Laurel M. Johnson, PE provides project management expertise in the area of geotechnical evaluations, including formulating project scope, conducting technical analyses, and preparing written reports and plans. She performs specialized field testing and installs and manages geotechnical instrumentation projects, including slope inclinometers, piezometer, load and earth-pressure cells, and settlement plates; vibrations monitoring and soil dynamics testing; pressure-meter testing; and load-testing for static piles, uplift, tiebacks, and tie-downs. Laurel is also responsible for preparing foundation and retaining wall designs and project specifications. She is a registered Professional Engineer in Michigan, and has BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering.

She provides forensic field evaluations, something she truly enjoys, including investigations for wall, foundation, utility and floor slab movement. Observing a structure that appears to be undergoing settlement or heave and trying to determine the reasons behind the failure, and developing appropriate repair plans are something Laurel has a knack and passion for. She also knows when she needs to call upon experts in other SME service areas for assistance. Laurel’s extensive experience also includes managing numerous construction materials services projects throughout Michigan.

Laurel’s project management experience includes geotechnical evaluations and construction materials testing services for numerous schools, universities, retail/commercial and other public building projects including additions and/or new building facilities. No matter the project, Laurel strives to put herself in her client’s shoes and view the project from all angles. Her goal, when providing recommendations during the design and construction phases, is to treat their money as if it were her own and provide guidance accordingly. She strives to understand the risk threshold and budget to assist her clients in developing common-sense and cost-effective solutions.

Laurel is proud of her 13 year membership in the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Detroit Chapter, where she has served as director, secretary, vice president and is currently the immediate past president. She is also a member of the Associated Soil and Foundation Engineers (ASFE) and serves on the City of Sterling Heights’ Board of Code Appeals and Land Development and Finance Authority Board. In 2016, Laurel was selected to be part of Oakland Community College’s Industry Advisory Committee for the Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology (EMIT) Program, where she sits on the Construction Management Committee.

Laurel and her husband are avid gardeners and you can often find them with their youngest daughter working their 10-acre farm. They also have an older daughter who lives just around the corner from SME’s Kalamazoo office. In the summer, you may find them taking a break from chores enjoying the fresh waters of Lake St. Clair on their boat or even doing a bit of snorkeling. When the cooler Michigan months prevail, if she’s left her cooking or preserving unsupervised in the kitchen, it may be that Laurel is planted in front of her television cheering on the Detroit Lions, her favorite NFL team.


I-75 Modernization: 20 years in the making

The I-75 Modernization Project encompasses 18 miles of freeway in Oakland County, Michigan with a daily traffic volume of 103,000 to 174,000 vehicles. SME worked closely with MDOT's design-build team to provide geotechnical and pavement services for Segment 1 of this high profile project.

Jimmy John's Field: community eyesore to celebrated asset

Redeveloping former landfills into Jimmy John's Field represented a “game changer” in the world of community place-making. It spurred revitalization of downtown Utica, Michigan that ended decades of neglect by creating a destination where families gather and businesses can thrive.