EEA Staff Promotions

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) is pleased to announce the following staff promotions:

Christopher M. Fish, P.E. was promoted to Project Engineer. 

Patrick Dimmer, P.E. was promoted to Senior Project Engineer.

Congratulations Chris and Pat!

Christopher M. Fish, P.E. (right); Patrick Dimmer, P.E. (left)

Christopher M. Fish, P.E. (left); Patrick Dimmer, P.E. (right)

29th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards: Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. 2017 Award Finalist

CREA Award FinalistEriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA), is pleased to announce the firm was selected as an award finalist for the 29th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards in the category of Consulting Engineer of the Year. The proceeds from the awards program benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

“Our firm’s opportunities to work with Chicago’s top architects, design professionals and real estate developers on retail, mixed-use and other redevelopment projects is truly an honor,” said Mike Renner, vice president and urban redevelopment leader at EEA. “EEA especially values the mission behind this event- to help the local community by supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository.”

EEA completed several commercial real estate projects in 2016, including Rosenwald Courts in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Elmhurst 255 in Elmhurst Illinois, as well as a special redevelopment project for the DeKalb Public Library.

Eriksson Engineering Associates was selected as one of four finalists for the category. All nominations are reviewed and selected by the designated Blue Ribbon Panel. Winners will be announced at the event held on Wednesday, March 16, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

Something’s Brewing: EEA Assists Eris Brewery with New Cider House and Brewery

Chicago’s Old Irving Park Neighborhood will soon be home to the City’s first dual cider house and brewery. The Eris Brewery project entails converting a former masonic temple into a multi-story restaurant and brew pub. EEA worked closely with the design team to minimize the cost of the site improvements. Site improvements were phased to keep the project below the City’s stormwater ordinance regulation threshold. The cost savings from the storm water detention allow the Owner to use more of their budget toward building out the pub and brewing world-class cider. Follow the project’s progress on the Eris Brewery Facebook Page. 

Improving School Pedestrian Safety through Traffic Engineering Solutions


Stephen B. Corcoran, P.E., PTOE

By Stephen B. Corcoran, P.E., PTOE

Schools are among a list of destinations in which mid-block crosswalks can create unsafe and unpredictable situations for both pedestrians and vehicles. Increasing pedestrian safety while maintaining reasonable traffic flow, requires careful assessments of school parking lots, vehicular traffic on bordering roads, as well as, pedestrian foot traffic.

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB)

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB) boost safety at unsignalized intersections and mid-block pedestrian crossings by raising driver awareness of pedestrians. RRFBs are activated by pedestrians with a push of a button trigger flashing signals instructing vehicles to stop while pedestrians are crossing.

Hersey High School

Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois wanted to improve a parent drop off and pick-up parking lot as well as enhance the safety of the 500 daily student crossings across a three-lane collector road.
After assessing the site, EEA redesigned the parking lot to direct exiting traffic away from the crosswalk and recommended the installation of a fence and landscaping to direct students to a single crossing point with a RRFB. The new crossing point consisted of a marked cross walk, advanced signage, signage at the crosswalk and RRFB facing both directions.

High Intensity Activated Crosswalk signals

Hawk Signal

Hawk Signal

High Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signals, are hybrid traffic beacon devices used to assist pedestrians crossing busy streets. Like RRFBs, Hawk signals are activated by pressing a button, but also include highly visible overhead lights, similar to traditional stop lights. The initial flashing yellow lights alert drivers that pedestrians have activated the signal, then quickly turn solid, warning drivers to make a complete stop. When the lights turn red, pedestrians receive a white “walk” sign signaling they may proceed across the intersection. Following the countdown, flashing red lights appear telling drivers that if the road is clear, they may proceed with caution. Following the activation, the beacon goes dark and traffic continues as normal. Pedestrian hybrid beacons provide a safer crossing alternative than traditional crosswalks, especially in mid-block locations, and since devices require manual activation, drivers experience minimal delays.

Highland Park High School

Highland Park High School Aerial

Highland Park High School Aerial

Highland Park High School and the City of Highland Park were seeking a solution for pedestrians to safely cross a street with several curves along the east side of the school’s campus. The road’s limited sight distance meant an RRFB would not provide enough warning to approaching vehicles. Instead, EEA recommended a HAWK signal because it requires all vehicles to come to a complete stop before pedestrians can cross the street to address the challenges presented by the winding road, EEA also implemented advanced flashing signs on the approaching routes to further warn drivers.

