Home » Our Team » Steven S. Pinnell - Résumé



Office: 503-293-6280
Direct: 503-334-2323

Civil Engineer and Construction Manager

M.S.C.E., Construction Management, Stanford University, 1965
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, 1964

Civil Engineer, Oregon certificate number 7745

Steve Pinnell has over 30 years of experience managing design and construction projects. He has acted as a contractor's superintendent, estimator and project engineer. For consulting engineers, he has worked as a resident engineer, designer and project manager. His prior work experience before forming Pinnell/Busch, includes projects in the San Francisco Bay area, Alaska, Korea, Chile and the Pacific Northwest.

In 1975, Steve formed Pinnell Engineering in Portland, Oregon, to specialize in project management services to contractors, project owners, and public works agencies. As a Construction Consultant he has helped contractors with a wide range of on-site and corporate management issues including estimating, scheduling, cost accounting, jobsite management, contract administration, productivity improvement, claims and dispute resolution. As a Construction Manager, he has planned and supervised the design and construction of manufacturing facilities, commercial and institutional buildings, and a variety of civil works. As a Public Works Management Consultant, Steve worked with federal, state and municipal agencies focusing on productivity improvements, organizational structures, training, program management systems, and implementation of large capital construction programs. As a Civil Engineer, he has planned and designed paving, sewer, water and other utility projects.

Mr. Pinnell is the author of HOW TO GET PAID For Construction Changes, a comprehensive guide on preparing and negotiating change orders and claims without damaging partnering efforts or on-going business relationships, which is used by both contractors and project owners. He has authored numerous papers on project management, contract methods, contract administration, and construction dispute resolution. These have been published by, among others, the American Arbitration Association, American Bar Association, American Society of Cost Engineers and the Construction Financial Management Association.

Mr. Pinnell has prepared quantity takeoffs, priced and negotiated millions of dollars worth of change orders on public and privately funded construction projects. He has analyzed and prepared detailed claim documents substantiating multi-million dollar disputes, and has testified as an expert witness in state and federal courts and before arbitration panels on a wide range of construction projects. Assignments as an arbitrator have ranged from a $40,000 claim by a second tier subcontractor on a school remodel, to a $30 million three-way dispute between the owner, engineer and contractor on a large hydroelectric project in California; a $125 million deinking plant on the East Coast; and a $60 million highway project in Nevada when he was the panel chair. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association and a trained mediator and partnering facilitator.

Mr. Pinnell developed and co-authored PMS80, a powerful project management software program. He has developed computerized management systems for contractors, public works agencies and manufacturers that integrate mainframe and PC accounting software with database and project management software. He has also worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research Laboratory to develop data exchange standards for transfer of information between different software programs.
Mr. Pinnell's areas of special expertise include critical path scheduling, value engineering, cost control, construction productivity, project and program management organization, construction claims, dispute resolution, program management, and computerized project management systems.

Mr. Pinnell personally manages many of the firm's projects. These include:


  • Rescheduling of the mechanical contract on the $280 million Wyodak Power Station in Wyoming and establishment of a project tracking and reporting system for the mechanical, electrical and civil contracts.
  • Scheduling a $6 million fast-tracked design and construction effort for Crown Zellerbach's Camas, Washington, Paper Mill.
  • Preparation of a move-in schedule for the City of Portland, Oregon's 400,000 square foot, public service office building.
  • Master schedule for the planning, permits, design and construction of Mentor Graphics $60 million headquarters office campus, Wilsonville, Oregon.
  • Construction scheduling of over several hundred other projects ranging in size from under $100,000 to over $100 million.

Claims and Construction Dispute Resolution

  • Estimating, negotiating and settling over $5 million in claims and extra work on the North Bonneville Second Powerhouse Grading Contract for the Harry Claterbos Company of Astoria, Oregon including a $1 million acceleration claim.
  • Analysis of a $5 million construction claim, preparation of an as-built schedule and cost/time impact analysis on the $25 million sewage treatment plant in Durham, Oregon for Watkiss & Campbell, Attorneys-at-Law, Salt Lake City.
  • Claim review, litigation support, preparation of exhibits and three days testimony and cross examination for Tri-Met's Hillsboro Transit Center.
  • Claim review and testimony before arbitration panel for Olympia & York on the KOIN Tower project in Portland, Oregon.
  • Claim analysis, preparation of as-built schedules, negotiation and court testimony on numerous contract disputes for architects, engineers, owners and contractors.

Construction Management and Project Management Services

  • Value engineering studies of the Omark Corporate Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Stewart State Park in southern Oregon, a highway intersection in Washington County, Oregon and other projects.
  • Project management consulting for Northwest Natural Gas on their $4.5 million Miller Station expansion in Mist, Oregon.
  • Construction project coordination for the City of Portland for the renovation of the Multnomah School in Portland, Oregon, into a multi-use community center.

Public Works Management Consulting

  • An engineering work management study of the Survey Division, City of Portland, in joint venture with Arthur Young & Company.
  • Development and implementation of a project management system for the County Engineer's office at Multnomah County, Oregon, including revision of the computerized cost accounting system and preparation of a manpower management system. Implementation of computerized program management systems for King County, Washington and Alameda County, California.
  • Development of procedures manuals for project management, program management and scheduling for contractors, public works agencies and industrial facilities management organizations.


  • Taught 15 university courses and hundreds of seminars on project management, critical path scheduling, value engineering, estimating, specifications and contracts, and claims.
  • Lead seminars for organizations including the American Management Association, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Boise Cascade, Bonneville Power Administration, Freightliner, Howard S. Wright Construction, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Oregon State Highway Division, Pacific Power and Light, SPT Telecom (Prague, Czech Republic), Tektronix, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Served as Adjunct lecturer at Portland State University, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Portland, and guest lecturer at numerous schools including the University of Washington, Oregon State University, and the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary.

