Somat Engineering, Inc. (Somat) is an award-winning infrastructure solutions provider, offering engineering, environmental, and management services to government and private clients. Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1986, Somat also maintains offices in Ohio, Maryland, and the District of Columbia (DC). Somat Engineering of Ohio, Inc. and Somat Engineering DC, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Somat Engineering, Inc.
We deliver innovative, timely, and cost-effective solutions. Our professionals possess expertise in the planning, design, and construction administration of small to large scale infrastructure systems, including transportation, water/wastewater, built facilities, and environmental pollutant control programs.
American infrastructure is in dire need of upgrades at every level. Roads, bridges, airports, transit systems, and water/wastewater facilities require major investment, while facing budgetary constraints and important environmental considerations. Best practices, innovations, and sustainable approaches for design and construction are required to meet these challenges head on, and Somat has been consistently engineering such solutions for over 30 years.
Somat maintains a special focus on tackling the most challenging engineering problems, including repair, rehabilitation, and forensic work. Our experience in the iconic metropolitan cities of Detroit, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio, both of which have aging “built environment” infrastructure, has provided us the unique opportunity of working with communities to repair and rehabilitate centuries old water and sewer systems, update air and surface transportation assets, and restore historical structures. We have now expanded this expertise to service other comparable major metropolitan areas such as the District of Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland.
We operate under a simple umbrella philosophy: Do The Right Thing. Everything we do emanates from this, including our corporate Values, Mission, and Vision:
Our firm was founded by Mr. Ramji Patel in January 1986. After several successful years of practice at a large firm, Mr. Patel wished to own and operate a small business that emphasized the needs of its clients and employees alike. Somat’s name was originally derived from a combination of the words “soils” and “materials” to represent our roots in geotechnical and foundations engineering. In the three decades since our founding, we have expanded our expertise to include structural, civil, environmental, and construction engineering. We now provide a full suite of infrastructure solutions to clients ranging from small municipalities to Fortune 500 corporations.
With humble beginnings in a small shared office on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, Somat has since grown to nine offices in three states and the District of Columbia, with over 100 employees. Due in no small part to our founder’s philosophy and emphasis on fostering a strong culture of collaboration and teamwork, many of our employees have been with the firm for over a decade or more, and Somat has been the only professional employer for several staff members. We have persevered through one of the most challenging economic climates in the country, while never compromising our values and commitment to excellence.
Somat’s current leadership preserves the vision of our founder through accountability, quality of workmanship, and equal dedication to our clients and employees alike. With a heavy reflection on “Lessons Learned,” our corporate culture and philosophy emphasizes relationship building, integrity, and value engineering, the key components of our viability and success. As a result, we have been awarded numerous high-profile projects as the prime, and continue to support our industry partners as a valued subconsultant. We have also been fortunate to give back to the communities we serve through facilitating local economic development, as well as civic and charitable participation by our employees at all levels.
G. “Ram” Ramanujam, PE is President and CEO of Somat, responsible for the leadership, planning, and strategic direction of the firm. Ram joined Somat as a geotechnical engineer in 1989 upon receiving his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University. Somat was his first professional job, and remains so to this day. Ram began his career in the field, performing tasks ranging from geotechnical instrumentation to operating drill rigs. As a result, he is intimately familiar with all aspects of Somat’s work and the needs of our team, having participated in and contributed to our growth for nearly 30 years. He became our President and CEO in 2000, and has led the firm to successfully expand into new markets and service areas, under the guidance and principles of our Founder and Chairman, Ramji Patel.
A resident of Canton, Michigan, Ram is a dedicated participant in local business, civic, religious, and charitable activities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Michigan. Ram is married with two sons, and is an avid fan of Detroit Pistons basketball.
Sharmyn Elliott is Vice President of Somat. With more than 40 years of experience in the infrastructure engineering industry, his current responsibilities include managing operations for the firm’s geotechnical and construction engineering practices, client relations, and developing and implementing strategic operations planning. He also serves as the Senior Project Consultant on many transportation, aviation, water/wastewater, private development, and healthcare projects. Sharmyn also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Somat Engineering of Ohio, Inc. and is responsible for our operations in Cleveland and Brooklyn Heights, Ohio.
He is an active and dedicated member of the multi-modal transportation community, and of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) at both the National and local level. In addition to his current role as a National Board of Directors At-Large member, National Finance Committee member, and COMTO Michigan Vice President, he provides leadership to local and national activities and committees, as well as other professional organizations.
Sharmyn is also dedicated to the sustainable development of the communities we serve. He co-authored a paper titled “Geotechnology for Urban Renewal and Redevelopment” and is a Michigan Chronicle “Men of Excellence” awardee. A lifelong member of the NAACP, he has a longstanding history of civic responsibility and consistently spearheads initiatives that benefit the quality of life for local residents.
The history of Somat begins with its founder, Mr. Ramji Patel, PE, a native of Gujarat, India, who emigrated to the United States in 1970 to further his education in Civil Engineering. He attended the Detroit Institute of Technology (now Lawrence Tech), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering in 1971. Upon graduation, Mr. Patel was employed by Wade Trim, a leading Michigan engineering and architectural firm, and received his professional engineering license in 1977. He has been responsible for the design and construction oversight of a variety of projects for governments and private companies, totaling well over $1 billion in construction cost, over his 50-year career.
After several successful years of engineering practice, Mr. Patel founded Somat in 1986. He led our expansion into new markets and services as Chairman, President, and CEO until 2000, handing over responsibility for daily operations to up and coming leadership. He remains Chairman of the Board to this day, continuing to provide strategic, financial, and professional development guidance to our team.
Mr. Patel has a long history of civic and charitable participation and activism in the southeast Michigan community. He is a Gold Life Member of the NAACP, and an active contributor to the Mayor Coleman A. Young Foundation, dedicated to developing leadership among Detroit youth through college scholarships, mentoring, and other support for personal growth and development.
Somat meets the established requirements and qualifies as a disadvantaged, small, and/or minority-owned business enterprise (DBE/SBE/MBE) as defined by the multiple states and municipalities we conduct business in. This includes the federal government, the states of Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia, and the cities of Detroit, Michigan, Cleveland, Ohio, Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, District of Columbia.
Somat also operates and maintains its own AASHTO AMRL accredited testing laboratories in Michigan and Ohio. We are also qualified to conduct materials testing for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.