Since DCE’s inception in 1985, DCE has successfully undertaken a number of projects covering a wide range of activities. The firm has acquired various facilities and items of equipment to meet the needs of these projects.


The DCE corporate office and main laboratory is located in Mundelein, Illinois, with support offices in downtown Chicago. As well, DCE has office branches and laboratories in El Salvador, South America; Toronto, Canada; and Bangladesh, Asia.


The central laboratories at DCE offices are equipped with modern, versatile equipment and provide the full spectrum of materials testing. DCE often performs with field instruments in their investigations, and has the requisite space and facilities to calibrate and check these devices prior to use on, and upon their return from, a field project. DCE is adequately equipped with personal safety equipment and other supplies required for such projects. DCE’s test equipment is routinely calibrated to national or international standards. All tests at DCE are performed in accordance with the standards developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Association of American State, Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and other recognized testing agencies. DCE’s main office laboratories are inspected regularly by an agency of the National Bureau of Standards and Participates in the AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) soil testing proficiency programs. DCE’s offices implement Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) programs that follow these agencies guidelines. The soil mechanics laboratory is equipped to perform all routine tests. Thus, it can readily handle tests for compressive strength, atterburg limits, liquid limits, hydrometer analysis, consolidation, proctors, moisture content and a numerous other specialized tests. In the field, nuclear densities, California Bearing Ratios (CBR), Illinois Bearing Ratios (IBR), sand cone tests, “speedy” moistures, cone penetrometer measurements, hand penetromenter tests, and other tests are performed routinely, by our highly qualified staff. The material testing laboratory has comprehensive testing machines, capping equipment, beam testing apparatus, facilities for measuring linear thermal coefficient of expansion, static and dynamic elastic module, as well as chloride testing and organic content tests. DCE provides itself on its large, temperature controlled, humidity chamber for concrete. For bituminous concrete, DCE had reflux extraction equipment, vacuum extractor, Marshall test frame, mechanical Marshall compactor, and other specialized equipment. A Los Angeles abrasion machine is used for aggregate. Field equipment includes Windsor probes, Schmidt classification hammers, slump cones, air meters, coring equipment, surveying equipment, and several other items. For structural steel and welding, DCE has non-destructive testing equipment, such as ultrasonic, magnetic particle, and torque wrecches. For water quality testing, DCE has the laboratory pH meter, conductivity meter, dissolved oxygen meter, Hach water quality kit, Chemcadet field pH meter, and other equipment. DCE continues to upgrade its facilities and laboratories in an effort to perform new and more efficient tests. The above listing is, therefore, not complete or extensive, but merely indicative of the type of services that DCE can perform.

Computer Facilities

DCE has several personal computers which are used for various functions. These include 486 and multi-media computers with various drive and RAM capacities, along with laser dot printers, and a digitizer. These computers are equipped with a variety of engineering application programs such as Autocad, FEM2D, PILED, ETABS, SAP90, CivilSoft, AutoCivil, STAAD-III, HEC-1, HEC-2, GEOLOG and Harvard Graphics. We also have other graphical software for general purpose programs such as Windows95, LOTUS 1-2-3, Symphony, dBase, MS Works and Word Perfect. These programs are used for civil, environmental, geohydroloic, geotechnical and structural engineering complex analysis. DCE also has the use of a library of programs for structural and three dimensional numerical modeling. DCE has experience with various statistical software packages for frequency analysis, multiple regression, correlations, discriminate analysis, fourier analysis, and several others.

Drafting & Reproduction Facilities

DCE had several drafting tables of various makes and models, complete with drafting accessories, kroy lettering machine, CADD capabilities and plotters. Generally, DCE uses high volume copiers for reproducing documents. DCE has the appropriate collating equipment for special binding of reports and proposals. Blueprints are made on a Teledyne Rotolite Mark II. Aside from the advantage of facility quality control, DCE has the advantage of having their own printing facilities, in which client data may be maintained in confidentiality.

Technical Library

DCE maintains a library related to the engineering, geology, environment, energy and construction fields. The library contains texts, monographs, proceedings of symposia and conferences, handbooks, technical reports, government documents, commercial literature, several thesis and other pertinent publications. DCE is part of the Illinois Library System and all of their personnel have access to several well stocked libraries in the Chicagoland Area, such as the John Crerar Library, Kemper Library of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Morgenstern Library of the University of Chicago, and the Library of the Technical Institute of Northwestern University. Excellent safety literature is also available at the Library of the National Safety Council. DCE also has access to the Translations Center of the John Crerar Library for translation of foreign publications. DCE is also a member of the Interlibrary Loan System, which allows DCE to borrow reference materials from libraries throughout the United States. The staff of DCE may also conduct computerized literature searches through computerized indexes, such as DIALOG, SKC, BRC and MERAC, by means of an in-house computer terminal. This allows DCE to have the available technical literature that may be required for projects undertaken.