Austin in the News

New Food Ingredients Plant to be Designed and Constructed by The Austin Company

The Austin Company has been selected to deliver complete design, engineering and construction of a new protein isolates production plant in Nebraska.  

An international food ingredients producer has selected Austin as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)/design-build partner for the delivery of a new plant-based protein isolates manufacturing plant investment. The plant is part of an investment program by the producer to advance core strategic high-growth and high-value product platforms.

“Austin has a long history serving the food industry and over the past several years has built a strong business in the delivery of process and facilities engineering and construction for the ingredients industry, specifically,” said Brandon Davis, Vice President Operations at Austin. “This is a great partnership and we look forward to continuing to advance our expertise in the delivery of these important projects that feed our nation and world.”



One System, One Process, One Team

Connecting Contractors with Quality Subs Solves Daily Workforce Struggles

Austin's Preconstruction Team, including Amy Hewis our preconstruction coordinator, is featured in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of The Who's Who in Building & Construction magazine. 

Finding and connecting with qualified and available subcontractors is a challenge, but resources from The Blue Book Network such as their ONETEAM system, helps The Austin Company find the right trade partners for our projects.   

Click here to read more.


Cleveland State University Opens the Samuel Austin Woodshop

Dynamic new shop/Makerspace at CSU made possible thanks to a partnership with The Austin Company

Cleveland State University Samuel Austin Woodshop DoorsCleveland State University has opened a new state-of-the-art, hands-on, woodshop within The Dan T. Moore Makerspace at the Washkewicz College of Engineering. The facility, made possible through a collaboration between The Austin Company and CSU will contain teaching space, multiple pieces of woodworking equipment and an advanced Shopbot, a 3-axis CNC machine for fabricating wood, plastic and aluminum. 

In recognition of The Austin Company’s support in making the facility possible, CSU is pleased to announce the new woodshop will be named the Samuel Austin Woodshop (SAW), after company founder, Samuel Austin. The SAW will provide CSU students with maker-based learning opportunities through hands-on workshops, industry expertise and student projects. 

“I have been very pleased to work with The Austin Company to create the Samuel Austin Woodshop, a great new resource for our students, faculty and the community. The shop provides students with a unique and interactive way to learn and practice design, followed by real-world implementation of their designs. Helping to support CSU’s creation of ‘ready-to-go’ engineers,” said Anette Karlsson, Dean of Cleveland State University’s Washkewicz College of Engineering. “I especially want to thank Brandon Davis of Austin, who speaks to and engages with our students, serves on our College of Engineering Visiting Committee and was critically involved in making this a reality.”

“Our founder, Samuel Austin, was a carpenter by trade. Perhaps one of his greatest contributions to our industry was the invention of the integrated design-build project delivery method. He believed that if tradespeople understood how to work the drawing pen and to value design, and that if engineers were trained and practiced in how designs are built, this cross-functional knowledge and collaboration would result in better projects, better facilities and better manufacturing plants. The SAW at CSU continues that core belief, allowing students to enhance their learning through real-world practice,” said Mike Pierce, President of The Austin Company. “Built into our DNA since our foundation, originally just a few miles from CSU back in 1878, is the desire to give back and support our community and we are glad to continue to do that with the creation of the SAW at CSU.” 


Marketing Leader Named President-Elect of SMPS Northeast Ohio Chapter

Tamara Zupancic, Manager of Marketing with The Austin Company, was recently named President-Elect of the Northeast Ohio chapter of SMPS – the Society of Professional Marketing Services.

Tamara, who joined Austin in January, has been involved with SMPS for five years, holding a variety of roles with the organization on the local, regional and national levels, including Logistics Committee chairperson for SMPS Northeast Ohio Chapter, Communications Committee member for the 2017 SMPS Heartland Regional Conference, and serving as a judge for SMPS National’s Striving for Excellence Award and Marketing Communications Award programs.

With over 10 years of experience in marketing within the architecture, engineering and construction industry, Tamara brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to her role at Austin and carries that experience to the professional and community organizations on which she volunteers. 

In addition to SMPS, Tamara is active with KSKJ Life, a community-focused life insurance company and not-for-profit fraternal organization.

Austin is honored to have Tamara on our team,” stated Mike Pierce, President with The Austin Company. “Her expertise in identity and branding, along with her leadership in collaborating sales and marketing strategy are a great benefit to Austin and the organizations she supports.”



Article: Avoiding All Hazards

From Baking & Snack Magazine; June 2018

"Controlling water allows bakers to reduce downtime, streamline production and enhance food and employee safety."

