Acute Engineering


Acute Engineering is a structural engineering firm specializing in light frame construction. We focus on residential construction but also support commercial projects that utilize light frame construction techniques. Established in 2002, Acute Engineering is one of the premier light frame construction engineering firms in Utah. With an office located between Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University, we draw on some of the best and brightest young minds and graduates in the fields of drafting and structural engineering. We have developed tools, programs, and procedures that allow us to provide engineering at a very competitive cost while maintaining quick turnarounds. Whether you are working on a residential home or a commercial project, come see what Acute Engineering can do for you.


Our Team

  • Paul Thorley P.E., S.E.
    Paul has more than 20 years of experience in engineering. He has a wide range of engineering experience including mechanical and structural engineering. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Moorpark College in California as well as a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University. Paul is a licensed Structural Engineer in the State of Utah and a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Idaho. Paul is a member of Structural Engineers Association of Utah and is the committee chairman for the Structural Engineers Emergency Response committee. He has helped in establishing the requirements and procedures for structural engineers to become certified by Utah Division of Emergency Management to investigate structures after a seismic or wind event. Paul manages Acute Engineering’s Salt Lake County relationships while overseeing other corporate responsibilities.
  • Chris Yeates, P.E.
    Senior Partner
    Chris has been with Acute Engineering since April 2009. After finishing his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering at Brigham Young University he joined the Acute Engineering as a part time engineer. He continued his education at Brigham Young University and earned his Masters of Science degree in Civil Engineering in December 2010. Chris became a full time employee in September 2010. Within a year, Chris became a senior engineer and Production Manager. Chris took the Professional Engineer exam in April 2013 and became a licensed Professional Engineer in July of 2013, and became licensed in Colorado in 2017. He oversees and manages a majority of Acute Engineering’s Utah County relationships while maintaining the company’s analysis tools. In addition to being a relationship manager, Chris helps train new employees, review work done by project engineers, and engineers the larger and more unique projects. He is also actively involved with the Structural Engineers Association of Utah.
  • Brandon Decker, P.E.
    Brandon joined Acute Engineering in September 2011 as a part time employee while he was working on his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at Brigham Young University. After graduating with his Bachelor’s degree in 2012 he continued his education at Brigham Young University and earned his Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering in August 2014. His thesis was a joint effort between Brigham Young University and a local timber frame manufacturer to better understand interlocking cross laminated timber (ICLT) panels. Brandon began working full time at Acute Engineering while working towards his Master’s degree in December 2013 and became a licensed Professional Engineer in February 2016. Brandon currently manages client relationships, engineers larger projects, and reviews project engineers' plans. He is also a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah and the Utah Valley Home Builders Association.
  • Jacob Ballard, P.E.
    Like many on our team, Jacob joined Acute as a part time employee in September 2014. His education in engineering began in 2007 and he graduated from BYU in 2010 with his undergraduate degree.  Continuing his studies at BYU, he earned a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in April, 2012. His graduate thesis focused on developing a more precise, efficient and cost effective way to test masonry prisms in compression. His thesis was eventually published and presented as part of the Canadian Masonry Symposium. After graduation, Jacob’s entrepreneurial spirit drove him to start his own company, outside of the engineering discipline, where he learned and developed invaluable skills. Ultimately, he returned to his passion of structural engineering. Jacob became the senior project engineer in January 2016, overseeing operations. He became a licensed Professional Engineer in October 2017. He now manages client relationships, engineers larger projects, and reviews project engineers' plans.
  • Breyandi Bond
    Production Manager
    Breyandi was born and raised in the lovely town of Waimanalo, Hawaii. She moved to Provo, Utah in August of 2010 to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. After completing her undergraduate studies at BYU in December 2014, Breyandi joined the Acute Engineering team in January 2015 as an engineer-in-training. She then continued her education at BYU for her Master’s degree while working part-time at Acute Engineering. Her graduate project was focused on creating a moment frame strength analysis tool through excel.  Breyandi graduated with her Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering in April 2016 and began working full-time for Acute Engineering shortly after. She currently serves as the project engineer, with her roles including assisting in the training of new employees, performing structural analysis on residential projects, and reviewing plans. Excited for the road that lies ahead, Breyandi is now preparing herself for her next professional career step: to obtain her professional licensure.
  • Martin Seneca
    Project Engineer
    Martin began working for Acute during his junior year of undergraduate studies in May of 2016. He has since graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from BYU. Martin engineers a variety of projects and has specialty training in retaining walls and post-tensioned concrete. He also currently mentors junior employees as they learn new engineering skills and processes. Aside from engineering, Martin conducts research related to engineering and construction codes, industry construction standards, and engineering processes of light frame construction.
  • Santiago Tovar
    Project Engineer
    Santiago was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. From the early age of 16, he knew that civil engineering was the path to take for his professional development. He completed his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at BYU-Idaho on April 2015, being one of the pioneers of the civil engineering program in the university at the time. He decided to pursue higher education at BYU, where he started graduate school on August 2015, with an emphasis in structural engineering. His master’s project focused on the performance testing and data analysis of buckling restrained braces (BRBs) with a local seismic brace manufacturer. He graduated with his Master of Science in Civil Engineering on December 2016, to start working for Acute Engineering on Feb 2016 as an engineer in training. His responsibilities as a project engineer include: performing engineering analysis of residential structures, review of plans, and developing and maintaining software used for engineering analysis and production in the company. His next goal is to become a licensed professional engineer in the state of Utah.
  • Ryan Moss
    Drafting Manager
    Ryan began as Drafting Manager in August 2013. Ryan earned an Associate of Science degree in Drafting and continued on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Management with an emphasis in drafting in 2012. He became an AutoCAD Certified Professional in 2017. Ryan oversees the hiring and training of drafters. He reviews the drafting done and provides feedback to continually improve Acute Engineering’s drawings. He has experience working with both AutoDesk AutoCAD and Revit. Ryan maintains Acute Engineering’s drafting tools and automated commands. Ryan works with clients to ensure that the drawings that are sent back to clients meets their requirements and expectations.
  • Mason Williams
    Drafting Team Lead
  • Natalie Bury
    Office Manager
    Natalie serves as the Office Manager for Acute Engineering. Natalie joined the Acute Engineering Team in April of 2013. she has worked in the office industry for over 22 years. As the office manager, she maintains office services by organizing office operations and procedures, preparing payroll, accounts payable and receivables, controlling correspondence, designing filing systems, reviewing and approving supply requisitions, assigning and monitoring clerical functions.

