My daily work has always been exciting and fun. I started at US EPA where I provided technical assistance to state and local air pollution control agencies, managed a team collecting water samples from about 100 lakes from helicopters with pontoons, served as a regional expert on acid train and provided meaningful input for the Clean Air Act Amendments. Then I became a federal enforcement officer for waste water where I participated in developing cases for civil and criminal enforcement. That is a sampling of my first twelve years.
Thirty years ago I went into private practice helping manufacturers solve a very wide range of environmental problems; designing a total enclosure for a web press, noise and air monitoring, storm water permit, plant wide safety health and environmental program, etc. Because of my enforcement background I was drawn to forensic engineering. This is where the real fun began. One early case was so intriguing I wrote a peer reviewed paper that was published in a professional journal. That was a case with a single plaintiff. Years later the elements of this case became a class action suit and I was called as an expert witness. In deposition, the defense attorney tried to question my qualifications and he asked if I had ever written a Journal Paper on this particular pollutant in this particular part of the country. I delighted in saying yes and handing him the Journal with my paper. Recent cases I have worked on include a derailed railcar fatality, an explosion in a pyrotechnics factory, and a case where workers had been exposed to a chemical for thirty-five years before it was identified as harmful.
Drew recommends the following next steps:
- I think it important to study engineering at a school with an ABET accredited program and to get licenses as a Professional Engineer as soon as possible.