Helena Food Share – Kid Packs

A team of RPA volunteers put together over 1,100 Kid Packs for the Helena Food Share this week. These Kid Packs are distributed to students in our Helena area community on a weekly basis. Each Kid Pack contains a variety of kid-friendly foods that provides a source of nutrition over the weekend during the school year.


RPA Site Design

RPA’s Site Development team assisted the owner with a pre-design site assessment, while our Survey team completed a boundary line adjustment to kick this project off.  Once completed, RPA’s Structural and Site Development teams partnered with CWG Architecture and Dick Anderson Construction to bring Prickly Pear Pediatric Dentistry’s brand-new facility to life!

Prickly Pear Pediatric Dentistry Office

RPA’s involvement on the project included:

  • Boundary Line Adjustment 
  • Site, Utility, and Topographic Survey 
  • MDT System’s Impact and Permitting 
  • City of Helena Coordination 
  • Site Layout 
  • Site Grading 
  • Access and Parking Lot Layout and Design 
  • Exterior ADA Compliance 
  • Stormwater Design 
  • Utility Services
  • Conventional Wood Light-Framed Structure Using Parallel Chord Manufactured Wood Trusses
  • Partial Basement and Crawlspace Foundation

RPA Recognized By PSMJ Resources, Inc.

For the ninth time, PSMJ Resources, Inc., the premier management consulting firm for the architecture and engineering (A/E) industry, has announced that Robert Peccia & Associates (RPA) made the 2023 Circle of Excellence exclusive list. Only 68 exceptional architecture and engineering firms across the United States made it on the exclusive list this year. PSMJ’s exclusive Circle of Excellence highlights firms that demonstrate outstanding business achievement in the architecture and engineering industry.

 “The A/E/C Circle of Excellence award-winning firms represent the best of the best in terms of financial management. These organizations apply the best business practices to every phase of their operations,” says Frank A. Stasiowski, FAIA, Founder and CEO of PSMJ Resources. “The top-performing firms just think and act differently from the rest of the pack to achieve extraordinary performance.”

PSMJ designed the Circle of Excellence to highlight successfully managed firms that demonstrate outstanding achievements in areas such as profitability, overhead management, cash flow, productivity, business development, staff growth, and turnover. The Circle of Excellence represents the top 20 percent of participants in PSMJ’s annual A/E Financial Performance Benchmark Survey, based on 13 key performance metrics.

“The firms recognized in the Circle of Excellence set the standard for outstanding and sustainable business results,” says Stasiowski. “Some firms have been in this prestigious group year after year!”

RPA is a 100 percent employee-owned civil engineering, transportation, planning, and land surveying firm. With over 70 employees, RPA is headquartered in Helena with offices in Bozeman and Kalispell.

International Women in Engineering Day

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), we’ve highlighted some of the amazing women here at RPA.

KERRY LYNCH, PE, RSP1 When I was in college I got a job counting cars for a research project at the Western Transportation Institute. With the guidance and support of one of my mentors, this simple job quickly blossomed into an interest in, and eventual passion for, traffic and transportation. I love working in the transportation industry because it’s so relatable and ingrained in our daily lives. Everyone who walks, bikes, drives, or takes the bus knows something about transportation! As I’ve progressed in my career I’ve evolved from the engineering side of things to the planning side, becoming what we in the industry lovingly call a “plan-gineer”. I love working with communities to think about the transportation system 5, 10, and even 20 years down the road and being able to put a plan in place to help achieve a shared vision. These days, I’ve really enjoyed working on projects in the realm of sustainable transportation, safety for all users, and planning for all transportation modes.

HANNAH SCHWEIKERT  Hey, I’m Hannah! I’m a Junior at Carroll College, playing volleyball and studying Civil Engineering. Go Saints! I became interested in civil engineering because of the real-world application. Being able to face a challenge and see your solution come to life is a goal I strive to achieve. I was so excited to intern at RPA to explore different fields of civil engineering and get the chance to learn from some of the best! One project I’m helping work on is the Kootenai National Forest campgrounds. I grew up in Northwest Montana and love the outdoors so redesigning the campgrounds I grew up going to is pretty special, and I’m excited to see them come together.

ELIZABETH BARTON, EI  My favorite part about a career Civil Engineering is that each day is different, no two projects are the same, and I anticipate a lifelong career of learning. I originally chose to study engineering at college because mathematics was my favorite subject in school. My high school math teacher, Ms. Bleken, was a driving force behind the reason I pursued Civil Engineering. Women in engineering continued to inspire me at college, where I was taught by multiple female professors who had walked my footsteps years before. Dr. Plymesser, my academic advisor and Open Channel Hydraulics professor, and Dr. Matteson, my Structures professor and ASCE group advisor, were two women in particular that I really looked up to. Once I started taking upper-level courses at college, I found my niche in transportation and hydrology/hydraulics. Luckily, my position at RPA in the Highways group incorporates both those interests. With only a year of professional experience, I am excited to further explore my interests and watch the population of women in engineering continue to grow.

APRIL GERTH, PE  I’m not sure I really chose to be a Transporation Engineer, I feel like it chose me. Jobs were scarce when I graduated and I felt grateful that Montana Department of Transportation offered me a position designing roadways. 30 years later, I have had the opportunity to collaborate on a wide variety of projects, from living snow fence to interstate interchanges with multiple roundabouts. Auto crashes can have devastating impacts on families and communities, and I hope I have contributed in making Montana a safer place for residents and visitors.

