Welcome to CDM Smith.

Karen Kelley, PE

Senior Water Resources Engineer, R&D Coordinator

Karen Kelley is a senior water resources engineer specializing in the developing and application of 3D numerical models of groundwater systems in complex and industrial settings. For 25 years, Karen has been providing her clients with technical and litigation support to help them make informed decisions in the areas of groundwater contamination and toxic tort liability. Karen’s past involvement in the conversion of a coastal embayment to a freshwater drinking water supply reservoir at the Republic of Singapore’s Marina Barrage has included water quality modeling and reservoir management. And through her work as CDM Smith’s R&D coordinator, Karen is committed to continually evolving and seeking out innovative ways to apply new technologies to our client’s technical challenges. 

What inspires you? The energy and enthusiasm of my colleagues for not only delivering technical excellence, but providing the best value for our clients. We are always striving to provide a thoughtful and meaningful work product.

years at CDM Smith
years in industry

What is your favorite part of your job? I like helping people understand complex technical issues so that they can make informed decisions. When you see a light bulb go on, it’s exciting. In my work as a groundwater modeler, we are always trying to help people imagine what is going on underneath the ground. With the advent of new 3D visualization tools, we can now bring our models to life for our clients, and find a common platform to discuss what really matters to them.

What are your 3 non-work passions? Racing sailboats, skiing and canoeing in remote places. I just got back from the Rio Grande in West Texas.

What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you? I’ve been charged by a grizzly bear! 

 

Why CDM Smith? It’s a company where you can work on in­ter­est­ing, chal­leng­ing, high-profile projects that have a positive impact on clients and com­mu­ni­ties. CDM Smith is filled with great people who phave a lot to offer and the depth of re­sources makes it all the more fun to tackle big, complex chal­lenges.

  

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing our teams do ex­cel­lent work that results in clients coming back to us for help with their next chal­lenge. I love wit­ness­ing that positive re­in­force­ment and synergy build with each as­sign­ment.


What’s some­thing you enjoy doing on your day off? Going on a hard bike ride with friends in the morning and then put­ter­ing around the yard for the rest of the day. I’d cap it off with a great dinner or evening on the beach.

 

What’s some­thing that people might be sur­prised to know about you? I was once an avid com­pet­i­tive sailor and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 
Why CDM Smith? It’s a company where you can work on in­ter­est­ing, chal­leng­ing, high-profile projects that have a positive impact on clients and com­mu­ni­ties. CDM Smith is filled with great people who phave a lot to offer and the depth of re­sources makes it all the more fun to tackle big, complex chal­lenges.

  

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing our teams do ex­cel­lent work that results in clients coming back to us for help with their next chal­lenge. I love wit­ness­ing that positive re­in­force­ment and synergy build with each as­sign­ment.


What’s some­thing you enjoy doing on your day off? Going on a hard bike ride with friends in the morning and then put­ter­ing around the yard for the rest of the day. I’d cap it off with a great dinner or evening on the beach.

 

What’s some­thing that people might be sur­prised to know about you? I was once an avid com­pet­i­tive sailor and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 
Why CDM Smith? It’s a company where you can work on in­ter­est­ing, chal­leng­ing, high-profile projects that have a positive impact on clients and com­mu­ni­ties. CDM Smith is filled with great people who phave a lot to offer and the depth of re­sources makes it all the more fun to tackle big, complex chal­lenges.

  

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing our teams do ex­cel­lent work that results in clients coming back to us for help with their next chal­lenge. I love wit­ness­ing that positive re­in­force­ment and synergy build with each as­sign­ment.


What’s some­thing you enjoy doing on your day off? Going on a hard bike ride with friends in the morning and then put­ter­ing around the yard for the rest of the day. I’d cap it off with a great dinner or evening on the beach.

 

What’s some­thing that people might be sur­prised to know about you? I was once an avid com­pet­i­tive sailor and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 
Why CDM Smith? It’s a company where you can work on in­ter­est­ing, chal­leng­ing, high-profile projects that have a positive impact on clients and com­mu­ni­ties. CDM Smith is filled with great people who phave a lot to offer and the depth of re­sources makes it all the more fun to tackle big, complex chal­lenges.

  

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing our teams do ex­cel­lent work that results in clients coming back to us for help with their next chal­lenge. I love wit­ness­ing that positive re­in­force­ment and synergy build with each as­sign­ment.


What’s some­thing you enjoy doing on your day off? Going on a hard bike ride with friends in the morning and then put­ter­ing around the yard for the rest of the day. I’d cap it off with a great dinner or evening on the beach.

 

What’s some­thing that people might be sur­prised to know about you? I was once an avid com­pet­i­tive sailor and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 
Why CDM Smith? It’s a company where you can work on in­ter­est­ing, chal­leng­ing, high-profile projects that have a positive impact on clients and com­mu­ni­ties. CDM Smith is filled with great people who phave a lot to offer and the depth of re­sources makes it all the more fun to tackle big, complex chal­lenges.

  

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing our teams do ex­cel­lent work that results in clients coming back to us for help with their next chal­lenge. I love wit­ness­ing that positive re­in­force­ment and synergy build with each as­sign­ment.


What’s some­thing you enjoy doing on your day off? Going on a hard bike ride with friends in the morning and then put­ter­ing around the yard for the rest of the day. I’d cap it off with a great dinner or evening on the beach.

 

What’s some­thing that people might be sur­prised to know about you? I was once an avid com­pet­i­tive sailor and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 
Why CDM Smith? It’s a company where you can work on in­ter­est­ing, chal­leng­ing, high-profile projects that have a positive impact on clients and com­mu­ni­ties. CDM Smith is filled with great people who phave a lot to offer and the depth of re­sources makes it all the more fun to tackle big, complex chal­lenges.

  

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing our teams do ex­cel­lent work that results in clients coming back to us for help with their next chal­lenge. I love wit­ness­ing that positive re­in­force­ment and synergy build with each as­sign­ment.


What’s some­thing you enjoy doing on your day off? Going on a hard bike ride with friends in the morning and then put­ter­ing around the yard for the rest of the day. I’d cap it off with a great dinner or evening on the beach.

 

What’s some­thing that people might be sur­prised to know about you? I was once an avid com­pet­i­tive sailor and competed in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 
Karen Kelley Karen Kelley
Making a positive difference in the world and serving my clients in an ethical way are very important to me.
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Karen is the coordinator for CDM Smith Cares, a grassroots volunteer program that supports local communities, charitable organizations and STEM outreach.

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As one of the firm's leaders in research and developing, Karen knows what it takes to execute a successful program. Reach out for help with your next project today. 
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