Interested in determining if a RRFB or a Hawk signal is right for your school project? A comprehensive traffic study identifying existing school circulation patterns, volumes, and needs can help determine how to increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians with these devices or other solutions


Advice: Achieving Landscape Architecture Objectives

By Steve Gregory, PLA, ASLA

Steven Gregory Eriksson Engineering.

Nowhere else is it more important to set expectations with your client than on the landscape architecture component of a project. In my nearly three decades as a Professional Landscape Architect, I’ve been consistently asked to help my clients find what I abbreviate as, “ELM”; environmentally friendly, low-cost, and maintenance free solutions.  Although this acronym is short, solving these project objectives is often not as straightforward. To help your client get as close as possible to meeting these goals, I offer the following suggestions:

Environmentally Friendly: All that is green is not always green. Going green does not mean installing turf grass lawn and letting it fend for itself. Closely examining the long-term care and watering requirements should be central to the design of any landscape. Where turf grass is desired, look for varieties that require less water and maintenance than traditional lawns.

Another way to make the landscape more environmentally responsible is to use as many native plant species as possible. Native plants do require more patience than traditional plantings. Since it takes a few seasons until they peak and look their best, it is important to communicate this timeframe to your client from the beginning.

Low Cost: This is probably the easiest goal to address with most clients since they already have an understanding of costs. Once the project meets the municipal requirements and the client’s direction, then try matching locally sourced plants to the site’s microclimate. This alone will greatly decrease project costs. The key is to include large plants from a quality nursery so that the landscape has a visual impact and can be intuitively understood by the users from first glance.

Maintenance Free: This is where you have to deliver some bad news to the client. There is no such thing as a maintenance-free landscape; however you can offer lower maintenance plants such as native perennials in lieu of decorative annuals. The trick is balancing the lower maintenance and watering requirements of the perennials with the showy exotic plants of more traditional landscapes. Establish with your client the look they are trying to achieve and manage the expectations of decision makers and maintenance staff when incorporating lower maintenance native plants.

EEA incorporates these principles into our designs whenever possible. We simply call it smart design – a holistic approach to site planning and design. Our in-house site consulting services allow us to fully-examine a project site through our team of civil engineering, traffic and parking, and landscape architecture experts.

View our Landscape Architecture Brochure

Steve Gregory, PLA, ASLA is EEA’s Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning.

Ben Ahring Joins EEA as Senior Project Manager

Ben Ahring, P.E.

Ben Ahring, P.E.

EEA is pleased to announce Benjamin Ahring, P.E. has joined the firm as Senior Project Manager.

Ben brings 16 years of civil engineering project management experience and will be based in EEA’s Chicago office. He has led the design of urban redevelopment and public sector projects, including park facilities, schools, police stations, and municipal buildings.

 “Ben’s diverse project portfolio and wealth of expertise make him a valuable addition to our team,” said Mike Renner, Vice President of EEA and leader of the firm’s urban redevelopment and recreation markets. “He takes site design one step further by considering the aesthetic value and the pedestrian experience; addressing the project needs of clients and owners.”

 In his new role, Ben will provide civil engineering project management and site design services to the firm’s clients across several market areas.

Ben graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Ben serves on the Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Watershed Management (MWRD) Ordinance. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois.

EEA Receives Canstruction Chicago Award for Second Year in a Row

Canstruction website collage final

EEA and team partners, ECS Midwest, Power Construction & Fitzgerald Associates Architects received the 2016 Structural Ingenuity Award at the ChicagoCAN Canstruction Awards Reception on Aug. 30 for the team’s “Eroding Hunger” canstructure.

Canstruction Chicago judges were asked to make the selection based on the sculpture that, “Pushes the limits of gravity and physics to turn a basic can of food into a structure that makes you say, “Wow, how did they do that?”
This is the second consecutive Structural Ingenuity award the team has received.

Eroding Hunger, “Is designed as three eroding pillars. Designed with daring structural appearance in mind, we hoped to evoke the precarious situation of hungry citizens in our community. Throughout the design process we studied volumes that would not stand in isolation. Yet, when supported by others, the group stands together. The shape opens toward the audience, exposing the sculpture’s interconnected structure as a nod to how we must support each other’s efforts to erode and eradicate hunger in our community.”

Through careful planning, team work and your support we were able to donate 5,350 cans to the Greater Chicago Food Depository!

On behalf of EEA, we would like to thank our supporters and team sponsors for their generosity.

Watch our team’s build night video!

Also see our team featured in Builtworld’s“AEC Rallies to Feed the Hungry” 

Tom Petermann Appointed President of SMPS Chicago

Tom Petermann, P.E.

