Meet Dr. Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer – SCS Engineers Young Professional
June 26, 2020
Dr. Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer joined SCS Engineers in April 2019 as a Staff Professional working out of our Reston, Virginia office. She recently had the honor of delivering a presentation at the Global Waste Management Symposium in February. Learn more about Gomathy and her work as an engineer at SCS:
Tell us about your responsibilities as a Staff Engineer at SCS Engineers.
I work on our Title V projects as well as Semi-Annual and Annual reporting for Landfill Gas emissions. I also help manage a project for a county in Virginia, one of our major clients, where we analyze their leachate collection system, determine the leachate sources, and analyze the characteristics of the liquid that enters the system. I am also working on a landfill design as part of a phased development for a landfill expansion project.
What attracted you to work at SCS?
I earned my Bachelors in Civil Engineering, a Masters in Environmental Science & Technology, and completed my PhD in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Landfills. I wanted to continue what I learned through those three and a half years. I’ve always wanted to work in the landfill industry. Landfills are beautiful, and whenever I am on a landfill, there’s just positive energy there! I was trying to find a suitable position that lined up with my training. SCS is an industry leader in solid waste and landfills, so of course, I wanted to come work here!
What is your favorite part of working at SCS?
My favorite part about working at SCS is that I’m able to do what I’m passionate about every day. My job doesn’t feel like work at all. I don’t mind working on weekends to collect samples or work on a design or a report because I’m doing what I love! Another major reason I love working at SCS Engineers is my team. My team is like my family! I have a great supervisor who is also a great mentor to me. The team is always there to help each other, and our supervisor knows how to push us to meet our goals.
What do you feel is your greatest achievement/contribution at SCS?
In my first few months here, I was given the opportunity to manage a project for a county in Virginia to evaluate leachate treatment options based on the characteristics of their leachate. We turned in a great report. We hope to work on additional projects with them in the future.
What was your greatest challenge at SCS, and how did you overcome that?
I’m originally from India, so when I first started my career, I was a little intimidated by the language barrier and lifestyle differences. But everyone at SCS Engineers was so friendly and made it easier for me to adapt to the environment. It became much easier for me to speak to new people.
What advice do you have for students who have recently graduated and are entering the engineering field?
In this current COVID-19 era, the landfill industry is one of the best and most stable industries compared to other industries. Solid waste will always be produced and needs to be treated. We are an essential business. For anyone graduating now or in the coming years, you should think about getting into a stable industry. Environmental engineering and solid waste industry are great careers everyone should look into for stability.
You recently made a presentation at the Global Waste Management Symposium. Tell me more about it, and how did it go?
I presented on my PhD topic, which was the sustainability of using un-composted grass clippings and biosolids as biocovers for biological methane removal on landfills. It was amazing to present as an SCSer. It was a big deal for me, and I was really looking forward to it. It was also a great honor that the CEO of SCS, Jim Walsh, attended my presentation! Presenting to my colleagues bonded me even more to SCS. This was also the moment when I realized the power of SCS. More than half of the attendees at the conference were from SCS. The conference also felt like a reunion since many of my previous professors and classmates were there. It was nice to present in front of all these researchers and professors.
What are your hobbies outside of SCS?
I am a singer, and I love Indian classical music, so I enjoy singing in my spare time. I also love painting and gardening.