As children, imagination was woven into our daily lives – the possibilities were endless. But kids don’t have the market cornered on imagination. Our 3,500 (grown-up) employees across the country bring the same sense of possibility to working with you every day. From scientists and technicians to engineers and administrators, all of us have imagination, innovation, and inspiration to share as we work to build safer, more vibrant communities. At Terracon, we thank you for your partnership, and celebrate the great things we can achieve together.
Terracon is a 100 percent employee-owned consulting engineering firm providing quality services to clients. Since 1965, Terracon has evolved into a successful multi-discipline firm specializing in environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services.
Over our history, Terracon has achieved significant expansion through both internal growth and acquisitions. Terracon currently has more than 3,500 employees in 130 offices, serving all 50 states nationwide. Additionally, we partner with our U.S. clients to serve their international needs. The firm’s success is further evidenced by a current ranking of 32 in Engineering News-Record’s 2016 list of the Top 500 Design Firms, as compared to a ranking of 58 a decade ago. Terracon’s growth is due to dedicated employees who are responsive to clients, provide quality services, and take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.
Our culture, systems, and structure enable us to excel at both small and large projects. By combining our national resources with specific local area expertise, we consistently overcome obstacles and deliver the results our clients expect.
Terracon serves a diverse portfolio of private and public clients. By being responsive, resourceful, and reliable, we strive to exceed our clients’ expectations for service, solutions, quality, and speed of delivery. Based on a deep understanding of our clients’ needs, Terracon’s commitment is centered on these key objectives.
In the spirit of imagination we share these stories from our employees about what they imagined when they were kids – and what they do now to make them say “Wow! I can’t believe I get to do this for real!”
Growing up, I was always playing in the dirt. My family is very active in outdoor activities and that appreciation for the environment is what led me to a career in the earth sciences. I am grateful for my parents’ guidance, which led me into a career more fulfilling than I could have imagined. I knew in childhood I wanted to be a scientist.
I’m inspired by our team getting involved in projects other firms aren’t confident enough to touch. Working at a firm that embraces the challenging projects and supports its scientists and engineers is priceless. At times, we’ve been asked to install a type of instrumentation we have not installed before. Figuring out the process with the geologists, exploration team members, project managers, and other team members, fires me up..
How I innovate. We’re leading the industry in collaborative geotechnical project management using GeoReport and leveraging our national database of geotechnical information by sharing it with clients through our new Report of Expected Geotechnical Conditions – it is an industry first. Since we are in the captain’s chair, we have a responsibility to guide the industry in the right direction – a direction that is innovative.
Growing up, I wanted to be an engineer. In my small hometown, we had a neighbor who was a mechanical engineer. He showed me the types of things he got to work on and how he got to be a part of something big.
I’m inspired by working on different projects, seeing how things work, and getting more information when something isn’t familiar. For one project, corrosive substances were a factor, and it was interesting learning more about that. So many projects come up where you get to learn something new.
How I innovate. With the GeoReport tool, it’s interesting to see how we can connect with clients and have them be involved and collaborating – it’s easier than just calling and emailing.
Growing up, I wanted to be an equine veterinarian. During college, I worked construction during the summer breaks and found that I loved building things. After graduation, I started working in construction management, which got me interested in how things we built were designed. I was hired by a large electric utility to manage their construction operations and later transitioned to the design side of the business. A curvy path, but all these experiences gave me the skills to be successful in my role today.
I’m inspired by the “big” stuff. Because of our talented and experienced staff, account and project managers, our clients trust us with some of their largest projects – which provide the greatest opportunity to demonstrate our value through design optimization. Since I have been with Terracon, we have participated in Minnesota’s largest solar project and are about to start assisting with a massive solar project in northern Mexico, which will be the largest in North America.
How I innovate. My innovative side comes from my time in the trenches when I managed construction projects. As a result, I have a passion for simplicity. In construction, we were always looking for ways to do something more efficiently.
How I innovate. Being a CSR, I am in the fortunate position to help build relationships with Terracon employees as well as Terracon’s clients. For me, helping others become successful, feel like a valued member of our team whether they be a Terracon employee or a client, and feel respected is what makes my life meaningful.
