About Us

Who we are

T. Shawn Ausel, P.E., C.B.S.I.

Principal Engineer

Shawn Ausel is a licensed professional engineer with over 15 years of experience in civil and structural engineering. He has extensive experience with both private consulting firms and state department of transportation in bridge design, bridge inspection, construction inspection, telecommunications tower design, and residential structural engineering. He is currently a professional licensed engineer in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada.

Shawn graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2000. Prior to obtaining his professional degree he spent four years as a soldier in the US Army. After graduation Shawn worked in private engineering consulting for three years. From 2003 to 2009 he was an engineer and project manager for PennDOT where he oversaw the design for over 40 bridge or bridge preservation projects. From 2009 to 2010 he was the structural engineering advisor for the Marine Corps headquarters in Afghanistan. Prior to founding Areté Engineers, Shawn was a design engineer for Vaughn and Melton where he performed construction oversight, bridge design for NCDOT, railroad bridge design for CSX, as well as a providing a range of structural engineering services for the residential sector.

He lives in Boone, NC with his wife (Janet) and sons (Jonathan & Zachary).

Janet Ausel, P.E.

WASH Engineer

Janet Ausel is a licensed professional engineer with over 22 years of experience in environmental engineering and international relief and development work. She has extensive experience in site environmental assessment and remediation work as well as international water and sanitation engineering. She has worked on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. Janet graduated with a Bachelors of Science in 1995 and a Masters of Engineering in 1996 both in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. For nearly a decade Janet worked in environmental consulting in the Mid-Atlantic Region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware).In 2003, she began assisting with water and sanitation designs for Engineering Ministries International projects in Africa and joined staff with them in 2005 in their Uganda office where, for over five years, she managed and led groups of engineers, architects, surveyors in designing orphanages, schools, Bible colleges, and water projects throughout East Africa. Janet joined Samaritan’s Purse in December 2010 and served as a Water and Sanitation Advisor through 2017, supporting WASH projects around the world. She has traveled to and advised SP WASH programming in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. Through Areté Engineers she currently provides WASH consulting services to international non-profit organizations.She lives in Boone, NC with her husband, Shawn and sons Jonathan & Zachary.

Adam Felmlee, P.E., C.B.S.I.

Principal Engineer

Adam is a licensed professional engineer with over 12 years of experience in manufacturing, design, & structural engineering in the communication, residential, and transportation industries. He has extensive experience with both private companies & government agencies. Adam has successfully complete the FHWA-NHI-13005 Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges course.

Adam graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH in 2004. After graduation, he worked in the manufactured housing industry and become familiar with the aspects of residential engineering. From 2006 to 2015, Adam was an engineer & engineering manager at a small & growing manufacturing company in the communications industry. He was responsible for the design of complete remote & mobile communications sites. Design & engineering challenges included: towers heights from 20ft to 100ft, ballast & footing design for a completely free standing structure to meet the requirements of TIA-EIA-222, ASCE 7-10, and IBC. During his time in the telecommunications industry he also became familiar with Military standards: MIL-STD-461F & MIL-STD-810G.   Adam began working with Areté Engineers part-time in 2014, and became a full-time member of the Areté Team in 2016.  During this time, has prepared plans & calculations for many NCDOT post-award construction projects including: demo & erection, retaining walls, bridge deck overhangs, maintenance & protection of traffic, and bridge jacking. Adam has successfully complete the FHWA-NHI-13005 Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges course and works as a Bridge Inspection Team Leader.   In addition to DOT work, he has experience with some more specialized projects. These projects have included structural engineering using fiber glass reinforced polymer (FRP). In particular, Areté Engineers has designed & fabricated an 80ft FRP pedestrian bridge for the Julian Price Memorial Park on the Mountain to Seas trail.

Adam lives in Lenoir, NC with his wife (Leah) and 3 children Acacia, Titus, and Arlee.

Brian Mullin, P.E., C.B.S.I.

Structural Engineer

Brian has over 10 years of civil and structural engineering experience in the transportation, commercial, and telecommunications industries. He has extensive experience working with city and state agencies, as well as with private companies and developers. He is currently a professional engineer licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia.

