AET welcomes Principal Civil Engineer Derek Tompkins, PhD

Apr 05, 2017

Derek Tompkins For The Web.jpgAET has welcomed Derek Tompkins, PhD to their Saint Paul office as a Principal Civil Engineer. Derek joins the team providing research and implementation engineering services, taking projects from a conceptual and theoretical stage to practical, hands-on solutions for AET’s clients and partners. “AET is thrilled to have someone with Derek’s credentials and experience join us,” says President David Rettner, PE. “His ability to utilize complex analytical models to derive practical, implementable solutions fits perfectly with the type of service and solutions we provide to our clients.”

Derek brings a wealth of knowledge with him to AET with a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota alongside his over 12 years in engineering research and implementation, primarily focusing on pavement engineering. Derek has served as a lead researcher on a wide range research projects funded by agencies such as the Strategic Highway Research Program, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the Federal Highway Administration, the Association of American State Highway Transportation Officials, and state departments of transportation.

Derek’s project experience includes all levels of participation, from the initial research stages to completed construction. Derek’s focus on both research and implementation allows him to work with clients from the pre-planning stages to the final product, providing thoughtful insights and project expertise. His first introduction to research and implementation as a complete service came when working on a project overseas. "I met firms who developed practical engineering approaches from sophisticated research in ways I hadn’t seen before. In doing that, they were not only meeting their clients’ practical needs, they were helping their clients’ implement technically demanding solutions that improve how engineers solve problems,” comments Derek. “Once I saw that possibility, I knew I wanted to be a part of that kind of team, which is why I chose to join AET.” 

Derek is not just as a principal civil engineer at AET, but also serves as a business developer and mentor to staff. He will focus on providing whole client solutions and guidance to younger staff on performing highly technical, practical work. As a project manager and engineer, Derek is excited to collaborate with AET’s experts to do more for each client, “I am constantly seeking questions from my clients that I do not already know the answer to,” said Tompkins. “Being a part of AET means I can provide clients with solutions that improve not just one project, but each project thereafter.”

Derek can be reached via email at dtompkins(at)


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