40 years logo
Axiom EngineersSM
Consulting Mechanical Engineers
Serving our clients since 1970.


A xiom n [from Greek axioma, literally something worthy] 1: a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit 2: a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference; postulate 3: an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth.


The firm was started in 1970 as Lee & Associates as a sole proprietorship by Richard G. Lee, and incorporated in 1981. 100% of the outstanding shares of the corporation are employee owned. Raymond D. Cole, Principal and President, has been employed by the firm since 1981 and has been the majority shareholder since 1994.

As we extended our practice outside the Monterey Bay area, some confused us with other companies that had established prior rights to the name Lee & Associates or something similar. So, in 1999 we changed the corporate name to Axiom EngineersSM, Inc. We continue to do business as Lee & Associates in the Monterey Bay area, both to honor our founder and to maintain the valuable name recognition that comes from many years of hard work and thousands of successful projects.


Axiom Engineers'SM mission is to prosper by becoming an indispensable partner with our clients and to make our world a better place while we enhance our employees' lives.

Critical to achieving our mission is cost-effective and timely delivery of high quality design and engineering services. We achieve this through integration and transfer of the latest knowledge in our areas of expertise and by leveraging our unique intellectual capital for our clients' benefit.

Axiom EngineersSM provides professional Mechanical Engineering Services to a wide variety of clients throughout the United States. Incorporated in 1981, the company has continued to grow and expand. Multiple offices on the Central Coast and in Northern California are positioned to serve our clients efficiently. More than 80% of the 300 plus projects performed every year are with existing clients. A commitment to high quality service delivery on every single job has proven to be our best marketing investment.

Our experience in working with both public and private clients, multiple methods of project delivery, and our detail-oriented design and project management process, combined with a deep knowledge of the fundamentals allow us to provide practical, high-end engineering. Whether conventional design-bid-build, fast track, or design-build project delivery is required, Axiom EngineersSM is ready to be part of your high performance project team.

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Our People

Principals are involved in every project to assure quality and client satisfaction. Their many years of engineering and project management experience allow them to quickly evaluate projects, assign technical and administrative staff, and keep projects on schedule.

Raymond (Ray) Cole

Raymond D. Cole, P.E.


Summary of Qualifications

Highly experienced in all aspects of mechanical engineering: HVAC, fire protection, plumbing, power generation and co-generation, controls, process piping, and refrigeration. Industries served include hospitality, wineries, health care, agricultural, military, institutional, commercial, educational, and other industrial sectors.

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Key strengths:
• leadership,
• systemic view,
• analytical.

Ray stays totally up-to-date in the most advanced aspects of engineering for the new projects, and keeps developing the market base of the company through customer satisfaction (repeat business) and company reputation (recommendations).


1972:University of Minnesota
B.S. Aeronautics and Engineering Mechanics


Registered Mechanical Engineer-California
Cert. M21229, 1982

Registered Mechanical Engineer-Arizona
Cert. 19659, 1986

Registered Mechanical Engineer-Georgia
ert. 22699, 1996

Masters License, Refrigeration-Minnesota
REF A#8085, 1977

Selected Achievements

Mr. Cole has developed and managed Axiom Engineers since 1991 with enormous dynamism and peer recognized leadership. He has organized the company to provide timely, value laden professional mechanical engineering services for an average of 300 projects a year. He also initiated new business centers throughout California, developed new areas of expertise through staff training, hiring, and partnerships with other companies, maintained and developed up-to-date procedures as well as, state-of-the-art production and design methodologies. The result being, the company has more than doubled its staff and revenue in the past six years.

Principal in charge or project engineer for each of the company's projects since 1981, Mr. Cole has provided project management, HVAC expertise, constructability guidance, start-up and commissioning oversight.


Axiom Engineers, Inc., dba Lee & Associates
Principal: 10 years

Lee & Associates
Senior Mechanical Engineer:10 years

Space shuttle launch complex
Field Engineer: 2 years

Mechanical construction, Minnesota
Project Engineer: 4 years

Aerospace industry
Product Development, Research and Testing Engineer: 2 years

Donaldson Air Filtration
Product Development and Testing: 1 year

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William (Bill) Estes

William M. Estes,

Vice President,
Manager - Building Mechanical Systems

Summary of Qualifications

William (Bill) Estes has extensive experience in process systems, HVAC design, energy computer simulations and analysis, plumbing, process piping, fire protection, refrigeration, water conservation, mechanical systems design, engineering economics, and project management in commercial, institutional and industrial facilities.

