Who We Are

LEVEL is Your Independent Structural Engineering Team

With an accumulated background of over 50 years of engineering experience and 40 years of business experience, we have come together with different expertise to create a strong, yet agile team of engineering and business professionals. We have a common vision to help change the industry and serve the people who need us most.

Our Engineers are registered in Colorado, Wyoming, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

Each of our team members has a unique professional background. Regardless of how they came to engineering and design, they all have these things in common:

  • Skill, expertise, and experience…less the ego.
  • A commitment to common-sense engineering and design solutions.
  • Down to earth smarts
  • Good natured humor
  • A desire to bring forth their skills and talents to serve our community…and beyond.
  • Compassion

We Value


Rigorous and honest. No B.S. Workability. Whole and complete work.


Do less, better. Always bring your A-game: how you do anything is how you do everything.


As individuals, as team, as community. Crave feedback, expand your skills, yourself, your organization. Teach as you grow.

Being of Service

There is no greater joy than being of service – to our customers, our team, our planet. Generosity of heart, of spirit, of skills, talents and resources make life rich. Cultivate a positive view of humanity and the world.


Of ownership, of governance, of ongoing creation & innovation.


Of time, of choice, of self-expression.

Our Team

Certifications & Membership

Licensed Professional Engineers
American Public Works Association, Senior Fellows
American Society of Civil Engineers
International Code Council
Certified Building Inspection
Certified Weld Inspection

ICC Member

Transportation Professional of the Year 2014

Transportation Professional of the Year 2014
Scott A. Zurn

Scott A. Zurn


For years in the industry, I observed something missing that cost homeowners untold stress and frustration, cost contractors lost time and money and left real estate agents and lenders unable to satisfy their clients’ needs. I decided to do something about it.

With 32 years of civil & structural engineering experience, I have contributed to all aspects of the building industry. I have achieved success in commercial and residential markets, held leadership roles such as a building official, city engineer, and director for local governments, and accomplished hundreds of millions of dollars in successful commercial building and civil infrastructure as a designer, project manager, and leader.

I have extensive experience with design and project management of transportation, roadways, traffic engineering, storm drainage facilities, bridges, site development review, and inspection. I have also enjoyed building more than 100 custom homes throughout the Front Range.

I am a Leadership Fellow with APWA and was awarded the 2014 Professional of the Year by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). I have held leadership roles in securing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and have managed multiple federal grants funded NEPA studies and transportation projects. I also held a lead management role in ENR’s Best Project of 2009 for a 300 acre Brownfield redevelopment including $250 million dollars in infrastructure bridges and 650,000sf of retail redevelopment.

I have three fabulous daughters as well as two fabulous stepchildren with my wife, Anya. I enjoy outdoor activities around my home in the mountains – getting back to my Wyoming roots.

“Please excuse typos, moving fast.” – Scott Zurn

Anya K. Zurn

Anya K. Zurn

Business Manager

As a 20-year business consultant & executive coach, I have worked with many organizations to take them from idea to profitability, from stagnation to growth, and from team survival to high performance. I love bringing forth new ideas to the marketplace and discovering new and better ways to produce effectively while giving deeper meaning and fulfillment for all involved.

Our core company values such as “Teach as You Grow” and the joy of “Being of Service” aren’t just marketing-speak. They are the drivers of our business decisions.

We look at our individual and company behavior through the lens of our values and ask – what is needed and wanted to express those values at a greater Level?

When Scott shared with me the current state of many engineering firms and the impact that was having on the residential market needs as well as the downward spiral of salaries and retirement for engineers – I knew it was time to commit my own skills and talents to make a real difference.

Austin is my hometown (30+ years) and I love it. So, I had no idea all these years that I am actually a mountain girl! Now, I am hooked. And, any chance I have to explore the wild beauty of Utah, Colorado, or Wyoming, I take it. I keep sane with hot yoga and caring for my two giant malamutes, Togo and Daenerys. I enjoy adventures of all kinds with my husband – including the challenges of our 5 mostly-grown kiddos.

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to our life.” – Anne Morriss

Zach Ballard Level Engineering Bio

Zack Ballard, P.E.

Senior Engineer

I am a Colorado native with over 15 years of engineering experience. My educational background
includes a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, graduate studies at
University of Colorado Denver in Structural Engineering and Concrete Materials, and a Master’s degree
in Geotechnical Engineering from Norwich University in Vermont. I have provided engineering services
for extensive areas along the front range of Colorado, as well as Montana, Texas, Pennsylvania,
California and internationally in South Korea, Australia, India and France. I am currently a licensed
Professional Engineer in Colorado, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

My passion is in concrete materials, design and forensic analysis. I also enjoy working with clients to see
their vision and make that become a reality whether that is removing a wall in their home, repairing
structural problems, or any other vision they may have. No project is too big or too small.

When I am not working, I enjoy the great Colorado outdoors with my wife and son. We also enjoy
traveling both domestically and internationally.

Sheri Nichols, P.E.

Sheri Nichols, P.E.

Senior Engineer

With 16 years structural engineer experience, I have worked in several different fields of structural engineering. I have worked in new design, restoration of historic buildings and forensic engineering.

