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HSW Engineering

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Firm Overview

HSW Engineering, Inc. is an integrated earth science and engineering firm providing proactive, innovative, and cost-effective solutions for Environmental, Water Resources, and Civil/Land Development projects.

HSW has distinguished itself as a leader in the environmental industry by adhering to its philosophy of strategic long-range management of environmental concerns. This successful philosophy revolves around a project organizational structure that always includes one of the firm's principals to maintain strict quality assurance, effective communication, and senior leadership.

HSW has successfully applied innovative strategies to technical and regulatory issues nationwide, resulting in substantial cost and time savings. This approach assures our clients of the best possible service and value and is a key reason that over 90% of our work comes from previous customers. This same approach has also been integrated into our Water Resources and Civil/Land Development Practices.

Senior Staff: 


Ken Watson, PhD, President/Principal Hydrologist 
PhD, MS, Soil Physics, University of Kentucky
BS, Soil Science, University of Florida

As a Principal Hydrologist, Dr. Watson is a corporate officer in charge of contamination assessments of industrial facilities, water resource investigations, and groundwater studies. He is involved with saturated and unsaturated zone studies of wetlands. He is also involved in specific investigations dealing with establishing minimum flows and levels in water bodies throughout Florida. Dr. Watson is continually called upon to provide quantitative expertise with respect to groundwater, surface water and unsaturated zone hydrology; and the transport of chemicals in surface and subsurface waters. As President of HSW, he is in charge of corporate technical development.

Fred Seguiti, PG, Vice President/Principal Hydrogeologist
BS, Geology, Allegheny College, PA

As a Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist, Mr. Seguiti has over 30 years of experience in environmental geology and hydrogeology, with specialization in the design, implementation and management of environmental site investigations and corrective action programs.  He has worked throughout the Southeast at manufacturing facilities, DOD and DOE installations, aerospace facilities, solid waste landfills, commercial developments, retail service stations, pipeline facilities, bulk storage terminals, transportation distribution centers, refineries, and public works facilities.   The projects involved numerous individual release sites and intermingled contaminant plumes of both lighter and heavier than water organic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, and inorganic compounds.  Mr. Seguiti’s project experience includes sites regulated under RCRA, CERCLA, and a variety of state regulatory programs.  Mr. Seguiti has provided expert witness for cases involving assessment and remediation of soil and groundwater and environmental impacts from underground storage tanks.  Mr. Seguiti has also worked on various projects involving wellfield development, well construction and mitigation, installation and testing of test/production wells, geophysical, physical, and mineralogical logging of geologic formations, and evaluating water quality during and after well construction.  

Carol Henry Emery, MS, Vice President/Principal Hydrologist
MS, Civil Engineering, Stanford University
BA, Environmental Science, University of Virginia

As a Vice President/Principal Hydrologist, Ms. Henry provides expertise on virtually all aspects of environmental compliance and cleanup, including hazardous waste determinations, assessment and remediation of regulated units and solid waste management units (SWMUs), closure and post-closure care permitting, and negotiating resolution to complex regulatory issues at both permitted and non-permitted facilities. Ms. Henry provides meeting facilitation services to develop consensus relating to permitting and other environmental compliance issues. In this capacity, Ms. Henry assists both private and public RCRA facilities in developing efficient and cost-effective solutions to regulatory compliance while maintaining appropriate environmental stewardship. She has developed many streamlined approaches to regulatory permitting and reporting that have resulted in substantial cost savings and improved environmental protection and remediation. These innovative approaches have been embraced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation, NASA, DOE, DoD, and other agencies.

Andy Lawn, MS, PG, Vice President/Principal Hydrogeologist
MS, Geological Sciences, University of South Florida
BA, Geology, State University College at Buffalo

Mr. Lawn operates HSW's Tallahassee office. His responsibilities include management of complex hydrogeologic projects including contamination assessments, remediation system design and operation, data evaluation, site monitoring, remediation system design, permit and work plan negotiations with regulatory agencies, and evaluation of remediation system effectiveness. He regularly presents due diligence strategies, Brownfield site redevelopment and environmental business topics at the Florida Chamber and Brownfield Association Conferences.

