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ES Staff Bios 

Richard Beck is the Vice President of Uniform Evaluation Services. He oversees all aspects of the building products ES program.

Before joining IAPMO, Mr. Beck had more than 36 years of engineering experience, including 25 years with the International Code Council and its predecessor the Southern Building Code Congress International. Some highlights include Richard’s contribution to the Product Evaluation Program (both report and criteria development), serving as the secretary to the Mechanical, Plumbing and Gas code committees, developing and presenting code courses on these codes and the building code, designing/maintaining certification programs, Code interpretations, telephone, written & formal (committee), serving on the initial development committees for the IPC and IMC, served on ASHRAE Standards Committee, and developed commentary for the mechanical and gas codes. Prior to entering the codes arena, Mr. Beck worked for seven years in the design and construction of large commercial nuclear power plants for the Tennessee Valley Authority Division of Engineering Design and Southern Company Services.

This experience makes Richard uniquely qualified to lead IAPMO’s Uniform Evaluation Service. His focus remains on customer service, both to the users and report holders. This opportunity is so great that Mr. Beck moved his family from Alabama to California to answer the industry’s request for a valid competitor to the big guys in Brea.

“I am very excited about being at IAPMO and the opportunity to compete in the marketplace,” Mr. Beck said. “Competition makes everyone better — it’s the American way.” 

Mr. Beck holds a BSME from the University of Alabama and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Alabama, California and Georgia. He has certification by ICC as a Master Code Professional (MCP), Certified Building Official (CBO), and by the state of Florida as a Building Official and Plan Examiner.

Brian Gerber, P.E. is the Vice President of Technical Operations - Uniform Evaluation Service.

Brian has nearly 40 years of engineering experience, encompassing building construction from inspection to design to standards writing. This background gives him an unusually broad base of skills with which to understand manufacturers’ needs and the objective of maintaining public safety. As technical director, he works with clients to create an identity in the field of code compliance. These clients run the gamut from small start-ups to Fortune 100 conglomerates.

With memberships in the American Concrete Institute, American Institute of Steel Construction, ASTM International, and the Structural Engineers Association of California, Brian actively participates in these organizations to further the engineering profession. He has received awards and fellowships for his contributions.

Brian holds degrees in engineering and business, and is a registered structural engineer. His research efforts have been detailed in technical papers and presentations delivered to prominent structural engineering organizations such as the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations, the Structural Engineers World Congress, the International Institute for FRP in Construction, and the International Federation for Structural Concrete Congress (fédération internationale du béton).

Bart W. Berneche, P.E., is a Senior Engineer at Uniform Evaluation Services.

Berneche has more than 35 years of experience in a wide range of technical aspects of building construction. He has qualified training and experience in drafting and quality control; plan review and inspection; civil engineering technology (geotech); electricity; and building structural design. He spent six and a half years with ICC Evaluation Service evaluating a range of building products, including exterior claddings, wallboards, building structural systems, and various engineered wood products. Prior to that, Berneche worked as a consulting engineer to prefabricated building manufacturers and as part of the management team of a manufacturing and building material retailing company. In these roles, Bart trained in the principles of lean manufacturing and process efficiencies.

“At IAPMO, my number one goal is to facilitate the construction process by helping manufacturers tell the stories concerning the qualified alternative products they offer. By gaining a clear understanding of the product from the manufacturer; by working with the manufacturer and other industry professionals to develop a clear set of justifying testing and acceptance measures based on applicable codes and related standards; and by clearly communicating the results of the compliance review and how the product is to be used to maintain compliance, I can provide a service that is valuable not only to the product manufacturer, but to the building code official as well. Providing this service efficiently gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”

Berneche holds a BSCE degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa and is a professional engineer registered in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi. He is an ICC certified plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and building inspector and plan reviewer, and he is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Alabama, where he serves on the board.

Barry A. Johnson, P.E. is a Senior Engineer at Uniform Evaluation Services.

Johnson brings more than 30 years of technical experience in design and construction as a civil/structural engineer. He spent the past 23 years with ICC, working in both technical services and evaluation services. He served most recently as senior staff engineer, launching a building products listing program in addition to working on deck, guardrail, and exterior wall cladding evaluation reports and reviewing reports to the Florida building codes.

“I am excited to be part of the Uniform ES team and looking forward to continuing my relationships within the building community,” Johnson said. “It has always been rewarding to help manufacturers gain a wider entry into the marketplace and to work with the building safety and design professionals to make their jobs easier.”

Johnson earned a B.S.C.E. degree and MBA from the University of Alabama and began his engineering career with Vulcraft, a division of Nucor Corporation. He is a registered professional engineer in two states: Alabama and Florida.

Michael W. Merrigan
, P.E. is a Manager of Uniform Evaluation Services.

Merrigan brings 35 years experience in the fields of civil/structural engineering and building product development. He spent five years with ICC Evaluation Service, serving most recently as staff engineer responsible for masonry, veneer and building envelopes. Prior to that, Merrigan was a product evaluation engineer for ICBO, and worked as a consulting engineer. Merrigan spent five years as an engineer with the Masonry Institute of America.

“I am looking forward to continuing my relationship with the many building product manufacturers I have dealt with over the years and will continue to work with them to assure architects, engineers, and building officials  that their products are safe and fully code compliant,” Merrigan said. “I am happy to be working with Brian Gerber, Richard Beck and the all the other Uniform ES staff members.  Together we will provide the expertise and knowledge the industry needs to help manufacturers bring their products to market in a timely manner."

A civil engineering graduate of the Oregon Institute of Technology, Merrigan began his career with the Department of Defense, then moved into construction activities. Merrigan is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Masonry Society.

Juan Gutierrez, P.E is a Product Evaluation Engineer at Uniform Evaluation Services.

He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical) in the State of California.

After completing his education, he worked as a shift engineer at a heavy construction company working on the construction of tunnels.  This included coordinating the excavation using tunnel boring machines.

Rafael Donado, P.E is a Product Evaluation Engineer I at Uniform Evaluation Services.

He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University. He is bilingual in Spanish.

After completing his formal education, he worked as a project engineer for a general contractor. As a field representative he also assisted the superintendent oversee commercial construction. He has experience as an assistant estimator for an electrical subcontractor bidding jobs, performing plan take-offs and interpreting specifications.