Underwater Acoustics International has a long history of commitment to client satisfaction and developing innovative approaches to challenging projects. It all began in 1950 in the small Louisiana town. C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates was founded in New Iberia, LA by Charles Howard Fenstermaker, Jr., a second-generation land surveyor. Knowing the trade was only part of the formula, Fenstermaker had a vision for his company that would set it apart from the competition. He believed in putting the client’s needs first and doing even more than his clients expected. This mindset led to the next differentiating characteristic of the company…innovation. You see, he didn’t believe in telling his clients, “No. It can’t be done.” He’d find a way to do it differently, to do it better than had been done before. Through the years, this thirst for finding better ways to do things using developing technology as a tool became an unwavering part of the company’s culture.
Fenstermaker hired like-minded people with “can do” attitudes. The company developed a reputation for getting the job done and getting it done right. With diversification came new markets and an ongoing commitment to stay at the forefront of technology.
Today, C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates is led by William H. “Bill” Fenstermaker, son of founder Charles Howard, Jr. For the last three decades, Bill Fenstermaker has led his team with a keen vision for diversity and growth. He has advanced the company’s reputation as a leader in technology by supporting and nurturing new advances in software development and field services. Advanced technologies such as laser scanning, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) services, underwater acoustics and robotics are now everyday tools Fenstermaker uses to achieve client goals.
This rich company history brings us to current day and the creation of Underwater Acoustics International (UAI). With years of experience, an engrained spirit of innovation, and a team of qualified experts, Fenstermaker was perfectly suited to develop a solution for a market in need. UAI Chief Acoustic Scientist Ken LaBry developed a unique methodology for dam inspections, which gave hydroelectric dam owners a view never before captured by other techniques. This revolutionary breakthrough comes at a time when there is a renewed focus on the integrity of dam infrastructure around the globe. The comprehensive views and value-added features of UAI’s methodology provides dam owners with reliable inspection data for preventative maintenance inspections.
Kenneth J. LaBry is the Chief Scientist for Acoustics and the Acoustics Market Leader for C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates, L.L.C. He is a Physicist with over 35 years of experience. For 27 years, Mr. LaBry has specialized in Underwater Acoustic Remote Sensing guiding numerous substructure inspections and site assessments, hydrographic and geophysical investigations.
Mr. LaBry holds a patent for acoustic remote sensing processes and is the recipient of the 2007 and 2009 Louisiana Transportation Excellence Award for Use of an Innovative Product or Technology and the 2006 Society of American Military Engineers Technology Advancement Medal. He is a pioneer in the development and application of remote sensing systems for submerged structure inspection. He has authored numerous articles with regards to remote sensing technologies, and serves on multiple committees for the Marine Technology Society, and the New York Academy of Sciences. Mr. LaBry is also a frequent guest speaker on Underwater Remote Sensing and Innovative Energy technologies.
As CIO and Vice President of Information Technology for C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates, L.L.C., Alan Day works directly with the President and CEO to support business operations with strategic IT programs. Through his technological expertise, he is committed to maintaining the company’s position as a leader in information technology. He coordinates a talented team of software engineers and system analysts, designing and administering project management systems for Fenstermaker and our clients. Mr. Day has an extensive background in Product Development and Software Engineering. He is a published software author with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of software product development and management.
In charge of our extensive communications networks, Mr. Day is responsible for the creation and integration of technological tools designed specifically for Fenstermaker employees in each division. Additionally, Mr. Day establishes and oversees secure project management systems that grant our clients access and control over important project information.
As Technical Consultant on the UAI team, Dr. Gene Brown is a creative problem solver and developer of innovative solutions that require an interdisciplinary scientific approach and digital implementation. Dr. Brown has over 35 years of experience in applied research and development requiring a detailed understanding and application of diverse academic and applied disciplines such as physics, oceanography, geology, geophysics, signal processing, and systems engineering.
He has managed worldwide at-sea survey operations under demanding conditions and worked closely with representatives from universities, government agencies, and industry. He was most recently a Research Associate, Project Lead and Senior Scientist for the Applied Research Laboratories at the University of Texas at Austin. During this time, Dr. Brown was the recipient of the University of Texas at Austin Applied Research Laboratories Excellence in Research Award for 2011. From 1993 to 2006, Dr. Brown held the position of Physical Scientist and Oceanographer at the Naval Oceanographic Office at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
Dr. Brown obtained his Ph.D. in Computational Physics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to this, Dr. Brown attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA where he earned his Master of Science degree in Oceanography with Hydrography Option.
Mr. Zaunbrecher has over 30 years of experience in surveying and site assessment. He has a high degree of responsibility in Project Management and Operational Support in the Surveying Industry. Ken LaBry, Chief Scientist in Acoustics, stated, “Rick is a motivated and engaged project manager with extensive technical experience and knowledge of efficient execution and client expectations. Having worked with Rick previously for 10+ years, I witnessed firsthand his exemplary organizational skills and persistence in providing a comprehensive and correct result even in extreme pressure situations. I value Rick as both a colleague and friend.”
Receiving an Associate’s Degree in Drafting and Design Technology in 1984 from Southwest Louisiana Technical School, Mr. Zaunbrecher continued his career as a Senior Survey Analyst for 29 years. He gained a certificate in Kongsberg Sonar & Underwater Acoustics from the Marine Science Institute University of California Santa Barbara in 2008. Now at Fenstermaker, Mr. Zaunbrecher is responsible for project management, project coordination, logistics coordination, project site assessment and planning, as well as project development.
Jenny Roberts-Axelrod is currently a senior GIS Analyst at CH Fenstermaker & Associates. She has 17 years’ experience and has been a GISP Certification holder since 2007. She has extensive experience mapping oil and gas pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico, lidar point clouds, as well as projects for state and local governments. Ms. Roberts-Axelrod has experience building and maintaining GIS databases, extracting, modeling and analyzing data in all formats including 3D AutoCAD, raster, vector and point cloud data. In preparation for this work, Ms. Roberts-Axelrod studied Petroleum Geology, and Remote Sensing.