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Transportation
November 27, 2017

November 15 was a day to remember. Otak advanced into the future, unveiling our new brand to the entire company. The rebrand, which includes Otak and its divisions Day CPM and Loris, involves a complete redesign of company logos, typefaces, and collateral material (resumes, financial sheets, etc.). The new logo will grace everything from letterheads to company trucks. 

The logo is designed to “represent Otak’s foundational benefit to our clients – a convergence of people, disciplines, services, and companies moving toward a common horizon.” 

Soon to follow the rebrand will be the unveiling of our new website.

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September 14, 2017

The Portland Westside Economic Alliance (WEA) and the Westside Transportation Alliance (WTA) held a joint meeting September 13, 2017 to discuss multi-modal transportation challenges, progress to-date, and future vision. 

A panel made up of TriMet's Tom Mills, Jeannine Rustad of the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department (THPRD), David Evans & Associates' Andrew Mortenson, Intel's Nathan Derstine, and Washington County's Dyami Valentine discussed studies and plans their organizations are making to help connect people to jobs.

Adam Argo of David Evans and Associates moderated the panel.

Jeannine Rustad spoke about trails and the partnerships built to complete different trail segments. Tom Mills shared information about transit funding through the upcoming employee paid payroll tax and how the agency is looking to enhance service. Dyami Valentine presented takeaways from the recent Washington County Transportation Futures Study.

In addition to sponsoring the WEA-WTA meeting, Otak will be sponsoring WEA’s "Transportation Month” involving numerous meetings and conferences in the month of September to further transportation system excellence development over time in Portland and the northwest. 

Pictured, from left to right: Brian Burby (Otak), Tom Mills (TriMet), Jeannine Rustad (THPRD), Nathan Derstine (Intel), Andrew Mortensen and Adam Argo (David Evans & Associates), Dyami Valentine (Washington County)

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January 21, 2017

ACEC Washington presented Otak with three Engineering Excellence awards on January 20.

In the category of Unique or Innovative Applications, Otak was given a Gold Award for our Willapa Hills Trail Bridge Replacement project in Willapa Hills State Park. 

Along the trail within Willapa Hills State Park are numerous stream and river crossings. In 2007, a devastating flood destroyed two trestles, sending the center steel truss spans downriver. 

The alternatives analysis started after the survey, geotechnical investigation, hydraulic analysis, and environmental reconnaissance were completed. Ten bridge options were studied for each site, and after review, it was determined that a clear span bridge was the preferred option. The solution was a bridge with side steel trusses with post-tensioning tendons inside a grouted duct, which was installed inside a HSS bottom chord.

Both bridges were a success!

Otak was also awarded two Bronze Awards. 

Dungeness River Railroad Trestle Replacement project in Sequim—This is a 750-foot long pedestrian bridge—designed, permitted, and constructed all within eight months. The river and resulting habitat enhancement are a success for the native salmon. The Tribe, the local community, and trail users were extremely pleased.

Bucklin Hill Bridge & Estuary Enhancement project for Kitsap County—This project included replacing roadway embankment and two 72-inch culverts with a 240-foot three-span bridge, widening the road to five lanes, traffic signals, roadway and pedestrian lighting, storm drainage improvements, and amenities for pedestrians and bicyclists. 

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October 18, 2016

From September 28 through October 1st, Otak staff members attended the ASCE National Convention held in Portland, Oregon. 

Otak’s Doug Sarkkinen, PE, SE presented his team’s 2015 fast-track design and construction of the Dungeness River Railroad Trestle Replacement project. Designed and constructed in seven months, this project resulted in restoration of the Discovery Trail over the Dungeness River near Sequim, Washington.  Otak was hired in May 2015 and the bridge was re-opened December 2015.  Otak’s team generated 10 design options with the final selection proving to be salmon friendly to the river’s several anadromous fish runs and “river worthy” by virtue of foundations capable of withstanding deep scour forces and seasonal debris buildup.   

The trail and bridge over the Dungeness River is owned by the Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe.  A February 2015 flood damaged the adjoining railroad trestle and bridge and associated foundations.  Fast-track completion by Otak of this project restored use of the Discovery Trail to numerous hikers, bikers, pedestrians, and commuters who count on it as an important multi-modal transportation route.


ABOVE: Doug Sarkkinen, PE, SE, highlights Otak’s Dungeness River Railroad Trestle Replacement project at the ASCE 2016 National Convention

The event  was an excellent backdrop for connecting with partners and staying current with the latest advances in how to prepare our communities for the future. 

ABOVE: Jim Hamann, Otak President and CEO (left), and Brian Burby of Otak (right) meet with representatives from leading universities throughout the West. 

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October 11, 2016

By Mandi Roberts

One of the best ways to enhance community livability and strengthen neighborhoods is to design certain core streets to serve multiple purposes—as complete streets for multi-modal transportation and as festival streets, designed as pedestrian and open air market shared space that can be temporarily closed to vehicle traffic during special celebrations and events. Otak was proud to co-host a “walkshop” of our Georgetown Festival Street Project at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) annual conference, held in Seattle in late September. The theme of the conference “Designing Cities” offered sessions and mobile workshops on a variety of innovative and interesting urban design and innovative street design topics. Otak partnered with Fehr & Peers and the City of Seattle Department of Transportation to host the walking tour of the vibrant Georgetown Neighborhood, focused on the recent festival street improvements. For the Georgetown Walkshop guide, click here

The Georgetown Festival Street Walkshop hosts highlighted neighborhood history and background, revitalization of the area, some of the unique challenges of designing a festival street, the importance of neighborhood engagement, the role the improvement area serves in hosting street parties, design references (including best practice built examples and the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide), and some of the innovative features and public art elements integrated into the design. Two Walkshops were offered on two separate days of the conference and each was well-attended. Each group made special stop at the World Famous Fran’s Chocolates factory and guest gallery, a sweet spot at the end of the tour! Special thanks to our Walkshop team: Art Brochet and Therese Casper with SDOT, Will Lisska with Fehr & Peers, and Lori McFarland and Mandi Roberts with Otak.

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October 4, 2016

Kevin Timmins rode the new US20: Pioneer Mountain to Eddyville alignment on Saturday as part of the Play on the Grade event. He checked out the drainage the Otak team designed and walked through the new elk culvert.

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September 27, 2016

The 40th Annual Washington State Public Transportation Conference was held last week in Wenatchee, Washington. Held since 1976, this year’s 40th annual conference was hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation and focused on key areas of Community Engagement, Local Solutions, and Statewide Investments.