"Water has historically been a demon when it comes to bakery reliability," explained Mike Pierce, president, The Austin Company. "When electrical panels are not properly sealed, either through design or employee practice, water can enter and cause havoc ... the conductivity through the water back to the hose holder creates a safety issue that is often overlooked."

Read More

Learn more about Austin's Baking & Snack Facility Solutions.



2018 Plant Construction Survey: Rising Rate of Food & Beverage Plant Renovations/Expansions

From Food Engineering Magazine; June 2018

Many food & beverage processors are renovating/expanding their existing plants to meet FSMA and consumer demands.

"Renovating your food or beverage plant can be done in stages, so as not to upset production. There’s even room to expand the building, and your design-build firm has done all the risk assessments, verifying that renovating and expanding are possible. Now, all that’s left, is what may be the toughest question: What will your business look like five, 10 or 20 years from now?"

"According to Eric Bockmuller, The Austin Company senior director, project planning, owners are also showing more interest in process and building control management, so they can closely monitor varying costs in manufacturing their product and how changes made in the process affect their production cost and volume."

Read More

Learn more about Austin's Food & Beverage Facility Solutions


Whitepaper: New OSHA Silica Dust Standard

Are you familiar with the new OSHA standard on silica and other hazardous dust exposure limits? Brian Foss, Mechanical Engineer with The Austin Company, examines the new standard in this whitepaper, "Keeping Employees Safe from Silica and Other Hazardous Dust, per OSHA New Standard."

Download your copy here.


Preconstruction Leaders Featured at Advancing Building Estimation Conference 2018

Cleveland, OH; April 30, 2018 – The Austin Company will be featured at the Advancing Building Estimation (ABE) Conference held May 15-16, 2018, in Denton, Texas.

Chris Jackson, Director of Preconstruction Services, and Amy Hewis, Preconstruction Coordinator, both with The Austin Company will be presenting at two sessions on Tuesday, May 15 as part of the More Efficient Bidding track:

  • Become the ‘General Contractor of Choice’ for Subcontractors by Out-Performing Your Competition
  • Exploring What General Contractors Are Doing to Optimize Their Subcontractor Relationships & Improve Bidder Responsiveness

With the widespread construction labor shortage and accelerated project schedules, general contractors and subcontractors must find new ways of working together more efficiently. These two sessions will share ways to optimize this relationship and how general contractors and subcontractors can become trusted partners for project success. 

As the largest event in North America dedicated to construction estimating best practices, Advancing Building Estimation is a gathering of more than 400 estimation, preconstruction and VDC professionals. The conference focuses on the latest technology and tools for model-based quantity take-off, conceptual estimating and bid management.

Email to learn more about The Austin Company’s Preconstruction Services.


Article: How World-Class Facilities Get Built

In this Q&A conversation with Generis, Matt Eddleman, Senior VP Operations, shares his background and insights on designing and constructing manufacturing facilities. Originally published for the 2018 Generis American Manufacturing Summit.

Read Article


Steve Lotz Promoted to Regional Safety Manager

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Austin Company (, a leading design, engineering, construction and location consulting firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, recently announced the promotion of Steven Lotz to Regional Safety Manager.

Steve's career with The Austin Company began in 1988, working as a Field Engineer at the Pfizer, Inc. (formerly Upjohn) campus in Kalamazoo. His work included the construction of Building 300, which at the time, was the largest research and development facility in North America.

In 1991, Steve joined the Austin team at Boeing’s Seattle, Washington, site as Safety Engineer. His assignments included implementing the safety program on the 1.9 MM sq. ft. Boeing 777 project, seismic upgrades to the 747 assembly building, and renovations of various other buildings on campus. Following this project, Steve returned to Pfizer’s Kalamazoo campus as Safety Engineer – a position he held until 2002.

From 2002 to 2003, Steve lived in Venezuela performing missionary work. After returning to the United States, Steve was a Safety Officer at demolition of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons complex in Colorado. In 2004 Steve returned to The Austin Company to manage safety for Austin’s Michigan operations and served as Interim Corporate Safety Director in 2008.

Unique to Austin’s Michigan operations are the 100-plus self-perform trades group and work environment of a 1200-acre pharmaceutical manufacturing site with 124 buildings. “This environment requires an expanded safety program, including training for direct-hire subcontractors and incorporation of the client’s site-specific safety program,” stated Steve VanWormer, General Manager with The Austin Company. “Growth in our operations has required additional safety engineering staff who report to Steve. Austin is honored to have someone with Steve’s dedication and knowledge in this role,” VanWormer continued.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master’s in construction management from the University of Illinois. In 2014, Steve was recognized as an Austin All Star – an award based on his dedication to safety and quality.