History

Kent Kucheman, a 1942 graduate of Akron's Buchtel High School, received his B.S.E.E. from The University of Akron in 1949 following service as an Army medic on the European front during World War II. In 1953, Mr. Kucheman joined forces with Harold Howard to provide electrical engineering services.

Howard and Kucheman Engineering offices were located on the ground floor of a yellow brick building on East Exchange Street, just east of The University of Akron. The University's Emily Davis Art Museum occupied the second floor of that building. The partnership moved its office to Western Avenue, just northwest of the Pershing/West Market Street intersection in 1955.

In 1956, Karl Schnabl, who had worked as an engineer in the rubber industry, joined the partnership that became Howard, Kucheman and Schnabl.

Shortly after Mr. Howard's sudden death in 1957, Joseph Varvaro joined the firm, which then became known as Kucheman, Schnabl and Varvaro. Mr. Varvaro, graduated from Akron's North High School in 1942 and earned his B.S.E.E. from The University of Akron in 1949 following his wartime service in the Pacific Theater.

Mr. Kucheman and Mr. Varvaro had both begun their careers employed as estimators by two Akron area electrical contractors. Working as estimators, Kent and Joe quickly learned the value of a clear and well organized set of bid documents (drawings and specifications). That experience allowed Kent and Joe to structure their design practice in a manner that earned the firm a reputation as providing thorough, reliable, and concise bid documents. The firm focused their practice in the local market.

Karl Schnabl left the partnership in 1965 and returned to Germany. The firm continued to provide design for the Akron area rubber companies, operating under the revised partnership of Kucheman and Varvaro. The practice expanded into the healthcare, telecommunications, retail, and educational arenas. At that time the firm employed a total of five people.

In 1973, Kucheman and Varvaro purchased a century home (c.1850) located at 481 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road and began its careful conversion into office space. The firm took occupancy of the renovated building in January of 1974. By this time the firm was well established in the design of healthcare, retail, banking, church, educational, warehouse and telecommunication facilities.

In June of 1975, James Peters graduated from the University of Akron and joined the firm.

A two-story addition was added to the building's north wing in 1977 to accommodate the growing firm, then totaling ten employees, and the partnership was incorporated. In 1979 the building was added to the United States Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places.

David Tschantz joined the firm in 1981. A classmate of Peters at the University of Akron, he had worked in the corporate engineering department at Goodyear Tire and Rubber since his graduation in 1975.

Mr. Varvaro retired from the business in 1984 and the name of the firm was changed to Kucheman, Peters & Tschantz, Inc. The firm was heavily involved in healthcare, education and data facility design. Mr. Kucheman retired in 1987. The firm remained focused on providing high quality and reliable design services for local hospitals, schools and national corporations headquartered in the Northeast Ohio area.

Michael Casseday, a 1986 B.S.E.E. graduate of the University of Akron, joined the firm upon graduation in 1987.

Thomas Bandwen, graduated from the University of Akron, and joined the firm in 1990.

In order to accommodate the growth of the firm, a three-story east addition was completed in 1992. While the interior layout of the space more than doubled and was reorganized to meet the needs of a modern office, the exterior design preserved the architectural integrity of this period home.

In 1996, the firm established, and continues to fund, The U/A Kucheman and Varvaro Scholarship in Electrical Engineering which provides annual, renewable tuition assistance to qualified undergraduates in electrical engineering.

In 1997, the firm name was changed to Peters, Tschantz & Bandwen, Inc.

Mechanical and plumbing design services were added to the firm's engineering services in January of 2000. This expanded offering continues with the same philosophy of providing detailed and sound engineering for local area clients as well as national corporations. Pat Klanac, a 1987 University of Dayton graduate, and Brian Holloway, a 1981 graduate of The Ohio State University, were hired in 2002 and 2004 respectively to co-chair the mechanical engineering department.

In January of 2005, the firm relocated to Suite 300 of a 3-story office building constructed at 275 Springside Drive. This move significantly improved the work and support areas, as well as provided room for future growth.

In 2007, James Peters and David Tschantz appropriated the firm and the name was changed to Peters, Tschantz & Associates, Inc. Michael Casseday, Brian Holloway and Patrick Klanac were introduced as associates in February of 2008.

In early 2016, the firm ownership and management transitioned to Patrick Klanac and Michael Casseday and today we are known as PTA Engineering. Presently the firm consists of more than thirty employees including engineering students enrolled in co-operative work study programs at local universities.