Otak sponsored the conference and hosted a session entitled “Active Transportation on the Rise, Integrated Design of Shared-Use Paths,” which featured speakers Doug Sarkkinen, Windi Shapley, and Mandi Roberts. The session highlighted some key challenges related to implementing shared-use paths and how these challenges can be addressed through integrated design. (click here to view the presentation)

Brian Burby and Allen Hendy also attended the conference, hosting Otak’s exhibitor booth and networking with existing and potential clients. The conference and our session were well attended, and we received very positive feedback from a variety of the session participants, as well as conference attendees who stopped by the booth.

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May 16, 2016

 

Otak’s Doug Sarkkinen and Greg Mines presented last week at the ODOT 2016 Bridge Design Conference in Salem.

Seismic design of bridges in Oregon currently uses state-of-the art probabilistic ground motion predictions. However, guidelines are based on horizontal ground movements under a seismic event and ignore the effects of vertical ground movement. Doug’s presentation provided a summary of expected vertical seismic ground movements and what types of bridges in Oregon would be vulnerable to these effects.

Greg’s discussion focused on the aging Fifth Plain Creek bridge that was replaced with a modern, precast concrete bridge. The stream channel was restored for improved fish habitat and to mitigate flood concerns.  The bridge construction used touch shoring to control concrete stresses and deflections in the slender structure during construction.

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March 30, 2016

Last Tuesday evening, Lori McFarland, Eva Ho, Marina Howard, Matthew Scarsella, and Curtis LaPierre (past Otakian) attended the WTS Puget Sound Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. This event recognizes outstanding transportation projects, programs, and people in the Puget Sound area. Dinner was served, Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit’s CEO, spoke on his support of WTS’ mission and opportunities in our region’s transportation system, and then our team, including client, City of Seattle Department of Transportation, accepted an award for the Georgetown Festival Street project. A good time was had by all!

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May 26, 2015

Staff from Otak’s Portland, Vancouver, and Redmond offices attended the 22nd American Trails International Trails Symposium at the Oregon Convention Center last week. Conference sessions highlighted a variety of trails from around the world, and one of the sessions dealt with Otak’s Redmond Central Connector project in Redmond, Washington. Otak also had a booth at the conference showcasing some of our recent trail projects.

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April 1, 2015

The Oregon Chapter of APWA held their Spring Conference at the Valley River Inn in Eugene. Otak usually hosts a booth at each APWA conference where we display photos of our recent and local projects, but due to the increasing popularity of the conference and the smaller event space this year, the exhibit spaces were full by the time Otak signed up! In lieu of a booth, Otak joined two other firms that did not receive booths to host a pizza and game evening where attendees could team up and heckle each other over a fun game of miniature golf. Otak maintains involvement in APWA through conference attendance, as well as participation in subcommittees such as Sustainability, Water Resources, and the Young Professionals Network.

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January 28, 2015

Otak recently won an ACEC Oregon Engineering Excellence Honor Award for the West Main Realignment project in Kelso, Washington! Awards were announced at the ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards Dinner last week at the Multnomah Athletic Club.

We are very proud of the West Main Realignment project, which realigned eight blocks of West Main Street through the business district of West Kelso to make a smooth connection and reduce congestion between SR 4 and the Allen Street Bridge. This project improved safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, and stimulated community revitalization in the West Kelso area.

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January 8, 2015

Otak is proud to announce that Joe Primeau, Joshua Owens, and Nick Brown have recently passed their Civil Engineering exams and are professional engineers! Joshua has been working with Otak's water resources group since 2011, and both Joe and Nick have been at Otak since 2013. Joshua and Joe received their engineering licenses in Oregon, and Nick received his engineering license in California. Congratulations, Joshua, Nick, and Joe, on reaching this important career milestone!

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November 26, 2014

Otak is pleased to welcome seven new hires!

Portland

Shawn Goodpaster has joined Otak as Senior Contracts Manager.  He brings an extensive background in labor and employment consultation, contract negotiation, and human resources matters in courts and before administrative agencies. Shawn earned his JD from Emory University School of Law, his MBA from the University of Louisville College of Business & Public Administration, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences.

Michael Rafferty, PE, LEED AP, has joined Otak as a Senior Water Resources Engineer/Project Manager. He brings more than 12 years of experience integrating stream restoration, geomorphology, water resources, and civil site development. He has served in project management and engineering roles on a wide variety of project types from conceptual design through construction. Michael earned his Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering - Stream Restoration, Hydraulics, and River Mechanics from Colorado State University, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University.

Redmond

 

Cristina Haworth has joined Otak as a Planner/GIS Technician. She brings experience with complex integrated planning and zoning initiatives at both city and neighborhood scales and has familiarity with land use and development law. Cristina earned her Master of City Planning and certificate in GIS and Spatial Analysis from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Community, Environment, and Planning from the University of Washington.

Seungjin Baek, PhD, PE, has joined Otak as a Senior Project Engineer. He brings over seven years of research and consulting experience with emphasis on hydrodynamic, sediment transport, and water quality modeling projects with 2D and 3D modeling. Seungjin earned his PhD and Master of Science degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.

Shelby Petro has joined Otak as a Wetlands Scientist. She brings seven years of experience in science and environmental consulting. Shelby earned her Master’s of Environmental Science and Management degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Jesse Reynolds has joined Otak as a Geospatial Planner. Jesse brings eight years of GIS/GPS experience in public and private sectors, as well as a diverse background in field work including resource grade Trimble GPS, site remediation studies, conservation biology studies in remote and mountainous areas, river resource surveys, and explosives handling via avalanche control work. Jesse earned his Master’s of Urban Planning degree from the University of Washington and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography/Geographic Information Systems from Western Washington University.

Tempe

 

Chad Hayashi has joined Otak as a Landscape Design Professional. Prior to joining Otak, he worked as a draftsman/CAD manager at a private architecture firm where he managed CAD file preparation, drawing review, and delivery to clients. He also developed a strong set of skills by reviewing and recognizing code compliance. Chad earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from Arizona State University.

 

 

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November 24, 2014

Otak's office in Kirkland, Washington, has recently relocated to Redmond! After purging, packing, and moving, we are all settled in at our new address, which is:

11241 Willows Road NE
Suite 200
Redmond, WA 98052

Our phone and fax numbers have not changed.

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August 14, 2014

A group of Otakians took a field trip to active projects under construction in the North Bethany area of Washington County, Oregon, to see how their paper drawings and specifications translate to soil, concrete, and plant life. The project sites consisted of several housing development locations where Otak prepared the grading plans, street layout, stormwater design, and survey for construction, as well as a County public street. The engineers and project managers talked about their work, challenges, and lessons learned in an example of the multidisciplinary cooperation that Otak is known for.