Holidays, fundraisers, appreciation breakfasts, and other events allow us to build these positive relationships with both clients and employees.
Growing up, I wanted to be a train engineer, which is not at all relevant to what I do now. I’ve always been interested in aviation too; I’m an airplane pilot and a Certified Remote Pilot. I actually studied earth science/hydrology in college, but then got a GIS job after grad school.
I’m inspired by people coming to me with complicated problems they need to solve, like processing a lot of data to answer a client question like “Where should we build a pipeline?,“ and I get to figure out a way to answer that by writing software and processing the data.
How I innovate. I help Terracon keep up with the times and use the best tools for the jobs we do. I’m interested in how we can solve problems using unmanned aircraft, like inspecting tall buildings or other inaccessible places.
Growing up, my dad was joint owner of an asphalt and concrete company. As a kid, I can remember my dad taking my brother and me to see the new concrete plants and show off the new concrete trucks they had purchased. Many Sunday drives included driving out to whatever new project his company was working on.
A side bonus to having a dad in this business: every summer, a brand new sand pile was delivered to our backyard. My brother, the neighborhood kids, and I would spend summer days playing in those sand piles.
I truly believe this exposure as a kid had a big influence on my love of this business.
Growing up, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. The thrill of fast action and being in a battle zone was exciting to me as a kid. Practical reality set in quickly, and my father inspired me to look at a career in engineering. I always had a natural affinity to math and science and grew up in a city with several prominent engineering companies. The ability to study in one of the best colleges, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), drove me to engineering school. The education at IIT was exceptional in preparing me in civil engineering, “a people-serving profession,” and in the attributes of competition, teamwork, humility, and people skills.
I’m inspired by engineering science and its application to solve basic human needs, mainly because the potential is virtually infinite. The history of construction fascinates me because even today, engineers cannot explain how some structures have stood the test of time. Geological engineering is intriguing as it deals with the variability and complexity of Mother Earth. Many argue it is as much an art as a science. However, because of my insatiable curiosity and drive to advance the ”state of the practice,” I identify most with the principle of “student always.” Lifelong learning is an essential challenge for inventing the future of our societies – it is a mindset and a habit essential for people in our field.
How I innovate. What motivates me every day is the question, “What massive problem will we take on to learn more and relentlessly seek solutions for?” Many of our employees today will be the leaders of our tomorrow. In taking a stand to research and tackle a major challenge through collaboration over competition, I strongly feel we will find our life’s purpose. These accomplishments will be our gift to our world, and that will become our legacy.
Growing up, I wanted to be a professional athlete, and later a space cowboy. After that fell through, I enrolled in college, with a pretty good idea I wanted to be an engineer because I always enjoyed math and building things. After settling on civil engineering, I found I really enjoyed my geotechnical classes and professors. Everyone else seemed to be having a tough time, but I thought hey, I can do this!
I’m inspired by getting to be involved in so many different kinds of projects, whether it’s a mine or a transportation project or a building or a bridge, and seeing the site transform through design and construction. It’s really fascinating seeing all the different types of infrastructure we have in this country. It’s like being behind the scenes of [the show] “How It’s Made” for civil works.
How I innovate. I really enjoy thinking “outside the box,” consulting with clients and explaining difficult or complex technical concepts and coming up with solutions. One of the cool things about the solar projects I’ve been working on is they present completely new kinds of technical problems.
Growing up, I enjoyed anything from fishing, rolling around in the dirt, playing video games, or even drawing with my dad. I was inspired to reach out to Terracon because it was a local consulting agency, and the only place my geology degree could be applied to a job! Now I work in the environmental department with aspirations to work with and learn more about hydrogeologic modeling – the topic that inspired me most in my undergraduate studies.
I’m inspired by the fact that the work I do, and what Terracon does, helps people. Even with my family and friends, I consider myself “the fixer.” I thrive on fixing things or finding out how to solve a problem in a more creative and/or productive way. I worked on the Quad Cities River Bandits (local baseball team) stadium project which included installing drilled shafts for foundational support. My manager elected me to take on the task, though all I knew how to do, until then, was basic concrete and field density testing – quite a thrill to be a part of something you may use someday and to learn a new skill!