core team

BEN OLSON | Owner & Chief Engineer


Ben Olson launched Olson Engineering in the Coachella Valley in 1976.  His educational background consists of degrees in Agricultural Engineering (B.S.) from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Irrigation and Drainage Engineering (M.S.) from Utah State University.   Mr. Olson has 45 years of experience designing, operating, and maintaining irrigation systems both nationally and internationally.  Mr. Olson has the unique distinction of Registration as a Civil Engineer, Agricultural Engineer and General Engineering Contractor, Class A, in California.


J. Gabriel Gonzalez | Project Manager


Gabriel Gonzalez graduated from California Polytechnic University in Civil Engineering in 1996. He is a registered Civil Engineer (No. 74509) in the state of California. He has been Project Manager in several large projects in the Coachella Valley over the past 10 years. Mr. Gonzalez supervised and participated in preparation of the improvement plans for street, grading, water, sewer, drainage, irrigation and hydrology. He has experience with Autodesk AutoCAD, WaterCAD, CivilCADD Hydrology Program Software.


KIRSTEN DICKERSON | Admin & Operations


Kirsten Dickerson graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a BS in Business Administration.  She brings practical experience and organizational skills from running her own business for 15 years and extensive work with several non-profit organizations.   Kirsten also has worked with two commodity boards in the Coachella Valley. 

MELINDA CABANYOG   |   Office Manager    EMAIL |




Outside Expertise

STEVE VAN, P.L.S | Director of Survey


Steve Van has been a licensed Land Surveyor (No. 6500) in the state of California since 1990. He utilizes the latest GPS/GIS survey equipment (Leica Viva GNSS & TPS) for mapping, construction staking, boundary, topographical and ALTA surveys. Mr. Van's practical, in-field experience ranges from the Salton Sea to Palm Springs, including La Quinta Country Club, Terraces at the Vintage, Marywood - Palm Valley School and Cathedral City Redevelopment Agency.


GREG SCHWARTZ, PhD. | Associate


Greg Schwartz, Ph.D. brings comprehensive environmental engineering expertise to the Olson Engineering team. He was the Director of Systems Engineering and a senior scientist for a large fish farm in the Coachella Valley. Areas of expertise include wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion and mass and energy balances. His educational background consists of degrees in Biosystems Engineering (Ph.D and M.S.) from Clemson University and Biological and Agricultural Engineering (B.S.) from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.