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August 5, 2014

Tim Kraft, Water Resource Project Manager and Principal at Otak, has recently earned his PE license in Colorado. Tim has been a licensed engineer for 15 years and is also registered in Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico. With this license, Tim offers our Colorado clients extensive experience in the fields of sanitary sewer and stormwater master planning, conveyance system sizing and design, floodplain studies, stream restoration projects, water quality modeling, and hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. Congratulations, Tim!

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July 16, 2014

Otak is pleased to welcome seven new hires!

Amy Scheckla-Cox, RA, LEED AP, has joined Otak as a project architect working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. She brings over eight years of experience in architectural design and five years of experience in interior design. Amy has worked in both the public and private sectors in Oregon and is well-versed in both planning and urban design. She also brings extensive experience in sustainable design and LEED documentation. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, and she is both a registered architect and a LEED Accredited Professional.

Jackie Davis has joined Otak as an architectural designer working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. Her design experience includes a Haiti Clinic Design Chosen to be Built, which earned Best Overall Design, Most Constructible Scheme, and People’s Choice of Design Competition. She also conducted Living Building Challenge research for an existing building retrofit and upgrade in Oregon. Jackie earned her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois.

Nate Erwin has joined Otak as an architectural intern working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. Nate earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois, and he is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Oregon (UO) in Portland. At UO, Nate serves as Co-President of the Portland Student Action Committee, and he co-founded Quipit, a series of events to bring students, faculty, and professionals together to discuss the profession of architecture and topics within the design field.

Cindy Chiao is a water resources engineering designer working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. Prior to joining Otak, she worked as a Hydrology Research Scientist at the University of Washington, where she implemented and evaluated hydrologic models for the City of Portland’s surface water source and large river basins globally to enable climate change impact assessment. She earned her Master of Science in Engineering degree in Environmental Engineering and her Master of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan, as well as her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Carleton College.

John Edwards has joined Otak as an Engineering Intern working out of our office in Gearhart, Oregon. He completed a capstone project on TriMet’s Sunset Transit Center Parking Garage Redesign where he served as project manager to improve performance and safety of a park-and-ride facility. John is currently completing his senior year towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Portland State University. He also received an Associate’s Degree from Clatsop Community College. He is active in the American Water Works Association Pacific Northwest Section, the Construction Management Association of America, and Engineers Without borders.

Eeffet Al Nidawy has joined Otak as a planning engineer working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She brings almost 25 years of experience working on a wide range of engineering projects in the Middle East and six years of experience in the United Arab Emirates. Eeffet earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering Science from Baghdad University.

Asif Khan has joined Otak as a civil inspector working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He brings seven years of experience in construction supervision of roads, bridges, and infrastructure works in Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining Otak, he worked as a roads inspector for a private engineering firm in the United Arab Emirates. He has significant experience in QA/QC, report writing, technical correspondence, and managing safety in construction works. Asif earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Al Khair University in Pakistan.

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July 10, 2014

Otak’s Josh Christofferson has recently passed his Professional Land Survey exam in Washington! Josh has been with our survey and mapping group in Kirkland, Washington, since 2007, and he has worked hard to achieve this goal. Congratulations, Josh!

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June 23, 2014

Otak’s Tonya Finley, CFCM, Senior Associate, has been elected to the ACEC Oregon Board of Directors! She is one of two women currently serving on the board, and she is the first non-technical woman to be elected to the position. Tonya is Otak’s Risk Manager/Contracts Administrator and has been active in ACEC since 2003. She is currently the co-chair of the ACEC Oregon Risk Management committee and recently rotated off as an elected ACEC ODOT Liaison Steering Committee member. In addition, she participates in the ODOT Liaison Committee, is past chair and current participant of the ODOT Liaison Procurement Committee and DBE Subcommittee. Earlier this month, Tonya and other members of the ACEC Oregon Board of Directors met with Governor John Kitzhaber to discuss public investment in infrastructure, qualifications-based selection, and other key business issues affecting professional engineers.

Tonya is a Certified Federal Contracts Manager and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University. She is an active member of the National Contract Management Association and has been with Otak for over 18 years.

Congratulations, Tonya!

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June 18, 2014

Joe Primeau passed his Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) Exam, becoming Otak’s 17th ENV SP! Joe is an engineering designer working out of our office in Portland, Oregon, and he will join our other ENV SPs in providing guidance on designing sustainable infrastructure projects.

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June 10, 2014

Otak’s Michael Fadden has recently passed his PE exam! Michael is a civil engineer who has been with our Kirkland office for almost a year and a half, and he has worked on several significant projects in Washington including the East Grand Sewer System Replacement in Everett, and the 30th Street NE Area Flooding project in Auburn. Congratulations, Michael!

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June 2, 2014

Otak’s Matt Klym has recently passed his PE exam! Matt began working at Otak in 2005, and he has provided street and site layout, utility systems design, project cost estimation, as-built coordination, ADA implementation, and mass site grading on public and private projects. He has played an integral role on several projects in Portland’s South Waterfront district, as well as several master-planned community and multifamily housing projects. Congratulations, Matt!

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May 30, 2014

Otak’s Sara Junction Slope Stabilization project recently won an APWA Washington Project of the Year Award in the Disaster/Emergency, Less Than $5 Million category! Quinn Donnelly accepted the award yesterday at an APWA Washington Award Luncheon. Below is a brief overview of the project.

Otak led the design team tasked with the emergency roadway and embankment repair of NW 179th Street in rural Clark County. The roadway had been forced to close due to undercutting and embankment failure caused by stream bank erosion on adjacent Whipple Creek. Site assessment for use in the project design included stream characterization and hydraulic modeling. The design included a rebuilt roadway with guardrail, a new rock embankment to support the roadway and 100 feet of bioengineered stream bank protection, including large wood and wrapped soil lifts to prevent erosion, provide habitat, and minimize impact to the active stream channel. The design allowed for streamlined permitting, so that the repairs could be done promptly.

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May 23, 2014

A few Otak staff members had the opportunity to attend the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) annual conference in mid-May in downtown Portland, Oregon, at the Hilton. The conference theme was The Power of Connection: Mobility, Community, and Innovation. The sessions focused on the conference theme of transportation connections, building community, and innovative mobility options. We had the opportunity to hear a three-time Emmy award winner and journalist, Cokie Roberts, speak at a luncheon and general session. She was an articulate and eloquent presenter who is a pioneer in her field!

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May 20, 2014

Otak is pleased to announce 13 new hires!

Matt Ellis is a project engineer working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. He brings eight years of experience in civil engineering working in both the public and private sectors in Idaho, Washington, and New Zealand. Prior to joining Otak, Matt worked as an engineer at the City of Woodinville, where he was project manager for various public works capital improvement projects, including pavement rehabilitation, retaining wall construction, drainage projects, and sidewalk installation. He earned his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Washington State University.

