Brian Cates is the founder and president of CATES ENGINEERING, LTD. He has a diverse background of design and construction experience that enables him to obtain a proper perspective for each project. Mr. Cates' design philosophy allows the firm to be innovative while providing designs that are both economical and up to date with current construction techniques.
Mr. Cates strongly believes the role of the consulting engineer is to give the most efficient structural system possible for each project while allowing freedom for the architect. This approach leads to a positive work environment between the architect and engineer and assures that the design intent will not be compromised.
Mr. Cates is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering with a major in structures. He was enrolled in the Cooperative Education Program with VPI and employed by a large Architectural/Engineering firm located in McLean, VA. After obtaining his engineering degree, Mr. Cates returned as a structural engineer with the same A/E firm where he was involved primarily in the design of large commercial and institutional buildings. During this time he was able to obtain a great variety of design experiences and became a project manager before leaving to work for a structural consulting firm. His role at the consulting firm as a project engineer and manager enabled him to see each job through concept to completion. Mr. Cates was responsible for numerous commercial, industrial, institutional and residential projects and was exposed to all types of building systems and materials. He also performed field investigations, completed renovation projects and provided expert witness testimony for litigation purposes. Recognizing a market for innovative and high quality engineering services, he established CATES DESIGN in 1988 and CATES ENGINEERING, LTD. in 1997.
Mr. Cates is currently president of Cates Engineering Ltd. and oversees the day to day operations of the firm. He is involved directly with the conceptual design and working drawings for each project and is able to maintain a high level of unification over the design team. He has considerable experience with computer-aided design and finite element applications. Mr. Cates has also provided construction review services in many new jobs and renovation projects. He is familiar with government procedures and requirements for design professionals and currently maintains a security clearance with a branch of the Federal Government.
Mr. Cates is licensed as a professional engineer in the states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Utah, West Virginia and Washington, DC. He is a member of SEA/CASE?MW, SERMC, BOCA, AISC, AWC and ACI.
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Raj Venkatesh first arrived at Cates Engineering in May 2012. After a brief excursion to another firm toward the end of 2016, Raj rejoined Cates in July 2017.
Prior to Cates he worked for five years in a structural engineering consulting firm in Rapid City, SD. Raj obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from Anna University, India in 2006 and his Master of Science (Structural Engineering) from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD in 2008.
At the S.D. School of Mines he chose the Thesis Option where his research focused on the structural performance of fiber reinforced concrete confined with carbon FRP. His areas of interests are steel design, structural dynamics, Earth retaining structures, concrete design, wood design and foundation engineering.
Currently, Mr. Venkatesh is a Senior Project Manager and manages multiple projects from the schematic design through construction administration phases, responsible for overall design, drafting, quality control, managing drafting and engineering resources, and construction administration. Mr. Venkatesh’s projects include mixed-use buildings, student housing, garden-style apartments and wrap podium projects. His prior design experience includes educational buildings in the South Dakota and Iowa region. He has also designed industrial steel structures for mineral processing plants in Wyoming and Nevada and ethanol processing plants in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Mr. Venkatesh received his EIT certification in 2009 and his PE license in 2011. He is currently licensed in Virginia and Wyoming.
When he is not working, Raj and enjoys hanging with his wife, trying to keep up with their young son and playing volleyball in a local league.
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Prior to joining Cates Engineering in November 2013 as a Senior Structural Engineer, Abraham worked for nine years extensively with structural analysis and design of numerous conventionally reinforced and/or post-tensioned commercial and residential high rise building complexes as well as parking garages. He had also been providing provided technical and theoretical assistance to the engineers and contractors with project designs involving post tensioning systems where he earned an excellent reputation for being reliable and providing excellent services.
As a Senior Structural Engineer at Cates, Abraham works closely with the team on many projects, providing engineering advice and assistance in the designing and detailing of concrete structures to ensure Cates high-quality design is evident on each project completed. In addition, he is responsible for managing his own projects involving a wide range of construction materials including concrete, wood, steel, and cold-form steel as well as masonry.
Abraham is a dedicated, enthusiastic, hard worker and is proud to be a member of the Cates Engineering team. He was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and studied his higher education in Stockholm Sweden.
Abraham is a member of the Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) and the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Washington Chapter. He earned his Degree of Master of Science and Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
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Adam Kaczmarek has been with Cates Engineering since July 2011. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering with a focus in structural systems from The Pennsylvania State University in May 2011. His studies focused on the structural design of buildings that successfully integrate structure, environmental systems, and architecture.
