Building a Testing Lab from Scratch in NW Arkansas

Mark Derowitsch

October 18, 2019

In a back corner of Olsson’s office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a new testing lab is starting to take shape. From this space, our team of engineers will conduct materials and geotechnical testing to support projects we’re working on in the northwest part of the state.

Most of the equipment our teams need has been installed in the new lab, a job handled by Christy Wilson and Nick Calton.

Christy is a project engineer based in Fayetteville who manages the geotechnical testing in our new lab, while Nick serves as a construction materials testing manager for our Springfield/Joplin/Fayetteville field operations team and oversees all materials testing out of Fayetteville.

As they build the lab, Christy and Nick are focusing on how they can better serve our clients in the area.

“Many of the tests we conduct happen during the construction phase, and these tests can be time sensitive to keep projects on schedule,” Christy said. “The faster we get the results to them the faster we can keep projects moving.”

Christy recently relocated to her native Arkansas and is excited to start a geotechnical team in Fayetteville. She has been at Olsson since 2012, and until recently worked in our Olathe office in the Kansas City area. 

Part of her duties include testing subsurface soils taken from project sites. Samples are taken from a site and then go to a lab for testing to determine the physical properties of the soil.

Teams in Fayetteville used to have to send samples to our lab in either Springfield, Missouri, or Olathe, but now they can use the new lab for many of the tests in-house.

“It’s been fun helping set up the lab and now seeing it in motion,” Christy said. “It’s also fun to teach people what we do, what purpose we serve, and how it helps the entire company.”

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