Francesca White is a water resources engineering designer working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. She brings experience developing site plans, drainage plans, construction drawings, and permitting. Francesca earned her Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Hydrology, and Water Resources, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Washington.

Matt Scarsella is a civil engineering designer working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. He has worked on roadway, sewer, and sidewalk projects. Matt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Gonzaga University, and he is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Jon Yamashita, PLS, is a project surveyor working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. He brings decades of experience in management and land surveying. Prior to joining Otak, he served as director of surveying at a private engineering firm where he oversaw a staff of 35, including 15 licensed surveyors working throughout the western United States. Jon earned his Bachelor of Science in Geography from Portland State University, and his Associates of Arts and Sciences from Clark Community College. He is a member of the Clark County Railroad Advisory Board and is the past Chair of the Leadership Clark County Board of Directors.

Sara Qafisheh, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is an architectural technician working out of our office in Tempe, Arizona. She brings five years of professional architectural and design experience with a focus on large high-tech projects including semiconductors, clean rooms, data centers, and government and military buildings. She also brings experience designing innovative and sustainable single family housing. Sara earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona.

Alyson Hendrix is a civil designer working out of our office in Tempe, Arizona. Prior to joining Otak, she participated as a Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative and as a grader for Engineering Business Practices at Arizona State University (ASU). She recently earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from ASU, where she was active in Engineers Without Borders, creating an award-winning design for a local aquaponic pond project.

Madhu Jose is an architect/urban planner working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Madhu earned her Master’s in Urban Design and Sustainable Architecture from Politecnico Di Milano in Milan, Italy, and her Bachelor of Architecture from Siddaganga Institute of Technology in Bangalore, India.

Nazeer Abdul Rahiman is a quantity surveyor working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He has 25 years of experience of which 15 years are in the UAE. He provides estimating and costing on a variety of projects including roads, construction, stormwater, sewerage networks and treatment plans, irrigation networks, bridges, and high-rise buildings. He earned his degree in Civil Engineering from the Kerala State Board of Technical Education in India.

Tariq Osman is a material engineer working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He is a seasoned geological engineer with 24 years of experience in material testing for steel, concrete, cement, asphalt, and soil. He possesses sound knowledge of geology and petroleum engineering, as well as drilling techniques, pressure transient analysis, and enhanced oil recovery. Tariq earned his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in geology from the University of Poona in India.

Imtiaz Ahmed is a material inspector working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He brings 33 years of experience on a wide range of construction projects. His experience includes construction supervision, reviewing material submittal, material testing and inspection, and inspecting and monitoring laboratory test processes and results. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Karachi University in Pakistan.

Mamdouh Zedan is a resident engineer working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He brings 21 years of experience in road and bridge construction in the Middle East. His responsibilities have included reviewing drawings and technical reports, site inspections, and maintaining records of progress and materials approval. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Mansoura University in Egypt, and he is a member of the Egyptian Engineering Syndicate.

Mookran Mithran is a land surveyor working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He brings over 34 years of experience working in the UAE on large multifamily developments and infrastructure projects. Mookran earned a diploma in civil engineering.

Benjamin Bandola is an engineer working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He brings more than 20 years of experience in management and technical engineering in various fields including construction, maintenance, and manufacturing. Benjamin earned both his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and his Bachelor of Science in Management and Industrial Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines, and he is a member of the Society of Engineers UAE, Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers, Overseas Filipino Civil Engineers Association, and Philippine Society of Safety Professionals.

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May 9, 2014

Otak participated in the Oregon Chapter APWA Spring Conference, which took place in Seaside late last month. Otak’s booth included photo panels of recent and ongoing projects in Oregon, many of which were located on the Oregon coast. Otak showed its continued support and involvement in APWA through our attendees who were active participants in the Sustainability Committee, Water Resources Committee, Young Members Network, and the First-Timer program, all of which are ongoing efforts outside of the conference. This event kicked off the 50-year-anniversary celebration for the Oregon Chapter, which will continue at the Fall Conference in Pendleton.

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April 30, 2014

Otak’s Mark Swartz and Brad Bielenberg attended the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Arizona Conference recently in Tucson. Over 1,500 representatives from a wide variety of state and municipal agencies and consultant service providers attended the event, and Otak’s booth and expertise both garnered positive reactions. Mark and Brad discussed significant opportunities for a variety of Otak disciplines with both existing and potential new clientele. The conference golf tournament was also a success with Otak’s pairing helping to build our relationship with two significant clients. Fore!!!

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April 17, 2014

Otak is committed to both sustainable business practices and sustainable project designs. Several Otakians in our Vancouver office recently received Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) certification, and 12 of our 16 technical staff members in Vancouver are now certified in Envision or LEED. These certified professionals help our clients and project teams achieve higher levels of sustainable design. Our certified staff in Vancouver include:

Ryan Billen, PE, ENV SP
Nick Brown, ENV SP
Derek Chisholm, AICP, LEED Green Associate, ENV SP
Rich Darland, PE, ENV SP
Grant Evenhus, PE, ENV SP
David Haynes, PLA, LEED Green Associate
Tim Kraft PE, ENV SP
Cory Kratovil, PE, ENV SP
Theo Malone, ENV SP
Hannah Marré, ENV SP
Greg Mines PE, ENV SP
Kelly Youngberg, ENV SP

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February 4, 2014

Otak’s Grant Evenhus, PE, recently earned an Excellence in Design Award from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for his outstanding design contributions on the Salmon Creek Interchange Project. This large, complex project with a construction cost of more than $133 million is a joint effort between WSDOT and Clark County involving a combination of bridges, ramps, interstate widening, and arterial street reconfigurations at the junction of I-5 and I-205. Grant spent a significant amount of time co-located at WSDOT’s Southwest Region office in Vancouver, and he coordinated the majority of the stormwater design work and assisted with the design of the roadway corridor, bridge abutment fills, construction staging methodology, and utility coordination.

Congratulations, Grant!

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January 30, 2014

Otak is pleased to welcome six new hires!

Ken Ackerman, PE, has joined Otak as a senior project manager working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. He brings over 20 years of experience in management, design, and construction of public improvement projects and private site development. He has worked in both the public and private sectors completing preliminary alignment analysis and cost estimating, roadway and trail final design, and construction management. Ken also has vast experience and training in designing roundabouts and ADA-accessible routes. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and he is a member of the American Public Works Association, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, and the 40-Mile Loop Land Trust.

Laura Kindt, PE, has joined Otak as a senior project manager working out of our office in Denver, Colorado. She brings seven years of experience as a water resources engineer working on multidisciplinary civil engineering projects throughout Colorado, California, Wyoming, Kansas, New Mexico, Michigan, Arizona, and North Dakota. She earned her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.

