As President and CEO, Jim presides over the Board of Directors and is directly responsible for the overall direction and management of the firm.
Jim began his career at French & Parrello Associates in 1974 as a geotechnical engineer and has participated in varied laboratory, field, design and administrative services performed in the New Jersey area, as well as in other portions of the northeastern United States, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. During the period from 1990 to 2003, Jim served as Director of Geotechnical Engineering Services. He has taken responsible charge on more than five hundred geotechnical projects which have included subsurface explorations, geotechnical evaluation and analyses, and preparation of written reports.
Jim has been the Principal-in-Charge of numerous geotechnical evaluations in connection with building and bridge foundations, including shallow spread footings, deep pile foundations and drilled piers. Project examples include an 3-story, above grade office building with a 3-level, below-grade parking garage requiring permanent earth retention and dewatering system in Red Bank, New Jersey; and an 840’ long, 19-span, reinforced concrete bridge in Edison, New Jersey.
Jim has served as senior geotechnical advisor on projects employing ground improvement techniques such as surcharging, grouting, and deep dynamic compaction. Deep dynamic compaction was employed at the 500-unit, 5-story, multi-structure, townhouse development known as Beach Front North in Long Branch, New Jersey, which was completed in 2005.
Additionally, Jim has been responsible for the design of numerous retaining walls including cantilevered concrete retaining walls, solider beam and lagging and mechanically stabilized walls; as well as timber bulkheads. Representative projects include a 15’ cantilevered retaining wall in Highlands, New Jersey, and replacement of timber bulk heading at Monmouth Cove Marina in Port Monmouth, New Jersey.
Jim has provided geotechnical engineering expert testimony in technical disputes including litigation, arbitration, and alternate dispute resolution forums. His expert testimony has been provided to both private and public entities including the New Jersey Attorney Generals Office, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the County of Monmouth. The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) has conferred upon Mr. Heller the designation of EXW, signifying successful completion of the ACEC Expert Witness training course and completion of other requirements.