Our Team

Meet the management team of HCE. Our experience and leadership provides our clients and partners confidence in knowing industry-leading engineers are just a phone call away.


Kristen R. Hamilton, BSEE - Chairman
Kristen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and has had a diverse career leading to her current position as owner of the professional consulting firm Hamilton Consulting Engineers, Inc.

As the Chairman and CEO of the company she directs several of the services offered, and is the project manager of a team of of multiple staff and subconsultant firms on the largest project in company history, working as consulting support for a state agency in the field of Diversity and Workforce Program Management.

Kristen’s professional experience includes departmental and division management, and project responsibilities at two other companies.  These responsibilities encompassed both technical project development with a specialization in military specification and contract compliance, and management of professional and manufacturing staff support for production.  This combination of real-world technical and management experience honed her skills to lead a professional engineering firm from company management to the addition of client services that utilize her engineering, compliance and planning skills. 




Howard J. Hamilton, PE, CFM, CPESC - President

Howard holds Masters and Bachelor's degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control (CPESC), a licensed Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator in Illinois and a Registered Engineer in the Country of Trinidad and Tobago. He has served as an engineer for governmental bodies for his entire professional life and has experience with a lifetime of wastewater treatment and collection facilities; water supply treatment, storage and distribution systems; and hydrology-hydraulics studies associated with floodplain/floodway construction, stormwater management, and roadway design; and forensic analysis of all aspects of civil engineering.

Howard’s favorite quote from a valued employee, after hearing his many “homeowner disaster stories”

“Howard is simultaneously both the smartest and dumbest man I have ever known.”       Thanks Jeff




Lee R. Koehler, PLS
Lee obtained his Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) license in 1984.  His expertise includes Preparation of A.L.T.A., Illinois Land Survey Standard Boundary's, Topographic, Condominium and Mortgage Surveys; Preparation of Plats of Surveys for Subdivisions, Easements, Dedications, Vacations and Route Surveys; GPS Control; and GIS mapping. His survey work includes numerous roadway projects and property work, as well as survey work necessary for the development of engineering plans. In 2008 Lee received the Pat Patterson Surveyor of the Year Award by Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association (IPLSA).  He has served on the IPLSA board for 6 years.  He was appointed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulating (IDFPR) board and served 8 years on the board.






Jeffrey T. Snape, PE, LEED AP

Jeff is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and a graduate of the Valparaiso University with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. His professional development includes Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design – Accredited Professional (LEED-AP). Jeff works on a variety of tasks, including planning, design, and review of various civil engineering projects. Jeff has been with HCE since 2008 and has many years of professional civil engineering experience, including work on the Nature's Point Park, Simmons Park, and Ellis Equestrian Center. Jeff has worked on the design and review of various "green engineering" stormwater projects, including porous pavement, rain gardens, groundwater recharge, and aggregate base course stormwater detention. Much of this work has come through various park district and forest preserve district projects. He has managed a multi-year, large scale traffic study for the Illinois Department of Transportation and been the primary engineer in charge of site development review for a number of communities. Jeff's well rounded expertise in traffic engineering, water resources, hydraulics, and ordinances and development has enabled him to excel at working with diverse teams on any type of project.




Michael G. Buiting, PE

Michael is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois and Florida with a BSCE degree from the University of Missouri – Rolla concentrating on Transportation and is also a certified IDOT Bridge Inspector.  He has extensive planning/programming, design and construction experience from work in the civil engineering industry since 1988, most recently with the LaSalle County, Illinois Highway Department for twenty years where he managed and participated in a wide variety of projects including at-grade railroad crossing improvement program, inventory development and management of road and bridge records, roadway and bridge project design and construction inspection, culvert design, maintenance and rehabilitation, bridge inspection, and utility/entrance permit review.