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Our staff is highly skilled and capable of designing most projects in-house without the use of expensive sub-consultants.  When designing a project we constantly ask the following questions: "Is there a better way that may cost less?" and "Is it easy to construct?".

John Smolen, P.E., P.S.
Founder and Owner

John founded SEL after nearly 30 years as the Ashtabula county engineer.  His background of engineering principles and experience gained at the county are part of the reason clients have chosen to trust Smolen Engineering with their design projects.  John is internationally known as one of the pre-eminent experts in the field of design, construction and maintenance of timber covered bridges.

Andrew Lueders, P.E.
Design Engineer

An American expatriate civil engineering graduate of Warsaw (Poland) University of Technology, Andrew is experienced at structural repairs for timber covered bridges and estimating construction costs.  His education included design classes focused on timber, steel, concrete structures, structural design and analysis.

Charity Bowman
Office Manager

A native of Boulder, Colorado, Charity studied pre-medicine at Wright State University, but crafted her business management skills working in the accounting department of a Fortune 500 insurance company. She has successfully owned and managed both large and small businesses.

Don Johnson
Project Observer

Don has 30 years of experience inspecting, evaluating, and reporting on road, bridge, water and waste water construction projects. He possesses extensive knowledge of the trades and is known for his attention to detail.



John Stehli
Project Manager/ Observer
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John has four decades of experience in the commercial roofing industry.  He has been involved with many of Northeast Ohio's largest construction projects and possesses a thorough knowledge construction practices.   John is a thrifty person by nature and can't help but promote those principals at the work site.  

Kurt Gowins
Project Manager

A graduate of Kent State University’s school of architecture, Kurt is a highly practiced designer who has over fifteen years of commercial building design experience.  He is skilled in commercial design, renovation and restoration projects and his input with the architectural design of covered bridges is invaluable. Kurt is known for providing clients with thoughtful and sound advice, which takes into account all options.

Patty Simpson
Technician III

Patty has nearly 30 years of architectural and engineering design and drafting experience.  Having worked on a wide range of projects in several states, she has a vast knowledge of code and permit requirements.

Kevin Grippi
Client Advisor/
Project Manager

Kevin is a fundraising professional who has secured millions of dollars from federal, state and private sources for public parks and transportation infrastructure.  He is also an accomplished former administrator of municipal governments, public utilities and a metropark district.

Branden Smile
Engineer Intern

Branden is a third year student at Youngstown State University's Rayen School of Engineering.  He is a native of Conneaut, Ohio and a proud graduate of Conneaut High School.   Branden has a background in the construction trades and enjoys solving all manner of civil engineering problems.   

Cory Scott
Drafting Technician
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Cory holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering technology from Kent State University and is experienced with using the full suite of AutoCAD products as well as gaming and animation applications.  He is an expert at tracing plans and drawings.

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