March 2015

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March 2015 Newsletter

From the Corner Office

One of the more popular topics we’ve talked about in these Corner Office stories is PS&S’s expansion beyond our home office in Warren, NJ. This month, we’re heading south to focus on our team in Wall.

Two years after opening the office, great things are happening at our new Route 34 location. This month, our employee spotlight is on Associate Principal Dave Applegate who, in just these two short years, has had a major impact on our Utility Services Group.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

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We’ll also take a look at a project near and dear to Dave: rebuilding the pump stations down the shore close to where he grew up and currently lives. Getting the region “back to normal” after Superstorm Sandy has been a priority for PS&S since the days immediately following the storm in 2012. Having a team in Wall who live and work in some of the hardest hit areas helps us succeed.

One of the valued employees that joined our Wall office in 2013 is Natalya Shimunova, an engineer who was born in the Soviet Union and came to the U.S. at the age of 20. Natalya has embraced PS&S’s culture of giving back to the community and is an active member of Engineers Without Borders. You can read more about Natalya’s unique story in this recently published Asbury Park Press profile.

The technical capabilities brought in by the team of professionals who have joined PS&S have allowed us to continue to pursue and win work and has afforded us ongoing growth. With this growth comes new career opportunities at all levels, not only in Wall, but throughout PS&S. For more about opportunities with PS&S, Jamie McDonald, VP of Human Resources, can be reached at

For more information, please contact John Sartor at

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Case in Point: Route 35 Stormwater Improvements

Case in Point: Route 35 Stormwater Improvements

On December 31, 2012, Dave Applegate drove to the Mantoloking and Bay Head areas of the Jersey Shore and was completely humbled beyond description. Having grown up in Lavallette, one of the shore communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, he knew the area well and thought he was prepared to see the damage and deal with the limited access.

Disorientation came quickly, as he did not recognize portions of the barrier island’s Route 35 corridor, particularly in the Mantoloking section. The photo accompanying this story was the view from a bulkhead for one of the pump stations: a beautiful house had become a houseboat.

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The New Jersey shore is getting ready for its third post-Sandy summer. We’ve all lived through the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the region, and we all know we’re not finished yet. But with the experts in the PS&S Wall Office guiding the way, one project is nearing completion: creating a long-term solution for handling non-tidal storm events and providing a drainage solution along the Route 35 corridor from milepost 0 to 12.5.

It’s an area that includes Island Beach State Park to the south and the towns of Mantoloking and Bay Head to the north, and it’s a project that began about two months after the Superstorm. In December of 2012, Applegate received a call to mobilize to develop a stormwater pump solution for Sandy-affected areas. The challenge was to rapidly conduct site visits with a design deadline of just two weeks. Going forward, project deadlines and reaction times were all placed on a rush, priority basis.

Based on the charge from the client to provide a long-term solution for handling non-tidal storm events, the design task at hand for the project team was to successfully design a stormwater system that:

  1. Provided a drainage solution for the entire Route 35 corridor, milepost (MP) 0 to 12.5.
  2. Handled a 25-year storm event.
  3. Created a robust, watertight storm pipe system.
  4. Separated oil from the collected waters prior to discharge.
  5. Removed 50% of the total suspended solids (TSS) from the collected waters prior to discharge.
  6. Allowed tidal flooding to occur without affecting electrical components of the pump stations.

This required a balance between the need to elevate motor control centers (MCCs) and instrumentation panels at least two (2) feet above, what was at the time, the advisory base flood elevation (ABFE), and aesthetics.

Utilizing PS&S’s diverse expertise in structural, regulatory and water resources, PS&S has transitioned from early design and conceptual work to today focusing on support of the construction activities.

Starting at the northern end, the team of PS&S professionals has worked to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of permanent and seasonal residents have a stormwater pumping system that is best-in-class with a targeted completion date for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The resultant new stormwater pumping system achieved all of the goals laid out by the client, and also was designed to blend into the built environment of New Jersey’s shore: a win-win solution with a net environmental and engineering benefit.

For more information, please contact Dave Applegate at

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Employee Spotlight: Dave Applegate

He was born in Freehold and raised in Lavallette…now decades after growing up on the Jersey Shore, Dave Applegate is helping to restore the area after the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy. Who says you can’t go home?

Dave joined PS&S in 2013 as a Senior Director in the Wall Office. He came to the company along with six colleagues during a transitional period in the Monmouth/Ocean County engineering consulting world. The team hit the ground running, bringing access to a new region for PS&S to build a new client base including the largest water utility company in the United States, New Jersey American Water.

Employee Spotlight: Dave Applegate

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“Our goal was to establish a new Master Services Agreement (MSA) with them as quickly as possible,” Dave recalls. “We succeeded within months of starting at PS&S and quickly finished work on the first ever Design-Build project for New Jersey American Water in Egg Harbor. The elevated water storage tank project was completed last year.”

Dave has been working in the industry basically since the day he graduated from the Rutgers College of Engineering in 1985…with one exception.

“I accepted my first job offer knowing I had a big trip planned with three college buddies. It was actually part of the conversation during the interviews. So, one month after starting, I took off for Australia, where I spent a month hiking and meeting some of the nicest people I have ever met. That trip was exactly what I needed to clear my mind and prepare for my career.”

Working in the industry for 28 years, Dave successfully built a reputation of excellence with his clients. In 2013, after considering several opportunities, he found a new home at PS&S. “I was very careful in choosing my next firm and finding my next position. I was looking for a company that recognized the value of my technical expertise and had the capability of leveraging that into winning new work. PS&S is different, from the full-service approach of combining engineering and architecture to the people who work here, it’s the right environment.”

For his first 2 ½ months, Dave commuted from his Toms River home to the main office in Warren. In short time, PS&S established a swing space in Wall Township closer to home near the shore.

“We created a temporary space and even though it was small, people were smiling again since they were avoiding the long trip to Warren,” Dave remembers. “Now the team has grown from about 10 people in that temporary space to 35 employees in our Route 34 office. And we are always looking to add staff and diversify services in Wall.”

The group that came to PS&S in 2013 was the perfect complement to the company’s existing Utility Services practice. PS&S had been seen as an expert in the water resources field, and the new team immediately brought added expertise to an important shore-based project: designing large stormwater pump stations.

“With new federal regulations on the horizon regarding increased flood standards, we have to design around a 25-year storm to get FEMA funding when it involves state highways,” said Dave.

Dave lives in Toms River with his wife Catherine and daughters Molly, a sophomore at William & Mary, and Margit, a high school junior. When not at work, Dave spends about 10-20 hours a week as the President of Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity, which has successfully re-built more than 40 homes since Superstorm Sandy. The organization also began its “A Brush with Kindness” program which helps homeowners who are struggling to restore and maintain a safe and decent place to live with the ultimate goal of keeping homeowners in their homes by embracing the mission of eliminating substandard housing.

Two years into his PS&S tenure, Dave knows it’s a good match. Not only did he bring his potable water experience to PS&S in 2013, he brought his philosophy of strong project management, where project managers are responsible and accountable for their work. He also adds a unique perspective to PS&S’s management team. Reflecting on his career, Dave adds, “Having been a part of both business successes and failures, I know what works well. And maybe, more importantly, I know how to avoid the pitfalls.”

For more information, please contact Dave Applegate at

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