“Every day there are new questions and new puzzles to solve. For a person who is
constantly curious, it is nearly the ideal environment.”
~ Robert Cowdery
Division of Waste Management, Tallahassee
After working for a private sector environmental consulting firm for 12 years, I
accepted a position with the Department of Environmental Protection as a
Professional Engineer III in the Bureau of Waste Cleanup, Hazardous
Waste Cleanup Section to restore some balance to my life.
My position affords me the opportunity to study and evaluate the work
of all 11 of the Section’s consultant contractors. This has allowed me
to learn new and better ways of doing things. I also get to see the
results of design decisions for dozens of new remedial installations
each year. Because of this, I have the best opportunity in the world to
learn what type of approach is most likely to work at any particular
site. Every day there are new questions and new puzzles to solve. For a
person who is constantly curious, it is nearly the ideal environment.
Typically, my time is divided amongst the review of technical
documents; meetings with consultant contractors to discuss strategies
and design approaches; evaluation of results; troubleshooting problems;
communicating lessons learned to Section staff; and special projects.
Our Section has a great group of people. They are smart and hard-working,
and there is a very free exchange of knowledge and friendship among us
DEP is a great place for an engineer who wants to focus on answering
questions about “why” certain processes or methods work (or fail),
because we see vastly more designs in a year than any engineer in
private practice. We don’t spend the hundreds of hours per site on the
details of design and the labor of construction and start-up that the
consultants do, so we get to focus on the larger issues and questions.