The combination of a knack for problem solving and a caring advisor with a hometown connection led Justin Klabo, PE, down the path of becoming a Civil Engineer. The AE2S Operations Manager credits fixing things on the farm in Sharon, North Dakota, with his first inkling that a career in engineering might be for him.
By the time Justin arrived at the University of North Dakota, he thought Mechanical Engineering would be his major. Then he met Harvey Gullicks, PE and Ph.D., who taught in the Civil Engineering Department at UND and works at AE2S. “Harvey grew up only a few miles from my family farm and was instrumental in my pursuit of Civil Engineering as an advisor,” explains Justin.
Now as fellow Employee-Owners, the advisor and advisee are colleagues. Justin has primarily focused on Water Resources projects during his career. He has worked on everything from helping communities with large scale regional flood solutions to completing hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for developments, floodplain modeling, and future planning for communities.
“I appreciate the variety of projects that AE2S gets to partner on with clients, to bring solutions to different communities. I feel fortunate being able to work with the talented people at AE2S and within the communities I have worked with,” says Justin. “I also appreciate being part of a firm that has a vast portfolio of solutions to problem solve which allows for many different career paths.”
One of his favorite projects is the Worthington County Ditch 12 flood improvement project in Minnesota. “I was able to help develop and construct a flood control solution that greatly reduced flooding to a large portion of the City of Worthington,” he says.
Justin is currently managing the Woodbury Interim Well Treatment project, which involves the construction of three interim water treatment plants at different well sites to mitigate per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. The design-build project will improve drinking water quality while the City of Woodbury builds a new water treatment plant.
In addition to his project work, Justin oversees the daily operations of the busy AE2S offices in Maple Grove and Duluth, Minnesota; and Madison, Wisconsin; which have a combined staff of 54 people. Justin is also active in the Minnesota chapter of the American Public Works Association. This year, he is the Chair of the organization’s History Committee.
In his down time, Justin and his wife, Kristin, stay busy with their kids’ activities. When he’s not coaching or cheering on their sons in baseball, hockey, or soccer, Justin enjoys playing golf, boating, and other activities with family and friends.
One of the things Justin says he likes about working at AE2S is the same thing that brought him into the engineering industry in the first place. “I enjoy taking on challenges and solving problems with great people,” he says with a smile.