Tom Petermann, P.E.

EEA Principal and Director of Client Relations, Tom Petermann, P.E., was recently named President of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Chicago Chapter.

Tom kicked-off his one-year term at the SMPS Chicago Annual meeting held on Aug. 25 by delivering a presentation introducing the new Board of Directors and his goals for the 2016-2017 Chapter year.

To learn more about the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Chicago, please visit

Chris Keppner and Tom Petermann Promoted to Principals of EEA

Chis Keppner, P.E.

Chis Keppner, P.E.

EEA is pleased to announce Chris Keppner, P.E. and Tom Petermann, P.E. have been promoted to Principals of the firm.

“Expanding EEA’s leadership team reflects our continued focus on client service and future growth into additional markets and service lines to best serve our client’s needs,” shared Glen Eriksson, President of EEA. “We look forward to the significant contributions Tom and Chris will make for many years to come.”

Chris Keppner joined EEA in 2013 as the Chicago Operations Manager. Chris has been responsible for growing EEA’s Chicago office and expanding the firm’s market areas. Under his leadership, the firm’s Chicago office has transformed into a collaborative space supporting nine full-time associates.  As the Operations Manager, Chris has mentored staff and managed projects focusing on urban redevelopment. Chris has also grown EEA’s industrial portfolio, a market he worked in for 15 years prior to joining the firm.

Upon promotion to Principal, his goals include positioning EEA’s Chicago office for future growth and continuing to expand EEA’s industrial and urban redevelopment market presence.

Tom Petermann joined EEA in 2013 as a Senior Project Manager and became the Director of Client Relations shortly thereafter in 2014.  Tom has been tasked with growing EEA’s portfolio with a special focus on higher education.

Tom Petermann, P.E.

Tom Petermann, P.E.

In his dual-role, Tom has skillfully provided design leadership on projects while simultaneously managing, developing, and enhancing client service.  During his three years at EEA, he has quadrupled the firm’s higher education project work, launched multiple business development initiatives.

As he steps into the Principal role, Tom will utilize his 18 years of experience to lead EEA’s focus on client service, while maximizing growth of institutional projects and markets beyond the Chicagoland area.

EEA Provides Services for 271,200-square-foot Industrial Development in Barlett, IL

EEA consultants completed design and permitting for a new warehouse building project in the Brewster Creek Business Park, located in Bartlett, IL. Learn more about the project from last month’s article in REBusiness Online.  

Ridge Development

EEA Technical Director Presents at Illinois ASBO Conference

EEA Technical Director, Thomas Hill Jr. EEA’s Technical Director, Thomas Hill, Jr., P.E., presented at this month’s Illinois Association of School Business Officials’ (ASBO) Facilities Professionals Conference. Hill’s presentation, “Synergies Between Stormwater Management Requirements and Sustainability”, discussed how facility managers can get involved in the design process and successfully collaborate with owners, operators, designers, permitting agencies and other shareholders.

Mike Renner Joins IAPD/IPRA Distinguished Accreditation Committee

Vice President of EEA, Mike Renner.Vice President of EEA and Cary Park District Commissioner, Mike Renner, was recently invited to join the Illinois Association of Parks Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park & Recreation Association’s (IPRA) Distinguished Park and Recreation Accreditation Program Committee.

Renner became Commissioner of Cary Park District in 1995, and has helped the district facilitate the design/construction of sites including athletic facilities, neighborhood parks, pedestrian/bike trails, dog parks, skate Parks, community center expansion, maintenance facility renovation, golf course and golf course club house.  Collectively the park district is now comprised of 46 park sites over 862 acres.


Other accomplishments:

  • 2013 IAPD Mike Cassidy Commissioner Community Service Award recipient (
  • Directed Cary Comprehensive Master Plan Update
  • Secured $1 million in grant funding

IAPD is a not-for-profit organization serving park districts, municipal park and recreation, forest preserves and special recreation agencies. Members of the Distinguished Accreditation Program Committee strive to improve the lives of the people of Illinois by recognizing agencies that are dedicated to serving their residents with quality park and recreation services through a formal accreditation process.

“I am excited for the opportunity to meet and network with other board members and district staff from across the State of Illinois.  I am hopeful that during the process of reviewing other agencies’ facilities, programs, and administration, it will reinforce the policies and procedures that our board has established in my home district in Cary.”

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) provides civil engineering, traffic & parking, and landscape architecture services for architects, owners and developers throughout the Midwest. EEA consultants focus on the overall project goals and advocate on behalf of clients through the municipal and public review process. To learn more about EEA, visit