SCS Engineers presents a behind-the-scenes look at the special people who make us thrive and the roles they play within the organization.
As Ryan Duckett was growing up in the mountains of western North Carolina, he knew he wanted a career in a field that was related to nature. That, combined with the fact that he enjoyed math and science in high school, led Ryan to majoring in Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. As an engineering major, Ryan enjoyed an internship at EREF (Environmental Research & Education Foundation) in their research program. The connections he made at EREF led to his first job out of college in August 2014 as an Associate Professional at the Richmond office of SCS Engineers.
Now well into his third year at SCS, Ryan is a Project Professional while simultaneously obtaining his MBA at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) with the help of SCS’s tuition reimbursement program. At SCS, Ryan started to fill role in the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) division of the Richmond office. His average day consists of business development in a growing sector of work. Ryan comments, “There is a lot of opportunity in the SMM realm right now. I do a lot of work for municipalities for their recycling systems, collection systems, and financial systems.”
Ryan’s position at SCS is especially unique as he enjoys a mix engineering work and business development. His engineering work covers his design work at collection centers, landfills, and landfill gas systems. His business development work covers financial analyses he completes for SCS’ clients. When asked to describe that work, Ryan said “I basically compile background info and background financial info and use that information to project future cash flows for a time range like 10 to 20 years. A lot of factors can influence those projects that have to do with different logistical measures. For example, a transfer systems liability depends on how far you are transferring waste. This goes hand in hand with my MBA studies. The financial and accounting skills that I’m learning at school definitely contribute to the practice. I think engineering surprisingly has a nice synergy with finance because with engineering you understand the operations side and being able to combine that with the way financial analysts assess problems is really valuable.”
For future SCSers, Ryan has some words of wisdom: “at SCS, you really have the ability to make major positive change in the sense that we are a major force in the implementation of more sustainable practices in the industry. Before joining I didn’t really realize the full role of the consultant in the process. Working with a wide range of clients over a wide range of disciplines allows for a perspective that is harder to obtain in an in-house or governmental setting. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out. As a national company, SCS has a lot of resources for young professionals. There is a lot of expertise to draw from.”
Ryan sees no end to his future at SCS Engineers. He enjoys the fact that as young professional, he has the opportunity to develop of lot of subject area protocols and resources within SMM. He has room to create his own way and Ryan believes it is important to create your own way with all the dynamic changes in the industry right now. Ryan states “I really like the entrepreneurial spirit of the company. It allows for a lot innovation and creativity especially in the SMM practice because we’re still defining it. I really like the employee ownership aspect, I think it goes hand in hand with the entrepreneurial spirit. The ESOP has done a lot of good things for the company and culture. It’s cool to have the umbrella of resources of one of the most qualified solid waste firms in the country. I would like to take SCS to whatever is society’s next step in solid waste, my contribution is a fresh perspective and I’m really looking forward to the future.”
To learn more about a career at SCS Engineers, please visit our SCS Careers page.