Engineering, Architecture, Planning

TKDA Adds Staff to Duluth Office

January 6, 2016

Photos of Jude and Bud

From left to right: Jude Homola and Brian “Bud” Mickelson

TKDA has added mechanical and electrical engineers to its design team in the Northland. Registered Mechanical Engineer Jude Homola and Registered Electrical Engineer Brian “Bud” Mickelson join the architects, civil engineers, and surveyors in the Duluth office.

Homola has eight years of experience in the construction industry, over four years of those with engineering and design experience. He is an advocate for sustainability within the built environment and has been involved in designs that contain the latest in HVAC and plumbing technology, including many forms of heat recovery, solar applications, and wastewater treatment.

Homola has worked in many market sectors, including office/retail, education, health care, private, commercial, and industrial. His experience includes HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection on a number of high profile projects with LEED or Net Zero sustainability goals for clients including Nike, Facebook, Rocky Mountain Institute, Vancouver Clinic, the Port of Portland, Washington State University and C-TRAN (public transportation agency in Washington State).

Homola earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and relocated from Portland, Oregon, to join TKDA. His wife, Elana (Sundberg) Homola, is originally from Duluth.

Mickelson is originally from Zim and attended Cherry High School. He has worked in the mining industry in Minnesota and Indiana for both Magnetation and Cliffs Natural Resources. He has extensive experience in industrial power, lighting and signals applications. He was electrical project manager for the construction and commissioning of an industrial taconite facility in Reynolds, Indiana, and upon completion became maintenance manager at the plant.

Mickelson has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Dakota.

“Adding mechanical and electrical engineering expertise to our team strengthens our integrated design capabilities in the Northland,” said CEO and President Bill Deitner. “We are very pleased to add two professional engineers with Northland ties to our Duluth staff, and I know they are both happy to reconnect with family and friends in the community.”

Long-time TKDA employees retire

January 4, 2016


Clockwise from top left: Peter Brožek, Larry Bohrer, Sue Ohman, and Cyd Young

A number of long-time TKDA employees retired at the end of 2015.

Retiring Senior Registered Architect, Peter Brožek, began working at TKDA in 1985. He has been instrumental in the design and project administration of industrial plants, transit facilities, public works facilities, and water and wastewater treatment facilities. Peter is also an expert in roofing design and building envelopes, and extremely adept at identifying problems and formulating solutions.

Peter has been a trusted advisor to many private and public clients, and he oversaw design implementation and construction administration of 15 Blue Line (Hiawatha) Light Rail Line passenger stations and the LRT vehicle maintenance facility in Minneapolis. Currently, Peter is completing a new central facility he designed for Austin Utilities. He will remain on TKDA’s staff as a temporary employee until the Austin project wraps up.

Larry Bohrer, PE, an Engineering Group Manager in the Municipal Services Division retired from TKDA after 43 years of service to cities and towns. A former TKDA Vice President of Municipal Services, he has served government clients as a staff manager, consulting city engineer, project manager, and project engineer.

In honor of his retirement, the City of Columbus passed a resolution, thanking Larry for his 15 years of services to their community. Larry assisted Columbus to incorporate from Township to City, and planned/implemented a municipal sewer and water system for the City.

Recently, Larry led a multiphased infrastructure improvement project at the Camp Ripley training facility for the Minnesota National Guard in Little Falls, Minnesota. The project was recently recognized as an APWA Project of the Year Honorable Mention.

Our devoted Office Manager, Cyd Young, recently completed her career after 20 years with TKDA’s Saint Paul Office.

Sue Oman has retired after dedicating 11 years as an administrative professional in TKDA’s Architecture Division.

“TKDA will miss each of these long-time employees. Their contributions were many and their experience runs deep,” said President/CEO Bill Deitner. “We appreciate all their work in passing on their knowledge and expertise so our clients and staff enjoy a seamless transition. We wish them all a happy retirement.”

TKDA volunteers at We Care event

December 21, 2015

Photo of We Care Event

TKDA staff helped 48 kids create a unique holiday gift at this year’s We Care event. We Care unites the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and interior design firms in hosting a holiday gathering for children in need. The day of seasonal celebration includes a variety of craft stations where children create holiday gifts for family and friends. Representatives from interior design firms and the architecture and design community are on hand to help and share in the holiday spirit. Now in its nineteenth year, We Care brings seasonal joy and good cheer to thousands of deserving children in 26 cities in the U.S. and Canada. TKDA was one of 12 design firms participating in the Herman Miller sponsored event in Minneapolis.

The TKDA team worked with children ages 5 to 13 to design a beautiful M&M brownie mix in a jar to give as a gift this Holiday season. Our team was led by interior designer Michelle Gallagher, with participation by Amy Patterson, Cole Hartfiel, Darren Lindsey (and daughter, Lauren), Amanda Kieffer, Kristy Moore, and Ben Johnson. Staff members Bob Wilcox, Brian Fitzgerald, and Kathy Siedschlag donated additional materials for the kids to personalize and decorate their jars.

TKDA is grateful to everyone who volunteered their time and resources during this busy time of the year to make this event possible!

