Dredging Specialists Menu  

CURRICULUM VITAE - RESUME

DONALD M.[DON] SEARLES

Date of birth, October 5, 1937  
   
Residence Business
10 Country Lane 43 Dewitt Ave.
Mattoon, IL  61938 Mattoon, IL 61938
Ph.-217-259-2229 cell Ph.-217-259-2229 cell
   
E-Mail - dredgesp@mchsi.com
 
Internet site - www.dredgingspecialists.com
 

Open the link to see what people have said about my work as a dredging contractor, consultant and expert witness. http://www.dredgingspecialists.com/references.htm


EDUCATION / CERTIFICATION

2002 Oil Analysis One, Noria three day course.
2002 Certified Level I Machinery Lubricant Analyst by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication.
1989 Dredge Pump Seminar, Thomas Foundries, Birmingham, AL.
1988 Studies in Hydraulic Dredging – John Huston Course, 250 hours.  First person to complete the course.
1971 Dale Carnegie Course in Human Relations and Public Speaking – Received award for best speaker
1960-1968 Caterpillar Technical Training: - Ten one-week courses in trouble-shooting and repair of hydraulic systems, power shift transmissions, diesel engines, electrical systems and other Caterpillar equipment.
1959 Graduate: Bailey Technical School, St. Louis, MO. - Diesel and Gasoline Engine Mechanics.
1955

Graduate: Mattoon High School, Mattoon, IL.

DREDGING ENGINEER - QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE:

   
1974-Current

Dredging Contractor – My company, Dredging Specialists has completed over 150 dredging projects in 22 states for many of the nations largest corporations and government agencies.  Clients include General Motors, Ford, Cargill, E.I. Dupont, Mobil Oil, City of Philadelphia, Pa, State of Pennsylvania and many others.  Since 1979 all work was done with dredges, dredge pumps and specialized dredging systems that were designed and built by Dredging Specialists.   Go to www.dredgingspecialists.com/ContractorClientList.htm  to see the project list.

Personal responsibilities have included project investigation, bid preparation, project manager, project engineer, dredge operator and mate.   Directly involved in dredge plant set up and tear down.  Over 2,000 hours operating dredges.
 

Dredge Construction: Dredging Specialists has designed and built seven uniquely different dredges including the dredge pumps.  Personal responsibilities have included, project manager, purchasing, design supervision; as well as hands-on participation in steel fabrication, welding, machine shop activities, assembly, delivery, testing and training.

I Designed and built a chain ladder drive for a 16” - 2000 HP sand and gravel dredge.

1997-2003 Drag Scraper Dredging System: Dredging Specialists designed, built and operated a unique, one of a kind, drag scraper dredging system. This system removed silt, sand and driftwood from under a large barge flotilla, without moving the barges.  Completed five, greater than $700,000 contracts for the Station Casino, [Now Amaristar Casino], on the Missouri River at St. Charles, MO.  Without this system the casino would have been closed.  I was the project manager, design engineer, and supervised setup and operation.

FLUID POWER (HYDRAULIC) ENGINEER:

Designed and built fluid power systems for seven hydraulic dredges, including the drive systems for the cutterhead, dredge pump, and winches.

Designed and built a 300 HP electric driven hydraulic system, as well as the hydraulic drive for an 8-inch underwater gravel pump.

Designed and built hydraulic system for shoulder stone spreading machine.

Designed hydraulic system for sand and gravel conveyor and shaker screen.

Designed hydraulic system for straw blower.

Designed, built, and operated a hydraulic powered sand bag handling system for E. I. DuPont.

   

FLUID POWER TECHNICIAN:

Diagnosed and repaired well in excess of 50 fluid power systems on dredges, construction equipment, scrap metal balers, shears, car-crushers, and refuge equipment.  Have rebuilt pumps, motors, valves, and cylinders. 
   

MACHINERY REPAIR:

Experienced in repairing, dredges, cranes, bulldozers, excavators, front end loaders, car crushers, motor graders, tractor scrapers, scrap metal processing equipment, diesel engines, gasoline engines, winches, belt presses, filter presses, hydraulic systems, and computers.
   

MACHINIST:

Experienced in machine shop practice, and operation of machine tools including lathes, drill presses, milling machines and shears.  Operate a machine shop as part of dredging activities.

