We are celebrating our five-year anniversary on April 1, 2020! The idea of Kittelson LLC began in April 2014, over dinner during an ITE Conference in Miami, Florida. Dr. John Mason, who served on Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) Board of Directors, and Dr. Joseph Blaschke have been long-time friends since they were colleagues at the Texas Transportation Institute (now Texas A&M Transportation Institute) during the late 1980’s in College Station, Texas. During that time period, they also taught classes offered by the Civil Engineering Department at Texas A&M University.
During their dinner conversation, Dr. Mason suggested that Dr. Blaschke join Kittelson & Associates, Inc. John also indicated that a merger of Joe’s firm, Transportation Engineering Analysts (TEA) with KAI would be a good match. The merger would allow Joe to eventually phase out his consulting work as he moved toward retirement and leave his clients with a talented group of engineers from KAI who would continue with the litigation-related work that Joe started. After a year of discussions, the merger became a reality on April 1, 2015.
TEA began as a sole proprietorship, owned by Dr. Blaschke, in 1989 and was a part-time endeavor until August 1991, when he began working there full-time. Sheri Barnett, who was both Joe and John’s secretary at the Texas Transportation Institute, joined TEA to complete the two person staff. The consulting work conducted by TEA included highway design and traffic engineering projects, including the design of about 160 traffic signal installations. The work also included expert witness services. Joe was involved in over 2,500 cases in 40 states beginning in 1983, before merging his firm with KAI in 2015. Dr. Mason’s vision for the merger was to provide a subsidiary organization in the KAI family through which all litigation-related work by KAI engineers and planners would be funneled. This subsidiary organization became Kittelson LLC.
The first concept for Kittelson LLC was to grow into a full-service, transportation forensic consulting firm specializing in investigating vehicular crashes and assisting attorneys by providing expert testimony in the areas of highway design, traffic engineering, and crash reconstruction. The expected growth would include hiring both full-time and part-time professionals who have unique skill sets. In February 2017, Kittelson LLC hired a part-time well-experienced highway design and traffic engineer, Michael McInturff. Soon thereafter in May 2017, Dr. Gary Thomas joined as a full-time transportation engineer specializing in highway design, traffic engineering, and crash reconstruction. In October 2018, James Lock and his firm, Collision Research Associates (CRA), joined the Kittelson LLC family, along with his staff which included experienced technician, Nick Schlechte and Office Administrator, Sondra Simmons. In early 2019, two highly skilled pavement experts from The Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Dr. Dallas Little and Dr. Daniel Zollinger, joined Kittelson LLC as part-time employees. In December 2019, Joe Mertz joined the Kittelson LLC staff as a full-time technician to assist primarily in the firm’s crash reconstruction work.
The initial merger of TEA with KAI was accomplished primarily through the efforts of Mark Vandehey, PE and Larry Van Dyke, CFO. Chris Brehmer, PE and Karl Passetti, PE, PMP also were instrumental in accomplishing the merger. In August 2018, Marc Butorac, PE became President of Kittelson LLC and is taking the organization to new levels of success. Many KAI engineers, such as Ed Myers, PE, Chris Tiesler, PE, Glenn Rowe, PE and John Ringert, PE to name a few, have worked on litigation cases through Kittelson LLC. Kittelson LLC total billings for 2019 are three times those from the first full year of operation (2016). Continual growth in Kittelson LLC activities is expected to occur.