Donna Mertes, PEDepartment Manager Civil Engineering
Donna’s career launched in the arena of highway and roadway design and transitioned to site and underground utilities and over the past 20 years she has developed unique knowledge that distinguishes her from other civil engineers. These systems must incorporate electrical and mechanical systems, be designed with care to prevent entanglements, while also providing ease of access for future maintenance and expansion. As Civil Department Manager, Donna carefully blends the needs of her clients with the needs of her staff, making communication and continuous learning priorities. The GLHN civil team is well versed in current applications and efficiently uses 3d software to design buildable projects. Donna enjoys the sustainable elements of her projects, many of which have received LEED certifications. For example, at the University of Arizona ENR2 building, she designed the site to accommodate a 52,600 gallon underground water tank that collects rainwater for irrigation of the unusual plants featured in the building’s “slot canyon” interior. She also enjoys working on parks and recreation projects where the civil components are critical. However, careful grading and site development prevent flooding and wash outs that can easily scrap a weekend of sporting tournaments. Donna’s clients value her perseverance through the approval and permitting process which is a time when many project schedules get sent off the rails. Her continual search for win-win-win solutions adds value to DB and CMAR teams and has earned her the respect of many public clients.
“I see our civil department as the bookends to the project. We ensure a strong foundation at the beginning with our site underground utilities and grading and return at the end of construction for final paving and sitedevelopment and ensuring improvements are checked off the punch list.”