Meet the Team

Rob Frenette
Rob Frenette, P. Eng
Managing Director

Rob has 25+ years of experience in civil engineering from planning through to contract administration. Rob has a strong background in total project management, construction and road design, surveying, environmental and materials engineering. As President / Owner of TBT Engineering Limited, Rob is directly responsible for all corporate management of technical and business operations. He has over 20 years experience in business ownership providing quality assurance testing, project management, site inspections and various other engineering services. Rob is an ACI Certified Examiner, a certified RMCAO Concrete Plant Inspector, an experienced QA/QC Administrator, an experienced highway and construction engineer, a past sessional lecturer at Lakehead University, and a member of ASQ and CSCE. Prior to purchasing TBT in 1995, Rob worked 10 years at MTO NWR Planning and Design Section (Senior Project Engineer) and MTO NWR Construction Section (Project Supervisor) in the Northwestern Region.

Liana Frenette
Liana Frenette, BA, BEd
Chief Executive Officer

Liana has over 20 years of experience in business management and ownership.  She is directly responsible for overall management of business operations. In addition to directly supervising the daily work of engineers, technicians, administrative and field staff, she is also responsible for coordinating and auditing work projects and ensuring that objectives and deadlines are met. Liana is responsible for all community relations and business development initiatives and oversees the creation and operation of all company policy, employee benefits, workplace rules and procedures, safe operating procedures, as well as health and safety policies and programs.

Scott Peterson
Scott Peterson, P. Geo

As President of Engineering at TBTE, Scott is responsible for providing technical and project management services for many of TBT Engineering’s divisions. Scott is also Manager of Geological and Pavement Engineering at TBTE and has more than 13 years experience in various aspects of geotechnical, geological, and environmental engineering. He specializes in geotechnical & geological investigations and design studies, environmental & hydrogeological investigations and assessments, pavement structure evaluation and rehabilitation investigations and design reports, aggregate and quarry source studies, and wastewater management solutions.

Franco Gorenszach
Franco Gorenszach, P. Eng
Vice President

Franco is a Senior Electrical Project Engineer and Manager of the Electrical Department with strong managerial skills and extensive experience with manufacturing, commercial and institutional projects.  Franco specializes in high voltage installations, electrical system design for buildings and sites including power distribution, interior and exterior lighting, motor controls, fire alarm, emergency/standby generation, security access/CCTV, communications systems and photovoltaic systems.  Franco has also achieved energy savings for a variety of private and public sector clients by conducting renewable energy business cases, photovoltaic studies, energy audits and general lighting and electrical upgrades to meet customer savings goals.

Gord Maki
Gord Maki, P. Eng
Vice President

Gord is a senior engineer with high analytical capacity and 20+ years experience providing geotechnical/foundations design, construction supervision and inspection services for a wide variety of clients. Gord specializes in analysis and design for industrial, commercial and residential structures, bridges, embankments, slopes, dams, retaining walls, pavements and landfills. The majority of his experience is within the highly variable and often complex ground conditions found within Northwestern Ontario and includes projects within the government, industrial, mining and commercial sectors.

Doug Otto
Doug Otto, C.E.T.
Vice President

As Vice President of Engineering at TBTE, Doug is responsible for providing technical and project management services for many of TBT Engineering’s divisions. Doug is also Manager of Drilling Services at TBT Engineering and has 16 years experience providing field-testing and inspection services including concrete, granular, pipe installation, rebar and grout ensuring completeness and accuracy, compliance to industry and government standards and corporate administration procedures. He has extensive experience as a road supervisor responsible for construction and maintenance of winter-road projects.

Peter de Haan
Peter de Haan, O.L.S.
Manager - Legal Surveys

Peter has 28 years of survey experience with knowledge in various areas of surveying such as civil, cadastral, topographic, mining and highway surveys. He has been involved in all aspects of the land development process from the preliminary consultation with clients to the final product being the deposition of reference plans, or registration of subdivision and condominium plans.

Don Bowes
Don Bowes, P. Eng
Manager - Municipal Engineering

Don Bowes is responsible for providing technical support and guidance to staff on transportation, municipal and land/site development projects. Don has over ten years of experience providing project management, design and contract administration for various clients including the provincial government, municipalities, First Nations, mining and railroad industries and private land developers.  He has a bachelor of Civil Engineering Degree from Lakehead University, an Engineering Technologist Degree from St. Lawrence College and is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario.

Jamie Clements
Jamie Clements, C. Tech
Manager - Drilling

Jamie has developed expertise in the performance and coordination of field testing and inspection in accordance with project specifications and requirements.  He has gained experience providing assistance to drillers for geotechnical investigations as well as completing technical duties including highway investigation, soils sampling and identification, and asphalt coring.  Currently, Jamie is in charge of developing, implementing and monitoring the current maintenance and repair programs for TBT Engineering’s growing fleet of light and heavy commercial vehicles.  Jamie identifies current and future maintenance requirements, determines work priorities and schedules repairs, maintenance, and installation of equipment/new parts.