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Key strengths:
• in-depth knowledge of engineering fundamentals
• organization, construction practices
• communication and coordination with all disciplines throughout design and construction


1977-1981: California Polytechnic State University
B.S., Environmental Engineering with concentration on Heating,
Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

1984: University of New Mexico
Graduate Studies, Albuquerque, New Mexico


Registered Mechanical Engineer-California,
Cert. M24908

Selected Achievements

Bill Estes was the expert lead engineer for several intense mechanical projects that include a widely acclaimed state-of-the-art Cath Lab, CVOR, Skilled Nursing Facility, EMS upgrades, and the new Central Plant for Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, which features high pressure steam generators and thermal fluid system, natural gas-fired engine driven chillers, and state-of-the-art distributed control systems.

He also designed and supervised contract A/E construction on unique laboratory facilities for energy related experiments for a National Research Lab. These projects had very stringent HVAC temperature control, filtration and pressure control requirements and involved biohazards, toxic materials, radiation hazards and security issues.

As the selected engineer for a "one-of-a-kind" type mechanical system, Bill was lead engineer for a 70,000 square foot "high-tech" flexible research product development and manufacturing facility in Grass Valley, California.

Bill performed project engineering for the ventilation, heating and cooling design for Dole Fresh Vegetables, Soledad, California and Dole Dried Fruit & Nuts in Fresno, California.

He also performed as technical lead for a major refrigeration warehouse addition to the Christian Brothers facility in Reedley. Designed a glycol-based warehouse cooling system for their Healdsburg facility (now Sutter Home).


Axiom Engineers, Inc., dba Lee & Associates
2000-Present: Department Manager

Axiom Engineers, Inc., dba Lee & Associates
1991-1999: Senior Mechanical Engineer

Lee & Associates
1985-1991: Mechanical Engineer

Prior to joining Lee & Associates, Mr. Estes had three years experience with a prime Sub-contractor to the Department of Energy in the facilities engineering area.

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Due to our low employee turnover, our technical and administrative staff are experienced team players, used to working with each other, and knowledgeable in company and industry standards. Many of our project managers are licensed engineers, and some have over 20 years experience in the industry. Resumes can be provided as necessary to show our experience in a wide variety of disciplines and project types.

Not your ordinary Mechanical Engineer . . .

Many of our senior staff have hands-on industry and operations experience in their fields of expertise. Whether your project is a winery, a food plant, a hospital, or a school, there is an Axiom employee with hands-on operations experience to support your success.

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We cut to the heart of the matter and get inside our projects. We understand how the equipment we select really works. We are not "catalog" engineers specifying "black boxes". We have designed complex, one-of-a-kind systems, processes, and machines successfully for over 30 years.

We provide real, not paper, experience. Because our employees have many years' experience with us, each listed reference project is what we call "real company" experience. The people who did a project 10 years ago are available today for your current project.

From industry standard tools to advanced engineering techniques

Our CADD capabilities include AutoDesk's AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop, as well as Bentley's Microstation SE. Our design and engineering teams are fully trained and comfortable with all of the challenging aspects of CADD-based document production and can support custom-developed solutions and requirements for our clients' exclusive needs. Ongoing training is mandatory on an annual basis for our staff, thus creating a vast information resource our clients can tap for state-of-the-art information and status on anything related to CADD. Routine meetings, in-office seminars, and training by vendors and in-house experts transfer the latest knowledge of a particular subject throughout the company.

We continually update our engineering and production methodologies to meet or exceed the industry standards. The entire staff operates on the company network with the most current software. Our designers have mastered the most advanced CADD features. We currently use more than 50 different manufacturers' equipment selection software packages.

Axiom offers streamlined and standardized production and design procedures - from system sizing to specification to drawing production - that provide a high degree of quality, consistency, and efficiency.

What People Say About Us


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