Halker is a team of intelligent women and men bringing dedication, passion and fun to everything we do and everything we engineer.
Jane Varela graduated from Rice University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and began her career as a process engineer with Fluor Daniel in Houston. After 4 years, she made her way to Denver and worked for 17+ years at what is now AECOM. Jane joined the team of leaders at Halker Consulting in 2019 as the Director of Process and Mechanical Engineering. She holds her Professional Engineer (PE) licenses in both Colorado and Louisiana.
Over the course of her career, Jane has gained significant expertise in sour gas treating, sulfur recovery, sulfur removal, carbon capture, CO2 compression and acid gas injection. Her strengths include technology selection, and helping clients develop their own novel technologies. Jane has over 10 publications in the industry, and currently sits on the Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning Conference (LRGCC) Advisory Committee, serving as Chair through February 2020.
Growing up Jane moved frequently because her dad was also in the oil business. It felt like she grew up in a military family! She lived in 7 different places before 8th grade, eventually graduating from high school in Midland, Texas. Outside of work, Jane enjoys running and playing on (2) co-ed indoor soccer teams, as well as spending time with her two teenagers who are surprisingly still interacting with her despite their age!
Jeff Wellen graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in business and economics in 2002. Jeff is a licensed professional engineer with over seventeen (17) years of project management, project engineering, and mechanical engineering experience. Most of his professional career has been in the Oil & Gas industry with a wide range of experience across various types of projects including gas treating, LNG, well pad sites, cryogenic processing, biofuels, and more. He has also worked as a field engineer to support construction, as well as in a fabrication shop to oversee module/pipe-rack assembly. As a member of the Halker team since January 2018, his breadth of involvement in various projects provides Jeff a strong basis to lead a project management team through the trials and tribulations when executing any type of project ranging from technical studies to full EPC projects in the rapidly evolving midstream and upstream industry sectors. Jeff was named an Engineering News Record (ENR) Top Young Professional in 2018 for the Mountain States Region.
In his free time, Jeff loves all things outdoors including hunting, camping, and ice fishing. He has lived in Colorado since 1980 with his wife and twin daughters, who also love to go fishing and camping and root for the Broncos. Jeff’s biggest piece of advice for new college grads interested in joining the energy industry is to always work hard to grow and maintain a professional network!
Noelle Ford graduated from the University of Colorado (Go Buffs!) with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Her oil & gas career began in 2009 with a recruitment firm specializing in the oil & gas and mining sectors. One of Noelle’s first placements as a recruiter was for Halker Consulting and 10 years later, that individual is still an active member of the team. She eventually joined Halker as the resident human resource and recruiting specialist in 2014 and has been a part of Halker’s growth and success over the last 5 years. Noelle brings a great balance of professionalism and a sense of humor to the office culture, which makes her both approachable and respected among her team mates.
Noelle is a Colorado native and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves seeing movies, plays and travelling around the world.
Matt Halker, founder and CEO of Halker Consulting, earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Matt is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of Colorado, and several other states. He is an E&P professional with engineering and construction experience in the oil and gas industry, spanning the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains. He began his professional career as an offshore engineer for Vastar Resources before he moved to Durango and managed compressor and pipeline projects throughout the SW Colorado area. Beginning in 2003, Matt became a project engineer for CBM gas field operations at Thunder Creek Gas Services, working on various pipeline and compressor station projects in Gillette, WY. Matt resigned and made his next moves as an entrepreneur in 2006. Halker Consulting and Dry Creek Petroleum were founded in 2006 as mechanisms to work engineering consulting and oil field operations opportunities. Halker’s consulting and engineering services became Matt’s full-time pursuit after 2008.
Since 2012, Matt has founded multiple companies including EIS, SWEVCO-SABW, Slipstream Environmental Services, and most recently Halker Smart Solutions. Throughout his career he has managed many aspects of oil and gas business including commercial M&A, operations, engineering, construction and commissioning. A few notable projects include a helium recovery plant, a solar powered-pump off a separator solution, a microscale-liquid hydrocarbon recovery project, the first Econode production facility, and an aboveground, downhole casing R&D simulator.
Despite market fluctuations, Matt’s commitment to grow and execute Halker’s mission has remained strong. Today, Halker’s full-service Energy engineering services encompass multiple aspects of upstream and midstream projects including feasibility studies, project management, economic analysis, oil, gas and water handling facility design, pipeline design, among many other oil & gas, power and renewable engineering activities. Matt is always looking to the future of energy and will continue to be an innovator and industry thought leader.
Matt, Gretchen and their 4 children live in Colorado and enjoy indoor and outdoor activities, including team sports, off-road motorcycle riding, skiing, hiking and road tripping.
Michael Brehm graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering and minors in Geology and Geological Engineering and Business and Economics in 2009. Michael has over 10 years of Field Engineering experience in drilling and coring operations, 5 years of leadership and training experience, and 3 years of experience as a technical recruiter. As a member of the Halker team since early 2019, he has enjoyed the opportunity to wear multiple hats including Recruiter, Safety Manager, Project Manager, and Project Engineer.
Outside of Halker, Michael is all about family and music. He has seen well over 700 bands/artists in concert, is always looking for the next great show, and loves playing/writing music with his wife and son.
Emily Strengers graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1998 (Hookem’ Horns!). She has over (20) years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry, has been involved in projects ranging from offshore platforms to onshore crude units, LNG facilities, gas plants, cokers, and polyethylene units, and has worked in 6 different countries around the world. As a member of the Halker team since 2019, she has brought her extensive experience to aid in project management, client and staff training, FEED studies, construction support, and facilities operation for both upstream and midstream projects.