He has a strong background in statics, dynamics, materials, design, and analysis techniques. Additional courses included geotechnical and foundation engineering, surveying, residential and wood design, and advanced concrete and steel design.
In the summer of 2010, Adam had a structural engineering internship with Atlantic Engineering Services, a structural consulting firm located in Pittsburgh, PA. While there, he gained valuable experience assisting senior structural engineers in the design of minor structural features of building projects. In the summer of 2009, Adam participated in Sede di Roma, Penn State’s study abroad program in Rome, Italy. This 12-credit, 7 week program was an intense academic, cultural, and maturing experience which allowed him to gain an Architectural Studies Minor.
Currently, Adam is a Project Manager with experience in management and design of numerous projects from initial proposal through the completion of the project. He has experience with an array of projects including mid-rise concrete and steel structures, multi-family residential, mixed-use, clubhouses and custom homes. Adam has a strong familiarity with a wide range of construction types including wood, concrete, steel and masonry. He is a team player with demonstrated ability to quickly understand and adapt to job requirements and changing technology. His talent for working together as a team and as an individual, organizational skills, and problem solving techniques are some of his notable attributes. He continues to further his knowledge of current design methods, technology and products by attending numerous seminars and/or group sessions.
In addition to his academics at Penn State, Adam was a member of the Penn State Division 2 Hockey team where he assisted the team to reach National Tournaments as well as demonstrated his work ethic, leadership, and time management. Currently, he remains actively involved in multiple adult hockey leagues in the DC area. Mr. Adam received his EIT certification in April 2011 and continues to gain practical experience and work towards his licensure as a PE.
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Matthew Pocius joined Cates Engineering in July 2011. He graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in May 2011 with a Master of Architectural Engineering degree with a structural engineering concentration.
Matt is currently a Project Manager with Cates Engineering. His responsibilities include design and review of all project structural systems, coordination with various other design disciplines, submittal review, and general construction administration. Matt is one of several engineers in the office that performs construction observation visits for his projects, allowing him to better understand the building process from the contractor’s perspective in order to constantly improve his and Cates’ approach to design and detailing.
Matt received his EIT certification in 2011 and PE license in 2015. He is currently licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Matt lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife, Lisa. In his free time he enjoys working around his house and playing guitar.
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Chris Schutze has been with Cates Engineering since February of 1996. He is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a BS degree in Engineering Technology, and also holds an Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology, and a specialization in Architectural Drafting & Design. While earning these degrees, Chris had the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in almost every aspect of the engineering, architectural & construction industry.
These opportunities arose while working with the Engineering Department of Farm Fresh, Inc. during the construction and renovation of several stores and also while working as a Draftsman and Engineer with an architectural firm in Norfolk, Virginia. His degree and work experience have allowed him the knowledge and skills to design projects that are economical, up to date with current construction techniques and coordinated with the many aspects and various trades involved in designing a project.
Chris Schutze and Brian Cates (Principal), have been acquaintances since the early 90's and after graduating in 1995, Chris was invited to join the company as a design engineer. At Cates, Chris has had the opportunity to prove his abilities as an engineer and to obtain a great variety of design experience. Within the first year Chris was promoted to Project Engineer/Manager and was responsible for the design and coordination of numerous residential, commercial, industrial and institutional projects and was exposed to all types of building systems and materials. Today, with his experience and proven abilities, Chris is now a Senior Engineer, with responsibilities that include designing and coordinating several projects in addition to overseeing projects and tasks delegated to junior engineers and drafters.
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In March 2019, Jude Salac arrived at Cates Engineering, bringing with him a wealth of experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of the Philippines and his Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Specialization in Structures and Construction) from the National University of Singapore.
Soon after graduating from college, Jude moved to Singapore to join T.Y. Lin International in their infrastructure department where he designed bridges, bored and cut & cover tunnels, deep foundations and below grade structures such as metro stations using the top down method of construction. Jude moved to the U.S. in 2007 where he transitioned to building design. He worked on projects such as U.S. embassies in high seismic zones, progressive collapse design of structures and vibration sensitive structures as well as structural renovation and historic preservation projects. On weekends, Jude can often be found driving to Charlottesville with his wife to visit their youngest daughter in college or playing golf with friends.
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Matt Hoerner joined Cates Engineering in July 2013. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2013 with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Civil Engineering with a structural focus. His studies focused on structural design of concrete and steel buildings. In addition to structural courses, Matt also took courses in geotechnical engineering, land development, and construction management.
