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Jeff Weiss

Senior Water Resources Engineer

Performing a stream assessment on Bassett Creek in Golden Valley
Fishing with his daughter on the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes
Jeff Weiss was always interested in engineering, but he wasn’t quite ready to commit to it at the age of 18. Instead, he chose to major in math and biology in college. After finishing his undergrad degree, he intended to study environmental engineering in grad school, but his plans took an unexpected turn.

“I ended up at St. Anthony Falls Lab at the University of Minnesota and really enjoyed hydraulics,” said Jeff. “Then I fell in love with bioengineering and stream restoration while doing groundwork for an outdoor stream lab.”

Jeff had found his path, and Barr has given him the opportunity to work on stream and river projects in a variety of capacities—including feasibility work for the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project.

“The large-scale, complex hydraulics modeling efforts are both fun and fascinating, but it also drives home that the outcomes of our projects have significant impacts,” said Jeff. “The scale of the Fargo-Moorhead project is immense. The final project will probably cost more than a billion dollars, require an act of Congress, and impact tens of thousands of people.”

And a recent trout-habitat restoration project reinforced that clients can pass on a wealth of knowledge.

“Through extensive interaction with the client, I gained a deeper understanding of trout habitat and easement requirements for fishing on private land,” said Jeff. “Now I want to try trout fishing to develop that understanding further.”

Jeff has a history of exploring new things. While living near Tokyo, Japan, with his wife, he traveled throughout Asia, took part in a reenactment of a historic Japanese battle with students at the high school where he taught, and even participated in a national contest.

“The biggest trophy I’ve ever won was for getting dressed…in a traditional Japanese kimono,” laughed Jeff. “I had to practice once a week for two months because it’s more difficult than it looks, but I won the regional contest and took second place at nationals in the ‘foreigner’ division.”

These days, he enjoys being a parent to his three young children.

“It’s hard to remember how I had imagined life as a parent,” said Jeff, “but I think I always knew I would be involved in the kids’ activities. I’ve coached several soccer teams and my daughter’s softball team. It forces you to stop thinking about work for a little while and simply focus on the task at hand.”