Waste360

SCS’s Som Kundral is humble, hungry, and smart

March 30, 2021

 

Somshekhar (Som) Kundral is SCS Engineer’s most recent go-getter to receive the honor of a Waste360 40 Under 40 Award. Described by his supervisor, SCS Vice President Bob Speed, as humble, hungry, and smart, Kundral has spent no time in the slow lane.

He joined SCS as a young engineer in 2010, and quickly worked his way up, reaching a senior management position in a few years.

He now oversees multiple remediation projects, from small to multimillion-dollar jobs, taking ownership of environmental aspects of redevelopment, from remediating groundwater contamination to addressing landfill gas problems as challenges. He has come up with unique and far-reaching solutions through collaboration with his team to help clients achieve their business goals.

 

But before telling the story of Kundral, the senior-level engineer and project manager, let’s start with an earlier chapter.

Som Kundral

“It’s an interesting and kind of odd story,” he recalls. “A friend asked me to drive him to a job interview as he did not have transportation. The HR person, for some reason, asked both of us to interview [having heard I was an engineer too].

“I was dumbfounded and a little nervous as I was not prepared. I had to download my resume from my yahoo ID quickly… I thought, what have I got to lose? It’s a good engineering job with a large real estate company.”

He got the job and continues to seize practically every opportunity before him, growing from each one. Today at SCS, Kundral oversees several redevelopment projects, including a 500-acre landfill conversion to a large business park, which received the American Council of Engineering-Florida and the Environmental Business Journal awards.

“The landfill had a lot of environmental and geotechnical issues, with the largest ones around groundwater contamination and stormwater management. They are typical redevelopment challenges we need to overcome, and in this case, they were on a larger scale,” he says.

As the intricate strategy evolved, Kundral, working with his project advisor, Senior Vice President Eddy Smith, called many multidiscipline group huddles. Kundral has assessed, reassessed, stopped, and restarted. And he has brought in more engineers to pump up the team’s expertise and take this project to the next level.

“We are now halfway through. And I tell you, I don’t think I should have gray hair yet, but I have some now. Still, I feel so relieved because we have the formula to make this work. “We did it by integrating the groundwater and stormwater management systems,” he says.

The integration resolves two big issues: It, of course, addresses groundwater contamination. But Kundral and the team also want to maximize areas for redevelopment, and the design supports this goal as it eliminates the need for stormwater ponds.

 

To him, the job is as much about open communication and teamwork as technical talent.

“At the end of the day, no matter what we do, we deal with people. I believe in staying in front of our clients, explaining what to expect when, and I continually engage with staff who support me.” With this business park conversion, as they dove deeper, they saw more intricacies. “It was important to help our client see we were not simply trying to catch up; for them to understand we had to give more time and attention to do the job as best as it can be done.”

From age 28, when he came to SCS, Kundral was keenly aware that there was potential to do plenty and wanted to take on more. “I’m just curious to see what I can get into,” he says. He began with smaller projects, each with one or two focuses. Little by little, he could connect more dots. “I could start to see the big picture and wanted to know more about how to pull the whole project together,” he says.

While he mostly oversees redevelopment projects, he has also supported industrial waste permitting and compliance reporting endeavors. He describes the latter projects as straightforward.

“I prefer the more involved brownfields projects; there is more to learn when overseeing the work. Each site is unique, with different challenges. And each time, what you discover and how you approach it is different.”

Doing the work he loves has come with tradeoffs, such as giving up kayaking and cutting back on trips to the beach—once his favorite pastimes. “They’re fun, but they are day- and night-long ventures. By the time I got home, Saturday was gone. And I needed to catch up on work emails at night and plan for the next week.”

He does find a few hours some weekends for another interest—photography—heading to the zoo or state parks with his wife, Anjana, who shares his passion for watching out for a good “Kodak moment” and capturing it.

