Staff

Interested in joining the Pearl Team? Learn more.

Administration 

Lee P. Thao

Lee P. Thao

Staff Accountant

Bio

Lee Thao is the Staff Accountant for Pearl Engineering Corporation. Lee is a graduate of Mid-State Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and has more than 15 years’ experience in banking and accounting.

Engineering

Our professional engineers bring decades of experience from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to: civil engineering, structural engineering, mechanical  engineering, electrical engineering and industrial engineering.

Structural Engineering

Jeffrey H. Pearl, P.E.

Jeffrey H. Pearl, P.E.

President & Principal Consultant

Bio

Jeff Pearl is President of Pearl Engineering and is a Principal Consultant, specializing in the Structural Engineering and Project Management of Industrial Projects.

Mr. Pearl has over 37 years of Structural and Civil Engineering and Project Management experience serving industry, including 20 years as the Principal of Pearl Engineering and 11 years as a Senior Project Civil Engineer in the Corporate Engineering Department at Consolidated Papers, Inc. (now Verso Paper Corporation) in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

For 6 years prior to that position, Jeff worked in the Power industry as a Structural Engineer for Sargent & Lundy, LLC and as a Project Engineer for Impell Corporation, an Engineering Consulting Firm, owned by Combustion Engineering (now Framatome Engineering and Alstom Power, respectively).

Jeff’s experience in this industry focused mainly on the field examination, condition assessment, retrofit and repair projects on fossil power plants.

Jeff is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and is a registered Model Law Engineer (MLE) with NCEES.

Jeff is professionally licensed as a Professional Engineer in Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. He is also licensed in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Daniel R. Bachinski. E.I.T.

Daniel R. Bachinski. E.I.T.

Project Engineer

Bio

Daniel Bachinski is a Structural Engineer who joined Pearl Engineering in 2017. Mr. Bachinski previously worked as a Material Technician at Point of Beginning, Inc. in Stevens Point, Wisconsin prior to joining Pearl Engineering. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Shane R. Burkart, P.E.

Shane R. Burkart, P.E.

Vice President & Principal Consultant

Bio

Shane Burkart is a Principal Consultant and Lead Structural Engineer with over 15 years’ experience in structural and civil engineering projects. Mr. Burkart’s designs include concrete, steel and masonry designs for industrial, commercial, institutional, and fall protection projects.

He has experience and expertise in the inspection, engineering and evaluation of new and existing structures and industrial chimneys. Additionally, Mr. Burkart has expertise in, and coordinates Pearl Engineering’s high definition laser scanning services.

Prior to joining PEC, Mr. Burkart worked as a Civil Engineer, EIT at Ayres Associates in Madison, Wisconsin where he worked with the municipal engineering group on various projects including design of sanitary sewers, storm sewers, building sites, roadways, and environmental remediation. He conducted construction oversight for municipal projects including sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water main, regional storm water detention ponds, site grading, street excavation, and asphalt pavement.

Prior to this position, Mr. Burkart was a Student Engineering Intern for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation where he worked with the state highway (STH) 53 construction management team coordinating the construction of five bridges and three retaining walls. He also served as the fulltime inspector and assisted in the surveying of abutments, pier caps, and top of girder elevations.

Mr. Burkart is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and is a registered Model Law Engineer (MLE) with NCEES, and is professionally licensed in Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Steven M. Hrubecky, S.E, P.E.

Steven M. Hrubecky, S.E, P.E.

Senior SE Project Consultant

Bio

Steven Hrubecky is a Senior SE Project Consultant at Pearl Engineering Corporation. With over 30 years of Structural Engineering and Project Management experience, Steve has led structural efforts on projects ranging from small monorail studies to multi-level office buildings to schools to $200M greenfield and brownfield paper machines and boiler plants.

Prior to joining Pearl Engineering, Steve worked as a Senior Structural Engineer for Pöyry in Appleton, Wisconsin where he worked as Project Manager and Structural Engineer on a wide variety of industrial and process projects, including boilers, pulp and paper, chemical, alternative fuels, and other industries.