Jennifer Snider has joined Otak as a project assistant working out of Otak’s office in Portland, Oregon. Jennifer has worked as a legal assistant, office manager, and administrative assistant, and she has experience in accounts payable and accounts receivable. She graduated with honors from Western Business College with a diploma in the Legal Assistant program.

Britney Child has joined Otak as a file clerk and office assistant working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. Britney had been working for us on a temporary basis for three months, and prior to joining Otak, she worked for five years at a manufacturing plant in Las Vegas. She is currently pursuing a degree in childhood and family studies.

Teresa Vanich has joined Otak as a project assistant working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. She brings over 20 years of experience in the construction industry in Washington. She recently worked on the Pro-Type Data Center for Microsoft in Quincy, Washington.

Amber Swanson has joined Otak as an intern architect working out of our office in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining Otak, she worked as a technical draftsperson at a private engineering firm. Amber earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon, and during her studies, she served as a teaching assistant aiding in first-year architecture studios and reviews.

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November 5, 2013

Otak was an exhibitor at this year's APWA Oregon Fall Conference located in Bend. Engineers Joe Primeau, Ashley Cantlon, Kevin Timmins, and Gary Alfson represented Otak at our booth, in technical sessions, and in extracurricular activities. Joe organized and ran the First-Timers program for first-time conference attendees, Ashley chaired the Water Resource Committee Meeting, and Kevin gave a one-hour technical presentation titled "Introduction to the Envision Rating System". The conference was a great opportunity for Otak to remind various agencies of our ability and desire to assist them with their projects. We look forward to the next APWA conference!

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November 4, 2013

Otak is pleased to welcome four new hires!

Sandrine Ganry, PE, is a civil engineer working with the water resources group in our Portland, Oregon, office. She brings 11 years of experience in civil engineering design, primarily in public works projects. She has extensive experience in the preparation of construction plans, bid documents, construction cost estimates, and construction management. Sandrine earned her Master of Civil Engineering in Water Resources from the University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France, and she is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Tom Green, PE, is a civil engineer working out of our office in Tempe, Arizona. He brings eight years of experience working as an engineer in both the public and private sectors. He has managed project teams to develop civil improvement plans for commercial and residential projects and engineered subdivisions of master-planned communities. Tom earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.

Kelly Youngberg, EIT, is a water resources engineering designer working out of our office in Vancouver, Washington. She is experienced withdesign, analysis, and construction management. Kelly is skilled in hydraulic and hydrologic modeling and the analysis of stormwater systems. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Portland.

Lara Holimon has joined Otak as a GIS Intern working out of our office in Denver, Colorado. She has experience working as a GIS analyst for the University of Florida and as a CAD operator for a private architecture firm. Lara earned her Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning and her Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Sociology from the University of Florida. She is a member of GIS Colorado.

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August 1, 2013

Otak staff recently attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Woodburn Interchange and Transit Facility Project. The reconstructed and improved interchange and the transit facility will serve the City of Woodburn and improve safety and operations for I-5 travelers. Otak had a significant role in this project. Our work began with a re-evaluation of an earlier Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Environmental Assessment.  That effort was followed by a Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions community engagement process and a final design role in the following project elements:
 
• Evergreen Transit/Park-and-Ride facility
• Evergreen Road extension
• Aesthetic enhancements for reconstructed interchange over I-5
• Aesthetic enhancements for sound walls
• Stormwater management
• Landscape and irrigation design
 
The project will be completed in 2016, and Otak will provide construction services in support of ODOT staff until completion. If you want to know more about the project, check out the ODOT project website, which features a number of our concept design illustrations:

www.woodburnInterchange.com

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July 16, 2013

Creating Vibrant Urban Neighborhoods Outreach and Information Gathering is part of Otak’s East Corridor Implementation Support project for the Growing Transit Communities Partnership.

 

What is the Growing Transit Communities Partnership (GTCP)?
Coordinated by the Puget Sound Regional Council and involving partners such as the cities of Bellevue and Redmond, A Regional Coalition for Housing, and others, the GTCP is a regional effort to help make the most of voter-approved $15 billion investments in regional high capacity transit. The Partnership is committed to implementing economically vibrant and diverse neighborhoods and communities around high capacity transit stations throughout the region. There are four focus areas of the East Corridor Implementation Support project sponsored by GTCP: Affordable housing, business retention and attraction, transportation access and connectivity, and partnerships. The Partnership is funded by a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program.

East Link: http://www.soundtransit.org/x6886.xml
Derby Days: http://www.redmondderbydays.com/

On Saturday, July 13, Otak staff (Mandi Roberts, Liz Johnson, and Finis Ray) engaged eastside residents at the annual Redmond Derby Days in visioning future urban neighborhood settings along the East Link extension of light rail. Participants were asked to show what neighborhood elements are most important and appealing when considering urban living. Otak provided information in order to help residents visualize the planned redevelopment of east corridor station areas, such as Overlake Village, into vibrant, urban neighborhoods for all ages. Liz and Finis, urban planning interns in Otak’s Kirkland office, will be compiling the results with the intent to better understand what might attract families and multi-generational residents to the new urban neighborhoods that will emerge on the eastside around light rail.

Using an interactive visual preference survey, Otak captured the public’s suggestions and ideas about what makes a neighborhood vibrant and family friendly. A kids table invited children to draw the favorite things about their neighborhood. Participation was enthusiastic! A companion online survey will be live all summer and through early fall at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VibrantNeighborhoods. Everyone is invited to participate in the online survey; we welcome all input! So please tell us what elements are most important for urban neighborhoods.

Derby Days was the first of several stops for Otak’s Vibrant Urban Neighborhoods booth. The display will also be hosted at other at future community events on the eastside this summer and early fall.

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July 15, 2013

Congressman Earl Blumenauer recently toured Otak’s new Portland office and met with R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA, Otak’s President and CEO. He then met with a group of Otak staff for a brownbag lunch and town hall-style meeting where he discussed the priorities for essential infrastructure, transit, energy efficiency, clean water, and sustainable economic growth. We appreciate Congressman Blumenauer taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with us, and we applaud his tireless advocacy for livable communities. He is always welcome back at Otak!

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July 8, 2013

Otak is pleased to announce the following new hires working out of our office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:

Romel Orbon has joined Otak as an architect/3D visualizer. He has provided design development, construction documents, and 3D modeling of concept designs on a variety of projects in the Philippines and the Middle East. Romel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Bicol University in the Philippines, and he is a member of United Architects of the Philippines.

Raul Maglalang has joined Otak as a road designer. Raul brings over 18 years of experience as a senior road and highway designer along with experience in flood control projects, infrastructure master planning, and GIS. Raul earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at the University of the East in the Philippines and his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Bulacan State University in the Philippines.

