Geoff McKenzie wears a lot of hats. Serving as senior engineer, senior technical reviewer, program manager, vice president and delivery manager for the Environmental & Transportation Group of CDM Smith’s Federal Services Unit, Geoff is responsible for managing and directing scientists, engineers and construction personnel in the study, design and construction of remedial actions and infrastructure. His expertise in the cleanup of hazardous waste and mining sites has helped federal clients like the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers restore sites and water resources. And with nearly four decades of engineering experience, Geoff is a senior resource for the firm, acting as a lead practitioner, technical reviewer, and mentor to design and design-build teams around the country.
Which one of CDM Smith’s core values do you identify with most and why? I identify with all of our CDM Smith core values and feel that all are critical in making us successful with clients and coworkers. I personally strive to exhibit excellence in everything I do for clients. That is one of our differentiators from our competitors; our clients can count on us to solve their most complex problems.
What has been your proudest project or accomplishment and why? My proudest project is the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site project. I have worked on the project for 18 years and over that time helped EPA clean up the towns of Libby and Troy, MT including over 2,600 residential and commercial properties. Cleanups included both asbestos contaminated soils from yards and flower gardens and insulation from inside people’s homes. It has been reported that several hundred people have died from asbestos-related diseases in the Libby area, so cleaning up residents’ homes and yards truly is helping to save people’s lives. Over the years, over 300 CDM Smith staff have worked in Libby and upwards of 25 staff lived in Libby during the cleanups. So, we at CDM Smith became a part of the community and developed relationships that will last a lifetime.
What is the best part of your work day? I have always enjoyed the start of my work day. When I’m in the office, I enjoy arriving early, having my first cup of coffee and getting a lot done before others arrive at work. When I am traveling, I enjoy heading to the airport on the way to meet with co-workers and clients in other places.
How has your career evolved since you joined CDM Smith, and why? When I started my career, I wanted to be an engineer. My education was in civil engineering and I spent four years active duty in the U.S. Army as a military engineer. I then worked with a geotechnical engineering and materials testing firm and first encountered CDM Smith as a client. When I joined CDM Smith, I was both an engineer and a project manager. One of the things I liked about my new job was that we were the prime contractor working directly for our federal clients and got to see the big picture of a project, rather than the small slice of the project I saw with my previous firm. Since that time, my career has grown and evolved in both positions held and types of work for which I’m responsible. I am now a delivery director in our ENT group of the Federal Services Unit. But one of the things I love about my job is that I also now provide true consultancy to my clients and help them complete work in accordance with their goals and milestones.
What are your 3 non-work passions? Traveling around the United States and the world, spending time with my family and reading—either for pleasure or for learning new things.