Derek Huston, PE, Senior Environmental Engineer
BS, Chemical Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology

Mr. Huston operates HSW's Orlando office. He has been performing site remediation for more than 15 years on contaminants including chlorinated solvents, gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, pesticides, PCBs and metals.  He specializes in air sparge, soil vapor extraction and chemical oxidation technologies. Mr. Huston also has broad expertise in producing custom computer software for environmental health and safety tracking.  Clients include attorneys, realtors, manufacturing facilities, municipalities, federal agencies and petroleum distributors. 

Steven Folsom, PE BCEE, Senior Consultant
BS, Environmental Engineering, University of Florida

Mr. Folsom is a Senior Consultant and Practice Leader with more than 18 years of experience in all aspects of environmental engineering programs and projects with budgets ranging from $1,000 to greater than $1M.  He specializes in the management of all aspects of environmental projects including site investigation, remedial design and performance optimization, brownfields redevelopment, solid and hazardous waste compliance, environmental due diligence, water resources, permitting, construction management, and litigation support.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer in Hazardous Waste Management with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.  Mr. Folsom is a Guest Lecturer to the University of South Florida College of Engineering, has authored or co-authored a number of industrial papers, provided technical presentations at various symposia in the environmental industry, and is an active member of professional associations with the purpose of advancing the industry through improved policy, legislation and regulation.  

Dori Sabeh, PE, GISP, Senior Engineer
MS, Civil / Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida

Mr. Sabeh has extensive experience in multi-disciplinary projects for both public and private sectors. The depth of his experience encompasses technical direction and decision making on large and complex projects involving many aspects of water resources. He is well versed in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, stormwater and watershed management master planning, floodplain delineation and mapping, and Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs). He is also adept at stormwater best management practices and quality improvements, feasibility analyses, NPDES, canal dredging, and erosion control. His background in design projects covers stormwater and roadway improvements, Low Impact Development (LID), permitting, utility coordination, quantity computations, construction cost estimates, shop drawings review, construction observations, and final certification and compliance inspections.   Mr. Sabeh offers extensive expertise in water resources and environmental applications of geographic information system (GIS), including geodatabase development and management and integrating the GIS databases with stormwater models. He is skilled in multiple industry-related software and stormwater models, such as ICPR, SWMM, ArcHydro, GWIS, HECRAS, MODRET, ASAD, AutoCAD/Civil 3D, esri ArcGIS, MicroStation, and programming languages.

Joel Balmat, MS, Senior Technical Consultant

MS, BS, Environmental Science/Chemistry, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Mr. Balmat has over twenty-five years of progressive experience as an environmental manager and consultant with broad knowledge of environmental project management, site restoration, permitting, and regulatory compliance. He has fifteen years of consulting operations management experience, including senior technical direction, staff management, quality control, report preparation, client communication, coordination with regulatory agencies, and budget and schedule control. Mr. Balmat also has eleven years' experience as a technical project manager and supervisor for the U.S. EPA, directing hazardous waste site responses, permitting, and compliance/enforcement activities.

Dean Mades, MS, PE, Senior Hydrologist
MS, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois
BS, Civil Engineering, Bradley University

Dean Mades is a Principal Engineer and Hydrologist located in Sarasota who manages and provides senior technical support on a wide variety of projects including environmental, water use, wastewater, and stormwater permitting; site development, drainage engineering, and forensic drainage assessment; ecohydrology; and groundwater remediation.  His recent engineering design work has involved Low Impact Development (LID) design for a public park redevelopment, quality assurance review of an overseas irrigation dam design, groundwater modeling for an power-generating facility process-water pond design, and surface-water modeling to develop hydraulic design criteria for mixed-used land development and DOD military construction (MILCON) projects.  His ecohydrology work involves comprehensive, multi-discipline, scientific assessments to determine regulatory Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) assessments for rivers, estuaries, springs, and lakes.  Mr. Mades has provided expert testimony related to water resources, water use and drainage, technical support for environmental rule development and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) in Florida, and a regional assessment of north Florida springs.

