In remembrance of our friend and colleague Paul Williams, 1961-2020

Confident. Bright. Kind. Humble. Enthusiastic. These are some of the words colleagues used to describe Paul Williams.

All of us at Montgomery & Associates (M&A) are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend, who succumbed to a heart attack on October 30, 2020, while mountain biking with his wife, Julie. He and Julie lived in Bozeman, Montana, and they have two grown children, Paige and Grant. Paul was only 59 years old. The news of Paul’s passing came as a shock to everyone.

Paul joined the M&A family as a senior hydrogeologist in our Salt Lake City office in 2019. He brought to M&A 30 years of experience in mining hydrogeology, modeling, and water management. Paul’s areas of expertise included design and implementation of field and data collection programs, development of water management plans, support of permit applications for various mining processes, development of conceptual hydrogeologic models, and numerical modeling of groundwater systems in support of feasibility and permitting for open pit and underground mines. Over the past five years, he focused on the hydrogeologic and dewatering aspect of various scoping, prefeasibility, and feasibility studies for gold, copper, zinc, and transition metal deposits in South America, Europe, and North America.

“Paul was a perfect fit for Montgomery & Associates, and working with him was always a positive experience,” said Hale Barter, M&A president. “He was a conscientious professional who was enthusiastic about growing M&A’s mining consulting work. We wish Paul had joined M&A earlier.”

Throughout his distinguished career, Paul was well known and respected by the mining community. He worked on domestic projects in 18 states and international projects in six countries. Before joining M&A, Paul worked for Enviromin, Inc., SRK Consulting, Arcadis, Golder Associates, and Itasca (formerly Hydrologic Consultants, Inc. or HCI). It was when Paul worked for HCI in the 1990s that he first met and became friends with Paul Pettit, now senior mining hydrogeologist at M&A who has been working closely with Paul on M&A mining projects.

“Paul’s work was excellent,” Mr. Pettit said. “His regional hydrogeologic report provided the basis for my greater understanding of the hydrogeologic setting of a project site and helped provide new insights into the dewatering program at a nearby mine. Being able to work with Paul was, in many ways, the capstone to my career.”

Paul was a registered geologist, a certified professional hydrogeologist, a member of the Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), and served as a Qualified Person (QP) for numerous technical reports. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Geologic Engineering from Montana Tech of the University of Montana, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell.

He was also a dedicated athlete who enjoyed downhill and cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

“Paul was an excellent scientist, a strong leader, and a true friend,” said Chris Cottingham, M&A principal hydrogeologist and intermountain west operations manager. “In addition to being a wonderful colleague, Paul was a great athlete, and we enjoyed mountain biking together. We will all miss our friend Paul.”

Paul’s friends and colleagues are invited to participate in a memorial video by clicking here or they may express condolences and share their memories by emailing, and we will share your messages with Julie.

Paul Williams mountain biking

Paul, Chris, and Jay mountain biking