Steve’s key expertise areas include building structures and foundation systems, equipment support systems and access structures, utility and material handling bridges, 3D and component structural analysis, construction feasibility studies, contract document development, and construction surveillance and administration.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering with Structural Emphasis from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in Wisconsin, New York, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and Virginia. He is licensed as a Structural Engineer in Illinois, Oregon, and Nevada and as a Civil Engineer in Nevada.

Robin E. Schmit, P.E.

Robin E. Schmit, P.E.

Senior Project Consultant

Bio

Robin Schmit is a Senior Project Engineer with PEC, specializing in the structural engineering, design, and analysis of industrial, commercial, and institutional projects.

Ms. Schmit has 14 years’ experience in structural engineering including structural steel connection design, examination and evaluation of existing structures, and structural engineering design of steel, pre-engineered metal buildings, precast concrete, cast-in-place concrete, masonry, and wood structures. Ms. Schmit also has experience in the preparation of structural design calculations, details and drawings, specifications, bid packages and bid reviews, interaction with bidders and subcontractors, and maintaining project documentation.

Ms. Schmit is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Physics; Milwaukee School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Wisconsin and Maine.

Mechanical Engineering

Jeffrey M. Ferkey, E.I.T.

Jeffrey M. Ferkey, E.I.T.

Mechanical Project Engineer

Bio

Jeff Ferkey is a Mechanical Project Engineer at Pearl Engineering with 3 years’ domestic and international engineering and project management experience specializing in the detailed engineering and layout of piping and HVAC systems, including the performance of Flow Analysis, Piping Stress Analysis, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis to comply with ASME, CSA/CRN, and SMACNA requirements.

Mr. Ferkey has experience in the design and on-site installation support of industrial facilities’ mechanical modifications and additions, including the coordination of Client and multi-disciplinary requirements with Supplier designs to ensure successful equipment selection.

While studying for his degrees in Mechanical Engineering and German, Jeff’s final semester was spent in Darmstadt, Germany, with a primary focus of study in Failure Analysis and Fracture Mechanics. Prior to joining Pearl Engineering, Mr. Ferkey was the STEM Instructor at Assumption High School and an Adjunct Instructor at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids.

Mr. Ferkey is an Engineer-in-Training (E.I.T.) and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Platteville with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in German.

Mike Anderson, P.E.

Mike Anderson, P.E.

Senior ME Project Consultant

Bio

Mike Anderson is a Senior Project Consultant at Pearl Engineering, specializing in Mechanical Engineering and Project Management on boilers, turbines, fuel handling and power and industrial process systems. He has over 15 years of experience in the power industry, including four years in the boiler/power department at a paper mill.

Mike began his career at Babcock & Wilcox where he learned boiler design and worked on projects building and commissioning boilers, coal mills, burners, SCRs, dry scrubbers, and baghouses.

He spent seven years at We Energies working mostly on boiler and pressure vessel inspections, maintenance, and engineering projects. Mike was a maintenance planner and operations supervisor at a biomass boiler steam/electrical plant at a paper mill for four years.

He managed and planned outage activities and projects for semi-annual outages, as well as establishing routine preventive maintenance plans and troubleshooting operating issues.

Mike has worked on commissioning four new coal fired power plants, was the lead engineer on a fuel conversion project, managed coal burner replacement projects, and has planned and executed superheater replacements.

Mike is a graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terra Haute, IN with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Wisconsin, Idaho, Maine, and Washington.

Michael J. Evans, CAPM

Michael J. Evans, CAPM

Mechanical Engineering Associate

Bio

Mike Evans is a Mechanical Engineering Associate at Pearl Engineering specializing in project management and operations. Mike spent the earlier years of his career at the Kohler company in Kohler, Wisconsin, focusing on operations support and was also part of the global maintenance and reliability team, integrating Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) practices for facilities to better prepare for preventative maintenance practices compared to reactive maintenance. Mike’s experience has focused on process improvements, reducing downtime, increasing production and quality of parts produced, machine installations, and documentation.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Physics, emphasis in Mechanics. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys various mountain bike and camping trips to Michigan’s upper peninsula.

Craig Brecheisen

Craig Brecheisen

Mechanical Project Engineer

Bio

Craig Brecheisen is a Mechanical Engineer at Pearl Engineering and brings with him 10 years of project leadership and fluid systems experience from his time as the lead of an in-ground irrigation company.  His affable personality and passion for good design and Client satisfaction make him a valuable member of the team.