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June 7, 2013

The Anderson-Laventure Road Extension project in Skagit County, WA was formally completed recently with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This project constructed over one mile of new arterial that will provide a direct route to I-5 from the rapidly developing portions of Mt. Vernon and surrounding County areas. Otak was the prime consultant for the project that consisted of new roadway with bike lanes and sidewalks as well as a bridge, two fish-passage culverts, and numerous retaining walls.

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May 7, 2013

As part of a team including Wildish Standard Paving Co., Pendelton Ready Mix and Knife River Prestress, Otak was nominated for the Bridge category in the 33rd Annual Excellence in Concrete Awards program for the US395: McKay Creek to Silvies Slough Design-Build project. Working with geotechnical and environmental subconsultants Shannon & Wilson and Mason, Bruce & Girard, Otak designed seven replacement bridges and one bridge rehabilitation, all of which used a variety of aggregate and concrete mixes for the girders, decks, bents, MSE walls, and paving. Aesthetics was considered at all sites, which included the nearby John Day Fossil Beds and a designated Wild and Scenic portion of the North Fork John Day River. The project will enable travelers and industry to use the project section of US395 in comfort and safety.

- Submitted by Ae-young Lee

 

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April 25, 2013

Otak’s Urban Street Design Manual project was mentioned in a manual that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published titled: Pedestrian Safety: A Road Safety Manual for Decision-Makers and Practitioners. According to the manual, 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads each year. The manual explains the dangers that pedestrians face and offers advice on how to enhance pedestrian safety.

To download the manual, please click here.

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April 11, 2013

Otak was well represented at the Oregon Chapter APWA Spring Conference, which took place in Hood River, Oregon. The conference drew over 150 attendees, including consultants, venders, and representatives from various local and statewide jurisdictions. Otak participated as a sponsor, which involved contributing to social-hour festivities, as well as having an innovative and informative booth showcasing a range of our recently completed projects. The booth also highlighted our upcoming move to Portland next month, which generated a lot of interest.

In an effort to further our sustainability goals, our booth provided QR codes to brochures on our website, making printed brochures unnecessary. We also held our first paperless raffle! Attendees who visited our booth were entered electronically into a raffle for Starbucks Card eGifts, which were emailed to the winners. The raffle was a success, and we look forward to refining and repeating this process at future conferences.

The conference featured a wide variety of presentation topics ranging from floodplain management improvements to moving the Sellwood Bridge. Many of the presentations were applicable to our wide range of expertise. Otak maintains an active APWA presence year-round, and the Spring Conference is always a fun opportunity to connect with our peers and share our work.

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March 19, 2013

Kurt Creager, Otak’s Housing & Community Development Director, was recently invited to participate in a City of Vancouver, Washington, First Tuesday Presentation. The event, organized by the Vancouver Planning Commission, was an informational gathering to discuss “Housing for Changing Times.”

Kurt served on a panel of experts and spoke about the importance of investing in urban infrastructure such as high-capacity transit and public schools. He warned that without proper investment in these vitally important areas, “investors, homeowners, and developers will lack confidence to help build the community and create jobs.” Kurt spoke about his work at Otak with communities in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon that have invested in light rail train stations and high-capacity transit, and concluded that Vancouver must address the issue of investment certainty or “fall behind in terms of regional competitive advantage.”

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March 15, 2013

Staff from the Vancouver, Lake Oswego/Portland, and Kirkland offices recently attended the 2013 Spring Conference for the Washington state chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). Attendees included Tim Kraft, Rich Darland, Gwynne Berkeley, Courtney McFadden, Dan Dawson and Lori McFarland. Through her participation in the APWA Division 1 committee, Lori also helped with the preparation of two sessions related to Traffic Control and NPDES construction permits.

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March 4, 2013

Otak is pleased to announce five new hires!

Michael Fadden has joined Otak as an Engineering Designer working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. He brings experience in roadway and site design for a variety of municipal projects. Prior to joining Otak, Micheal worked as an EIT for the King County Department of Transportation Bridge Unit. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington.

Beth Johannessen has joined Otak as a Landscape Design Professional working out of our office in Tempe, Arizona. Prior to joining Otak, Beth worked for a private design studio in Arizona. Her design skills include urbanism, master planning, planting design, and graphic design. She received her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Arizona State University (ASU) . She is an Associate Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Sigma Alpha Lambda Landscape Architecture Honor Society.

Liz Sabeff has joined Otak as a GIS Coordinator working out of our office in Denver, Colorado. Liz has worked primarily in the federal sector, most recently as the BLM on-site contractor coordinating the GIS data activities for large regional-scale natural resource assessments and developing corporate GIS data standards. She has extensive GIS experience and she developed the data standard and geodatabase for the BLM Visual Resource Management system. Liz studied Physical Geography at the University of Florida.

Andrés Felipe Fajardo Lozano has joined Otak as a Landscape Design Professional working out of our office in Tempe, Arizona. He has worked as a Landscape Architect Assistant at the Office of University Architects at ASU, where he assisted in developing site plans, perspectives, presentation documents, and other graphics. Andrés earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from ASU and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

David Breen has joined Otak as a Landscape Architect Intern working out of our office in Tempe, Arizona. He is currently studying Landscape Architecture at ASU and expects to graduate in 2014. David serves as Vice President of the American Society of Landscape Architects ASU Student Chapter.

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January 28, 2013

Two Otak projects won 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards from the Washington Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) at their annual awards banquet!

In the category of Future Value to the Engineering Profession and Perception by the Public, Otak won a Gold Award for our Spring Creek Pedestrian Bridge in Winthrop, Washington. This bridge is a 385-foot clear-span cable-stay structure over the Methow River with elements designed to reflect the 18th Century steel construction in accordance with the historical context of the town.

Otak also won a Bronze Award for the SE Southworth Drive Curley Creek Bridge Replacement project for Kitsap County. This project involved the replacement of a 100-foot three-span cast-in-place concrete bridge that was built in 1929. The new structure, considered self-mitigating by the resource agencies, is a single, longer-span bridge that placed new piers outside the ordinary high water mark with widening of the channel to replicate historical conditions.

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January 28, 2013

Three Otak projects received 2013 Engineering Excellence Honor Awards from the Oregon Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) at their annual awards banquet!

The first project to receive an award was the Battle Creek Property Redevelopment in Salem, Oregon. Otak was responsible for redevelopment of the former Battle Creek Golf Course in SE Salem. The post-project Battle Creek property includes a new collector street serving the new Battle Creek Elementary School and an open space designed for flood mitigation and stormwater detention while also providing wildlife habitat and recreational space.

The second project was the I-5: Wilsonville Road Interchange project in Wilsonville, Oregon. This project developed a significant gateway into downtown Wilsonville, increased traffic capacity, and provided significant facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. Otak led a talented team to develop this fast-track project which includes complex retaining wall designs, low impact stormwater treatment, colorful landscaping, and artistic streetscape features.

