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Vol. 15, No. 38 Week of September 19, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: PND Engineers, efficient designs saving time and money for clients

Striving to provide innovative solutions in the Arctic sets PND apart from the rest

Q. What do you most want people to know about your company?

A. Clients look to PND for our innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. PND prides itself in being at the forefront of technology and we are known for our adaptability in developing unique solutions to engineering problems.

Q. Where is your company located?

A. PND’s headquarters are located in Anchorage, Alaska, with branch offices in Juneau, Seattle, and Fort Collins, Colorado.

Q. What year was the company founded and by whom?

A. PND was founded in 1979 by Dennis Nottingham and Roy Peratrovich, as Peratrovich and Nottingham. It was incorporated in 1981 as Peratrovich, Nottingham & Drage Inc., and currently operates as PND Engineers Inc.

Q. What is the company’s primary business sector?

A. Though our primary sectors vary with the market, PND is traditionally involved in civil engineering support for resource development and marine structures, buildings, site civil, hydrology, geotechnical and construction engineering. We also provide permitting assistance as required.

Q. Are there important projects the company is currently a part of or has done recently?

A. Some of our current and recent projects are the Point Thomson development project, Liberty, NPRA development, and Umm Qasr Piers 1 and 2 for the Iraqi Navy. PND recently designed the Carl E. Moses Harbor under a design-build contract with Pacific Pile & Marine for the City of Unalaska. This project will include construction of all inner-harbor infrastructure as well as the uplands facilities needed to support the new harbor.

Q. How many employees does your company have?

A. PND currently has 107 full-time employees throughout all offices.

Q. Is your company expanding any of its operations or locations?

A. The current economic situation makes expansion difficult. However, PND recently opened an office in Colorado prior to initiation of the recession.

Q. What is your company’s main strength or its edge over the competition?

A. PND’s main strength is our pioneering spirit and can-do attitude. We are known for our innovative and cost-effective solutions, such as our patented OPEN CELL SHEET PILE® system used in successful projects all over Alaska, as well as nationally and internationally. The OPEN CELL bulkhead is an earth retaining structure used primarily in docks and similar structures such as bridge abutments, and performs very well under a variety of conditions such as high loads, deep water, soft soils, scour, ice, long-term settlement, minimal embedment, and in highly seismic areas. The OPEN CELL bulkhead system offers rapid construction, adaptability and high capacity, which translates into significant cost savings for our clients.

Q. What new markets, clients or projects did your company attract recently?

A. PND has recently expanded its market to include the Middle East, where we have performed coastal and hydrologic assessments, geotechnical evaluations, civil and structural design, and inspection services on port facility projects at Umm Qasr, Iraq. This work has involved the design of two dock facilities (Piers 1 and 2) through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Coalition Force Command in Iraq, and has required close coordination with the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. contractors, and Iraqi engineers and contractors.

Q. What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken? 

A. Recently PND was involved in a North Slope project in which we simultaneously conducted wave tank studies at Oregon State University and Texas A&M University and ice tank studies in Helsinki, Finland, and St. Johns, Newfoundland. All four studies were initiated and completed within a six-month time frame. During this time we were also engaged in the ongoing Umm Qasr project in the Middle East, so this also speaks to PND’s ability to manage simultaneous projects within contrasting climates and cultures.

Q. What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?

A. Increasingly, complying with permitting requirements and obtaining project permits presents a great obstacle for many projects.

Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A. Working with clients to help develop or adjust projects so that they are economically viable in the current economic client is likely the biggest challenge.

Q. Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?

A. PND recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary in 2009.

Q. What is the average length of time employees work for the company?

A. The average length is 11 years, which is much longer than is typical for engineering companies. In this way PND maintains institutional knowledge regarding our client’s projects and facilities.

Q. What is your company’s safety record? What steps does the company take to ensure a safe work environment?

A. For the past three years, PND has had zero recordable incidents. We promote a safe environment in all we do and make Safety First a priority in our day-to-day efforts.

Q. Has your company received any awards or recognition?

A. In 2010, PND has again ranked in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms and also earned the PDCA 2010 Project of the Year Award for Skagway Harbor Surge Control Breakwater. Over the years, PND has earned numerous project awards, including several for Anchorage’s Tudor Crossing, most notably First Place in the Special Purpose Category of the National Steel Bridge Alliance/American Institute of Steel Construction competition. PND has also earned 28 Lincoln Arc Welding Awards for various projects.

Q. Has your company been involved in any community projects or charities events?

A. PND supports many charitable organizations as well as the engineering profession through industry educational facilities. Examples from the past year include the Engineers Week Scholarship Fund, Society of Women Engineers, ASCE University of Alaska Student Chapter, Anchorage Citywide Cleanup, Special Olympics, Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Social Services, MathCounts, Anchorage Festival of Music and United Way, among others.

Q. Does your company have a website?

A. Yes, please visit

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