Johann F. Szautner, P.E., P.L.S., D.I.


Mr. Szautner is a Senior Partner at and President of Cowan Associates, Inc., a Quakertown Civil and Structural Engineering firm. He received his education from the Technical University in Vienna and came to the U.S. in 1972 from his native country of Austria. He has been with the Cowan firm since 1973 when he joined as a junior project engineer. He is licensed in eight states and was awarded the status of Fellow by the American College of Forensic Examiners and Diplomat by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. He serves as a Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Engineers in Private Practice organization and is Past President and current State Director of the Lehigh Valley chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. He is a corresponding member of the American Society of Civil Engineers Book of Knowledge Committee and, as a Committee member of the American Society for Testing and Materials, works on issuing and revising Industry Standards.

He was a contributing author to “Writing and Defending Your Expert Report,” published by S.E.A.K. Inc.; was published in the journal “The Forensic Examiner,” and is a member of “The Forensic Examiner” Editorial Advisory Board. He has lectured on forensic engineering-related subjects including design and construction failures, mold and fall mechanics before the American Construction Specification Institute, numerous county Bar Associations, the Nevada State Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers and the International Society for Fall Protection.

In his free time Mr. Szautner enjoys skiing, bicycling, adventure traveling and occasionally climbing a mountain. He resides with his wife Dr. Kathleen Szautner in Bethlehem.









1973   Participated in civil site design of first shopping center in Quakertown, PA.


1974    Implemented novel stormwater infiltration/retention design in landscaped islands of large store parking lots (Quakertown, PA; Sears, K-Mart).


1975    Obtained PA-DCA certification as a flood plain analyst. Developed simplified step calculations for back water analysis.


1976    Earned P.E. license and promoted to manager of Jim Thorpe branch office.

            Appointed project manager for Jim Thorpe’s municipal sewer Inflow/Infiltration study.


1978    Obtained training and Penn-DOT certification as a bridge inspector. Inspected and inventoried over a 100 bridges and assisted 18 municipalities in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, and Montgomery Counties to implement the federal surface transportation assistance act program. These efforts resulting in bridge inventory and inspections and obtaining state and federal funding for replacements and repairs.


1980    Pioneered self-storage facilities design in the northeastern states. Designed more than 76 facilities for Public Storage, Clients include Shureguard, Your Attic, and others in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware and Massachusetts. Promoted to partner and vice president of business development..


1984    Designed novel precast concrete bridge system, including precast abutments. Presented design at International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh.


1987    Designed novel steel slip-in bridge to take traffic load off a historic covered timber bridge, Little Gap Bridge, Carbon County.


1989    Introduced novel salt storage building concept using Pennsylvania Dutch bank barn system for easy dump loading from higher elevation. This building design was constructed in Colebrookdale Township, Berks County; and Salford and Upper Dublin Townships in Montgomery Counties.


1994    Field engineered emergency repairs during sewer trunk line collapse and subsidence in Lansford Borough, Carbon County. Construction completion was accomplished without plans and specifications and after the fact environmental permitting.


2000    Presented a novel approach to forensic engineering using systems analysis in accident investigations. Presented at the National Expert and Litigation Seminar in Hyannis, Massachusetts..


2002    Elected to serve on ASTM Committee F-13, working on standards F1679, F695, D5859 and F1240.


2005    Supervised design of first porous pavement application in Lehigh County for the new Lower Milford Township Municipal complex.