Congratulations to Our 2023 Officers!

We are pleased to announce the promotion of five S&ME employee-owners to Vice President Officers!

Our Officers are recognized as leaders, team builders, and mentors with positive influences on our company and culture. Officers also create an inclusive environment where individuals with various backgrounds can reach their full potential, instill a “can do” vision and attitude, actively promote collaboration, and genuinely engage with our colleagues.

Each employee-owner below has made significant contributions to S&ME while providing us with responsible judgment, dedication to quality work, and collaboration with fellow employee-owners to improve individual and team efforts.

Chad Bruorton, PE

Senior Engineer, Principal Project Manager

Columbia, SC

Chad Bruorton has 20+ years of experience and is a Senior Engineer/Principal Project Manager and Senior Reviewer at S&ME. Throughout his career, spanning two previous geotechnical firms prior to joining S&ME, Chad has planned and directed numerous geotechnical exploration and construction materials testing and inspection programs. From large-scale industrial to educational and commercial, as well as infrastructure including SCDOT bridges/roadways, HDDs for utilities and planned/existing earthen dam assessments, Chad has touched many different projects.

At S&ME, Chad serves on the Geotechnical Practice Council and the Project Management Council as a key contributor. A mentor to early career engineers, Chad is collaborative, helpful, curious and recognized by his peers for his technical expertise and project management skills. In the industry, he has developed a reputation for delivering successful projects in the industry, going above and beyond for S&ME and his clients. He is also an active member of ASCE and involved on the Board of multiple HOAs, serving as President for both his neighborhood and tailgate communities.


Nate Buffum, PE

Office Principal

Wilmington, NC

Nate Buffum has 20+ years of experience and began his career with S&ME in our Raleigh office location in 2000. In 2006, he moved to the Wilmington office location to lead the construction services group. Nate is currently the Wilmington Office Principal, serves as a Senior Project Manager, leads both the geotechnical and environmental groups in Wilmington, and provides technical oversite by serving as a Senior Reviewer.

Nate is involved in the ASCE Local Coastal Chapter and the Society of American Military Engineers. He also enjoys being part of the community in Wilmington, is an avid gardener, and enjoys being involved with several local garden clubs such as the Tidewater Camelia Club, The Hobby Greenhouse Club, and Friend’s at The Arboretum.


Jarod Ford

Regional Director, Field Exploration

Charlotte, NC

Jarod Ford has 20+ years of experience in the industry. In his current role, Jarod serves as the Regional Director of Field Exploration, where he provides leadership and direction for S&ME’s Field Exploration service line. He joined S&ME in 1999 as a Temporary Concrete Technician while finishing college. Throughout his career at S&ME, he grew within the company to a Senior Engineering Technician, Geotechnical Staff Professional, Exploration Manager, Construction Services Manager, and Senior Project Manager. His vast technical expertise covers conventional geotechnical subsurface investigations, utilizing conventional SPT drilling, CPT, Direct push, and in-situ testing techniques.

Jarod is a passionate and self-motivated individual who enjoys mentoring others. Throughout his career, he has been involved in numerous drilling organizations including the National Drilling Association (NDA), the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) and the South Carolina Groundwater Association (SCGWA). 


Julie Robertson, PG

Operations Manager, Nuclear Practice Lead

Charlotte, NC

Julie Robertson has 25+ years of experience at S&ME, beginning her career with the company after college. She is the current Operations Manager for the Civil/Geo-Environmental Group in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nuclear Practice Lead in the Energy Market Sector. In her role, she manages a diverse team of 30+ engineers, geologists, scientists, CAD designers, and technicians that focus on Energy, Municipal, and Industrial clients.  Over the years, Julie has managed multi-million-dollar projects that were technically challenging, large scale, and incorporated multiple service lines. Julie’s background is extensive with experience in Hydrogeology, Environmental Assessment, Geotechnical Design, Exploration, Civil Design, Construction Management, Nuclear Quality Assurance.

Julie is involved with The North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN), a nonprofit that provides opportunities for development of young nuclear professionals and additional opportunities for S&ME to network with current clients and the next generation of professionals in the industry. She stays also involved in the Eastern Tennessee Economic Council, and attends meetings when in Tennessee. She was also Vice Chair of S&ME’s IDEA Council for diversity, equity, and inclusion during its inaugural year, helped found and actively participates in the Charlotte Women’s Group to mentor junior female staff, and spends time every year participating in community charity events held by S&ME.


Joe Young, PE

Office Principal + Senior Geotechnical Engineer

Lexington, KY

Joe Young brings 20+ years of hands-on experience in geotechnical, construction materials testing, and forensic geotechnical engineering on projects throughout Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. His experience encompasses most geotechnical and construction aspects of manufacturing, educational, institutional, and municipal building sites, as well as water tanks, treatment plants, cellular towers, dams, bridges, culverts, and highways. Joe holds a dual role managing our Lexington, KY operation with a staff of 50 employee-owners as the Office Principal and serves as Geotechnical Operations Manager. Joe’s colleagues consider him to be a stable sales-focused and growth minded leader with a deep commitment to employee growth and development who has consistently shown himself to be a calm and steadying influence on those around him.  

In addition to skills in developing fellow employees, Joe is a dedicated client manager and goes above and beyond to deliver quality services. In each of his projects, Joe has made it his business to get to know the team members on a personal level. Joe knows what directly impacts a contractor’s cost and schedule decision making and can quickly identify S&ME services to provide great benefits to the project. In the course of his work, Joe has become a recognized industry leader in design-build transportation work and rock cut slope design. He is also S&ME’s most experienced engineer in re-purposing of surface mined land.  

Joe is active in the Kentucky Geotechnical Engineering Group (KGEG), ACEC of Kentucky, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Kentucky Hockey Association. 

Congratulations on this recognition, and we thank each of you for your dedication to S&ME!