As an avid woodworker, Mr. Brecheisen understands the importance of shop safety and the necessity of a well-designed dust collection system.  He also appreciates the value of a carefully considered equipment layout and its critical importance to the functionality, ergonomics, and efficiency of everything from a small workshop to a large industrial space.  Woodworking has honed Mr. Brecheisen’s ability to adapt to the requirements of the project and think critically to solve complex problems.

While pursuing his Mechanical Engineering degree, Mr. Brecheisen developed a penchant for programming and automation.  He enjoys coding and likes that it offers him the opportunity to apply his organizational and troubleshooting skills.

Mr. Brecheisen is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Electrical Engineering

Susan C. Rice

Susan C. Rice

Senior Project Consultant

Bio

Susan Rice is a Senior Project Consultant, specializing in Electrical Engineering, Discipline Leadership, Group Leadership, Marketing and Project Management in an industrial environment, with experience in Converting Systems, Food Process Systems, Pharmaceutical Processes, Aerospace Testing, and Automotive Quality Control.

Ms. Rice has over 30 years of experience in industry, including eight years of experience in aerospace and dynamic systems engineering and 22 years of experience in electrical engineering. She was responsible for the successful completion of vibration, acoustic and pyroshock testing on satellite systems.

She worked as a Dynamic Systems Project Leader, responsible for the budget and schedule for five communication satellite systems. She has also been involved in projects that have required SLC 500, PLC5, ControlLogix, PanelView, 1394 Servo Drives, and Kinetic Drives programming.

Ms. Rice has worked on-site performing electrical installation, static and dynamic checkout testing and startup support for the Pulp and Paper, Pharmaceutical, Food, Goods & Services, Automotive and Aerospace Industries.

Ms. Rice has ten years of discipline leadership experience and has worked in the project manager/site lead position for ten years.

She has been an Electrical Group Leader, responsible for writing performance appraisals, recording group commendations, approving timesheets, developing goal achievement plans for her team, tracking safety training to insure team compliance and staffing projects to keep team billable. 

Ms. Rice is a member of the Pearl Engineering Leadership Team, manages the Pearl Engineering Appleton office and is member of the Pearl Engineering Marketing Team. 

Ms. Rice is a graduate of Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering

Steven K. Phillips

Steven K. Phillips

Senior Engineering Associate

Bio

Steve Phillips is a Senior Electrical Engineering Associate, with industrial experience in Electrical Engineering Design, Technical Team Leadership, and Facility Maintenance Leadership, with emphasis in low voltage power systems and machine control design.

Mr. Phillips has over 32 years of combined experience in an industrial environment specializing in the design of electrical machine controls, electrical enclosure, low voltage power distribution systems, wire tray layouts, and safety systems. He has provided team leadership for maintenance support and commissioning of process machines and conveyor systems. He has managed project procurement, as well as performed as site facility engineer. His major work experience includes eight years with Jacobs Engineering, and nineteen years with Kimberly–Clark Corporation.

Steve is a graduate of Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisconsin with a degree in Electronics Technology. Other training includes the American Lighting Association (ALA), Lighting Specialist, PLC3, PLC5, ControlLogix, Automax Drive control systems and NEC Grounding.

Industrial Engineering

James Kuester

James Kuester

Senior Vice President & Treasurer

Bio
James Kuester is Vice President for Pearl Engineering, Senior Project Consultant and LEED® Green Associate specializing in Industrial Engineering, Interior Design, and Project Management on LEED® projects, Process Design, Continuous Improvement, and Business Profitability Projects.

 

 

Mr. Kuester has over 26 years of professional experience serving a variety of industries, including:  industrial and consumer goods manufacturing, paper and pulp, feed processing, hospitality, warehousing, non-profit, and insurance.  Mr. Kuester honed his process improvement and efficiency skills while spending 2 years removing $20+ million annually from the cost of operations for Emerson Electric Co.’s Specialty Motor Division and 12 years as owner and President of Allied Metal Products & Engineering Corp headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. AMPECO provided a wide variety of fabrication and engineering projects to industry throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.  He sold Allied to launch SEGCO and develop the SEG™, a patented vertical racking protection device and to explore his passion for designing modern furniture having exhibited his designs nationally.