Prior Experience
Prior to establishing his own consulting firm, Mr. Pinnell had a wide range of experience in design, engineering management, and construction including:

  • Project Manager, Design Engineer and Resident Engineer on feasibility studies, utilities predesign and consulting, sewage collection and pumping station design, oil spill studies, surveying, and construction management services with CH2M Hill from 1972 to 1975. Also acted as firm-wide coordinator for critical path scheduling and value engineering.
  • Marine and Concrete Construction Specialist advising the Chilean Port Authority on construction of an Agency for International Development financed, deep water port at Concepcion, Chile, with McCreary Koretsky Engineers from 1970 to 1972.
  • Estimator, Project Engineer, and Superintendent on wharf and pile driving projects in the San Francisco Bay area and Cook Inlet, Alaska with Pomeroy-Gerwick Construction and Santa Fe International from 1968 to 1969.
  • Project Engineer on construction of two sections of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway with Massman Construction Company from 1967 to 1968.
  • Lieutenant, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1965 to 1967, in Virginia, Korea, and Fort Ord, California.


American Arbitration Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
Associated Builders & Contractors
Associated General Contractors
Construction Financial Managers Association
Consulting Engineers Council of Oregon
Dispute Review Board Foundation
Northwest Construction Consumers Council
Professional Engineers of Oregon
Society of American Military Engineers
Society of American Value Engineers


  • “Who Owns the Float, and provocative answers to other questions you never asked,” PMI College of Scheduling Conference. By Steve Pinnell, April 2007.
  • “How to Get Paid for Construction Change Orders and Claims,” Construction News Update, Associated General Contractors of Oregon-Columbia Chapter. By Steve Pinnell, April 2007.
  • “Scheduling Best Practices to Avoid Changes, Delays and Claims,” Construction News Update, Associated General Contractors of Oregon-Columbia Chapter, July 2006, Co-author.
  • “Best Practices to Avoid Changes, Delays, and Claims,” AACEI Conference. By Steve Pinnell, June 2006.
  • “Pinnell/Busch Conducts New Survey on Construction Changes, Delays and Claims,” The Oregon Civil Engineer. Newsletter of the ASCE Oregon Section. Volume 51 Number 4, April 2006.
  • “Nationwide Survey by Oregon Expert Identifies Ways to Reduce Construction Problems and Increase Profits,” PMICOS Daily Journal of Commerce, Oct 2005.
  • “Risk Assestment and Best Practices in Scheduling,” PMI College of Scheduling Conference. By Steve Pinnell, May 2005.
  • “How to Avoid Claims: Techniques and Philosophy of a Dispute Management Program”, NWCCC, February 26, 2003.
  • “Construction Survey Save Us,” Bottom Line Management Column. Daily Journal of Commerce, Bottom Line Management Column. By Steve Pinnell & Toni Severe, May 2001.
  • “Scheduling – How to Avoid Delay, Acceleration, Impact and Inefficiency”, NWCCC, October 24, 2000.
  • “Resolution Solution”, ASCF Magazine, Volume 69 #6, June 1999.
  • “Avoiding and Resolving Construction Disputes, The Civil Engineer, American Society of Civil Engineering. By Steve Pinnell, February 1999.
  • “Partnering and the Management of Cost Disputes”, American Arbitration Association’s Dispute Resolution Journal, February 1999.
  • HOW TO GET PAID For Construction Charges, McGraw-Hill, August 1998
  • "Dispute Management Programs: Partnering, Claims Management and Dispute Resolution, PMI '94 Proceedings, 25th Annual Seminar/Symposium, co-author with Jeffrey S. Busch
  • "Bottom Line Management", Daily Journal of Commerce, a column on contractor issues published in both Portland, OR and Seattle, WA
  • "The Contractor's Dispute Management Program", Daily Journal of Commerce Magazine, Portland, Oregon, July 1993. Co-author.
  • "Jobsite Management: Making Projects An All-Around Success", Daily Journal of Commerce Magazine, Portland, Oregon, July 1993.
  • "Construction Scheduling Disputes: Proving Entitlement", The Construction Lawyer, Volume 12, Number 1, January 1992, a journal of the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry.
  • "Project Scheduling in Construction Cases,” part of Oregon State Bar continuing education seminar, July 1991.
  • "Project Management in a Multi-project Environment", The Military Engineer, July 1990.
  • "Software Can Aid Public-Works Management," American City & County Magazine, July 1988.
  • "From Engineer to Entrepreneur: Developing Managers Within A Matrix Structure," paper delivered at the Fall 1982 Convention of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • "Micro-Computer Project Management System," Symposium Paper at the First International Conference On Computers In Civil Engineering at New York City, May 1981.
  • "Easier, Better Method of Construction Scheduling," Pacific Builder & Engineer Magazine, February 23, 1981.
  • "Construction/Engineering Management: A Comparison," the Journal of Professional Activities, American Society of Civil Engineers, October 1980.
  • "Critical Path Scheduling: An Overview and a Practical Alternative," Civil Engineering Magazine, July 1980.
  • "Turnkey Contracts for Sewage Treatments Plants?" Civil Engineering Magazine, January 1974, p. 86.

See separate list of training experience, publications and presentations.

Steve has testified in many other cases, however, within the past ten years most of the cases he consulted on settled in negotiation or mediation. The cases he did testify in within the past ten years are:

  • Bend Middle School and High School dispute for Mid-Willamette Acoustic against the general contractor, Kirby Nagelhaut Construction.
  • Arbitration on the Phillips Creek Subdivision for Glen/Mar Construction against the developer.

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