In the summer months during college, Matt interned at Engineering Solutions, a structural engineering firm located in Harrisonburg, VA. While there, Matt worked on residential and small commercial projects, gaining experience with both structural design and drafting.
Matt is currently a project engineer with responsibilities that include design and construction administration of several projects. He has been heavily involved in the development of lateral design procedures and details for the company. In the short time Matt has been at Cates Engineering he has worked on projects including multi-family residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects. To keep himself and the company at the leading edge of technology, Matt has attended seminars for the most recent software and analysis programs.
Matt received his EIT certification in May 2013 and plans on pursuing his PE license.
An avid runner, Matt has run the Boston Marathon three times. He has run several other marathons, half marathons and other races. He enjoys running with his dad and brother, both avid runners as well. Matt co-organized the company’s first team Tough Mudder, and plans to engage his office mates in more in the future.
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Seth Moyer joined Cates Engineering in June 2013. He graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in May 2013, earning both a Bachelor and Master of Architectural Engineering degree. At Penn State, his studies focused primarily on engineering analysis and design of structural building systems, but also included rigorous coursework in electrical, lighting, mechanical, construction management and acoustics. Seth received his EIT certification in May 2013.
Seth is currently a Project Engineer with responsibilities that include structural analysis and design, coordination and preparation of construction documents, construction administration, project management and planning. His design experience includes working with structural systems in wood, concrete, steel and masonry as well as a variety of project types, including multi-family residential, mixed-use and commercial. He looks forward to the continuing opportunity to gain valuable practical experience that will help to advance his career towards becoming a licensed professional engineer.
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Haseebullah (Haseeb) Sayed has been with Cates Engineering since July 2019. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a structural focus from Virginia Tech in May 2010. Licensed in Maryland and Virginia, Haseeb brings his own brand of awesome to the team.
During the course of his career, he has acquired considerable expertise in design and detailing of cold-formed steel (CFS) load bearing wall over podium projects, serving not only as structural engineer of record, but also CFS specialty engineer and detailer for load bearing walls. Recently, Haseeb served as structural engineer and project manager for design of The Smyth, a luxury high-rise apartment in Stamford, CT consisting of 12 stories of CFS load bearing walls over 5 stories of concrete podium, making it one of the tallest CFS load bearing wall projects in the country. Additionally, Haseeb has experience with wood-framed buildings over podium, structural steel framed buildings, concrete construction, and renovation of unreinforced masonry buildings. In his free time, Haseeb likes to spend time with his wife trying to keep up with their two young children.
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Zach Pitner joined Cates Engineering in July 2016 after graduating from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors of Architectural Engineering with a focus in structural systems. The focus of his studies revolved around concrete and steel design of buildings, integrating the effects of how the other trades interact in the building environment as well as considerations of the architecture. Additional courses included work with wood design, foundations engineering, surveying and geotechnical information, and a look into various computer modeling software.
Zach previously worked at an internship at the Office of the Physical Plant at The Pennsylvania State University where he helped manage the construction of various campus buildings. He continued to work throughout his final year of school before gaining an employment opportunity here at Cates.
In his free time, Zach enjoys creating art. From painting to simple sketches, his walls are covered in the different art he has created. His art includes subjects of animals and people, combined with a multitude of colors to create exciting pieces.
Zach is a man of few words; cloaked in mystery. He often has trouble describing himself due to his humility and abundant sarcasm.
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Jeremy Cates joined Cates Engineering in June 2019 after graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in structures. His studies focused on steel, concrete, and wood structural design. Jeremy also took additional courses in geotechnical engineering, construction management, land development, and structural materials.
Jeremy previously interned at Cates Engineering over summers from 2015-2018 where he worked under different project managers and project engineers in the design of wood framed projects. He also drafted and designed a two-story garage with multiple versions/types of framing options. Currently, Jeremy is a design engineer at Cates Engineering.
Jeremy received his EIT certification in May 2019 and plans on pursuing his PE license in the future.
In his spare time, Jeremy loves playing golf. He was on the varsity golf team in high school all four years and was on the Virginia Tech club golf team as well. He looks forward to playing in any company golf tournaments.
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Bereket Demissie joined Cates Engineering in May 2022 right after completing his Masters in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering (Concentration: Structural Engineering) from George Mason University.
He also earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering (Structural focus) from Monash University (Australia) in May 2015. His research project for this degree was titled “Concrete Strength Enhancement Using Carbon Nanotubes and Effects of Multi-Scaled Fibers in Crack Arresting Mechanism.” Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Bahir-Dar University (Ethiopia) where he graduated in July 2007.
