About Us

Who we are:  Through our God-given talents, education, and experiences, we strive to serve our clients and employees with excellence and an attitude of partnership.

T. Shawn Ausel, PE, CBSI

T. Shawn Ausel, PE, CBSI

Principal Engineer

Shawn Ausel is a licensed professional engineerand certified bridge safety inspector with over 20 years of experience in civil and structural engineering. After high school, Shawn enlisted in the US Army where he was stationed in Germany and spent much of his spare time taking courses with the University of Maryland European College and traveling throughout western Europe. Using the GI Bill, Shawn graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. From there, Shawn worked for a consulting firm where he had the opportunity to design large interstate DOT bridges and gain bridge inspection experience. After deciding to move back to his hometown for a while, Shawn worked for the District-1 bridge unit at PennDOT (where they also allowed him to intern) where he oversaw the design for dozens of bridge and bridge preservation projects. In 2009 and 2010, he was selected to be the structural engineering advisor for the Marine Corps command-element-headquarters in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. There he had the opportunity to serve alongside Marines at several of the battalion and company sized bases assisting with base expansion and bridge repair plans. Following his wife Janet, Shawn moved to the mountains of North Carolina in 2011 where he gained experience working for NCDOT as a consultant. Here he served in roles such as construction engineering and inspection (CEI), bridge design engineer, safety inspector of in-service bridges (NBSI) and railroad bridge design engineer for CSX. Currently, Shawn oversees the day-to-day operations of Areté Engineers and enjoys inspecting bridges and reviewing structural engineering projects. He is currently licensed in fifteen states including North Carolina and most of the southeast. He lives in Boone, NC with Janet and sons, Jonathan and Zachary. 

Janet Ausel, PE

Janet Ausel, PE

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 Carribean.

Janet graduated with a B.S. 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 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. While in Uganda, she spent five years managing and leading 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 and Zachary. Janet is a licensed professional engineer.

Adam Felmlee, CBSI

Adam Felmlee, CBSI

Principal Engineer

Adam is a licensed professional engineer with over 12 years of experience in manufacturing, design, and structural engineering in the communication, residential, and transportation industries. He has extensive experience with both private companies and 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 and engineering manager at a small and growing manufacturing company in the communications industry.  

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 and calculations for many NCDOT post-award construction projects including: demo and erection, retaining walls, bridge deck overhangs, maintenance and 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 and fabricated an 80-foot 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. Adam is a licensed professional engineer and certified bridge safety inspector.

Brian Mullin, PE, CBSI

Senior Structural Engineer

Brian has over 12 years of civil and structural engineering experience in the transportation, commercial, industrial, telecommunications, and residential sectors. He has extensive experience working with city and state agencies, as well as with architects, developers, and contractors. He is currently a professional engineer licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia. In the summer of 2017, Brian successfully completed the FHWA-NHI-13005 Safety Inspection of In-Service Highway Bridges to become a certified bridge safety inspector.

Brian graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of North Florida in 2007. After graduation, he went to work for private consulting firms performing Construction Engineering Inspection (CEI) of bridge and toll facility expansions in the Central Florida area. He quickly changed directions to focus on structural engineering and design for high speed open road tolling facilities, public buildings, municipal utility sites, and fleet maintenance structures throughout the state of Florida. In 2012, Brian moved into the private sector designing new buildings and modifying existing structures for commercial clients such as Publix Supermarkets and LA Fitness. Brian 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 Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Since joining Areté Engineers in the fall 2016, he has been primarily focused on structural engineering and design of commercial and residential structures. He also assists in the inspection of bridges for the NCDOT.

Brian currently lives in Lenoir, NC.

Richard Holt, EI, CBSI

Richard Holt, EI, CBSI

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. He is an engineering intern and certified bridge safety inspector.

Martin Russ, CBSI

Martin Russ, CBSI

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 one of the primary bridge inspectors for Areté Engineers and is certified as a SPRAT Level 1, Rope Access Worker and is a certified bridge safety inspector.

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, Jr.


David graduated from Appalachian State University’s Building Science program with a concentration in Architectural Technology and Design. While attending Appalachian State, David was the Project Architect for ASU Design + Build Competition team and Treasurer for the ASU Chapter of American Institute of Architecture Students. He also received his OSHA 10-Hour Safety certification while in school.

David began working for Areté Engineers in the spring of 2018 as a designer/drafter for residential and commercial design projects. During his time with the company, David has worked on deck expansion/remodels, foundation repair plans, minor structural assessments, bridge inspection, full structural residential design, and retaining wall design.

David will soon be attending graduate school to earn his M. Arch. When David is not behind his computer, he can be found focusing on his golf game and hiking through the mountains when it is not raining or snowing in Boone.

Turner Trivette

Bridge Inspector/Designer

Turner began working with Areté Engineers in 2015. During this time, 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 pre-fabricated pedestrian bridges. In 2018, he was responsible for the fabrication of over a dozen FRP (fiber reinforced polymer) pedestrian truss bridges, with lengths ranging from 25-feet all the way to 80-feet, which were then shipped out to various locations throughout the U.S. including a multitude of national and state parks.

Turner graduated from 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 while 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 against one another in their respected technical fields. Turner was awarded the state championship in Carpentry his senior year and went on to compete at the national level.

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 Cook


Julie is a marketing specialist with Areté Engineers. She over 11 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 resume 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.

Jamie Coleman

office manager

Jamie came to work at Arete Engineers in 2018 with years of varied administrative and financial experience.

After graduating with a degree in International Business and working for a marketing company, Jamie moved overseas and began working for a non-profit. There,
she did everything from teaching English to developing and running educational and humanitarian programs for children in crisis. Nine years ago, Jamie moved to
Boone with her husband, and began working at a local nonprofit where she managed finances and logistics for mobilizing hundreds of International field staff.

Jamie lives in Boone with her husband and children and enjoys all the beauty and fun this area has to offer.

Guin Thi

Designer/Drafter Intern

Guin is an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University, pursuing her degree in the Building Science department with a concentration in Architectural Technology and Design. In the spring semester of 2020, she was part of the Appalachian State University’s IDEXlab (Integrative Design Experience Laboratory) where the program enhanced study approach to higher education through real life commission projects in Designs, Build, and connect with clients. In addition, she runs the Social Media platform for the ASU Chapter of American Institute of Architecture Students. 

Guin will also plan to pursue her M.Arch in graduate school after internship and the following years after gaining an experience of work ethic as a designer/engineer. In addition, as a Gate Scholarship Recipient of 2016, she will be provided with an opportunity to also extend in higher education such as seeking to obtain her doctorate degree in the near future. 

Outside of education and work life, Guin likes to explore different trails and waterfalls in the mountains. She also enjoys cooking different culture dishes and likes to photograph and draw. 

Guin’s Currently lives in Boone, NC / Stony Point, NC.

Mason Bumgarner

Mason Bumgarner

Engineering Intern

Mason graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2019 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering along with a minor in Mathematics. Mason is pursuing his Graduate degree in structural engineering at NC State University. Mason was an Intern with Areté Engineers in the Summer of 2018 and was hired on Full-Time after graduating in 2019.

Since beginning work with Areté, Mason has performed structural assessments, deck and framing design, heavy timber design, created remodeling plans, and performed NCDOT bridge inspections. Mason also performed design analysis for FRP pedestrian truss bridges for our sister company Areté Structures.

Mason currently lives in Boone, NC. He is an engineering intern and is currently working to become a certified bridge safety inspector. When Mason is not working, he can be found outdoors and snowboarding during the wintertime.

Professional Memberships