Employee-Owner Spotlight: Chris Calhoun, Project Engineer, La Porte, Texas

For 2021 Engineers Week we reached out to engineering leaders and up-and-coming engineering leaders at Braun Intertec to learn more about their role, what attracted them to the profession and how they are mentoring the next generation of engineers. Chris Calhoun joined Braun Intertec in April 2020 with 13 years of experience and a noteworthy history of technical excellence in multi-disciplinary geoengineering fields which include geotechnical engineering design and consulting practices; geological exploration; and geohazard mitigation construction. In addition to his geotechnical engineering know-how, Chris is also accomplished in project execution and an integral part of the La Porte, Texas...

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Engineering your career path: 3 tips to finding your best fit as a consulting engineer

By Sean Swartz, PE - February 23, 2021 We are kicking off our celebration of National Engineers Week 2021 with a message from Sean Swartz, our Senior Vice President, in charge of our Engineering and Testing group sharing some tips for anyone pursuing a career as a consulting engineer. We will be celebrating National Engineers Week all week so watch this blog for more content as we spotlight a couple of our exceptional engineering team members.  It’s National Engineers Week 2021! At Braun Intertec, we are proud to be a leader within our engineering community, and we consider ourselves blessed...

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It Starts in the Soils: Initial Phases of Ground Storage Tank Construction Design, Testing, and Inspection

In the first part of this series, we will discuss initial phases of design and construction inspection for storage tank construction. The Concept As you lay out of your tanks, whether they are in a grid, located along a specific topographic contour, or simply organized to fit to the shape of your property, you will start to see a picture of what your tank farm will eventually look like. Of course, you will also consider tank size, how the product will enter and exit the tanks, and how much they will weigh once in use. As you plan, do you...

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Employee-Owner Spotlight: Justin Humke, Business Unit Leader, Des Moines, Iowa

We recently met with Justin Humke, a Business Unit Leader from our South Central region who is based out of our Des Moines, Iowa office to learn how he has grown at Braun Intertec and what it’s like working with his team. What is your role at Braun Intertec?I’m currently a Business Unit Leader for the Upper Midwest region. My background is in geotechnical engineering but I’ve since taken on more of an operational and business development role.   Tell us about your background.I studied engineering for a funny reason, actually. I don’t have any family or friends in this...

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Drone Photogrammetry Utilization for 3D Site Models: Strengths and Limitations

If a picture says a thousand words, how many words does a 3D model say? Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery and video has been a game changer in many fields, such as building inspections, construction progress monitoring, and surveying damage after disasters. Image and video capture is great, but it is only the beginning of a UAV’s full potential. Using sophisticated algorithms known as photogrammetry, it is possible to turn a series of simple images into a highly detailed and accurate 3D model of the natural and built environment. In short, photogrammetry uses a series of overlapping images taken from...

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EPA Approves TCEQ Authorization of NPDES Program for Oil and Gas Discharges

On January 15, 2021, the EPA announced approval of Texas’ request to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program for discharges from produced water, hydrostatic test water and gas plant effluent or oil and gas discharges within the state of Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will take over responsibility of permitting authority for the discharges of oil and gas activities, pipelines, and natural gas processing plants formerly under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). The Addendum to the Memorandum of Agreement (between the TCEQ and EPA, Region 6 is available on the EPA website...

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New Minnesota Critical Habit Plate Brings Light to Endangered Species Protection

Minnesota has long offered license plate options that feature the state’s natural resources. A new design highlights the state bee, the rusty patched bumble bee, and state butterfly, the monarch butterfly. The license plate also features a native plant, the purple prairie clover, which is an important food source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The rusty patched bumble bee was listed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service as an endangered species in the lower 48 states. It is currently known to occur in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada....

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Kansas City Spotlight: IFC Certification for Firestop Special Inspection Services

At Braun Intertec, we are committed to being the consultant of choice for our clients and the employer of choice for our employees. This often means encouraging our employee-owners to pursue professional development opportunities to obtain additional certifications that in turn allow us to work on more complex and high-profile projects. Recently, two employee-owners from our Kansas City office, Bryan Evans, E.I. and Alex Nelson, obtained their International Firestop Council (IFC) Special Inspector Certificate. In addition to this certification, Alex Nelson also received the Premier Level Certification, which is the highest level of IFC certification available. Alex is one of...

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Building Agency Partnerships for Successful Environmental Permitting

environmental permitting

It’s that time of the year again – you have a permitting project and you need to engage your local, state or federal environmental permitting agency. Maybe you have an exciting new facility expansion project or maybe it’s just time to reissue that old, expiring permit. Either way, this is probably not your favorite aspect of the job, and you might be running through a range of emotions from minor inconvenience to deep dread. For many folks, this is as stressful as your job gets – but it doesn’t have to be. With a better understanding of the people, some...

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Employee Owner Spotlight: Faith Walters, Operations Manager, Beaumont, Texas

We recently met with Faith Walters, operations manager from our Beaumont, Texas office to discuss her expertise with asphalt and what it means to her to be an employee owner. What does it mean to you to be a successful woman in such a male-dominated field?I’ve been a tomboy my whole life, but people were always surprised when they saw me come to the field. I was fascinated with how many tests you can run on aggregates and soil, so I wanted to learn everything I could get my hands on. I’ve always been the only girl until I joined Braun...

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