The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Member Profile
EMC Engineering
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Member Profile
EMC Engineering
an in progress EMC Engineering bridge construction project
The People Behind the Projects
Employee-owned EMC Engineering delivers a diverse array of services
By Jamey Bradbury

he first time EMC Engineering was hired on a contract, the company operated behind the scenes. When major flooding hit the Kenai Peninsula in 2003, the state mobilized all available contractors to get the road system open again. EMC—then a fledgling company that had been in operation since 2002—was contracted by the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, or DOT&PF, to verify time and materials used during the emergency response for contractor payments.

“EMC performed well during this contract, which gained us a strong reputation with DOT&PF,” says Tara Masters, EMC’s executive vice president and office manager.

Since then, EMC has worked all over Alaska—from Shemya to Prudhoe Bay—and in the Pacific, and Outside in locations like Guantanamo Bay and Wake Island.

EMC does a lot more than paperwork now. The company started as a construction management and civil engineering firm.

“We started small, making sure we were able to provide quality, trained personnel on all our projects,” Masters says.

Soon, though, EMC launched its own American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or AASHTO, accredited lab and began providing materials testing services. This expansion led to the company offering special inspections and geotechnical engineering, as well.

An Employee-First Company
EMC Engineering is an employee-owned and -operated company, and has been since its inception, when Ryan Bloom and William van Nostrand started the business with six employees, working out of a basement.

Today, EMC has a diverse team of civil and geotechnical engineers, construction management staff, special inspectors, and materials technicians. Their primary clients include DOT&PF, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, and private contractors.

“I’ve worked with EMC on a variety of different projects, most recently the Barrow Maintenance and Operations Facility we built in Utqiaġvik for DOT&PF, a $21 million job,” says Scott Michel, project manager at ASRC Construction. For that project, EMC Engineering provided aggregate testing on gravel work.

EMC works on a variety of large projects—but they have a unique ability to deal with smaller projects, as well, Michel says.

“EMC stays responsive, timely, and fair, no matter the scope or size of the project,” he says.

Finding Solutions
One of EMC’s most notable projects for DOT&PF is the Airside Construction Administration and Inspection Services Term Agreement at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, or ANC. This is the second time EMC was awarded this term agreement at ANC. In the 2022 construction season, EMC provided construction management for several projects, including ANC taxiways K, G1, & J Improvements and taxilanes E1, E3, and E/G Intersection Reconstruction.

“They’re fantastic to work with,” says Scott Dunlap, vice president for Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. “EMC is very forward-thinking when it comes to conflict resolution. They’re there to find an equitable solution for everybody.”

EMC performed construction administration services for DOT&PF on the ANC B gates B1, B3 & B5 Reconstruction, on which Roger Hickel was the contractor.

Another airport project EMC completed contributed to a new start for Newtok. The village was relocated to Mertarvik due to erosion. EMC provided construction administration services for DOT&PF on the Newtok Airport Relocation project. This project resulted in a new airport, including a gravel runway, taxiway, and apron.

“This project was a unique opportunity for EMC and its staff. We got to be part of a project that provided a vital link for a community that is rebuilding,” says Masters.

EMC Engineering performing construction administration services on the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Runway 7L/25R
EMC Engineering performed construction administration services on the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Runway 7L/25R to accommodate Aircraft Design Group VI. Improvements included rehabilitating connecting taxiways, replacing and upgrading airfield lighting and signage, and building a new access road.
EMC Engineering inspecting blasting operations and rockfall mitigation on the Haines Highway Reconstruction, Phase I
EMC inspected blasting operations and rockfall mitigation on the Haines Highway Reconstruction, Phase I, between mileposts 3.9 and 12.2. Work included more than 300,000 cubic yards of embankment with fill sections of up to 15 feet and also produced stable rock slopes, which will reduce maintenance efforts in the future.
EMC Engineering performing construction administration services on the Sterling Hwy Shoulder Widening project (MP 97-118)
To allow for safe passage of salmon and other native fish species, the Sterling Hwy Shoulder Widening project (MP 97-118) included four fish-passage, multi-plate culverts which ranged in size from 10 feet to 35 feet. EMC performed construction administration services on this environmentally sensitive project.
Educating Leaders and Future Professionals
Since 2007, EMC has used its AGC membership to generate discussions with other companies about issues affecting their industry. In February, Masters participated in AGC’s Legislative Fly-In, an opportunity for AGC members to meet with state legislators to educate them on the impact of the construction industry on Alaska’s economy.

“AGC really does a great job of providing resources, helping us air issues important to us, and bringing companies together,” says Masters.

One issue important to EMC is education. The company launched a scholarship program this year aimed at encouraging high school seniors to begin careers in the engineering field.

“Alaska has a unique need for engineering professionals. It was great to read what brought the applicants to engineering,” says Masters. “Many gave personal reasons, like living in a village without access to clean water and wanting to bring that infrastructure into their communities.”

In addition to promoting education through scholarships, EMC promotes continuing education within the company. The company has provided financial support for numerous employees who have obtained engineering and business management degrees, as well as other professional certifications, within the construction administration and special inspections field.

Masters came to EMC straight out of college herself in 2006.

“EMC was very small when I started, and we still try to maintain that. The cohesiveness of the company is extremely important to us—and being an employee-owned company perpetuates that feel,” she says.

Jamey Bradbury is a freelance writer who lives in Anchorage. Photos provided by EMC Engineering.