Retiring TKDA Engineer Larry Bohrer Recognized by Community

December 17, 2015

Photo of Larry Bohrer

Larry Bohrer has worked as a civil engineer in TKDA’s municipal department his entire professional career, holding many positions, including division vice president. After 43 years of great work, he is retiring at the end of this year.

In honor of his retirement, he received a special honor from one of his long-time clients, the City of Columbus.

At their recent city council meeting, an official resolution was passed, thanking Larry for his 15 years of services to their community. Columbus Mayor David Povolny read the following resolution:


A Resolution of Appreciation to Larry Bohrer City Engineer for His 15 Years of Service
to the City of Columbus

WHEREAS, Larry began his distinguished career with the Town of Columbus and was an instrumental part of Columbus’ incorporation to a City; and

WHEREAS, Larry spent countless hours working on City projects, assisting developers, business owners, property owners and residents answering questions on a wide variety of engineering and City issues all with a professional and calm demeanor; and

WHEREAS, Larry has always been known as a great team player, a strong project manager, and especially for his extraordinary commitment to customer service; and

WHEREAS to his fellow City consultants and the City Council Larry was known to have a smile on his face and a willingness to help no matter the request made of him; and

WHEREAS, Larry and his wife (Sue) have plans to travel and explore new places by ship, train and car; and

WHEREAS, we extend our best wishes upon his retirement and for continued success in his life’s pursuit; and

WHEREAS, Larry will be retiring in December 2015 after many years of commendable dedication to the City of Columbus.

NOW THEREFORE, this Council does hereby confer upon Larry Bohrer

Its highest appreciation for the manner in which he has performed his duties in the City of Columbus with special thanks for his professionalism, dedication to service and kindness to the members of the Columbus City Council, its City Staff members, and the residents of Columbus.

Signed by Mayor David J. Povolny and City Administrator Elizabeth Mursko.


“Engineering has been a great profession where I have been able to provide good roads, safe drinking water, sewage treatment systems, and stormwater control for people and communities,” Larry said. “Years ago I had realized that engineering is what I do, but a public servant is who I am.”

TKDA strongly believes in succession planning, and Dennis Postler, Vice President of Municipal Services, has worked closely with Larry to provide seamless services to all his clients. Dennis will take over as City Engineer for Columbus in January.

“The Municipal Division is in good hands with Dennis at the helm,” Larry said.

Happy retirement Larry!

Camp Ripley work recognized as APWA Project of the Year Honorable Mention

November 20, 2015

Aerial photo of Camp Ripley

Photo at APWA Conference

TKDA Senior Registered Engineer, Larry Bohrer, and Colonel Larry Herke
of Minnesota Army National Guard accept an award for Camp Ripley at the
APWA Conference.

TKDA recently accepted a Project of the Year Honorable Mention at the America Public Works Association Minnesota Chapter (APWA-MN) Fall Conference for road and utility infrastructure improvements at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minnesota. Projects are selected based on innovation, sustainability, and future value to the public works profession and to the community.

The Minnesota Department of Military Affairs selected TKDA to provide engineering services for street, parking lot, sanitary sewer, watermain, storm sewer, lift station, and airfield improvements in the Cantonment Area at Camp Ripley. The $15.4 million seven-phase project improves and upgrades the Camp’s infrastructure to better support and sustain the overall base operations, and minimize annual maintenance costs. Camp Ripley’s 53,000-acre facility has the infrastructure of a self-contained city, capable of supporting a peak influx of 20,000 military personnel.

The award was accepted by TKDA Senior Engineer, Larry Bohrer, PE and staff from the Minnesota Army National Guard. Larry led the Camp Ripley project through its entire six-year duration. Larry is a former Vice President of Municipal Services at TKDA and has served government clients as a staff manager, consulting city engineer, project manager, and project engineer. He will be retiring at the end of 2015 after 43 years of service at TKDA.

This is the second award the Camp Ripley project has won. The first award was given by the Concrete Paving Association of Minnesota and recognized the Camp’s airfield taxiway reconstruction.

TKDA participates in Hennepin County Citizens Academy

November 12, 2015

Hennepin Citizens Academy

TKDA Water Services leader John Berrigan, PE recently graduated from the Hennepin County Citizens Academy. The seven-week series provides participants with access to how county government operates and includes topics ranging from winter road plowing to light rail transit. Participants meet County leaders and learn about many of the services provided by the County.

“Minnesota is exceptional in its transparency, accessibility and outreach to each citizen or professional, and the Citizens Academy was no exception,” noted John. “I would definitely recommend the Hennepin County Citizens Academy for anyone wanting to learn more about Hennepin County services across community agency lines.”

As a 100 percent employee-owned firm, TKDA fosters a commitment to thoroughly understanding how our clients operate and their goals. Understanding a client’s vision, culture, processes, and personnel, streamlines design delivery and guides the firm toward highly-valued, client-specific solutions.