Prior to joining Cates, he worked as a Junior Civil Engineer in Australia and as a Structural Engineer in Ethiopia. In both places his duties involved drafting and designing as well as supervising the construction of mixed-use apartments and residential condominiums. His combined structural experience in multiple countries has equipped him with a wide variety of design and analytical skills.
When he is not working, Bereket enjoys astronomy, playing chess, watching documentaries and soccer - rooting for MANCHESTER UNITED of course!
Elizabeth’s diverse background includes Building Science, Structural Engineering, Architecture, and Mathematics. She obtained her BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Central America, UCA in 1998, followed by a Masters of Engineering in 2001 from Virginia Tech, where she was a Fulbright scholarship recipient. She went on to obtain her PhD in Structural Engineering in 2005 from Clemson University.
Elizabeth received a Periship ward from the Natural Hazard Center for her research on hurricane hazard mitigation to low-rise wood-frame buildings with emphasis on understanding the behavior of roof to wall connections. During her time at Clemson University she also gained experience in the academic field teaching Design of Wood Structures and Data Acquisition and Analysis. In addition to her educational credentials, Elizabeth has over 10 years’ experience in the building industry, she has worked as a field engineer in large concrete projects, assisted in the planning stages and management of large residential developments, worked as a design engineer in the cold formed steel industry and just prior to joining Cates she worked as an independent design consultant for custom classical home designers.
Elizabeth lives with her husband and three children in beautiful Rappahannock county Virginia. On her free time, she enjoys being outdoor and reading about classical architectural principles and old wood structures.
Her research, analytical expertise and design skills will contribute greatly to the standardization and excellence of Cates drawings and processes.
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Mike Marchese joined Cates Engineering in 2020 as a Field Technician on the Field Observation Services team. Mike attended J. Sargent Reynolds and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Prior to joining Cates Engineering, Mike worked for over 20 years in the automotive industry as an Operations Manager for a highline car dealership, combining his technical and mechanical expertise with excellent customer services skills.
Mike is excited about the opportunity to apply these skills in a new field and looks forward to working with to ensure that Cates continues to provide exemplary construction observations in a timely manner. Mike will be providing framing observations for the Richmond and surrounding areas.
When Mike is not in the field, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters attending VCU basketball games, playing golf, billiards, and all things baseball.
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Daniel Weber joined Cates Engineering in August, 2012 as a CAD Operator, and was promoted to CAD/BIM Manager in August 2013. His responsibilities include maintaining the REVIT library notes, writing details and drafting standards and developing standard processes in drafting for the company.
In addition, he has created detail components and techniques to expedite the drafting process, and continues to work with engineering and management to streamline and standardize the drafting department. Dan has written drafting training manuals and provides in-house training for both drafters and engineers in REVIT.
Dan studied at the University at Buffalo for civil engineering with a structural focus. He attended Autodesk University in 2013.
Dan loves bowling, golf and baseball. His bowling accolades include: four time New York State Individual High School Champion; two time New York State Team High School Champion; (11) 300 Games; (5) 800 Series; two time New York State Individual Adult Tournament Champion.
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Laurie Schauss has been with Cates Engineering since 2008. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS Accounting in 1983. Laurie brings over thirty years of progressive finance, accounting and human resources experience to the administration side of the organization.
She is responsible for all aspects of the “back of house”, with her personal goal to ensure that Brian feels confident that this area is running smoothly, enabling him to focus on the design side of operations.
Always a fan of system improvements and ready for the challenge and subsequent payoff that new software systems provides, Laurie has overseen software upgrades as well as implemented new project management software that has helped the engineering team better manage the information and planning side of the business.
Laurie lives in Strasburg, Virginia with her husband and four pugs. She is an exercise enthusiast, loves to read and learn new things. She remains active in missions work to Haiti as well as Christian outreach in her community.
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Amy Horan has been with Cates Engineering since December 2014. She brings over 15 years of experience to Cates having worked for a Government sub-contractor in the proposal field.
Amy directed proposal coordination, writing, and editing work for extensive contract opportunities in her division. Additionally, she worked hand in hand with the Business Development Manager to identify future opportunities for bid. Her undergraduate and graduate work gave her the foundation to apply all research and writing methods to any subject matter. Currently she works directly with the Business Development Manager in developing Cates’ proposals and contracts.
Amy and her family reside in Northern Virginia. She is active with several ministries in her church and in her down time also enjoys the outdoors and is a proponent for wildlife preservation and animal rescue.
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