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 UAI. 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.
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.
James Fenstermaker is UAI Project Coordinator. He brings technological expertise to the Underwater Acoustics International team, having served as GIS Coordinator UAI’s parent company, C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates, L.L.C.. As an IT Specialist for the firm, James was the manager of the firm’s internal communications software and coordinated the SharePoint infrastructure to facilitate seamless interaction of all divisions within the company. Mr. Fenstermaker conducts research and development for the UAI team and coordinates project components and client deliverables. He has a Bachelor in Business Administration in Management from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Mr. Wallace has over 10 years of experience in survey operations and project management. Mr. Wallace is proficient in Auto-CAD 2011 and 2017, Microsoft Office, Kongsberg Mesotech Sonar Software, and Cleensweep Sonar Data processing software. He is also skilled in various graphic design programs and GPS navigation/plotting software. His responsibilities include researching project environments, participating in instrumentation selection for projects, coordination of data acquisition efforts, data processing and rendering, and participating in R&D for new applications of sonar systems and new methodologies for sonar system utilization.
Mr. Wallace has supervised and advised on numerous deep water marine construction survey and salvage operations that required him to work with bottom scanning sonar and USBL and LBL acoustic positioning for ROV positioning. He has conducted hydrographic surveys for NOAA using multi-beam and side scan sonar and has designed and coordinated fabrication of a specialized underwater bottom-scanning sonar housing tripod, which is still being used today.