Senior US Management Team

Michael Stone

Michael Stone

Group CEO

Michael founded Designer Group in 1992 after an extensive career with the Electricity Supply Board (ESB). His vision and leadership is instrumental in the development and advancement of Designer Group as one of Ireland’s leading Engineering Contractors and its global expansion - including offices in the UK and the United States. Its UK Group has quickly gained the respect within UK's Engineering sector. Michael is the former Head of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

Pat Gilroy

Pat Gilroy

President Designer Group USA

Pat joined Designer Group in 2016 to lead the Irish office. A mechanical engineer, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his 20 years in the industry. Pat is a results driven resourceful managing director with a proven ability to develop and strengthen management teams to maximize growth and efficiency that includes the Power Engineering Services offered by the U.S. Division.

Padraig Byrne

Padraig Byrne

Vice President

Padraig joined Designer Group in 2017, following the acquisition of the engineering company PPS, to manage our USA business. Originally from Ireland and with a degree in business management, Padraig has held Managing Director positions in several companies within both the Engineering Consultancy and Facilities Management spheres. Padraig's role in Designer Group USA is to develop our service offering in the region and ensure alignment with our global growth strategy.

Lou Gonzales

Lou Gonzales

President, Engineering & Development

Lou has over 40 years of experience in the power generation and industrial businesses, including over 20 years of executive management positions at PPS Group, Zurn/NEPCO, Industry & Energy Group, Industra, Kiewit/Bibb and President/COO of Bibb Engineers. He has overseen the project development of numerous gas-fired and “green energy” projects from EPC through start-up and commissioning. Lou's expertise includes managing overall profit and loss, corporate start-up and management, turnkey contract execution, and under-budget, on-schedule project completion of numerous power generation projects. He holds a BSME from Clarkson University and attended graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Reid Jurgenson

    Reid Jurgenson

    Manager of Construction

    Reid has over 28 years in construction experience, including 20 years in construction management of heavy industrial construction, as Senior Vice President/Corporate Project Manager with Fagen, Inc. and Construction Manager with UCI, Inc. Reid has overseen numerous EPC projects through start-up and commissioning. Most of the projects were green energy projects from ethanol, biomass power plants to wind energy. Reid was fully responsible for overall profit and loss, on- time project schedules and manpower management. He was on the Advisory Council for the Department of Construction and Operations Management at South Dakota State University.

    Rob Schmitt P.E.

    Rob Schmitt P.E.

    Manager of Engineering

    Rob has over 25 years of engineering experience serving the Commercial, Industrial, Government, and Power Generation Industries. He is a Retired U.S. Army Colonel with 30 years of service to include three combat tours in Iraq. Rob has extensive experience as Manager of Engineering, Manager of Mechanical Engineering, Lead Mechanical Engineer, and Project Manager. Prior to working at Designer Group, Rob held positions at West Davidson Reynolds, Kiewit/Bibb and Associates, and Bibb Engineers. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of MO-Rolla, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of MO-Columbia, and an M.S. of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a registered Professional Engineer in over 12 states.

    Stan Bennett

    Stan Bennett

    Manager, Instrument & Controls Engineer

    Stan has over 30 years of experience in engineering. Specializing in design, construction and start up of control systems for a variety of Industrial, Power and Federal clients. Utilizing PLC and DCS technology with a strong emphasis on communications, Stan has developed many systems from high speed industrial packaging to nuclear and Biomass power generation plants, and continues to develop the use of latest technologies available to help clients maximize economic and operability goals.

    Robert Del Valle

    Robert Del Valle

    Design Manager

    Robert joined Designer Group in 2017 as Design Manager. His background and 20 years’ experience has given him a solid foundation in project coordination, from planning to completion utilizing Building Information Modeling combined with virtual design and construction methodology. Robert has a wide range of design experience and construction knowledge in residential, mechanical, structural, and industrial environments.

    Chase Schwalbe

    Chase Schwalbe

    Project Manager

    Chase joined Designer Group USA in 2017 as a Project Manager for engineering projects. Chase is a graduate from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered professional engineer. He has construction management experience on several large EPC and design-build project across the United States. He also spent 5 years as a mechanical, instrumentation and controls engineer on biomass and simple cycle power plants. Chase has performed various project controls functions such as scheduling, contract administration and control budget. Chase’s role as Project Manager is to ensure successful project execution and maintain positive client relations.

    David E. Schatte, P.E.

      David E. Schatte, P.E.

      Manager of Civil/Structural Engineering

      David has over 30 years of experience in structural design of heavy industrial, commercial and manufacturing structures. He joined Designer Group in 2017 and oversees the structural group. Since joining Designer Group, David has supervised and provided structural engineering and design coordination for two 60-megawatt biomass power plants in northeast Georgia. Prior to joining Designer Group he was the Chief Structural Engineer and Bedeschi Mid-West Conveyor and held engineering positions at Norton & Schmidt and CRS Sirrine. He holds a BSCE from The Citadel and a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University.

      Dustin Wolford, P.E.

      Dustin Wolford, P.E.

      Manager of Electrical Engineering

      Dustin has 19 years experience in the power industry. He has worked on every aspect of an electrical design project from estimating through startup. Responsibilities have included short-circuit, load flow, and motor-starting studies, ground grid design, relay protection studies, and arc flash studies. Equipment sizing calculations to include GSU and AUX transformers, Iso-phase bus duct, Generator breakers, DC battery systems and chargers, Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, and cable sizing. Preparation of specifications, bid evaluations and administration of contracts for the above mentioned equipment. Additional responsibilities include the creation of one-line drawings, three-line drawings, schematic drawings, interconnection drawings, duct bank design, lightning protection design drawings, also created and maintained circuit schedule database