SARAH NICOLAI, PE, PTP  I really enjoy the opportunity to make a positive difference through transportation projects. After collecting data and conducting technical project reviews, one of my favorite aspects of my work is meeting with people in person to understand their concerns and hear their perspectives. For me, public and stakeholder meetings really reinforce the human impact and importance of engineering.

“International Women in Engineering Day began in the UK in 2014 as a national campaign from the Women’s Engineering Society. Since then, INWED has grown enormously, receiving UNESCO patronage in 2016 and going truly global the following year.”

“In 2017, National Women in Engineering Day became international for the first time due to the interest and enthusiasm developed by the international audience and participants in the previous years. International Women in Engineering Day was born to enable the celebration of women in engineering to become global.”

To learn more check out this link! https://www.wes.org.uk/

RPA Welcomes Three Summer Interns

We are so excited to welcome our three summer interns, Hannah, Emma, and Dustin. Throughout the summer, they will be assisting our groups on all project types and gaining hands on experience in things such as surveying, inspection, engineering design, and reporting.

Hey, I’m Hannah! I’m a Junior at Carroll College, playing Volleyball and studying Civil Engineering Broadfield. Go Saints! I became interested in civil engineering because of the real-world application. Being able to face a challenge and see your solution come to life is a goal I strive to achieve. I am so excited to intern at RPA to explore different fields of civil engineering and get the chance to learn from some of the best!

Hello! My name is Emma and I am earning my undergraduate degree as a civil engineer at Montana State University. I am currently interested in structural engineering and am working with RPA’s structural team, although I am also involved in projects within the transportation group because of my involvement with ITE on campus. I was drawn to civil engineering because I want a career in which I can make beneficial change to the world using math and systems thinking. Civil engineering is centered around communities and their needs, which means I can show up to my internship every day and help to make a positive impact with the work I partake in. I am excited to be learning from the wonderful mentors I have here at RPA and am very grateful for their wisdom, kindness, and patience as they teach me what engineering looks like outside of a classroom.

Hi, I’m Dustin and I am currently going to school for civil engineering at Montana Tech in Butte. I am most excited to learn about all the different things that civil engineering has to offer and to learn from all the engineers at RPA. My main interest in civil engineering is wastewater design. I also love using AutoCAD and am looking forward to spending time in the office and out in the field. Some of my interests outside of work are hunting, fishing, and being on the lake with family and friends. 

RPA Receives Business and Industry Partnership Award

RPA recently received our first ever Business and Industry Partnership Award from Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC)! During the summer of 2022 the coordinator of the Land Survey program at FVCC resigned. With short notice FVCC turned to Idaho State University (ISU) and their on-line service to provide the land survey classes required for their A.A.S. degree in Land Survey.  As a part of these classes each student was required to find a mentor to perform their field labs. These students had no connection to land surveyors and no time to develop these connections. Luckily, RPA has had a long-standing relationship with FVCC and this program and was able to step in and create a group of local Professional Land Surveyors to volunteer their time to provide this mentorship.  Mentoring has taken place every Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for the 2022-2023 school year.

“It is an honor to be a part of a company that is willing to jump in to ensure that a well needed program remains in place for this state’s education system.  Thanks to RPA and our President, Craig Jenneskens, for saying yes.”

– Jason Smith

ASCE Student Bridge Competition

RPA Structural Engineers, Matt Miller and Tyler Jirges, served as judges for the ASCE Pacific Northwest Steel Bridge Competition at Montana State University.

“It was an honor and privilege for RPA to participate in the judging of ASCE’s Pacific Northwest Steel Bridge Competition held at Montana State University.  It was inspiring to see the ingenuity, passion, and immense teamwork by each college represented!  Some talented young engineers in the making and coming into the profession.  Congratulations to each team participating in this year’s competition!” – Matt Miller

RPA Trap Team

Recently RPA fielded a trap team as part of their Gold Level Sponsorship of the 2023 Carroll college Saints to the Front and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter Trap Shoot Fundraiser.

This fundraiser is organized by two amazing student groups at Carroll College with the goal of raising money for their group and building a presence in the community:

The Saints to the Front group provide students with the opportunity to learn about the US Army and the role it serves, as well as teaches students leadership skills.

And Carroll’s ASCE Student Chapter is focused on helping engineering students get ready for life after graduation, and let me tell you, the future of engineering is bright!

Stephen Markwardt awarded Don Thompson Memorial Trophy

Congratulations to RPA engineer, Stephen Markwardt, who was recently awarded the Don Thompson Memorial Trophy. Outside of the office, Stephen has been a volunteer Great Divide Ski Patroller for the past eight years and received the award for being an “Outstanding Patroller participating in the Senior Program.”

The Senior Program provides advanced training enhancing medical and leadership skills. At the end of the winter ski season, participants attend a Senior Evaluation where their skills are tested and scored in a variety of staged accident scenarios. The Senior Candidate that displays the overall best attitude and performance during the Senior Evaluation is awarded the trophy. Keep up the great work Stephen!

RPA Assists With The National Building Renovation In Downtown Bozeman

RPA’s structural group has been thrilled to be part of the team helping bring life back into an historic and iconic building for downtown Bozeman!  RPA designed a seismic retrofit, new interior second floor addition, and a four-story addition to the east side of the building over top of an existing original two-story building appendage. We love being a part of adaptive reuse projects in our communities! Check out more in the story linked below: https://bit.ly/3OHWfPI