Finally, the third project to receive an award was the Crystal Creek Pedestrian Bridge in Olympic National Park, Washington. This was a joint submittal with Hart Crowser. This project involved an approximate 160-foot-span suspension bridge over Crystal Creek along the Boulder Creek Trail. The west side main stay cables have a back span that is anchored into the ground while the east side main stay cables are anchored to a rock cliff directly adjacent to the bridge.

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December 14, 2012

Cory Kratovil has recently passed his Professional Engineer exam! Cory is an engineer working out of our office in Vancouver, Washington. He is responsible for a variety of services in drainage design, utility coordination, grading, cost estimating and surveying. Congratulations, Cory!

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November 20, 2012

Gary Alfson, PE, has joined Otak as a Senior Project Manager and Civil Engineer working out of our office in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Gary has extensive experience in the administration, design and construction of public improvement projects; institutional facilities; and private site development. He brings over 30 years of experience working with public and private clients, including several public agencies in Oregon and Southwest Washington. He also has extensive experience with school districts in the construction of site improvements for new schools and school additions, and he has worked with architectural teams on commercial, retail and industrial site improvements. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and is currently a member of the American Public Works Association.

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October 22, 2012

Otak is pleased to announce that Nico Vanderhorst, PE, has been elected to the Otak Board of Directors! Nico is a managing principal working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington, where he leads the transportation and infrastructure services team in Washington, Colorado and Arizona. Nico has been with Otak for 17 years and in that time has managed many of Otak’s most significant Puget Sound projects. With his appointment to the Board of Directors, Nico joins R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA, Otak’s President and CEO, as well as Jong Hoon Kim, Soon Kwang Lee and Kwang Sik Shin from Otak’s strategic partner HanmiGlobal, all now comprising the Otak Board.

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October 2, 2012

Otak’s Rudayna Abdo spoke at the Oman Transport Infrastructure Summit, which was held on September 10-13 in Muscat, Oman. The event is billed as “Oman’s only high-level networking event for executives and senior officials involved in transport infrastructure.” Over 140 local and international industry professionals attended the summit, which highlighted interest in the country as the government is embarking on massive transport and infrastructure developments. Rudayna’s topic was titled “Designing Abu Dhabi urban streets to enhance the city’s life quality and sustainability.” Her presentation included designing pedestrian-friendly streets, improving street connectivity and designing street networks to improve safety for all modes of transportation.

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September 27, 2012

The American Public Works Association, Washington Chapter, has named State Road 14 Cape Horn Pedestrian Undercrossing as Project of the Year in the Structures Less Than $5 Million category. Otak provided structural engineering on the project as a subconsultant to Wallis Engineering. The project consisted of two new pedestrian undercrossings along SR 14 within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Skamania County, Washington.

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September 25, 2012

We are pleased to announce that JR Goodman has joined Otak as an EIT working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. Prior to joining Otak, JR worked as an EIT at Myers Engineering, Consulting Engineers, Inc., in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

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September 21, 2012

At Otak, we have built a reputation based on creativity, integrity and skill. Speaking of skill, structural engineer Steve Wilson utilized his climbing skills while performing an inspection of the 120-foot-high Tokul Creek Trestle in Snoqualmie, Washington. Steve is an experienced climber and he used all the appropriate safety equipment to perform this inspection. Don’t try this at home!

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September 4, 2012

On September 20, 2012, Otak’s Mandi Roberts and Brad Bielenberg will lead a session at the American Planning Association (APA) – Arizona Chapter Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona, titled “How Cool is Your Town? Smart Growth and Transportation Strategies from the Award-Winning Cool Planning Handbook.” The Cool Planning Handbook, which received APA’s National Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice earlier this year, offers communities practical guidelines for reducing their carbon footprints through integrated land use and transportation planning practices. It describes low-tech, low-cost techniques that even the smallest of towns can implement.


The session will provide attendees with strategies for smart growth and transportation, and Otak will highlight a few regional projects where the guidelines, tools and strategies of the Cool Planning Handbook have been implemented. Session participants will learn how to audit their communities and about tools and strategies for cutting transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

To view the Cool Planning Handbook, please click here.

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August 31, 2012

We are pleased to announce that Otak has recently promoted 15 professionals!

Principals:

Doug Sarkkinen, PE, SE

Kevin Timmins, PE

To learn more about our new Principals, please click here.

Senior Associates:

Lamoine Eiler, AIA, LEED AP ND

Anthony Gallacher

Lori McFarland, PE

Kevin O'Brien, PhD

To learn more about our new Senior Associates, please click here.

Associates:

 

Keith Buisman, PE

Ian Fabik, PE

Alejandra Gonzales, PQP-PVRS, PBRS

Will Lawrence, PLS

Sadie Reiter

Jack Seeds, PLS

Windi Shapley, PE

Mark Shelby, PLA, ASLA

Niko Vujevic

To learn more about our new Associates, please click here.

 

 

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August 31, 2012

On Monday, August 27th, the American Public Works Association (APWA) recognized the SW Burnham Street Improvements project as Project of the Year in the category of Transportation - $5 million but less than $25 million. Kevin Timmins attended the APWA National Congress in Anaheim, California, to accept the award on behalf of Otak. He was joined by representatives from the City of Tigard (Owner) and Kodiak Pacific Construction, which built the project. The awards evening was extended with dinner, conversation, and sharing of project images and stories from before, during and after construction of the project.

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August 29, 2012

We are pleased to announce that two new employees have joined us at Otak!

Troy Kent, PE, LEED AP BD+C, has joined Otak as a civil engineer and senior project manager working out of our office in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He brings over 20 years of experience in the field of civil engineering, and he has managed and designed projects for a broad spectrum of public and private clients. Troy’s portfolio includes single- and multifamily residential, retail, office, industrial, institutional, municipal and federal projects. His projects of note include master planning and Phase 1 civil design for the $1.2 billion, 300-acre LSI Logic (now ON Semiconductor) Microchip fabrication facility in Gresham, Oregon, and Osprey Point Business Park for the Port of Pasco, Washington. Troy earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University.

 

Hannah Marré has joined Otak’s Vancouver office as an Engineering Designer in the Water Resources department. Prior to joining Otak, Hannah worked as a Civil Designer in Portland, Oregon, where she was involved in a number of embassy-related projects in Morocco, Finland and Laos. Hannah received her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Portland. While pursuing her degree, Hannah was heavily involved in Engineers Without Borders as a Project Lead to Honduras and served as the Student Led Unity Garden Club President.

