking tour of the project and will see its

physical and functional characteristics — before it is actually

built. By bringing projects to life, it helps everyone

understand the project better (seeing is believing),

promotes better communication and decision-making,

helps minimize construction challenges and reduces

change orders during construction. Post-completion,

these models can assist with maintenance and facilities

management and could be used for future expansion


While VR provides a fully-engaged experience allowing

for elevated understanding of aesthetic appeal and

intuitiveness of design, AR can overlay a 3-D model

onto our real-world project site to allow for a detailed

examination by future building occupants. It is a fantastic

tool to get your employees excited about the project.

To see firsthand how BIM, VR and AR could help

your next project, feel free to contact Mark Seabold

(Iowa City) or Garret Meierbachtol (Cedar Rapids) and

we will be happy to give you a demonstration. •

FOX Engineering

FOX Engineering specializes in water and wastewater

solutions that help cities and industries provide clean water.

They are celebrating their 25th anniversary, and according

to company Vice President Steve Troyer, one key

to success is finding the right people.

“The market requires that engineers have more advanced

training in specialty areas and be open to new

solutions,” he said. “There are no standard answers to issues,

and more research is required to provide the best

solutions. This leads to a demand for highly trained engineers

who can adapt to each situation. We support events

like Iowa Children’s Water Festival and MATHCOUNTS

to encourage young people to find their strengths in math

and science.”

FOX Engineering, located in Ames, has worked on numerous

projects in the Corridor in recent years:

North Liberty:

– 2018: New 6 MGD Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment


– 2018: Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase II, a $15.5

million expansion

Cedar Rapids:

Wastewater Treatment – projects include improvements

to disinfection, sludge thickening, grit and the primary

sludge screen process.

– 2012 to 2019: East Growth and West Growth Areas

Water and Sewer Extensions


New wastewater and water treatment plants for

this Iowa community of 7,400. •

HR Green

Cedar Rapids-based HR Green, Inc. has a long history of

promoting opportunities for future engineers. According

to Erin Dusil, the company’s director of human resources,

that begins before graduation.

“The focal point of our educational outreach is our

internship program,” Ms. Dusil said. “We bring in 20

interns per year — company-wide — and have been successful

in converting roughly a third of those annually

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Corridor Business Journal Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 15



(into permanent employees). It’s really the crown jewel

of our program.”

“We don’t just bring in interns to do leftover tasks or

menial duties,” she said. “We put them on consequential,

meaningful projects that give them responsibilities

for the project.”

For example, Ms. Dusil talked about an intern — a civil

engineering student at Iowa State — who was able to work

on project for a community in southeast Iowa that was in

the process of revitalizing its downtown, while preserving

its historic look.

“She was able to work on the cityscape, designing sidewalks

and things like that,” Ms. Dusil said.

In addition to the college outreach, HR Green also

works at the high school level.

“We annually host an ‘Exploring Engineering Day’

for students in a seven-county area,” she said. “It’s part

of Kirkwood’s Workplace Learning Program; they get the

chance to work on some real-world projects.” •


For McClure, the vision really says it all:

“Making lives better.”

According to Jenna Nelson, the company’s Marketing

and Business Operations Lead, that is the mantra the

company lives by both for its clients and employees.

“We work every day to create an environment that allows

us to give our best to our clients,” she said.

McClure is dedicated to finding the best new talent and

is constantly on the lookout for individuals who fit the

McClure core values and have a passion for making lives

better. The company recruits from colleges like Iowa State,

the University of Iowa and Missouri for interns who they

hope turn into employees. But keeping that talent is not

easy, as the reputation of quality Midwestern engineering

students is not a well-kept secret.

“We used to go to career fairs at places like Iowa State

and find that most of the firms were pretty much local,”

Ms. Nelson said. “Now we see companies from out East

and the West Coast there; Iowa State now has a waiting list

for engineering firms that want to come to its career fair.

“We want to keep that talent, which is why we work so

hard to make McClure a great place to be!” •



“We are homegrown and we like it that way!”

