Richard H. Harbert, P.E.


Rick Headshot BW Square.jpg


BS Mechanical Engineering

University of Washington 1972

Graduate, Water Distribution System Analysis Short Course, Utah State University, 1974


Professional Engineer

Washington, Oregon, Ohio


American Water Works Association

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Consulting Engineers Council Washington





Rick is a Director at Varius, Inc. and a registered professional engineer in Washington, Oregon, and Ohio.  For the past 44 years, Rick has specialized in providing consulting engineering services to municipal utility systems in the Northwest.  Rick is the founder and past CEO/President of RH2 Engineering.

Current, Director, Varius, Inc.

Rick specializes in the analysis and design of water supply and distribution systems, sewer and stormwater interceptor and collection facilities, preparation of design plans and specifications, construction management and inspection, ULID/LID/LUD formation and administration, and expert witness review and testimony. Rick’s uncompromising attention to detail and his insight into how things work and how people react has made him a sought-after expert for the review and analysis of complex and high-liability projects. In addition, Rick’s long and honorable relationship with most of the Northwest’s most progressive cities and Utility Districts makes him a valuable and effective member of planning groups, design groups, and analysis groups.

1980-2015, Founder and ceo/president of rh2 engineering

Rick formed and grew RH2 Engineering into one of the Northwest’s most respected and accomplished consulting engineering firms.  Under Rick’s leadership, RH2 Engineering grew from a basement startup to a $20 million company known for its attention to detail, an industry-leading low change order percentage, and regular innovations that define how most engineering consultants work today. Rick introduced AutoCAD, color design presentations, and 3-D design tools to the Northwest's municipal utility industry, establishing a gold standard for change order tolerance, budget compliance, and schedule compression. Rick also established a model for building relationships that saw RH2 Engineering serve repeat clients for decades.

Through his tenure, RH2 added engineering disciplines and scientists to become a true full-service firm.  RH2 grew throughout Washington and Oregon, placing engineering staff where their services could help local communities.  The most significant measure of Rick’s success was that RH2 Engineering weathered the great 2008 recession without a single layoff or salary adjustment, and in fact, RH2 grew and advanced during this time when most other businesses were reducing staff.

Rick is an engineering innovator and has led the Northwest in the introduction and advancement of hydraulic water system modeling, analytical model calibration, and vibration analysis of pumps and motors. Rick’s ability to predict market trends and capitalize on emerging technologies makes him a valued member of any engineering team and a sought-after participant in planning and implementing engineering solutions, from comprehensive plans to utility service agreements to forensic analysis of failed systems.

1974-1980, Staff Engineer, ch2m Hill

Rick was a staff engineer at CH2M Hill and regularly worked out of the Bellevue and Denver offices. While at CH2M Hill, Rick pioneered their development and adoption of hydraulic system analysis using the KY Pipe distribution system model.