James R. Wheeler, P.E.


Mr. Wheeler has over 25 years of experience with engineering design, specialty foundation construction and construction management. Before forming Design/Build Geotechnical in 2001, Jim was a geotechnical engineer and Director of Business Development at Hayward Baker Inc., Odenton, MD, where he served for nearly four years as primary point of contact in the evaluation of underground construction problems and in the development of alternative ground improvement related solutions. In close involvement with numerous projects involving jet grouting and vibro stabilization alternatives, he maintained constant contact with the firm's active projects and its continued development of new ground improvement related technologies. In addition to his technical responsibilities, Mr. Wheeler is a frequently invited lecturer and an active author of numerous technical articles and papers, remaining active in numerous professional societies and currently serving as a member of the MA State Building Code Geotechnical Advisory Committee and as a Member of the BSCES Nominating Committee.

From 1976 through 1998, Mr. Wheeler worked as a geotechnical engineer with Haley & Aldrich, Inc. in Boston, MA, leaving the firm as Vice President. His engineering background includes both field and design experience with numerous ground improvement applications, internally and externally braced excavations, underpinning projects, and extensive experience with instrumentation and performance monitoring of bridges, tunnels, and major braced excavations in urban areas. He also coordinated the efforts of a Ground Improvement Team, which was responsible for the development, design and implementation of ground modification applications and has served as a Geotechnical Engineering Group staff manager responsible for the overall technical quality, scheduling and productive utilization of a 10-person engineering group.


  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA; B.S. 1974, M.S. 1976

Professional Registrations

  • Registered Professional Engineer, MA, CT, NH

Professional Societies

  • Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of ASCE - Construction Group Chairman 2002/2003, Secretary 2003/2004, and Nominating Committee 2004/2005
  • Design-Build Institute of America - DBIA
  • American Society of Civil Engineers - ASCE
  • MD Section of ASCE - Geotechnical Group Chairman, 1999/2001
  • American Underground Construction Association - AUA
  • International Society of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineers - ISSMFE


  • "Value Environmental Design Facilitates Grand & Bates Sewer Construction", with Thomson, Nancy E., Proceedings of the North American Tunneling (NAT 2004) Conference, Atlanta, GA, May 2004.
  • "Design-Build of a Jet Grout Access Shaft for Tunnel Rehabilitation", with Oakland, Michael W., Proceedings of the North American Tunneling (NAT 2002) Conference, Seattle, WA, May 2002.

  • "Grouting Program Bridges New Building Loads Over Unused Railroad Tunnel", with Billups, T. and Cavey, J.K., Proceedings of 2001: A Geo-Odyssey, sponsored by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Blacksburg, VA, June 2001.

  • "Design and Construction of a Jet-Grout Braced Excavation Support Wall in an Urban Environment", with Sweeney, B.P, and Henry, L.B., Proceedings of 2001: A Geo-Odyssey, sponsored by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Blacksburg, VA, June 2001.

  • "SuperJet Grouting for Tunneling Applications", with Burke, G.K., Proceedings of the North American Tunneling (NAT 2000) Conference, Boston, MA, June 2000.

  • "Reconstruction of the Whitehall Street Subway Station", with Anderson, A. and Chadwick, K.R., Proceedings of the 8th Annual Great Lakes Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Conference, Detroit, MI, May 2000.

  • "Role and Performance of Chemical Grout in the Underpinning of an Active Subway Station", with Dobbels, D.J. and Drooff, E.R., Proceedings of the Rapid Excavation and Technology Conference, Orlando, FL, June 1999.

  • "An Overview of Ground Improvement Methods", Proceedings of the 7th Annual Great Lakes Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Conference, Kent, OH, May 1999.

  • "Ground Stabilisation in North America", Tunnels and Tunnelling International, June 1998.

  • "Underpinning a Subway Station at Boston's CA/T Project", with Dobbels, D.J. and McCluskey, L.J., Tunnels and Tunnelling, March 1996.

  • "Concrete Slurry Wall for Temporary and Permanent Foundation Wall at Gallery at Harborplace - Baltimore, MD", with Gifford, D.G., Proceedings, ASTM International Symposium on Slurry Walls, Atlantic City, New Jersey, June 1991.

  • "Spread Footings for Highway Bridges", with Gifford, D.G., Kraemer, S.R., and McKown, A.F., Report No. FHWA/RD-86/185, prepared for U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, October 1987.
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