Ernie Krause
Ernie Krause, C.E.T.
Manager - Field Services

Ernie is an OACETT Certified Engineering Technologist in Ontario and has 20+ years experience in providing laboratory and field testing and inspection services. Ernie’s areas of expertise include testing and inspection of concrete, granular and asphalt materials, pipe installation, rebar and grout testing. He routinely ensures conformance to specifications and design criteria, compliance to industry and government standards and is involved in various corporate administration procedures as well.

DJ MacKintosh
DJ MacKintosh, P. Eng
Manager - Fort Frances Branch Office

Diarmid James (DJ) MacKintosh, P.Eng. has been a Senior Environmental Engineer and Assistant Environmental Manager at TBT Engineering since joining the company in 2014.  DJ has an Honours degree in Biology from Queen’s University and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba and is Registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.  He has nearly 30 years of progressively increasing responsibility in the areas of water and wastewater treatment; environmental engineering; project management; manufacturing; team leadership and health and safety stewardship. DJ currently holds an Ontario Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator-in-Training Certificate.  Previously, he has been a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Class C Certified Wastewater Treatment System Operator and a 2013 MPCA Wastewater Operators Award winner as supervisor of a 200,000 m3/d primary and secondary wastewater treatment facility.  As a former Environmental Manager in the pulp and paper industry, he oversaw a $5 million wastewater treatment system upgrade and co-ordinated all aspects of commissioning, start-up and operation.  DJ communicated with all internal & external stakeholders including: acting as primary contact for regulatory agencies and directing public liaison activities.

DJ currently oversees and assists with environmental services at TBTE including: soil and groundwater assessments and remediation; radon mitigation; operation and closure of domestic and industrial landfill sites; regulatory consultation; compliance reporting; Phase I, II & III Environmental Assessments and Geotechnical Drilling and Investigations on both developed (residential, commercial, industrial) and undeveloped parcels of land.  He has been a Senior Reviewer for MTO environmental submissions in support of both highway development and aggregate investigations (ASIs).  In addition to environmental work, DJ has sought to represent and enhance TBTE’s profile in the western portion of the Northwest for approaching 5 years and has provided field support and leadership to our company’s diverse range of civil, mechanical and industrial projects across the Central Time Zone.

DJ lives in Fort Frances with his wife Twila and their son Duncan.  Elder sister Siobhan is currently completing her first year at Queen’s University in Kingston.  When not labouring on TBTE’s behalf, DJ plays soccer badly in the summer and basketball (equally badly) in the winter.  All remaining leisure time is spent working on the family’s place on Rainy Lake.

Eric Mickelson
Eric Mickelson, P. Eng
Manager - Structural Engineering

Eric has 20+ years of experience providing structural and civil engineering design, contract administration and field inspection work for a variety of clients in NW Ontario. He is a Designated Consulting Engineer and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Profession, LEED AP.

John Nuorala
John Nuorala, A.Sc.T., rcca
Manager - CA

John Nuorala has been working with TBTE since 1998 and was a Contract Administrator with TBTE since 2007.  Since 2015 John has been TBT Engineering’s Project Manager of Construction Administration.

As the Project Manager on all MTO Construction Administration projects as well as construction projects for municipalities, mining and Parks Canada, John has been the principle point of contact with Ministry, external agencies and the public at large, effectively managing internal and external team members on numerous projects to effect a successful completion of the work.

The Project Manager’s role is to work cooperatively and effectively with a wide variety of groups, including property owners, government personnel, utilities, and special interest groups on a list of projects ranging in size and nature from $500,000 minor capital projects to the $85,000,000 four laning of Hwy 11/17 between Red Rock and Nipigon that is currently underway.  John has proven negotiation, analysis and decision making skills to develop recommendations on complex matters and to resolve difficult issues.

Jeff Sampson
Manager - Procurement & Business Development

Manager of Procurement and Business Development Jeff has a wealth of experience in multiple industries and expertise in growth and development. Collaborative and innovative with exceptional leadership, coaching and mentoring qualities Jeff has built and exited businesses and help teams operationalize success. Jeff manages staff and clients confidently, resulting in repeat clients and a healthy working environment for his staff. Jeff uses an adaptive management approach to ensure optimal performance, with strengths in team leadership, budgeting, optimizing cost-benefits, client services, capacity building, contract negotiations, commercial development and community relations to maximize results. Skills include critical thinking, analysis of large amounts of information from diverse sources, ability to make informed and accurate decisions to achieve strategic goals. Jeff brings an innovative and passionate approach to forging partnerships, attracting investment and new business opportunities, and has the confidence to work with decision makers in leveraging new economic opportunities.