That pronouncement from MMS Consultants’ Marketing

Director Tim Crosby best sums up his firm’s




(Based on 10,281 engineers in the state)

Industrial Engineers 35.86%

Mechanical Engineers 15.48%

Electrical Engineers 12.44%

Engineers, All Other 9.98%

Civil Engineers 8.71%

Electronics Engineers 4.37%

Environmental Engineers 3.38%

Health and Safety Engineers 3.00%

Materials Engineers 1.75%

Aerospace Engineers 1.34%

Computer Hardware Engineers 1.26%

Source: EMSI




Providing innovative design solutions

for the Cedar Rapids flood wall

Local professionals solving Iowa’s

biggest engineering challenges











Small things.

Big difference.



16 Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 Corridor Business Journal



philosophy. From the majority of the company’s projects

being located within 100 miles of its headquarters in Iowa

City, to its recruiting goals, MMS has a definite local focus.

“We draw people from a diverse talent pool,” Mr. Crosby

said. “Environmental engineers are in high demand,

and we are lucky to have some potential candidates right

in our backyard.”

MMS brings in two summer interns annually with a

goal that of hiring at least one of them.

“It’s always a goal,” Mr. Crosby said, “but it’s easier

said than done.”

“Environmental engineers

are in high demand,

and we are lucky to

have some potential

candidates right in our


Tim Crosby, Consultants Marketing

Director, MMS

He said that in the past students like to get out into the

world and staying “home” isn’t always palatable. However,

that trend could be changing.

“We were at a recent career fair at the University of

Iowa and many of the students we talked to seemed to

want to stay right here,” he said. “We hope that trend


MMS also likes to get that trend started early, beginning

with presentations to STEM programs at area schools.

“Della Caldwell, one of our engineers, goes out and

does the presentations,” he said. “She loves doing it.” •

Nelson Electric

Education and outreach are essential for Nelson Electric of

Cedar Rapids as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in business.

TJ Meiners, Nelson Electric Vice President, is on the

board of the Eastern Iowa ACE (Architecture, Construction

and Engineering) Mentoring program.

“The program works with local high school students,

giving them a chance to do real hands-on projects that

develop skills for the future,” he said.

Through the National Electrical Contractors Association,

Nelson Electric works closely with Iowa State University

on the NECA’s Green Energy Challenge. Student

chapters of NECA from across the country are invited to

conduct an energy audit and retrofit proposal of a building

on their campus or in their community.

“It’s been very rewarding,” Mr. Meiners said. “Iowa

State has won five years and it has been great to have been

part of that.”

Nelson Electric has also had great success recruiting interns,

which has two-way benefits.

“We have hired engineering students from both Iowa

State and the University of Iowa,” Mr. Meiners said. “One

thing for sure is that having them [the interns] really gets

our existing staff to step up their game. Those kids come

in with new ideas and new technologies and remind us

that we need to keep up.” •

Shoemaker &


Shoemaker & Haaland provides Civil Engineering, Structural

Engineering, Land Surveying and 3-D Laser Scanning

throughout the country.

Company president Doug Weihe said the company is

committed to working with schools to groom a new generation

of engineers.

“We work closely with Kirkwood’s Workplace Learning


› Building relationships for success. We are in

the business of helping clients be successful by

providing and executing innovative engineering,

surveying, and planning services to our industry. | making lives better | SINCE 1956

Corridor Business Journal Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 17



Connection,” he said. “Two or three times a year we bring

in high school students for half-day job shadowing experiences.

We also have 40-hour high school summer intern

positions. Those students are about to go out to job sites,

work with surveyors and even attend meetings.”

At the college level, the company offers internships for

both two- and four-year students.

“We offer internships with Kirkwood’s Architectural

Technologies Program,” Mr. Weihe said. “It’s a twoyear

degree for drafting technicians — 120-hours total.

We have hired several of them. It’s hard to find experienced

production technicians because of the changes

in technology, but the students going out of this program

are prepared.”

The company also has interns annually from Iowa

State and the University of Iowa.

“We have a young lady from Cyprus who came to us as

an intern from Iowa State we are sponsoring,” Mr. Weihe

said. “We are very happy to have her with us.” •

Snyder &


“Mother Nature

cannot be controlled,

which is why we work

in tangent with her to

provide sustainable


Dave Moeller, President,

Snyder & Associates

In 2018, Central Iowa experienced a 100-year flood event,

putting Fourmile Creek in jeopardy and Snyder & Associates’

engineering design to the test.

Prior to the flood, Fourmile Creek experienced severe

streambank erosion that left sanitary sewer infrastructure

at risk for exposure. Using natural channel design concepts

and integrating ecological lift techniques, Snyder’s

design team transformed an environmental liability into

a community asset. Stabilizing the banks provided additional

benefits including improved water quality, increased

safety and reduced flood risks.

