In 1946, Engineers Harry F. Zimmerman and Joseph Patchen had completed their work on the design of the Clark’s Hill Reservoir and Hydroelectric Generation Project as Project Leaders for C. T. Main Engineers, under contract with the Savannah District of the Corps of Engineers, USA. Augusta was in need of a local engineering firm for complex projects. Thus a partnership, Patchen and Zimmerman Engineers was formed.

Their first major project for local government was the Sewer Improvements and Sewage Treatment Plan for the Augusta Metropolitan Area of January 1952. This Plan set out the process for construction and improvement of sewer collection and treatment for Augusta-Richmond County which, until that time, utilized combined sewers. The firm grew rapidly and undertook projects for local, state and federal governments and for local and developing industries in the Central Savannah River Area. By 1958 the two principal’s interest had become more focused and Mr. Patchen created Patchen, Mingledorff and Associates (PM&A) to pursue bridge, highway, industrial and pulp and paper projects, while Mr. Zimmerman created Zimmerman, Evans and Leopold, Inc. (ZEL) to pursue water, wastewater, public works and government work.

Since its creation, ZEL Engineers has been designing major water and wastewater projects including water transmission and treatment systems, as well as wastewater interceptors, pumping stations and innovative wastewater treatment plants. ZEL has also completed projects such as: University Hospital, Murray Biscuit Factory, and the Signal School at Fort Gordon and in Saudi Arabia.

The firm has been quite fortunate to have had top caliber engineers in all disciplines. Continuing a legacy of 68 years, the latest generation of engineers/owners provide exceptional service to our clients.


 Key Staff

Jorge E. Jiménez, P.E. – Vice President

As a Principal of ZEL Engineers, Mr. Jiménez has overall management responsibility for all Municipal and Environmental projects. Mr. Jiménez has over 40 years of engineering experience. He has extensive experience in all phases of water and wastewater system design and water treatment processes, construction and operation of water supply and distribution systems and wastewater collection systems. Prior to joining ZEL, Mr. Jiménez served the City of Augusta, GA as its design engineer.
Mr. Jiménez is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Georgia.

Charles D. Drown, P.E.

As a Principal of ZEL Engineers, Mr. Drown has responsibility for management of all Structural Engineering design. Mr. Drown has over 31 years experience serving municipal, industrial, commercial, and institutional clients in the areas of roadways, buildings, general construction, structural safety and economy of structures.
Mr. Drown is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Georgia, South Carolina and California.

Kenneth M. Wardenski, E.I.T

As a Principal of ZEL Engineers, Mr. Wardenski has financial responsibility for the company as well as being responsible for management of the CAD Department, IT Department, and Quality Control. He provides design and technical support in Civil Engineering and Construction Management. Ken has over 18 years experience in serving municipal, industrial and commercial clients in the areas of roadway, water, sewer and drainage design.