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Meet the Team: La Porte Office Spotlight

About Our Team

Home to more than 30 engineers, technicians and scientists, our La Porte, Texas office first opened in May 2019, and currently provides geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and nondestructive examination services. We sat down with the La Porte Operations Manager, Kevin Williams, to discuss what services and expertise our La Porte office can provide to clients on the Gulf Coast, what sets the team apart from other engineering firms in the area, and our involvement in the community. 

Why did we open an office in this area?
La Porte is located in the center of the oil and gas industry and is just a few miles from the port of Houston. There is a lot of expansion going on in the area for bridges, ports and other infrastructure, all of which is connected to what we do. With Braun Intertec initially located in Texas City, we found most of our clientele and jobs were focused within 30 minutes of us, and we saw that as a unique opportunity to better serve our clients. What’s great is that we still have an open and operating office in Texas City so we can continue to provide the same level of service to our clients in Galveston, as well as the Texas City Independent School District (ISD) and other municipalities in the area.

What range of services are offered?
In addition to our standard construction materials testing services (which includes soil, concrete and asphalt testing), we also provide construction inspection services where we operate as quality control for the contractor. Then, of course, we’re a full-service geotechnical engineering firm, which includes deep foundation services. There is a lot of opportunity for us to help clients with piling and things related to design work. We also have nondestructive testing services, where we provide radiography testing, dye penetrant testing, structural steel testing and much more.

What are some of the main market sectors served and what projects does that include?
We do a little bit of everything, which is great because it allows us to work on a variety of projects. We’re currently working with a lot of local municipalities and government entities. We also have projects with local ISDs, notably the three elementary schools that just started construction in Texas City ISD. The district’s schools were damaged in Hurricane Harvey, so we are excited to have a team working on each elementary school.

Texas City ISD groundbreaking ceremony
La Porte team members at Texas City ISD Groundbreaking Ceremony

We also work in the oil and gas and commercial sectors. Oil and gas projects can be anything from the multi-million-dollar BCEP Exxon Mobil job we’re working on right now, where we served as the geotechnical engineer and are currently testing all the soils and concrete, to much smaller projects where we might just be testing the soils. On the commercial side, the projects can range from small oil stations to an office building or a parking lot. We’ve also performed services on projects with Union Pacific, Marathon, NASA, Lone Star, Enterprise, Phillips 66, BASF and many others working with the owners or for the contractors performing the work on these sites.

Consultant of Choice

What makes the La Porte team unique?
Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and different parts of the world, and we also have several veterans on staff. I think all of this makes for an interesting and diverse place to work. One week I might bring in Texas barbeque to share with the team, and then the next week Amal, one of our Senior Engineers, will bring in a big spread of Indian food to share. It’s great to be able to learn about our employees’ different ways of life and culture.

How do our different service lines and offices interact with each other on a day-to-day basis?
We are constantly looking for ways to integrate our different service lines and leverage expertise from our other office locations. We believe this helps set us apart from other firms in the area. Many La Porte area firms can provide geotechnical engineering and construction materials, but there aren’t many who also offer nondestructive testing, inspections services, or building sciences consulting. 

We also have W&M Environmental, a division of Braun Intertec, (our Texas-based environmental consulting division) that provides a lot of services most companies would need another contractor do, so it gives us a unique opportunity to better serve our clients and offer a complete package of services.

What sets Braun Intertec apart from other companies in the La Porte area?
How quickly we respond to our clients. Our culture focuses on responding to clients almost immediately and helping them get in touch with the right person. One of the great things about working at Braun Intertec is the amount of resources and expertise we can pull together to help our clients and give them solid advice and consulting.

Are there any recent upgrades or improvements to the La Porte office, lab equipment, etc.?
Yes, when we moved in we built a new geotechnical and construction materials testing lab as well as a curing room in the warehouse. Both are complete and fully operational now and we are currently in the process of getting our A2LA accreditation for our lab.

La Porte, TX Laboratory
La Porte, TX Materials Laboratory

What is on the horizon for La Porte and this office?
There are a lot of exciting things happening in the oil and gas industry right now. There are several new liquid natural gas (LNG) plants on the Gulf Coast kicking off soon, as well as tank storage/terminal development. There are a lot of opportunities for Braun Intertec to serve as a full-service firm for these types of projects and offer service lines from our other offices in Texas, such as environmental consulting services.

Community and Team Engagement

Are there any programs, events, volunteer activities the office staff has recently been involved with?
At the beginning of the school year one of our clients had a “Stuff the Bus” event, which we donated some money to, but we also had our employees bring in school supplies and put them in a donation box in the front of the office. Once they get all the donations they literally stuff a bus with all the school supplies and then give them to the local schools in Texas City ISD. That’s just a recent example, but we get involved with various fundraisers for local ISD’s and municipalities throughout the year.

What kind of activities does the staff do together?
We love our fishing tournaments! We also get together for lunch a lot and attend various organizations and industry association events together. Several times throughout the year we get involved in some sort of charity drive, whether it’s a toy drive for Christmas or for United Way. There’s always something going on where we can give back to the community.

Contact the La Porte Team

If you’d like more information about working with us or how our La Porte office can help you, please click the link below to fill out our Contact Us form.