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September 26, 2013

Surveys 2013: GeoEngineers

Image courtesy of GeoEngineers [enlarge]
Construction is underway on a new tunnel that will replace a culvert under the Navy railroad near Gorst.

Specialty: Earth science and technology consulting

Management: Kurt Fraese, chief executive officer; Dan Campbell, chief operating officer; and Michael Hutchinson, Puget Sound business unit leader

Founded: 1980

Headquarters: Seattle

2013 revenues: $28.9 million

Projected 2014 revenues: N/A

Current projects: Developed River HOME, which is software that determines how changes in flow, channel geometry, substrate and cover in rivers and streams affect the habitat of aquatic species; habitat design, civil design concept and geotechnical details for a 275-foot-long fish tunnel near Gorst; worked with WSDOT to develop a way to collect samples to determine if toxic vapor is intruding into 48 homes in Tumwater

Michael Hutchinson, Puget Sound business unit leader, answered questions about the industry and his firm.

Q: What has changed in your industry and at your firm as a result of the recession?

A: The recession created a much more competitive playing field in our industry. Being average no longer works. Owners are looking for high-level expertise and value from their consultants, and those that are not able to meet those high expectations will fall by the wayside.

Q: Where will growth come from in the next few years? What markets are you entering or exiting?

A: The public sector lacked funding for a long time, but we’re starting to see tax revenues increase for the first time in five years. As a result, we expect to see more public sector work in the coming years to address many of the legacy issues.

Q: What are the biggest trends and issues in your industry locally?

A: Fish passage is a hot topic in Washington due to recent court rulings. We are also seeing a lot of interest in complex remediation and cleanup tied to the upturn in the local development market.

Q: Which of your services are most in demand?

A: Complex remediation and cleanup work is very busy, and we anticipate that market will remain active for the next few years.

Q: Name a local environmental policy change you would like to see.

A: Streamlining the permitting process is always on our wish list. Improving communication between state and federal agencies around regulations and approvals would help our clients implement environmental solutions more quickly and less expensively.

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