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INTERA Acquires Ocean Engineering Associates, Inc. (OEA)

Deal marks milestone in growth strategy in the water and infrastructure sectors

INTERA, a leader in risk and uncertainty analysis in the environmental, water resource, and waste isolation markets, has acquired Gainesville, Florida-based Ocean Engineering Associates, Inc. (OEA), a leading coastal engineering, sediment transport and hydrodynamic modeling firm. The addition of OEA expands INTERA’s capabilities in assessing risk associated with the impact of climate variability on coastal communities and infrastructure for municipal, state and private sector clients.

The OEA team brings extensive expertise related to sediment erosion/scour prediction and protection, computer modeling of tropical storms and hurricanes, wave loading on coastal and ocean structures and general coastal engineering. OEA has developed proprietary software that it uses to estimate storm surge and wave forces on bridge superstructures and similar offshore structures.

Max Sheppard, Ph.D., founded OEA in 1988 while serving as a tenured professor at the University of Florida. Since then, OEA has grown from a modest, one-person, part-time operation to a nationally recognized leader in the arena of bridge scour and hydraulics. Since joining the company in 2002, Mark Gosselin, Ph.D., vice president, OEA, has played a key role in OEA’s success.

“The acquisition of OEA is a key step in our overall growth strategy in the water and infrastructure sectors,” said Marsh Lavenue, president and CEO, INTERA. “We have immense respect for the OEA leadership and the team they have assembled. We are excited that OEA and INTERA share similar cultures with a commitment to technical excellence, innovation and customer service.”

Recently recruited, Terry Hull, vice president and principal engineer of INTERA’s Jacksonville, Florida- based office, is leading the expansion of INTERA’s reach in the Southeastern United States. The OEA team of nine employees will become part of Hull’s new Southeastern Division along with INTERA’s Tampa office.

“By joining INTERA, we will add value for our clients and our staff,” said Sheppard. “As part of a growing and dynamic global organization, we will better serve our clients nationally and internationally, while generating new technical and professional opportunities for our team.”

As part of the transaction, Gosselin will serve as INTERA’s director of Hydraulics and Coastal Modeling and provide technical leadership on modeling projects across the company. Sheppard will become a principal. INTERA plans to retain all the technical staff of the OEA team located in Gainesville. With a vision of growing its coastal engineering and modeling business as a result of the acquisition, INTERA anticipates adding 15 to 30 employees within the next several years as it expands its client base in the Southeast United States.