Robert (Bob) Bretnall, Jr., MS, PG, Senior Hydrogeologist
MS, BA, Geology, University of South Florida

Mr. Bretnall is a hydrogeologist with over 25 years of direct experience in planning and managing complex environmental projects and investigations. He has been recognized for superior job performance in conducting multi-phase investigations and assessments, auditing/evaluating site conditions, analyzing and interpreting data, and preparing reports and remedial plans. Mr. Bretnall has demonstrated expertise in contract management, tracking multiple projects, budgeting, quality control, technical report preparation, compliance with state and federal regulations, and staff training and supervision.

Cindy Lee Westergard, MBA, Senior Chemist
MBA, Vanderbilt University
BA, Chemistry, Florida State University

Ms. Westergard has served in a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) capacity for over 20 years and in the environmental field for over 25 years. As corporate QA Manager at HSW, she is responsible for the generating quality assurance plans, validating field and analytical data, data analysis and management, generating and updating HSW's Quality Manual, auditing of environmental laboratories, and negotiating laboratory contracts. Ms. Westergard has considerable experience with automated data review using software applications such as ADaPT® and ADR® as well as full, manual validation of expanded laboratory data packages. Ms. Westergard recognizes the importance of being proactive and of reviewing field and laboratory data in a timely manner as the best means of meeting project data quality objectives and minimizing or precluding issues that otherwise might impact data quality. Ms. Westergard's experience in conducting nearly 30 on-site audits of environmental laboratories since 2006 allows greater insight into the selection of appropriate analytical methods and to potential issues that might otherwise go unnoticed during data review and validation.

Bill Lais, PE, Senior Engineer
BS, Civil / Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida

Mr. Lais has nearly 20 years of experience in remedial action planning and construction management, and is an expert in the evaluation and selection of cleanup technologies under state and federal cleanup programs on a variety of constituents including chlorinated solvents, hydrocarbons, inorganics, pesticides, and PCBs.  Mr. Lais incorporates elements of sustainability into each aspect of site cleanup to reduce energy and material requirements, and to reduce impacts to air and water quality.  He applies these skills to unlock property value for contaminated sites through focused feasibility studies; with emphasis on stakeholder goals, future land use, and protectiveness of the community.  Mr. Lais is also an expert at optimizing treatment processes to improve efficiency of failed or under-performing systems, and has served as Engineer of Record for over 50 remedial action cleanup sites.

Rich Poff, MS, PG, Senior Scientist
MS, BS, Geology / Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto

Mr. Poff has over 15 years of experience in the planning and management of complex environmental site investigations, including those for manufacturing, solid waste, petroleum, commercial/retail, transportation, and power generation facilities.  Areas of focus include soil/groundwater assessment/delineation of sites under state, CERCLA, and RCRA regulatory oversight, in addition to technical staff management and training.  

Cheryl Nichols, PE, CHMM, Senior Engineer
ME, Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
BS, Chemical Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology


Ms. Nichols is a Senior Environmental Engineer at HSW with 15 years of experience in executing and managing environmental engineering projects.  Her experience includes soil and groundwater assessment, remediation of sites utilizing traditional and innovative technologies, and achieving site closure.  Ms. Nichols’ has managed project budgets ranging from $1,000 to greater than $8M, with project schedules spanning from days to years.  Ms. Nichols regularly coordinates with regulatory bodies at various government levels, private property owners, subcontractors, and the public to keep projects on track, within budget, and ensure successful outcomes of projects.  

Ravi Nalamothu, PE, Senior Engineer
MS, Environmental Engineering, University of Central Florida
BTech, Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology


Mr. Nalamothu provides skills in water resources technical support, modeling, and design.  His main technical responsibilities include minimum flow and level (MFL) analysis, surface water / groundwater modeling and geographical information systems (GIS) support services.  Mr. Nalamothu completed multiple Physical Habitat Simulation (PHABSIM) projects using SEFA (System for Environmental Flow Analysis) and is also experienced in advanced flow measurement techniques (ex. ADCP).     

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