When I was a junior engineer, like most junior engineers I felt the need to prove how much I knew and to have strong opinions. As I’ve grown in my breadth of responsibilities, I realize that it isn’t very important for me to be the most knowledgeable or opinionated guy in the room… I don’t have to be. As a project leader, I bring together diverse experts to help my clients succeed. I get capable folks in the right roles, then trust them to do their work without micromanaging them. This requires me to work well with people—which starts with listening.
As a water/wastewater engineer, it is my job to ensure that my clients deliver safe water and remove wastewater and storm water…efficiently. I enjoy knowing that what I do helps communities grow and change in a manner that improves the health and welfare of their people. Recent projects such as the new wastewater treatment plant in Shepherdsville, and current projects such as the I-64 and Grinstead Drive CSO basin allow me to have that impact.
In 1991 when I first began my work with Qk4 (then Presnell Associates) I only had my education and upbringing to use while helping others. Since 2004, I have led Qk4’s water and wastewater engineering. In 2014, I was voted by the Qk4 board to become an associate member of the Qk4 board of directors.
Over time, my work experience at Qk4 has allowed me to graduate from solving narrow problems that help thousands of people to solving broad, complex problems that help hundreds of thousands of people. Along the way, I developed an array of technical skills that help deliver projects, for example, field surveying, construction observation, plan production, field corrections, sewer and water line design, pump station design, treatment plant design, and easement acquisition.
But that’s only half of what matters. Projects are really about people, and counter to the stereotypes of introverted engineers, working elbow to elbow with people is rewarding to me. I enjoy drawing out concerns and great ideas from diverse groups of engineers, clients and stakeholders…and then working with the same folks to execute those ideas. That others think of me as someone who makes people is a source of great pride and satisfaction to me.
“Rob finds ways to make sure that all stakeholders and project team members have a voice in the process and that their points-of-view are valued and considered…and that the loudest voice does not overcome good ideas of the quieter folks on the team. One of the things I hear Rob ask in every meeting is ‘What do you think?’ Rob is down-to-earth and easy to work with.”