TKDA Presents Infrastructure Renewal Options

November 6, 2015

Water/Wastewater Presentation

TKDA Senior Water/Wastewater Engineer, Bernie Bullert, recently presented water infrastructure renewal options to a group of public works officials and facilities managers at an event at Oakdale City Hall in Oakdale, MN. Bernie was joined by Mitchell Hoeft of Insituform, who provided specific technical solutions for pipe rehabilitation. This was the third in a series of lunch and learn events given by Bernie throughout the Twin Cities Metro and Northland regions. Bernie will give additional presentations in the coming months to other public and private organizations.

The discussion included tools for successful water distribution and collection system management and capital investment, including:

  • Replacement vs. rehabilitation for water mains, force mains, and gravity sewers
  • Cost-effective asset management for water distribution or wastewater collection
  • Technology selection, renewal planning, and winning public support for investment

Senior Registered Engineer Bernie Bullert is a leader in the use of new technologies to reduce long-term infrastructure costs. Dedicated to helping communities move their infrastructure renewal projects forward, he has established water infrastructure rehabilitation programs through his previous leadership roles at Utilities in the Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as providing asset management consulting to Minnesota communities.

If you are interested in attending a future speaking engagement, please contact Bernie at

Duluth Airport Terminal Named for Jim Oberstar

October 30, 2015


Duluth International Airport named its new airport terminal after the man who helped make it a reality: the late Congressman Jim Oberstar. The airport hosted a dedication ceremony naming the facility after the Minnesota Congressman. As longtime chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Oberstar secured funding for many road, bridge, bike path and transit projects, including crucial funding for the $78 million Duluth terminal project.

“Congressman Oberstar was a champion of aviation in our region,” Duluth Airport Authority Executive Director Tom Werner said in a previous statement. “It’s through his leadership and vision that we have such a vibrant aviation sector at the Duluth International Airport today.”

TKDA provided interior design on the Terminal, collaborating with lead designer RS&H. The Duluth terminal’s long expanses of glass created a connection with its Northland setting. To strengthen this connection, TKDA interior designers chose materials and finishes native to northern Minnesota. The main lobby’s gently flowing ceiling plane and paneled walls evoke both water and woods, creating a tranquil, yet captivating atmosphere for the traveler. Warm, inviting tones in a natural palette — dark blue, muted green, creamy white, along with wood finishes and brushed metal — play off the area’s naturally cool climate.

The project was selected by Minnesota Council of Airports for a Project of the Year award in 2014.

TKDA also collaborated with RS&H on the terminal’s new parking structure.

TKDA to Present at AASHE Sustainability Conference

October 26, 2015

Photo of 17th Avenue Student Residence Hall and Dining Facility

University of Minnesota 17th Avenue Residence Hall and Dining Center Gray Water Case Study
Tuesday, October 27, 8:30 a.m.

TKDA is presenting a sustainable design feature of the University of Minnesota’s newest Residence Hall and Dining Center at the AASHE Conference in Minneapolis this week. TKDA’s Architect-of Record, Brian Morse, and Lead Mechanical Engineer, Greg Trende of Michaud Cooley Erickson will present an overview of the Residence Hall’s gray water system. The system provides a site water management strategy for a constrained urban setting with few options for on-site infiltration. Minimizing run-off to the nearby Mississippi River was a major objective. The design gathered water from the facility’s roofs and site, as well as from the adjacent property’s surface parking lots. The system provides non-potable water for residence hall water closets and site irrigation, and has the ability to fill watering trucks for off-site use. The presentation will describe monitoring and displaying systems that track performance, assess energy use, and educate users/residents. The discussion will include a review of the system’s performance since becoming operational, and the lessons learned from the design, construction and operation.

TKDA was the Architect-of-Record for the 17th Avenue Student Residence Hall and Dining Facility. A collaborative project with design architects Mackey Mitchell, the 600-bed facility features “super suite” accommodations for students and private apartments for advising staff. The dining facility’s commercial kitchen prepares and serves three meals a day in an innovative, fresh food delivery method. Community spaces and state-of-the-art technology is featured throughout the building. Constructed to meet Minnesota’s B3 sustainability standards, the building offers energy efficient design, systems, and equipment, including a green, vegetated roof with a water collection system, energy-saving appliances, and sensor lighting.

Larry Morgan Presents Construction History of Cathedral of Saint Paul

October 14, 2015

Photo of Larry Morgan

TKDA Engineer Larry Morgan was the featured speaker at this month’s meeting of the Engineers’ Society of Saint Paul. His presentation “Construction of the Cathedral of Saint Paul – From Concept to Masterpiece in 36 years” provided a look back in history on how this grand structure came to be. Designed by famed French architect El Masqueray, the Cathedral had a final construction cost of $1.625 million upon its completion in 1915. Today’s cost to duplicate the exterior and interior construction is estimated at $2 billion.

TKDA was founded in 1910 as Toltz Engineering and the firm was involved in the design of the Cathedral’s heating system. That original system is still operational. Of the more than 30 firms and contractors that contributed their skills to design and build the Cathedral, TKDA is one of only four that are still in business today.

The Engineers’ Society of Saint Paul has been gathering for monthly meetings since 1883. For Morgan’s presentation, TKDA hosted the group at its downtown Saint Paul office, just four blocks away from where Toltz Engineering was originally founded 105 years ago.

Download a PDF of the presentation! (5 MB)