Isabel V. (Be) Schonewald, P.E. founded SchonewaldEA in March 2009 and is its president and chief engineer. Be is a licensed professional engineer in ME and NH. She holds an undergraduate degree in Geology from the University of Vermont, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine.
During her 25-year professional career, Be has specialized in geotechnical engineering; geotechnical instrumentation; soil improvement, earthwork, and geosynthetic design; construction-phase support services; and environmental permitting. Be routinely performs all aspects of projects from scope development and field services, through analyses and preparation of project deliverables, to providing construction-phase services and technical quality assurance reviews for other engineering professionals.
When asked why she pursued a career in geotechnical engineering, Be responded “with a degree in Geology and an interest in applying that background to problem solving, it only seemed appropriate to pursue Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering.”
While spending much of her professional career with leading regional geoenvironmental consulting firms, her traditional geotechnical and geoenvironmental project portfolio broadened to include complex solid waste design, permitting, construction, and operations support projects. These projects not only required the use of her geotechnical skills, but allowed her to develop strong site civil design skills, such as site layout, stormwater, and erosion and sedimentation control, as well as specialty design skills related to earthwork, geosynthetics, instrumentation, and soil improvement. Many projects required construction and operations support, providing her a valuable perspective. The site civil design and permitting work associated with solid waste projects has provided Be with a keen awareness of the challenges geotechnical issues, coupled with natural resources constraints, impose on site development.
Be is proud of the successful completion of a diverse group of engineering projects during her career, including:
- Geotechnical engineering studies, design, and construction;
- Geotechnical instrumentation system design, installation, and monitoring;
- Analyses and soil improvement design to mitigate soft soil issues;
- Management and quality assurance monitoring of complex construction projects, including serving as construction manager, resident engineer, and QA engineer-of-record;
- Solid waste facility design, permitting, construction, and operations support; and
- Environmental permitting, erosion and sedimentation control plan development and implementation, and stormwater design.