Recently, Andy Fickett was interviewed by Rob Maniaci for the 138th Issue of the Business Owners Speak Out Newsletter!
Andy Fickett: We ensure every structure we inspect is safe. We take on different roles for different clients, but primarily we inspect and test existing structures such as buildings, bridges, culverts, and a wide variety of other structures for public and private clients. We also work with clients as a third-party quality assurance entity overseeing the client’s quality control program and inspecting welding and structural bolting during the fabrication and construction processes. The company was founded in 2001, and I took over as President in 2015.
RM: Where do you want to take your company, long-term?
Be sure not to miss Todd Niemann, Principal Engineer and Manager Twin Cities Area, and Ryan Sievers, Field Operations and Rope Access Program Manager presentations. Meanwhile, get a sneak peek of their abstracts below.
T-1 Steel Address the Risks and Meet Federal Mandates
Todd Niemann, PE
The fractured tie girder discovered on the I-40 Hernando Desoto Bridge in 2021 brought a new term and issue for bridge owners to address. After evaluation of the Hernando Desoto fracture, FHWA issued a new inspection mandate for certain bridges. T-1 Steel is now a new term that many Bridge Engineers and Inspectors are just becoming aware of. This presentation is intended to explain what T-1 steel is and what the issues are in plain and simple terms. The presentation will discuss the FWHA mandate and summarize its requirements. Last but not least, the presentation will provide bridge owners with anticipated costs of this work from past projects for their planning and budgeting purposes.
Timber Bridge Inspections – Unlocking the Hidden Secrets of Timber Members
Using Partially Destructive Testing Methods
Ryan Sievers, PE
Timber bridges are used throughout our infrastructure system. While they seem straightforward to inspect, they tend to hide their defects deep within their members. Standard inspection practices of visually checking the exterior, hammer sounding the timber member for audible sounds of decay, and pick testing only uncovers the truth about the exterior shell of the timber member. These traditional inspection methods may leave the condition of the untreated element core subject to interpretation and debate.
Fickett has been working extensively with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to perform pattern drilling on timber, focusing on timber piles and caps. The pattern drilling uses a resistograph to obtain internal member information regarding timber core rot. The resistograph is a partially destructive inspection method that uses a small diameter drill bit to drill into the member and measures the resistance of the annual growth rings through the member. A graphed readout is produced by the resistograph, and with minimal training, experience, and some critical interpretation of the readout, the extent and location of rot and voids can be documented based on where the resistance decreases or disappears. This method of inspection is able to obtain data all the way into the center of the timber member where traditional inspection methods are unable to reach. Once the data is obtained, MDT is able to prioritize repairs of timber piles and replacement of timber caps. Pile repair methodologies will be discussed detailing products and practices that have been successful. Lessons learned for both pattern drilling and repair methods will discussed.
Our annual meeting took place last week with various meetings and training, a field trip, and several opportunities for team bonding. First off, we were joined by Mandy Schindhelm and Matt Owings of Marine Solutions, Inc., who spent the day meeting our employees and learning a bit more about Fickett. Later that night we hit the virtual links at XGolf. Even those who’d never lifted a club enjoyed a few rounds of fun.
Luis Camacho is taking a swing on the left and Traa Haase is pictured on the right.
Thursday we headed to M3 Insurance to utilize their beautiful meeting room space on the shores of Lake Monona. A special thanks to Isaac Bechen and Ross Heginbottom for hosting us.
Pictured is our staff who celebrated a 5-, 10-, or 15-year anniversary in 2022
(L-R Andy Packard, Todd Demski, Ryan Sievers, Finn Hubbard, Carter Bohn, and Brenda West)
The Fickett Gang @ Kelly Moss, and yes, those are all Porches!
In addition to our staff presentations and project updates, we were honored to have a few of our vendors present. Ross Heginbottom of M3 provided an insurance presentation, Kevin Arkin and Jesse Joswick with Adesys (IT Specialist) shared their IT knowledge and expertise, Ashley Johnson with Brooke HR, provided HR updates and recruiting insight, and Dave and Michael Neelsen with Story First Media helped the team with some brainstorming and storytelling.
We then had the privilege to tour Kelly Moss Road and Race. Co-owner Victoria Thomas gave us an amazing tour of their 80,000-square-foot facility and shared so much of the history of the company and their Porche racing team. Little did we know that this “head-turning, octane-burning, race-winning realities” company was right in our backyard. Lastly, Beth Skogen, joined us on Friday morning to take headshots of our new staff.
Thank you to all who provided their time and talents to make our 2023 annual meeting so unforgettable. We value our relationships and appreciate the time you dedicated to enriching all of us at Fickett.
We are seeking a Structural Steel Inspector with both Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Level II (MT and UT) and CWI certification who will report to our Middleton, Wisconsin office.
We provide inspection and testing services during the fabrication and construction of buildings, bridges, locks and dams, and stadiums as well as in service inspections of bridges, dams and ancillary structures. This is a direct hire position, not a contractor role.
Other Working Conditions:
Competitive salary and benefits package includes:
Fickett Structural Solutions, Inc. is a structural engineering, inspection and testing firm with offices in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington.
Fickett Structural Solutions, Inc. is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please apply immediately by sending your resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re looking for an experienced Bridge Inspection Team Leader/Project Engineer with the energy and passion to support and grow our efforts in the Pacific Northwest. Salary range for this position is $85,000 to $100,000.
Who We Are:
Fickett Structural Solutions, Inc., is a structural engineering, inspection and testing company headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, with offices in Olympia, WA, Milwaukee, WI, and Minneapolis, MN and remote employees in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas that support our four offices. We work nationally for Federal, State, and Local Agencies in addition to architects, engineers, and contractors. We mostly provide structural inspections and related engineering services for bridges, culverts, locks and dams and various highway ancillary structures. We’re fortunate to have some great partners in many Federal, State, and Local Agencies across the country as well as with several prominent consultant firms.
We bring our enthusiasm for the work to every project and we have fun doing it. We have a strong purpose in what we do; we ensure every structure we inspect is safe.
For the full job description and further details about the position, please click here.
One of our rope access bridge inspection in Spokane, Washington, was featured in The Spokesman-Review.
We were proud to be a sponsor of the Madison Capitols Military Appreciation on Friday, November 8th at the Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton. A pleasure to honor our local heroes as the Madison Capitols took on the Chicago Steel.
Our employees had the privilege of volunteering at the non-profit Middleton Outreach Ministry – MOMs, whose mission is ‘Preventing Homelessness. Ending Hunger.’ We brought over 170 pounds of food, a cash donation and provided MOM with 34 hours of volunteer work! It is such a great organization and we were grateful to be able to give back to our community.
Want to help out your local food pantry, but don’t know where to start? Here’s a link to a great article What does a Food Pantry need the most?