When asked about the advice she would give to young engineers she said, “Talk to the construction and operations guys in the field who have been doing the hands-on work for years. They have insights and knowledge you can’t gain just by looking at the numbers and the design on paper.”
Originally from Houston, Emily is a native Texan and in her free time she loves scuba diving, travel, and spending time with her family. As the proud mom of two active boys, there is never a dull moment and each weekend is filled with camping, swimming, biking, and fun.
Ron Keller graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1998. He is a licensed Professional Engineer with extensive experience in the power generation, oil and gas, and construction industries. Experience includes civil/structural engineering, project management and field supervision on all sizes of multi-disciplined projects. Projects have involved the design of steel structures and foundations for turbine and reciprocating driven generators and compressors, high energy piping and miscellaneous ancillary equipment as well as project site development.
Ron is always excited to be involved with new opportunities expanding outside of his own professional experiences including new technologies related to renewable and recycling. Hobbies and interests include anything outdoors such as hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with family.
CJ Horn graduated from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and a minor in Construction Management. He also attended Stanford University where he earned a Master of Science in Design-Construction Integration. CJ is a certified LEED AP, DBIA and PMP with eleven 11 years of experience in the construction industry, including eight 8 years in Project Management and Project Engineering.
CJ has worked in multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Heavy Civil and Commercial Construction with experience across a diverse array of projects including: well pad sites, salt water disposal facilities, bulk material handling, state highway projects, VA hospitals and a municipal police department, among others. CJ started with Halker in 2014 as a Project Manager and has supported the sales and structural engineering departments throughout his tenure.
CJ is an active individual who competed as a collegiate water skier at Cal Poly. He continues today as an avid water skier and snow skier; CJ once skied from Switzerland to Italy. While also competing as amateur bodybuilders, CJ and his wife are accomplished ballroom and country swing dancers.
Paul Brennan is an industrial automation specialist, PLC programmer, business manager and product development professional. He graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Paul now has over 25 years of experience providing industrial automation solutions and large-scale automation integration projects for oil & gas, water/wastewater, irrigation, and greenhouse industries in the US and Eastern Europe. Paul’s career has been spent developing leading edge, revolutionary automation products, and in the process, he has obtained several US Patents. Paul has notably designed products such as PADPro, PADManager, PROView and QLogiX for upstream oil & gas facilities, utilizing state of the art technologies with PLC’s and high-powered single board computers to provide advanced data collection and data processing at the well head.
Paul has a knack for being able to create logical solutions for industrial processes, dedication to hard work, and his relentless drive distinguishes him as an industry leading expert. He describes his greatest achievements around his ability to identify, manage and drive talented individuals and contractors towards a common team goal. In his spare time, Paul is a hot rod enthusiast and enjoys building and restoring classic cars. You can also find him outdoors year-round hunting, fishing or playing golf.
Dan Grant has degrees from Northern Arizona University, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and two Masters, one of which is in College Teaching. He is a licensed professional engineer in 22 states and brings nearly 30 years of experience to projects and clients. In 1999, Dan completed his PMP and has worked as an engineer and project manager. His diverse career spans numerous market sectors, including energy, oil & gas (upstream, midstream, downstream, and water disposal processing), pipeline and terminals, mining (above ground and underground), chemical and pharmaceutical, water and wastewater and pumping stations, industrial manufacturing, clean rooms, 24/7 and mission critical operations, data centers and control facilities, and power (substations and transmission & distribution). In the renewable energy sector, Dan’s experience covers client-side and utility/grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated PV power generation sites. At Halker, Dan is the EI&C Director and supports clients and projects as a team and technical resource. He’s knowledgeable in wide aspects of electrical design and engineering, including power system analysis, motors and VFDs, harmonics, grounding and bonding and lightning protection, cathodic protection, heat trace, relay protection schemes, electrical area classification and API RP500, and power generation.
Previously, when not in the engineering sector, Dan taught college mathematics, computer programming, and English. In his free time, Dan can be found writing a series of science/medical thrillers and he’s the bestselling author of The Singularity Witness and Thirteen Across. A mentor once gave him this advice: strive to be brilliant because anyone can be average. He brings that mindset and passion to his engineering projects and clients, striving to provide the best engineering solutions and services possible.
Daniel Sirridge graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2003. Starting his career in architecture, he worked on various project types ranging from religious and educational projects to large government projects. In 2009 Dan continued his career, transitioning to the Oil and Gas Industry, starting work at Halker Consulting. Through the years, Dan has been a key contributor and design-lead for many various upstream and midstream oil and gas projects. These project types include: salt water injection facilities, well-pad facilities, compressor stations, and plant retrofits.
In Daniel’s free time he enjoys being part of a pool team, playing disc golf, and enjoying Colorado and everything that the state has to offer.
Andrew Depperschmidt is a graduate from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has experience in a variety of construction and facilities projects including both upstream and midstream natural gas and crude oil processing. He joined Halker in January of 2015 as the Mechanical Department Manager and has since taken on several different responsibilities with the firm, including General Manager and Vice President. Over the course of his time with Halker, he has overseen the company’s growth, helped develop the management team, and helped structure operational processes around project execution for maximum quality. He’s inspired by Halker’s outstanding team daily and takes pride in being people-focused while driving the company’s progressive and forward-looking culture.
Andrew and his wife have four children. Their family loves doing things together, whether it’s running a 5K or spending the day sailing at the reservoir. Andrew enjoys trying new things and is always learning a new hobby or building a new project around the house. His favorite hobby, though, is undertaking new entrepreneurial opportunities. He’s also a loyal Denver Broncos fan – go orange and blue!