Brian graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of North Florida in 2007. Starting in 2005, he worked as an intern designing maintenance of traffic (MOT) plans and performing construction engineering inspection (CEI) for The Greater Jacksonville Plan. After graduation, he went to work for private consulting firms performing design, CEI, and construction administration for high speed open road tolling facilities, public buildings, and municipal utility sites in the state of Florida. In 2012, Brian moved into the private sector designing new buildings and modifying existing structures for the commercial industry. From there he went on to evaluating, upgrading, and designing structures for both industrial facilities and telecommunications sites. Brian then returned to the public sector in 2014, where he became the structural engineering department manager for a consulting firm which specializes in open road tolling facilities, serving Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and the FDOT. Since he began working for Atete’ Engineers in late 2016, he has been focused on inspecting existing bridges for the NCDOT and structural design of residential projects.

Brian currently lives in Lenoir, NC with his wife and family.

Richard Holt, EI

Structural Engineer

Richard has a year of experience in structural design and structural assessments. While a student, he held an internship with a private firm completing structural assessments as well as design projects for residential and commercial structures in Raleigh, NC. Prior to that, Richard completed a three rotation Co-op program with an energy company in Apex, NC and held an internship with a private environmental engineering firm in Raleigh, NC.

Richard graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2017 with concentrations in structural engineering and water resources engineering. Richard is pursuing his graduate degree in structural engineering at NC State. Richard began working with Areté Engineers in 2018.

Richard currently live in Boone, NC.

Martin Russ

Bridge Inspector/Designer

Martin graduated from Appalachian State University’s Building Science program with a concentration in Sustainable Building Systems. He also gained a couple years of experience working with a local general contractor while attending Appalachian.

Martin began working with Areté Engineers in 2017. Since being hired he has created plans for various residential remodels, home additions, and new construction projects. In addition he has completed structural assessments and is also a bridge inspector for Arete’.

When he is not working you can find Martin rock climbing at any one of the many great outdoor climbing areas in and around Boone, NC. When weather does not allow for climbing outside you can find him at the local climbing gym where he volunteers his extra time as a climbing route setter.

Martin lives in Boone, NC


David Thornton


David graduated from Appalachian State University’s Building Science program with a concentration in Architectural Design and Technology. While at Appalachian State, David was the Treasurer of the American Institute of Architecture Students.

David began working with Areté Engineers in 2018 and has worked on new construction plans in residential and commercial design as well as retaining walls for other projects.

When David is not working at Areté, he spends his free time focusing on his golf game and hiking through the mountains when the weather is fair.

Turner Trivette

Bridge Inspector/Designer

Turner began working with Areté Engineers in 2015. During his time here, he has prepared plans for various construction/rehabilitation projects including residential and bridge construction, worked as a bridge inspector, developed structural assessment reports, and plays a role in marketing and advertising for Areté. Turner is also the lead fabricator and shop manager for our sister company Areté Structures, where we design, manufacture, and deliver prefabricated pedestrian bridges.

Turner graduated Appalachian State University in 2017 with a B.S. in Construction Management along with a minor in Business. He developed a strong interest in the construction industry as he was attending Watauga High School, where he gained experience in residential construction, metal fabrication, and worked on various projects under Watauga’s construction program. During high school, he joined Skills USA, a national organization in which students compete in 100 occupational and leadership skill areas. Throughout his high school career, he obtained first place medals in both regional and state competitions for Carpentry and went on to compete at the national level. He holds welding certifications for MIG, Stick, & TIG welding.

In addition to Areté, Turner is a Senior Ski Patroller at Appalachian Ski mountain where he enjoys skiing and keeping people safe.

Turner lives in Boone, NC.

Julie Cook


Julie is a marketing specialist with Areté Engineers. She has over eleven years of marketing and communications experience, and with a B.S. from North Carolina State University and an MBA from UNC-Wilmington, she helps Areté craft and execute marketing plans, connects target audiences to Areté’s story, and guides messaging for the company. During her career, she has worked on proposals for local, state and federal agencies, built social media platforms from the ground up and regularly speaks on the subject at industry organizations, and has a résumé that includes service marketing for engineering firms across the Southeast. She’s been with Areté since 2017, and in her spare time enjoys reading, painting and spending time with her husband and two children. 

Professional Memberships