Principals and Associates


Joe Becker
Joseph E. Becker LHG RG
Principal Hydrogeologist  |  President  |  General Manager

Joe is highly experienced at conducting hydrogeologic assessments and fulfilling regulatory needs for groundwater studies. He is also recognized for developing numerical models of complex hydrogeologic settings to assist in the understanding and management of groundwater flow systems. With over 37 years of experience as a hydrogeologist, Joe provides oversight and QA/QC functions for most of Robinson Noble's hydrogeologic and environmental projects. He is a mentoring volunteer for the National Ground Water Association and peer reviews technical papers for the journal Ground Water. Joe is a Licensed Hydrogeologist in Washington and Professional Geologist in California and Idaho.


John Hildenbrand
John F. Hildenbrand
Principal Environmental Scientist  | Environmental Division Manager

John has over 31 years of experience with a wide array of environmental, health, and safety areas. As a local environmental official in both Montana and Washington, he managed a range of environmental programs including drinking water, waste water, solid waste, and disaster response issues. John served as a technical lead in UST and hazardous materials programs. He developed the first, local 2-year community and technical college program directly focused on the environmental industry. He has been responsible for over 500 environmental projects and is a voting member on three ATSM technical committees.

Rick Powell

Rick B. Powell PE
Principal Geotechnical Engineer  |  Geotechnical Division Manager

Rick Powell has over 30 years of experience in the geotechnical engineering field, with a background in geotechnical and structural engineering. His many years of construction experience in the Northwest includes a variety of large residential developments, commercial, industrial, and municipal projects. Reinforced slope and wall designs are one of Rick's specialities and he has consulted on over 80 bridge abutments adjacent to overpasses on State roadways. He also specializes in slope stability investigations and landslide analysis and repair, which commonly include the use of fill buttresses, drilled piers, reinforced soil walls, and drainage improvements. Rick is a Professional Engineer in Washington State, Idaho, Alaska, and California.


James Hay
James E. Hay LHG CPG
Principal Hydrogeologist  |  Hydrogeology Division Manager

Jim has broad technical and management expertise in water resources investigations and specializes in projects involving surface and groundwater interaction. With over 26 years of professional geologic and hydrogeologic experience, he has assisted federal, tribal, county, and municipal agencies—as well as numerous water districts and commercial clients—to achieve their water supply, protection, and management goals. Jim's project experience includes: the drilling, development, testing, and maintenance of wells; regional groundwater resource delineation; water rights consulting; stream gaging; and groundwater flow modeling. He is a Licensed Hydrogeologist in Washington State and a Certified Professional Geologist in Alaska.


Mike PiechowskiMichael F. Piechowski LHG
Principal Hydrogeologist

Mike's extensive experience with groundwater monitoring networks and instrumentation has been integral to many successful water supply and contaminant remediation projects. He has directed and conducted the testing of monitoring and production wells for numerous public, commercial, and industrial clients. Mike performs regional groundwater resource evaluations, groundwater flow modeling, all phases of wellhead protection plans, and downhole geophysical surveys. He has a background in environmental hydrogeology: identifying, delineating, and remediating soil and groundwater contamination. Mike is a Licensed Hydrogeologist in Washington State.


Max T. WillsMax T. Wills LHG, CWRE
Principal Hydrogeologist

Max has over 27 years of professional experience and a strong background in both environmental hydrogeology and groundwater resource evaluations. He possesses an extensive knowledge of Pacific Northwest geology and surface water hydrology. He is responsible for collection and interpretation of geologic and hydrogeologic data, preparation of technical reports, Phase I and II Environmental Assessments, remediation and groundwater monitoring projects, and supervision of well drilling and testing projects. Max is knowledgeable about computer modeling, analysis of complex datasets, and the application of database technologies for the organization and manipulation of hydrogeologic data. Max is a Licensed Hydrogeologist in Washington State.


Barb Gallagher

Barb A. Gallagher PE
Associate Engineer

Barb is a Senior Engineer with over 18 years of professional geotechnical engineering experience in Washington State, as well as several years of construction experience on projects ranging from landfills to high-rise buildings. Her work in the Pacific Northwest includes a variety of commercial, industrial, municipal and residential projects. Barb’s design experience includes embankments, retaining walls, pavements and shallow and deep foundations. She has developed and implemented subsurface investigation and testing programs to evaluate soil and groundwater conditions with regard to foundation design and infiltration characteristics. Barb is also a Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead (CESCL).

Back to Top