 

Mr. Kuester is a graduate of the Krannert School of Management with a Master of Science in Industrial Administration and Purdue University with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering and is a Registered Interior Designer in Indiana.

Design Staff

Supporting our professional engineers are the members of the design staff who bring a broad range of engineering design and drafting experience to Pearl Engineering.
Elizabeth M. Lenz

Elizabeth M. Lenz

Senior Engineering Associate & Design Team Lead

Bio

Elizabeth Lenz is a Senior Engineering Associate in Structural Engineering and Design Team Lead at Pearl Engineering. She joined the team in 2014 as an Intermediate Design Technician.

Ms. Lenz worked as a designer for Küster Design in Indianapolis, Indiana and Keystone Architects in Lafayette, Indiana prior to joining Pearl Engineering.

“Lizzie” is a graduate of Kansas State University with a Master’s in Architecture.

Liz A. Bowen

Liz A. Bowen

Intermediate Design Technician

Bio

Elizabeth Bowen is an Intermediate Design Technician for Pearl Engineering Corporation. Liz first joined the Pearl Engineering Design Team as a Design Intern while still a student at Nicolet Technical College in Rhinelander, WI. Upon graduation in 2014 with her Associate’s Degree in Architectural Technology she joined Pearl Engineering full-time. Currently she is also studying to become a Mechanical Engineer while working full-time for Pearl.

Clayton R. Jansky

Clayton R. Jansky

Senior Design Technician

Bio

Clay Jansky is a Senior Design Technician for Pearl Engineering Corporation. In 2015 Clay joined Pearl Engineering from Revelations Architects & Builders in Stevens Point, WI where he worked briefly after serving four years in the United States Marines Corps as a Sergeant participating in cooperative operations between the U.S., Japan, Thailand, and Iraq through direct leadership and multinational teams.

Clay is a graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Architectural Technology and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Studies.

Ronald C. Kinnick

Ronald C. Kinnick

Senior Design Technician

Bio

Ron Kinnick is a Senior Design Technician at Pearl Engineering providing Mechanical and Electrical Design and Drafting expertise.  Ron has over 39 years of experience in various industries including an Electrical Designer/Drafter in the Corporate Engineering Department and Wisconsin Rapids Paper Mill of Verso Corporation, and as an Electrical/Mechanical Drafter for Woodward Governor Company in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Other positions were for Felker Brothers Corporation, WaterStone Group, SNE Enterprises, Inc., Gamber-Johnson, Marinette Marine Corporation and Allis-Chalmers as an electrical or mechanical designer/drafter.  Ron is a graduate of Mid-State Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Supervisor’s Management.

Safety

In addition to engineering professionals, our staff includes seasoned safety and construction experts.
Scott Burkart

Scott Burkart

Senior Safety Consultant

Bio
Scott Burkart is a Senior Safety Consultant for Pearl Engineering Corporation with more than 30 years experience as a professional fire fighter and Emergency Medical Technician.

 

 

Mr. Burkart was the Deputy Fire Chief for the Eau Claire, WI fire department prior to his retirement and joining Pearl Engineering as a Senior Safety Consultant. While on the Eau Claire Fire department, Scott progressed thru the ranks and was a supervision on the State of Wisconsin Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team, Captain of the Technical Rescue Team, and Deputy Chief of Fire Inspection, Prevention and EMS Divisions. Scott also was involved in training for fire departments, and private businesses throughout the state In the fire, technical rescue, and hazardous materials areas for the past 30 years.

Gary L. Pelot

Gary L. Pelot

Senior Safety Consultant

Bio

Gary Pelot is a Senior Safety Consultant for Pearl Engineering with more than 30 years of experience in safety engineering, training, and creating safe work environments. A graduate of and 26 year adjunct faculty member at Mid-State Technical College, Gary has worked extensively throughout his career to teach sound safety practices.

Gary is certified to teach CPR and other emergency care courses; co-founded a group to teach Emergency Skills to Fire Department, Law Enforcement, Rescue Squads, Hospitals, and Industry; is an EMT for United Emergency Medical Response; a former member of the Tri-City Safety Council and the Local Emergency Planning Committee for Wood County, WI.