At each opportunity I have learned more about all aspects of building, restoration and design. I currently hold licenses in both Colorado and California.

My favorite aspect of engineering though, is helping people with their projects and dreams. No project is too big or small. I am here to help you find a successful solution. I love what we do and get to help people in their home’s vs being in an office.

When I am not helping the clients, I love to spend time with my family. We have two sons, one amazing daughter in law and a sweet, active grandson. We love to travel and see the world. I especially love to experience life like a local wherever we may go.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” — Maya Angelou

Murray K. McBride, P.E.

Senior Engineer

Having forty years of experience working on public works and infrastructure projects, I am grateful to be able to give back. I am truly passionate about engineering.

It is a service profession and, even though we complete our education and enter our first years of work relatively well-equipped, I sincerely believe it is the people who we meet along the way and how we can help support them that truly matters. I enjoy engaging with co-workers, clients, those that review and approve what we do, peers in the profession, and fellow citizens, and it is these relationships that I continue to build on that I want to share with those entering our profession.

My Vision is to present the purpose, structure, and value of engineering to all in our communities.

My Mission is to help others, so they have the skills and freedom to fulfill their purpose in the engineering profession and beyond.

I have had the good fortune of working on several large public works projects throughout Colorado. Serving communities from Pueblo to Fort Collins and from Denver to Eagle has been a privilege. Leading teams in the planning, design and construction of these projects is fun and rewarding, however, true satisfaction comes from seeing how people’s lives and environments benefit.

My resume can tell the story of these accomplishments, but the real value is seeing the smile on an individual’s, a neighborhood’s, a community’s face as the concept becomes a reality.

Being brought up on a farm in New Zealand, completing my education down under, and then having the opportunity to live most of my life in Colorado has truly been a blessing. I have two wonderful daughters, whose families, along with my beautiful grandchildren, give me great joy and lots of time spent in the Colorado outdoors.

“Helping Give Direction to Others” – Murray McBride

Steven Norton, P.E.


Having grown up in Loveland, Colorado is home for me. I attended Colorado State University and completed my degree in civil engineering with a structural emphasis. I have accumulated over 8 years of engineering experience working in various sectors, including heavy
industrial, commercial, and residential. In addition, I have obtained Professional Engineer licensing in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

Through my experience, I have had opportunity to work with other engineering disciplines as well as develop project leadership skills, both creating and managing designs, teams, budgets, and schedules. I am excited to be working with Level Engineering. My passion is creating a positive experience for each client, working face-to-face and helping them reach their goals. I also love sharing knowledge about what I do with customers so that they are included in the design development process.

I deeply value spending time with my incredible wife and two beautiful children. We love spending time taking mountain adventures and enjoying amazing foods of all types. I also love personal development. In the years I have spent in the engineering industry, one of my favorite aspects has been working with incredible teams who value growth, both professionally and personally. I desire to help people find what they’re good at and push them to grow in that direction. I also enjoy business.

My wife owns and operates a wedding photography business, and we own a coffee shop here in Colorado. Both have brought excitement and challenge, and the relationships we have built with those we work alongside of have sweetened the journey in many ways.

Bryan Conkle

Bryan Conkle, P.E.

Senior Engineer

As a Colorado native with a civil engineering degree from CSU and over twenty years of structural engineering experience, I am excited to be a part of the Level Engineering team.

Having worked for several engineering firms for 9 years as well as owning my own engineering firm for 12 years, I have been involved in projects in Utah, Montana, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico. Though I specialize in custom homes, other interesting jobs in my portfolio include straw bale houses, a chord wood yurt, over 170 crawlspaces to basement conversions, and a fire station in Aspen.

My passion is the residential market as I believe I can make a difference for the homeowner. This passion began when I helped family and friends remodel and build their own homes. With this experience, I have a better understanding of all the pieces that are involved in the entire construction process.

My work does not end at a set of plans. It includes working with contractors to solve problems as they may arise in the field, collaborating with team members on solutions as well as incorporating the home owner’s ideas to deliver the best structure possible for their needs and dreams.

Having caught the travel bug years ago, my family and I really enjoy immersing ourselves into other cultures. More open-mindedness and seeing from other perspectives have been invaluable learning experiences. I relish the opportunity to learn about others values and views while at the same time spending time with my wife and daughter.

Chris Johnson headshot

Chris Johnson


Growing up in Colorado and attending The University of Colorado at Boulder has developed in me a deep love for our amazing environment and the culture we have here on the Front Range. I spent the first seven years of my career working primarily as a field engineer looking for practical, hands-on solutions, in real-time. Now as part of the LEVEL Engineering Team, I get to apply the lessons I’ve learned to real challenges facing homeowners, contractors, architects, and real estate agents.

LEVEL Engineering drew me in with its mission and values. I am happy to say that LEVEL is made up of people who are individually and collectively committed to its core values. We walk our talk. I especially love our commitment to being of service to the people we call our customers. We always strive to do what’s best for our clients and their projects.

The thing that I enjoy most about my job is getting to meet people from all walks of life and working together to make our customers’ dreams a reality.