Nevertheless, figuring out how to fix problems is still his greatest passion, further maturing from experience. When asked if he could be someone else for a day, who that would be, he thought for a while, then said: “I would love to be myself again but be able to watch as a third person and make note of the scope of improvements I have made over time. From that, perhaps I can learn even more.”

 

Kundral speaks of three people who helped shape him: his grandfather, father, and father-in-law.

“Growing up watching my grandfather’s resilience helped me learn how to manage hard situations.

From my father, I learned to view situations in ways to understand people better. This has helped shape my thoughts to improve my communication.

From my father-in-law, I learned the importance of humor and gained a sense of humor. This is a good thing for lightening up situations and reducing stress.”

Kundral will take on challenges because it’s part of getting to the end goal. And reaching that goal is what sparks him. He goes back to the 500-acre Florida brownfield to illustrate. “This property is being converted to a business park with great companies operating there, like Home Depot and Boeing. So, our client is creating a legacy. The project creates jobs. It brings in taxes. It improves environmental conditions. We are part of it, and that excites me.”

 

CONGRATULATIONS, SOM

 

Kundral is in good company. These other SCS Young Professionals are past 40 Under 40 Award recipients. Like Kundral, they work diligently, solving an array of complicated solid waste challenges. SCS Engineers is very proud of our YP’s award-winning accomplishments for their clients and their contributions to their communities’ health and welfare.

steve linehan
2020

Steve Linehan is a Senior Project Manager who oversees solid waste and environmental services projects from SCS’s Oklahoma City and Wichita offices. Linehan has a broad range of expertise, including solid and hazardous waste regulations, landfill design, stormwater modeling design, and remedial action plans. He holds professional engineering licenses in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

 

2019

Srividhya (Vidhya) Viswanathan, Vice President, is recognized for her innovative engineering plans and designs of traditional solid waste and renewable energy programs. Viswanathan, Southwest Director of Engineering, continues consolidating and integrating engineering operations to provide more streamlined and efficient services. She leads solid waste engineering operations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico.

 

2017

Solavann (Sol) Sim, a Project Director and OM&M Western Regional Manager for SCS Field Services, has expertise in all facets of landfill operations, including landfill gas and liquids management. His teams keep landfills safer and running within compliance. He is a licensed professional engineer in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.

 

2016

David P. Hostetter, Business Manager for SCS RMC® (Remote Monitoring and Controls), works in environmental engineering and technology. He serves clients by leveraging technology to reduce business and industry environmental impacts. His environmental solutions reduce potential greenhouse gas emissions and lower environmental risk from landfills, thus protecting workers and local communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:18 pm

WasteExpo 2020 Now Digital Event – Together Online

September 14, 2020

WASTE EXPO 2020 is now a digital event called WasteExpo Together Online, and will be held September 14-17.

The conference will feature a business forum and 20 virtual sessions on food recovery, composting, organics recycling, including the following presentations by SCS Professionals.

The Food Recovery Forum (FRF) will cover the progress of food waste prevention and reduction, including these presentations by SCS professionals  at the Reducing Food Waste and Increasing Recovery in Municipal, Regional, and State Programs sessions on Tuesday, September 15 – 2:15 pm – 3:00 pm EST:

  • SCS Vice President Michelle Leonard, will co-present with Judi Gregory, Go2Zero Strategies on Food Recycling and Rescue – Los Angeles County’s Three-Pronged Approach 
  • SCS Project Manager, Lisa Coelho, will cover Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) for Food Waste Prevention and Food Recovery Programs in Santa Clara County and Central Contra Costa County

At WasteExpo Together Online (WTO) these two sessions will air on Wednesday, September 16:

  • SCS Vice Presidents, Pat Sullivan and Ray Huff, will discuss Comparison of Organic Waste Management Options in Terms of Air Quality and GHG Impacts at the Anaerobic Digestion, Composting, Successful Case Studies, and Comparison of Organic Waste Management  session – 12:30 pm EST
  • SCS Project Director, Tracie Bills, will moderate the session on A Balancing Act: Municipalities Talk Waste & Recycling (Ginger Spencer – Phoenix, AZ; Tori Carle – Charlotte, NC; John Welch – Dane County, WI) – 1:30 pm EST

Click here for the full agenda and registration information.

