Do You Know This AXE Alum?

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By Tom Smith II ‘74

“I am civil engineer and land surveyor. I always wanted to own my own business, and in 1989 I teamed up with William Conver to form Conver and Smith Engineering, Inc. in Spring City. We moved to Royersford, across the river in Montgomery County in 1994, and the firm grew to 19 people in 2 locations. We had land surveyors, civil engineers, CAD operators and support staff. In 2009, the downturn in the economy affected everyone in the industry. After Mr. Conver's retirement in 2009, we changed the name to Bercek and Smith Engineering, Inc. to reflect Michael Bercek, PLS having ownership in the business.

Nu Chapter gave me the opportunity to interact with a large group of people, and helped me in everyday life.

I am a 1974 BSCE (Civil engineering) graduate from PSU main campus, and a 1987 Master of Civil Engineering Graduate from Villanova University. I am a licensed Professional Engineer and Professional Land surveyor in Pennsylvania. I served as secretary to the Delaware Valley Member firm section of PSLS for over 10 years. I now concentrate on work with varied civil engineering subdivisions, land developments, flood studies and storm water management in southeast PA. My wife Beth, is CFO of my company, not an easy task in these economic times.

I am now an empty nester with oldest son, a 2013 PSU Wilkes-Barre graduate in surveying engineering, now a PhD candidate in grad school in New Brunswick Canada pursuing a PHD in geomatics (an offshoot of land surveying, that he learned at our company for 7 years. Second son is an aircraft repair tech supervisor working for the government in Jacksonville, FLA, and a daughter, Caitlin, a 2013 PSU grad in Human Rehab. Services, now employed by Geico as a claims supervisor in Poway, California. 

My biggest achievement is obtaining my goal of owning my own engineering firm, and having been acknowledged as an expert in hydraulics, hydrology and storm water management. As such, I enjoy working on computers and programming. I have been involved with Penn State since 1987 being one of the developers of VTPSUHM, a computer analysis tool for storm water management. I have also been a guest speaker at the annual short course at PSU since 1978. I enjoy my vegetable garden, wood working, travel and scuba diving to Mexico and diy home improvements. I am also a very active Rotarian, having chaired our annual pancake breakfast fundraiser for over 23 years. In that time, we have donated over $110,000 back to our local non-profit organizations in the Spring-Ford area.

I would advise any future AXE members to become involved in their profession and community, to give back.”