   

OPERATING ENGINEER:

Employment and business activities have provided experience in the operation of construction equipment.  Have operated dozers, front-end loaders, scrapers, cranes, backhoes, fork-lifts, hydraulic dredges and mechanical dredges. Twenty-six years a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

   

WATER-SOLIDS SEPARATION

1990-1993

Dredging Specialists was the parts, service and plant installation representative for Diemme of Lugo, Italy, a manufacturer of belt presses and plate and frame filter presses, used for dewatering industrial and municipal sludge.  I have repaired this equipment, installed them in plants, and provided dredging to a set-up of 5 belt presses.

   

RIGGING  

1960-Current Engineered and implemented hundreds of rigging operations for machinery repair, launching dredges, and as a part of the operation of our drag scraper dredging system.  Experienced rigging with wire rope, nylon slings and chain.
   

CONSULTING EXPERIENCE:

1978 - Current: Have completed dredging, machinery design, and fluid power, [hydraulic], consulting projects throughout the U.S., Canada, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, Nassau Jamaica, and for firms in Costa Rico, India, France and Belize.  Go to www.dredgingspecialists.com/ConsultantClientList.htm  to see a list of consuting projects
   

EXPERT WITNESS AND LEGAL CONSULTING:

1989-current  Have provided consulting services and expert witness testimony for attorneys in cases involving dredging operations and equipment, personal injury while working on dredges, fluid power hydraulics, as well as construction and farm equipment failures.  24 years experience, 30 cases in 22 states.  Qualified as an expert in Federal and State Courts.  Go here www.dredgingspecialists.com/litigation.htm to see a list of legal consulting and expert witness cases.
   

INVENTIONS:

Have 12 practical inventions used in the dredging industry.  Go to this internet site www.dredgingspecialists.com/inventions.htm for links to see the inventions.
   

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE:

1974-Current:

Dredging Specialists Founder, owner, manager.  For 36 years I was a dredging contractor until I retired from contract dredging in 2010. Dredging Contractor, Builder of Hydraulic Dredges, Builder of Specialized Dredging Systems, Dredging Consultants, Fluid Power Design.

   
1970-1975:

During this time, active in several businesses including:

Service Equipment Co.  Founder, partner, and manager of J. I. Case construction equipment dealership. 

Service Disposal Co.  Founder, partner, and manager.  Refuge contractor and operator of sanitary landfill.  Quotation from 1972 State of Illinois EPA Report.  “Under the ownership of Service Disposal, the unsightly, odor causing, Coles County Landfill has been turned into a model of compliance with state regulations.”

Mattoon Excavating, Inc.  Farm drainage and terrace construction, industrial excavation, demolition.  Part owner. 

Reliable Auto Crushing Co.  Founder, owner, manager - scrap metal processing.  Scrapped 24,000 cars in 1972.

EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE:

1959-1970: Held position of Field Service Technician with two Caterpillar dealers in Central Illinois.  Held position of Master Mechanic for Howell Asphalt Co. of Mattoon, IL.  Shop Forman for Standard Paving Co. of Chicago and Mattoon, IL.  While employed for Standard Paving Co., had the responsibility for the repair and maintenance of over 100 pieces of construction equipment.
   

PUBLICATIONS, ARTICLES, LECTURES, INSTRUCTOR:

Publications   (Book) 1985: “The Fundamentals of Hydraulic Sludge Dredging”
 
Articles
2005

Dredging Specialists Takes Environmental Remediation To a New Level.
World Dredging and Marine Construction Magazine

2004

The Ten Commandments of Machinery Lubrication.
Machinery Lubrication Magazine

2002         

You Can Learn a Lot From A Filter.
Machinery Lubrication Magazine

2002

How Employees Can Fight Back.
Oil Analysis Magazine

1998

Dredging Specialists Develops Drag Scraper Dredging System.
World Dredging and Marine Construction Magazine

1989

Engine Lube Oil System Powers Hydraulic Clutch Control.
Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine

1987 Switching to O-Ring [ORB] Sealed Fittings.
Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine
   

Lectures

2000

Safety When Working With Hydraulic Systems.
Two day safety seminar for St. Charles Sand Co.

1992

Mining Sand and Gravel with a Hydraulic Dredge.
Chicago Section - Society of Mining Metallurgy and Exploration

1988

The Fundamentals of Hydraulic Sludge Dredging
Annual meeting - Midwest Chapter, Western Dredging Association.

1974

Maintenance of Construction Equipment.
University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) Annual 3-day seminar, Construction Equipment Maintenance.

Instructor
1973

Fluid Power Technology - Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL.

   

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:

Western Dredging Association
 

 

CIVIC ACTIVITIES:

Past board member, Mattoon Babe Ruth Baseball, three years

Past board member, Mattoon Association of Commerce, three years

   

PILOT           

1992-2000 Private pilot, single engine, land.