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

Global Waste Management Symposium 2020

February 23, 2020

Waste 360 will host its Global Waste Management Symposium 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California, February 23-26, 2020.

The conference will feature world-class content, including innovative presentations by top industry experts; think technology, trends, critical issues, and scientific innovation; state-of-the-art breakthrough research; and showcases by leading suppliers of the latest solutions to the industry’s challenges.  SCS Engineers professionals speaking this year include the following:

global waste management symposium
Law

James Law will provide an Overview of ISWA’s Global Initiative on Closing Dumps, on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm (Track B: Waste Management Planning & Odor Control).

 

global waste management conference
Stege

Alex Stege will evaluate the Local Effects of California’s Senate Bill 1383: Changes to Organic Waste Disposal & Impacts on Methane Generation, Recovery, and Emissions on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm (Track C: Organic Management Policy/Strategies).

 

waste management symposium
DeSilva

Dr. Viraj DeSilva will deliver a presentation on PFAS Treatment – The Devil We Know and Need to Manage, on Tuesday, February 25 at 8:30 am (Track A: PFAS Management).

 

Iyer

Dr. Gomathy Iyer will discuss the Suitability of Un-Composted Grass Clippings and Biosolids as Biocovers for Biological Methane Removal from Landfills on Tuesday, February 25 at 8:30 am (Track B: Landfill Covers).

 

Huff

Ray Huff will demonstrate The WAG: An Innovation in Landfill Gas Data Analysis on Tuesday, February 25 at 1:30 pm (Track B: Landfill Gas Management) and at the Fugitive Air Emissions Workshop on Wednesday, February 26 at 10:00 am.

 

Sullivan

Pat Sullivan will provide a Comparison of Organic Waste Management Options in Terms of Air Quality and GHG Impacts on Tuesday, February 25 at 3:30 pm (Track A: Life Cycle Assessment).

 

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is a strategic partner of this conference to deliver a program that is more technical, innovative and essential than ever before. The core education of GWMS is the submission of comprehensive abstracts in all areas related to solid waste engineering and management that have been vetted by GWMS’s committee of industry experts. The presentations will be given by researchers from top academic institutions and industry experts.

For the complete agenda, updates, and to register, visit the conference website.

 

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

SCS Engineers’ Solavann Sim Honored with 2017 Waste360 40 Under 40 Award for Innovation

March 9, 2017

 

Solavann Sim, Project Director and OM&M Western Regional Manager at SCS Field Services is one of 40 young professionals recently announced by Waste360 as a 40 Under 40 next generation innovative leader, helping to shape the future of the waste and recycling industry.

 

What makes Sol shine so brightly?

For Solavann Sim it’s his positive qualities as an individual and his ability to work effectively using a multidisciplinary approach with his clients. Our industry’s  strongest and most respected leaders are those who are considered collaborative, not fixated on making all decisions themselves or working in a silo. On the contrary, innovation happens at the crossroads of different disciplines and that is where Sol shines brightest.

Sol’s landfill gas design-build and operations experience, along with his knowledge of hydrogen sulfide treatment programs, help prevent and mitigate potential problems quickly. His comprehensive technical and field competence, along with his clients, and his team comprised of staff in several disciplines approach solutions in various ways; each having unique perspectives but a common goal. Working collaboratively with clients the team solves complex challenges facing landfill owners and operators. Innovative solutions are often found where perspectives, ideas, and fields of expertise meet.

 

Read more about Solavann Sim and SCS Engineers LFG programs here.

 

See SCS’s 40+ years of innovative thinking at SCS Firsts an interactive list of client solutions, underneath News, Events, and Blogs.

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 10:37 am