Dave Shalley
Dave Shalley, P. Eng
Manager - Mechanical Engineering

Senior Mechanical Project Engineer with a wealth of experience in Commercial and Institutional engineering projects. Collaborative and innovative with exceptional leadership, coaching and mentoring qualities. An industry wide reputation for professionalism, integrity, attention to detail and quality control. Manages staff and clients confidently, resulting in repeat clients and a healthy working environment for his staff.

Julie Shipston
Julie Shipston
Manager - Business

Julie has over 10 years of experience in Business Administration, including Human Resources and coordinating Health and Safety. Outside the role of Business Manager, she has over 25 years of experience as a laboratory technician performing specialized testing relating to bituminous materials, asphalt and concrete mixes, soils and aggregates. These experiences have allowed Julie to acquire a knowledge of testing techniques, procedures and proper applications, and an awareness of workplace Health and Safety practices.  As Business Manager of TBT Engineering, Julie is responsible for overseeing the review, administration, auditing, and implementation of all company policies, procedures, functions, health and safety, and activities of TBT Engineering for all phases within established long and short range objectives. Julie also plays a key role in the development of Human Resources, as well as other policies and programs for the entire company.

Dean Stamler
Dean Stamler
Manager - IT Services

Dean has built up TBT’s information systems over his 14 years as the manager of IT. He holds a degree in Computer Science and his focus on optimization has created a healthy platform for steady growth at TBTE over the past decade. He spends the majority of his time designing, developing, integrating, and supporting systems that make data safe and available 24/7 to all of the company’s staff whether remote or local, in the office or in the field. Dean continues to transform TBTE into a cloud-centric company and strives to give staff the freedom to work in the way that they feel is most productive.

Doug Steele
Doug Steele, M. Sc.
Manager - Environmental Services

Doug brings more than 18 years of experience in the environmental field focused on research and consulting projects in various geographic locations in Canada and abroad. Doug loves working in the field whenever he gets the chance. However, much of his days are spent applying his experience to the management of a variety of environmental projects such as site assessments, contaminant investigations, site remediation and regulatory compliance programs. He excels in areas related to environmental assessments, site inspections, baseline evaluations, soil, groundwater and surface water investigations, solid waste management, site remediation, compliance monitoring and reporting and regulatory approvals.

Gary Thoms
Gary Thoms, P. Eng
Manager - Transportation Engineering

Gary Thoms oversees the Highway Engineering division He has 16 years experience with highway engineering, traffic engineering, pavement engineering and material testing. Gary is responsible for the development of contract packages including performing reviews, developing design correspondence, performing evaluations, developing recommendations, contract specifications, quantity calculations, drainage designs and project management including scheduling and cost control.

Forch Valela
Forch Valela
Supervisor - Lab & Material Testing

30 years’ experience as a technician performing specialized field/laboratory testing relating to bituminous materials, soils, concrete, and aggregates.

Sound knowledge of testing techniques, procedures and proper applications and an awareness of Health and Safety practices.

Mika Vanhapelto
Mika Vanhapelto
Manager - Industrial Engineering

Mika is a senior project manager with 30 years experience in the Mechanical engineering field providing engineering design, condition assessments, construction supervision and inspection services for a wide variety of clients. Mika has completed designs for industrial, commercial and First Nations clients throughout Northwestern Ontario. The majority of his experience has been based in the industrial sector serving pulp & paper, sawmills and mining. Mika has also worked extensively with First Nations and Tribal Councils on infrastructure projects in many of the remote communities in northern Ontario.

Joe Zamal
Manager - Human Resources
Joe is TBT Engineering’s Manager of Human Resources and Occupational Health & Safety. Bringing 11 years of HR and OHS experience to the team, Joe specializes in workforce planning, recruiting, policy development, as well as managing employee benefits, compensation, and HR / OHS compliance issues.
Chris Zappe
Chris Zappe, C. Tech
Manager - Surveys & Plans

Chris has 15+ years of experience in surveys and plans development though-out Northwestern Ontario. He has assisted with completion of design projects involving roads, bridges, tailings dams, river dredging operations, aggregate resource plans, environmental monitoring plans, subdivisions, base maps, route studies and planning studies. He is experienced in cost estimation and quantity surveying and also assists in construction site inspection and supervision.

The Community

TBT Engineering is proud to be an active community partner, making a positive difference in the lives of people and families where we do business. A stronger, healthier and happier community is something that benefits all of us! We look forward to continuing our active role in many community projects and initiatives.

Here are some of the organizations we are working with:

Roots to Harvest
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Soccer Northwest
The Salvation Army
Our Kids Count
Little Native Hockey League
Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay
Children's Centre Thunder Bay
City of Thunder Bay – Spring Up to Clean Up