WSB hires Stroud Evans to lead the firm’s strategic growth efforts throughout the U.S.

Evans is known throughout Texas and the Southeast U.S. for his experience in business development, M&A and financial management.

Engineering and consulting firm WSB announced today that Stroud Evans has joined the organization as their vice president of strategic growth. In this newly created role, Evans will lead WSB’s growth efforts from the firm’s Austin, Texas office.

Evans brings over 30 years of successful performance as a versatile executive delivering multi-disciplinary professional services in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. He will work closely with WSB’s senior leadership on long-range goals, expansion strategies, operations plans and policies and will align company resources throughout the firm’s 15 offices.

“Stroud is an exceptional talent with an extensive network that will support our growth and operations throughout the U.S.,” said Bret Weiss, WSB’s president and CEO. “For over 25 years, WSB has worked to support the government, commercial and energy markets. We have expanded our teams, services, and geographic reach to match market demands. As a strategic hire, Stroud’s expertise and experience will help us meet the needs of our clients and maximize market growth.”

Throughout his career, he has developed and executed organic and acquisition growth strategies, while maintaining focus on client needs and employee engagement.

“I’m thrilled to be joining WSB at such a pivotal point in their growth story,” said Evans. “WSB is a fast-growing firm committed to advancing the AEC industry and I welcome the opportunity to play a role in shaping market strategies and supporting operations.”

WSB entered the Texas market in 2017. The firm has made two key acquisitions in the Texas marketplace over the past three years, first acquiring Austin-based Rogers Design Services (RDS) in 2018, followed by Houston-based Nathelyne A. Kennedy & Associates, in (NAK) in 2019. WSB has established brick-and-mortar office locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston, but provides engineering, planning, environmental and construction services throughout the state to the public and private sector. Recently, WSB delivered the final design for Williamson County’s Ronald Reagan Intersections Improvement Project near Sun City, and the final design for the expansion of RM 967 in Hays County.

Reasons municipalities implement water restrictions

Alyson Fauske, Sr Municipal Project Manager, WSB

In Minnesota, also known as the land of 10,000 lakes, many people wonder how even in times of severe drought, we don’t have enough water. As of early August, over 35% of the state is now experiencing extreme drought conditions. These drought conditions significantly impact municipal water supplies.

The type of water that cities supply to their residents is treated for a number of economic and environmental reasons. Cities around the state measure the annual average demand and peak demand, but drought conditions like we’re experiencing now, fall outside of annual averages.

In the last several weeks, many cities have implemented additional restrictions, and many residents don’t understand how these restrictions can help restore water levels within a matter of hours. Although it doesn’t seem like limiting irrigation or water use would have much of an impact, it significantly improves a city’s supply.

Enacting water restrictions alleviate the demand and can prevent communities from falling below fire protection and boil water levels. The below diagram shows an example of a water tower’s levels in a week. Water towers have censors that measure elevations. There is a minimum water level within the water tower to provide adequate fire protection. In our example, that level is 21 feet, meaning if there were a fire and the water tower level was below 21 feet there may not be adequate supply to fight the fire. 

There is also a minimum level that needs to be maintained in the water tower to ensure that the pressure in the system is high enough to keep contaminants from entering the water system. In our example, if the water elevation drops below 10 feet a boil water notice would be implemented. 

There are several actions that communities are taking today to help limit water usage including developing water reuse systems and plans, adjusting landscaping to include more native, drought resistant plantings and grasses, and reducing overall water consumption.

Instances of severe drought remind us that water is not a limitless resource and that forces outside of our control can have major impacts on our infrastructure.  

With 20 years of engineering experience in the municipal industry, Alyson Fauske has built her career providing municipal engineering services throughout the Twin Cities. Her portfolio of work includes street and utility reconstruction, technical analysis and field observations, direct project planning and management, and comprehensive and capital planning services.

[email protected] | 763.512.5244

Every Project Should Use Active Visualization

By Jeff Christiansen, Visualization Studio Manager, WSB

What does the popular online video game Fortnite and WSB have in common? Active 3D visualization.

Visualization is the process of building a model of a project site that can aid in the iterative design process and construction of a project. The technology has been used for decades and can be categorized as passive or active.

Passive visualizations are 3D visualizations that have been created from individually rendered frames and cannot be updated in real time. The supplemental tools to work on a passive visualization are filters and photoshop. The process of designing a project through passive visualization is inefficient and expensive. That’s why, in 2017, the technologically advanced engineering firms, including WSB, moved towards active visualization. Active visualizations allow us to produce project renderings in real time and make edits to those renderings in seconds. The software engine and graphics cards we use to create active or real-time visualizations at WSB are the same technology used for developing industry leading games.

