Metro-East News

Engineer builds bridges at Belleville firm

Benjamin “B.J.” Bovee
Benjamin “B.J.” Bovee

Benjamin “B.J.” Bovee’s bridge-building experience is also bridging some gaps for his new employer. Three weeks ago, Bovee joined the Kaskaskia Engineering Group in downtown Belleville, where he provides expertise in structural engineering. Bovee recently met with business writer Will Buss to talk about his new job:

What are your new responsibilities?

“I will be bringing structural engineering to the firm. In the past, they’ve had office structural engineering, but that structural engineer then moved on to another opportunity. At that point in time, they lost that ability. So I am now bringing that ability back to the firm.”

What are the range of services that Kaskaskia Engineering Group provides?

“Altogether, we offer all sorts of transportation engineering, geo-technical contracting, GIS (geographic information system) mapping, environmental sciences, water resource management and now basic structures to go along with that. As a whole, Kaskaskia now has the capability to offer basically a full-service civil construction-type of design firm. I think having representatives from all of those different aspects in the same house actually makes it even that much better because if you have a question or have a thought about something, you can just talk to somebody and you don’t have find an expert at another firm.”

What is your background?

“My basic background is I’m a bridge designer, by trade. I’ve been designing bridges for about 13 years. For a two-year stint in the middle, I worked on buildings, but for the rest of that time it has been all bridges. I’ve done bridges in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee.”

What attracted you to this field?

“When I was in high school, my teachers told me that I was good at math and the sciences. So when I went to college at SIU Edwardsville, my counselor kind of pointed me in the direction of engineering. There, I just kind of fell into the structural engineering aspect of things. I graduated in 2002, as there was a downturn in the economy, so jobs were kind of scarce. But I was lucky to get on with the Missouri (Department of Transportation) in their bridge office and that’s pretty much where I’ve been since.”

What have you enjoyed most about your new job?

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know the other employees, managers and Geri (Boyer), the owner. Everyone here seems to be goal-oriented and team-driven. I think it is a very good place to be.”

Contact reporter Will Buss at or 618-239-2526.

Benjamin “B.J.” Bovee

Job: Senior structural engineer, Kaskaskia Engineering Group LLC, 208 E. Main St. in Belleville (618-233-5877)

Outlook: “I think it is a very good place to be.”