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Michels announces new Tunneling leadership team

Michels Corporation announced today a new senior leadership team for its Tunneling division.

The team consists of Jim Stevens, Vice President, Tunneling; Craig Vandaelle, Tunneling Manager, and Kit Fleming, Director of Operations. All three are veterans of Michels Tunneling and the tunneling industry. 

“This leadership team represents the best of the best,” said Pat Michels, president of Michels Corporation. “I am thrilled to promote this world-class team of highly experienced professionals, all of whom have well-earned reputations for delivering results, sharing insights and demonstrating leadership every day.

“Together they have an exciting opportunity to build on Michels’ reputation for excellence and to partner with our customers to develop and build reliable solutions,” Michels said.

Stevens has 50 years of experience in the construction industry, including five with Michels. Stevens started as a laborer, operator and dump truck driver before ascending through project and operations management roles. 

Stevens has achieved many successes in his storied career, including recently spearheading construction of a 15-foot-diameter, 5-mile tunnel under the San Francisco Bay. The project was completed under budget and eight months ahead of schedule. In January, he was honored with the prestigious Golden Beaver Award for Supervision for his accomplishments in construction. 

Vandaelle has 15 years of experience in the North American tunneling and trenchless technology industry. In his eight years at Michels, Vandaelle has served as project manager on many significant projects in the United States and Canada. Among them are the McOrmond Drive Sanitary and Storm Sewer Trunks in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Big Lake Offsite Gravity Portion (W14) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Vancouver City Central Transmission Project, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Upper Northwest Interceptor in Sacramento, Calif. 

Additionally, Vandaelle is active in industry organizations, including North American Society for Trenchless Technology Northwest chapter (vice chairman). 

Fleming has more than 10 years of tunneling experience as well as a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University. He specializes in large-diameter tunneling and has significant experience with earth pressure balance (EPB) tunnel boring machines and the soft soils commonly associated with them. Fleming has built tunnels for a variety of uses, including sewers and subways. Additionally, he has experience working with electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems as well as controls for tunnel boring machines and conveyor systems. 

Fleming has five years of experience with Michels, most recently serving as Deputy Director of Operations and deputy project manager on the San Francisco Bay project. 

Michels Tunneling is a New Berlin, WI-based division of Michels Corporation, which is headquartered in Brownsville, WI. Michels is a leading utility contractor in North America and is ranked among the top 33 on ENR’s Top 400 Contractors list for 2015.

Michels Tunneling uses a variety of techniques to complete challenging tunnels in all locations and soil conditions for pipelines, water mains, and storm and sanitary sewers. Michels has experience working on land, under water, in the largest cities and in the most remote regions. Michels’ comprehensive pre-planning process is critical to its ability to build safe, reliable tunnels under even the most extreme conditions.

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