In my free time you can find me chasing our two delightful young children. I also enjoy exploring the world of adventure that the Colorado mountains provide via trail running, backpacking, climbing and just about anything else that is out there.

Ashley Mendez, P.E.


I am a Denver native with over eight years of construction and structural engineering experience. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Science in Civil Engineering both from the Colorado School of Mines. I was fortunate to work for a heavy civil construction contractor in Montana right out of college.

After some time as a field engineer in Washington state, I made a career change to a design engineer for the energy and chemicals industries in Texas. There I had the opportunity to work on multi-billion-dollar projects for both domestic and international clients. I currently hold licensure as a Professional Engineer in Colorado, Texas, and West Virginia.

I like working directly with our customers to determine what their needs are. Every project has its own challenges, but I enjoy being of service and finding a solution to each unique project. Whether it be an inspection, remodel, or beyond, I love that each work day is different.

When I’m not working, I stay busy with my daughter, husband, and our two blue heelers. It’s amazing to see our daughter learn and grow every day. We love spending time with our families and taking in the beauty of Colorado.

Isaiah Justice

Architectural Drafter

I obtained my architecture degree from Ohio University. I have worked at firms in North Carolina, Indiana & here in Colorado.

I’ve worked on commercial, multi-family, student housing & residential projects. Although I have experience in many project types, I enjoy residential the most.

I have a strong passion for helping homeowners & people in the community see their vision through to the end. Whether that be a home addition, a small renovation project or a brand new home. No project is too big or too small & I’m here to help throughout that process.

Level has provided me with the opportunity to be more “hands on” with each project & I’m looking forward to many more successfully executed projects in the future.

In my spare time, you can find me on a hike in the mountains or running on a trail in the foothills. During the winter months I’m working on perfecting my snowboarding skills.

Benjamin Kenney, P.E.

Benjamin Kenney, P.E.


I have 14 years of architectural and structural engineering experience. For the past 10 years I’ve been heavily involved with the structural inspection industry, concentrating on specialized inspection and restricted access.

I have worked with local, federal, and state agencies across the country and for NAVFAC overseas. I am also a certified welding inspector and have performed non-destructive testing on a broad range of building materials. I have contributed to all aspects of the inspection industry, with specialized inspection certifications in several states including with the federal highway administration.

I have a passion for field work and enjoy being hands on with a project. I have held leadership roles varying from team or crew leader to office manager and principal.

I believe strongly in building the right team for a job. “It isn’t enough just to have engineers perform the work; they need to be the right engineers and looking in the same direction.”

Alessandra Pollard

Client Relations Specialist

My background has trained me to wear many hats – from customer service and team leadership to office management and early childhood education, I’ve spent my professional years learning how to communicate effectively in a variety of industries. As a department head at a local Colorado real estate school, I learned to understand the needs and concerns of residential and commercial property owners while managing many tasks in a busy environment.

I’m invested in developing meaningful and lasting relationships with current and prospective clients while providing resources and information to help alleviate apprehension and problem solve.

Levels dedicated engineers and office staff approach each interaction with the intent to understand the clients needs fully, build and maintain a trusting relationship, and make a difference.

I’ve lived my whole life in the front range, and the mountains are my home. You can usually find me reading, watching live music, planning my next trip, or spending time with my family.

Miles Hanson

Marketing Manager

Having studied marketing and business development, as well as being involved in the growth of multiple companies, I see the powerful and important impact that marketing has on businesses. Without it, we can’t serve anyone, regardless of how amazing our product or service is.

I joined the Level team because of their vision and purpose. Not focusing solely on the bottom line was something I could truly get behind. Instead, at Level Engineering, we strive to make a real difference in the community, the industry, and the world (no small feat).

In this emerging market, it’s amazing to see the vast need for professional Engineers inside of homes, instead of in the city working on the big jobs. In order to do this, we need to use both tried and true methods of marketing, as well as new and modern strategies that are evolving exponentially.

Austin is my home, Colorado is my new home. If I am not spreading the word about our amazing Engineering services, you can usually find me in the mountains, playing the guitar, or drinking coffee somewhere interesting. I look forward to being a part of an amazing team, helping amazing people, and disrupting the industry to create a better future for Engineering.

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” — Henry Ford

Ophelia Szwaja


Being a local business owner myself gives me a unique understanding of the dedication and sacrifice it
takes to be a part of a successful business. My second career was doing Tax Preparation, which enabled
me to work from home to spend time raising my own child. Eventually, tax work turned into a
bookkeeping career and I have been honing my skill for the past 20 years.

I joined Level in 2019 and have enjoyed my expanding role with the company as it continues to grow.
My time at Level has given me the opportunity to lend my skills to a local company and learn from the
years of knowledge that my co-workers have. What I value about being part of this team, is that we
maintain a small company feel, focusing on building relationships, while continuing to expand with the
needs of the community.

Born and raised in Northern Colorado, I love the mountains, climate, and all that this beautiful area has
to offer. My husband and I have owned a distribution business in Loveland since 1999, and my son is
currently a Mechanical Engineering student in Nebraska. Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, reading,
traveling, and spending quality time with my family.