“We are proud of the restoration and overall improvement

to Fourmile Creek,” said Dave Moeller, president of

Snyder & Associates. “We don’t always have the opportunity

to see our designs pushed to their limits. Realizing

the profound impact of our engineering brought fulfillment

for the entire team.”

Supplying their employees with opportunities for Realization

of Impact (ROI) on projects provides the clients

of Snyder & Associates the ability to overcome evolving

21st century challenges.

“As our firm evolves, we continue to provide solutions

that make a big difference for our clients,” shares

Moeller. “Mother Nature cannot be controlled, which is

why we work in tangent with her to provide sustainable

engineering through a mix of hard and green infrastructure

improvements.” •



Stanley Consultants, a Muscatine-based consulting engineering

firm, has recently formed a Young Professionals

Group (YPG) to empower, connect and engage its youngest


This self-governing group is creating programs >>

Reputation Means Everything


Innovative Engineering Solutions Since 1976



18 Feb. 18 - 24, 2019 Corridor Business Journal



focused on employee development (both personal and

technical), networking and mentoring. Ultimately, the

group’s goals and initiatives benefit all employees, as evidenced

through two mentoring programs.

The YPG’s traditional mentoring program, launched in

January, paired senior mentors with junior mentees. Applications

were used so pairs could be formed based on

goals and mutual interests. For six months, each pair will

meet at least monthly to create an action plan focused primarily

on the development of the younger member.

The YPG’s innovative reverse mentoring program

will kick off this spring. Senior staff will be paired with

young employees based on random selection. This program

will focus on recruiting and retention, company

culture and use of technology and social media. Meetings

will focus on what skills the company’s senior leadership

can learn from its youngest employees, as well

as teach participants how to switch roles in the conversation.

Participants will learn that the ability to reverse

the direction of the conversation is just as important

to building skills as the topics they discuss. •


Terracon’s Cedar Rapids office is one of more than 150

offices where career opportunities are available to work

“We are growing because

of the passion and

innovation of our employee


Guy Johnson, Cedar Rapids Office

Manager, Terracon

on rewarding and exciting projects. We seek people who

are passionate about what they do and get excited about

solving challenges, being there when clients need us and

working together to make great things happen in our


“We are growing because of the passion and innovation

of our employee owners,” said Guy Johnson, Cedar

Rapids Office Manager. “We bring value to our clients by

providing responsive, resourceful and reliable service.”

The importance we place on our employees makes

us an employer of choice in the engineering consulting

industry. In Cedar Rapids, our more than 40 employee

owners focus on projects related to environmental, facilities,

geotechnical and materials engineering. The range of

clients we serve include architects, engineers, contractors,

local, state and federal government, school districts, utilities

and energy companies, financial and more. •

Veenstra &


West Des Moines-based Veenstra & Kimm — with offices

in Cedar Rapids in Coralville — is ramping up its dedication

to education. Vice President Steven Thompson said

that while the company has made an effort to generate

more interest in the industry, a formal plan is already in

the works.

“For a long time, no one was available to really be able

do this,” he said, “but we’re looking at having a formal

program within the next 12 to 18 months. We’re excited.”

Mr. Thompson has given presentations over the years

for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)

programs at junior and high schools, but he hopes to

expand that program soon. The same goes for the firm’s

internship programs at area universities.

“We’ve had informal internships at our Coralville office

with University of Iowa students or our West Des

Moines headquarters with Iowa State, but it’s never really

been formalized,” he said.

“Internships are great for both the students and the

company,” Mr. Thompson added. “It’s like a paid job

interview and we use them as recruiting tools. But we

have to really fight for that talent. Firms from all over the

country recognize that we have great talent right here in

Iowa; we want to keep that talent right here at home.” •

A proud supporter of MathCounts

and Children’s Water Festival, FOX

encourages young people to

explore one of the most

exciting careers in the

world – engineering.

Proud to Celebrate Engineers Week!

Join us in thanking engineers for making

a difference in our communities.

See our project work in North Liberty, Cedar Rapids, Hills, Washington

and other cities across Iowa.

8710 Earhart Lane SW Phone 319.841.4000 HRGREEN.COM

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 Fax 319.841.4012





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