Active visualizations can be used to create renderings on several different project types. From landscaping to transportation, any project with a design phase can take advantage of the state-of-the-art technology. This is important because active visualization can offer several benefits including realism, flexibility and certainty.


Until active visualization software was created for Fortnite, the engineering industry relied on passive visualizations and its tools. The visualizations looked fine but were not realistic. Consider a municipal client who may be interested in rebuilding three blocks of their downtown. Within an active visualization, a client can pick a place anywhere in the three-block radius and “walk” through the town with the use of only a computer and a mouse or keyboard. They can see the color of the buildings, the species of the trees and flowers planted alongside the sidewalks and even review the various concrete dyes within the scene, all within real-time, and all while changing the time of day to review color hues.


A client gets a clear picture of what those new three city blocks will look like because of the realism of the designs and that influences flexibility. Active visualization is flexible because the software allows a designer to make changes in seconds. For example, if a client did not like the color of the buildings in the rendering, a designer can change it in real time. This is great for trying new and different ideas. It can also help a client save money by making clear decisions about other design elements before ordering materials such as light poles, wayfinding signage, flowers and trees or other design elements.


Active visualization allows a client to make quicker decisions in a design so they are certain they will be happy with the result. The certainty for the client also helps build trust during public engagement processes. The realism and flexibility of the renderings lead to less interpretation by a viewer, whether they are a client or community member.

Active visualization has become the standard at WSB for municipal and landscape architecture projects and will no doubt start to be used for other projects soon. The benefits of realism, flexibility and certainty help ensure each project is delivered on time, on budget and at the highest quality.

Jeff is a visualization studio manager with more than 22 years experience on many types of visualization projects, including over 400 miles of roadway with design elements that include five-level interchanges, bridge aesthetics, and complex roundabouts. He is an experienced project manager in the development and final production of disparate visualizations for municipal, state, and federal projects.

[email protected] | 214.789.0538

environmental compliance during rapid population growth

Preparing for the Conservation Partners Legacy Grant

By Luke Lunde, Professional Soil Scientist and Amy Anderson, Project Engineer, WSB

Applications for all cycles of the Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants opened on August 1. The CPL Grant Program funds conservation projects that restore, enhance or protect forests, wetlands, prairies and habitat for fish, game and wildlife in Minnesota. To be eligible, projects must be located on public lands or private properties with an easement that allows for public access.

Since 2009, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) has been managing the reimbursable program to provide competitive matching grants from $5,000 to $400,000 to local, regional, state and nonprofit organizations.

Finding funding for projects can be challenging and knowing how to take advantage of a grant opportunity can make or break a project’s success.  Here are some helpful ways you can prepare your application for the upcoming fiscal year 2022 grants.

Determine the grant cycle that works best for your project.

There are three programs available: Traditional, Metro and Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP). Grant amounts needed, project activities, eligible land, funding rounds, review processes and project locations all impact the type of grant program that’s best suited for a project. The MN DNR’s website offers a helpful Grant Comparison Cycle worksheet to guide evaluation.

Determine if the matching requirement will impact your application.

A 10% match of the total grant amount requested is required. There are two matching options. A cash match is actual cash contributed by your organization, a third party or supplies or contacted services to be paid during the grant period. An in-kind match is a non-cash donation of a good service that could include personnel time, use of equipment or donated supplies or services.

There is nearly $10 million available for CPL grants for the upcoming fiscal year 2022. Applications must be submitted by September 20, 2021 for the Traditional and Metro grant cycles and by September 13, 2021 for the ECP grant cycle.

Helpful links:

Luke Lunde
Luke is a Minnesota Professional Soil Scientist in WSB’s Environmental Natural Resources Group, and he has over nineteen years of natural resource and environmental review experience. Luke’s experience includes soil survey mapping, geologic hazard assessments, karst feature mapping and mitigation plans, wetland delineation, wetland banking, wetland mitigation, habitat restoration, invasive species management, grant writing, erosion control compliance site management, habitat restoration, invasive species management, natural resource planning, environmental permitting and compliance, for numerous projects throughout the Midwest.

Amy Anderson
Amy has over nine years of professional experience in water resources engineering, specializing in stream restoration and watershed management. Amy’s experience in stream restoration spans the project cycle, from surveying and design through construction observation and post-project monitoring. Amy has been the primary author or co-author of Surface Water Management Plans for two separate municipalities (West St. Paul and North St. Paul) and one watershed district (Valley Branch Watershed District) in the metro area and has presented to citizen’s groups, municipal committees, and city councils on surface water management and planning.