 

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July 3, 2012

The Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge project recently won two prestigious awards! The first is a National Steel Bridge Alliance Prize Bridge Award in the Special Purpose category. The National Steel Bridge Alliance has honored outstanding and innovative steel bridges in the US since 1928, and the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge was one of six bridges to receive a Prize Bridge Award this year. The second award is a Project of the Year Award given by the Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association. The project received the award in the category of Structures $5 to $25 million. We are honored to be part of the TYLin team that received both of these awards and thank these organizations for recognizing this project.

 

To learn more about the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge and Otak’s involvement, please click here.

 

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June 4, 2012

The SE 172nd Avenue/SE 190th Drive Corridor Management Plan project has won a National Association of Counties Achievement Award! Furthermore, the project won Best in Category in the planning category, and only 16 Best in Category awards are conferred. A plaque will be presented during the Awards Ceremony at the NACo conference in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on July 15. Otak worked with Kittelson and Associates to provide transportation planning and preliminary engineering for improvements to SE 172nd Avenue in Gresham, Oregon. The improvements include changing the landscape of a two-lane rural roadway into a three-to-five-lane roadway accommodating multi-modal accessibility and possible roundabouts while maintaining some of the scenic views.

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May 16, 2012

With a proposed federal transportation bill sparking intense debate in congress, one Otak professional decided to lend his expert opinion to Capitol Hill. Curtis LaPierre flew from Washington State to Washington, D.C. and advocated for active transportation programs such as transportation enhancements, complete streets, safe routes to school and scenic byways in the transportation bill. He spoke to legislators from his home state about how these programs would expand travel choice, strengthen local economies, manage stormwater runoff and improve the quality of life for communities across the country. 

To learn more about the benefits of active transportation programs, please click here.

 

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May 16, 2012

 

The Federal Highway Administration presented ODOT as the project owner, Wildish Standard Paving Co. as the construction contractor, and Otak as the engineering firm with an Exemplary Human Environment Initiative Award in the category of Enhancing the Environment for Human Activities for the Upper Perry Arch Bridge project! Otak’s Ron Jee attended an award ceremony at the Upper Perry Arch Bridge near La Grande, Oregon. We provided a bridge rehabilitation and roadway design that prepared this historically significant structure to accommodate modern traffic loads while preserving its historic qualities. The rehabilitated bridge’s service life has been extended another 30+ years.  In addition, Otak designed the adjacent bridge viewing area that is being well utilized by visitors. We are honored to receive this national award and thankful to everyone who worked on this project to preserve the Upper Perry Arch Bridge!

 

 

 

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April 20, 2012

Otak has won the 2012 American Public Works Association’s Public Works Project of the Year Award for the Burnham Street Improvements project! This national award puts Otak in a very elite group of winners, and Otak will receive a plaque at the APWA annual Awards Recognition Ceremony in Anaheim, California this summer.

Congratulations to everyone who worked on this project!

To learn more about the Burnham Street project, please click here.

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February 9, 2012

December 29th was the day we all dreaded—the day WSDOT would start charging us each $7 per day to drive to work across the SR 520 Bridge. Eight Otak Seattleites: Jeremy Andrews, Jessica Christofferson, Keith Bates, Kevin O’Brien, Mark Shelby, Ryan Hawkins, Tom Early, and Tyler Christofferson, decided to band together to beat the SR 520 toll by forming a carpool group. In the month of January alone this group saved approximately $400 in tolls and another $200 in gasoline. However, the real accomplishment of this group is we managed to keep 1, 120 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the earth’s atmosphere, practicing Otak’s mission of sustainability! If we keep this up all year, we will save approximately $7,200 and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 13,440 lbs.

By Jessica Christofferson and Ryan Hawkins

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October 25, 2011

A few of Otak’s engineers recently travelled to Eagle Crest, Oregon for the 2011 APWA Fall Conference. To kick off the conference, Kevin Timmins, water resource engineer in Otak’s Lake Oswego office, participated in a golf tournament. Alissa Maxwell, civil engineer in Otak’s Bend office, presented a technical session to attendees. Lastly, at the conference's banquet, the team accepted the Project of the Year Award from APWA Oregon for the SW Burnham Street Improvements project. The conference was yet again a success.

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October 20, 2011

Otak’s work on the SW Burnham Street Improvements project for the City of Tigard recently won a Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association, Oregon Chapter. Otak supported the City’s vision for a revitalized downtown with design and construction services to transform Burnham Street into the City’s first “green street.” The Otak team faced the unique challenge of balancing sustainability objectives with the street’s status as a major utility and freight corridor populated with longstanding small businesses. Otak provided roadway and stormwater design, water main and landscaping design, utility coordination and preparation of legal descriptions for easement and right-of-way acquisition.

Otak also won an Achievement Award from the American Planning Association, Utah Chapter, for the City of Logan’s Land Development Code Update. This project marked the City’s first major update of land use regulations since 2004. The plan converted traditional code to an innovative “place-based” system that supports the unique qualities and character for each of Logan’s geographically diverse residential, commercial and industrial zones.   

Dan Dawson, based in Otak’s Kirkland office, recently won the James Robertson Award from the American Public Works Association, Washington Chapter. This award recognizes an individual for outstanding serviceand is one of the Chapter’s most prestigious awards.

Congratulations to Dan, as well as the project team members who were recognized for their efforts on the Burnham Street and City of Logan projects. We appreciate your dedication to building better cities, stronger communities and great places that many generations will enjoy.

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October 4, 2011

Otak’s Lake Oswego office recently participated in the annual Bike Commute Challenge organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). This year, 12 riders braved the traffic and elements and biked to work at least once during the month of September. The Otak team logged 79.5 rides (a round trip is 1 ride) for the month and traveled a total of 1,492 miles or about the distance from Portland to Tucson, Arizona. Otak’s ride percentage of 4.9% was several percentage points higher than last year. Using the BTA’s formulas, the Otak team saved 1,462 pounds of CO2 and burned 73,123 calories.

Overall, the challenge included 12,064 riders actively logging trips, and a total of 1,372,667 miles. BTA estimates the effort saved 1,345,213 pounds of CO2. Bike commuting is a great way to get exercise, relieve stress, save money on gas, and reduce your carbon footprint. 

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August 17, 2011

Congratulations to Brad Swearingen from our Lake Oswego, Oregon office, for passing the Professional Engineering exam. Brad has over 15 years of experience in both public and private civil engineering and urban design projects. In addition to becoming a PE, he is also a LEED Accredited Professional.

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June 8, 2011

Otak recently hired Carla Kenyon, a civil engineer in training (EIT). Carla specializes in transportation, planning, and urban design, and recently worked on roadway projects on federal lands in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the University of Portland, where she served as an officer of the University’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She was also president of the University’s chapter of Engineers without Borders.

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