publications, awards, and presentations

Thorley, P.R (2017) “Engineers - Who Needs Them?”

October Meeting, Bonneville Chapter International Code Council (ICC)

Yeates, C.H. (2017) "The IRC - Are you Structurally Code Compliant?"

September Meeting, Beehive Chapter International Code Council (ICC)

Thorley, P.R., Fonseca, F.S (2017) “Timberframe Research and Engineering”

May Seminar, Structural Engineers Association of Utah (SEAU)

Bond, B. (2016) “Women's Equality”

Interviewed by Lauren Simpson on The Matt Townsend Show, BYU Radio. Aug. 29, 2016

Thorley, P.R. (2016) “Light Frame Structural Engineering Analysis and Documentation”

Utah Chapter ICC Annual Business meeting and Education Conference 2016,  February 17th, St. George, Utah

Thorley, P.R., (2015) “Light Frame Construction and Structural Engineering, Career Review”

Presentation, Utah Valley University, Skills USA.

Thorley, P.R., Yeates, C.H., Decker, B.T. (2015) “Acute Engineering Processes, Residential Construction Standards, and Common Construction Issues”

Presentation, Brigham Young University Civil Engineering Undergraduate Seminar.

Thorley, P.R., (2015) “SEER Committee Review”

SEAU News, Structural Engineers Association of Utah (SEAU), Vol. 14, No. 7, Salt Lake City, Utah. April 2015. Page 5

Thorley, P.R. (2015) “Light Frame Structural Engineering Principle and Practice”

Utah Chapter ICC Annual Business meeting and Education Conference 2015,  February 17th, St. George, Utah

Yeates, C.H. (2014) "Shear Walls and Hold-downs".

Presentation, Utah Beehive Chapter ICC Monthly Meeting

Sandy, UT Project of the Year (2013).

Challenger School Corporate Office

Krestschmann, D.E., Gorman, T.M., Smith, R.E., Fonseca, F.S., Apostol, K., Thorley, P.R., (2013). "Interlocking Cross Laminated Timber from Blue Stain Resource: Feasibility and Viability Report"


Yeates, C.H. (2012) “Attending Graduate School”.

Presentation, Brigham Young University Civil Engineering Graduate Dinner, November 2012, Provo, Utah.

Thorley, P.R. (2011). “Structural beams”.

Lecture, Beehive Chapter of the International Code Council (ICC), March 16, Orem, Utah.

Thorley, P.R., and Judd, J.P. (2011) “ Sustainable building using Interlocking Cross-laminated Timber”

SEAU News, Structural Engineers Association of Utah (SEAU), Vol. 15, No. 8, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Judd, J.P., Fonseca, F.S., Walker, C.R. and Thorley, P.R. (2011). “Tensile capacity of mortise and tenon connections in timber frames”

Journal of Structural Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers, in process of publication.

Thorley, P.R. (2009). “Starting an Engineering business”.

Graduate Seminar, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Brigham Young University, October 01, Provo, Utah.

Walker, C.R., Fonseca, F.S., Thorley, P.R., and Judd, J.P. (2008).

Tensile capacity of timber frame mortise and tenon connections”. Proceedings, 10th World Conference on Timber Engineering, June 2-5, Miyazaki, Japan