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February 19, 2024

Engineer Spotlight: Kris Ransberger

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What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

From a young age, I enjoyed problem solving. I spent many summers finding new ways to build a “fort” in the nearby woods and manipulating a stream on my parents’ property to properly flow into the lake. Then, later in life, the excitement of solving complex math and engineering problems led me to pursue a career in engineering.

Why did you select your area of specialty?

Heading into college, I knew I wanted to study environmental engineering. As strange as it may sound, my area of specialty choice was influenced by my love for the documentary series, Planet Earth. I was so captivated by the series’ depiction of the overwhelming beauty of life on Earth that I decided to utilize my skill of problem solving to help preserve this beauty. There is something amazing about transforming unusable, dirty, and sometimes toxic wastewater into clean water than can be released back into the environment.

What do you like most about being part of a water-focused consulting engineering firm?

Donohue’s culture is set up to encourage collaboration. Every day I look forward to working with smart and forward-thinking people to solve unique challenges. Donohue has multiple industry leading experts, and I have no doubt about the quality of engineering work being produced.

How do you approach problem solving on your projects?

I like to approach problem solving by first looking at the source of the problem. If the problem is only examined at a surface level, then the root of the issue will cause more problems in the future. This involves a deeper level of thinking, which oftentimes includes collaborations among multiple engineering disciplines. Solving a problem using a team approach results in a comprehensive solution.

What is the most challenging project you were involved in?

The most challenging project I was involved in included designing a belt filter press and conveyor system in a building not previously used for such treatment. The most challenging part was the coordination between the structural platform design and the belt filter press and conveyor system. With very tight vertical and horizontal constraints, all components needed to align perfectly and be installed precisely. This successful design was only made possible through constant communication, collaboration, and Donohue’s thorough quality control process.

What do you think the future holds for engineering, and what emerging trends excite you?

Engineering has always been a profession of constant innovation. I’m not sure what the next innovation is, but that’s what is exciting about this field. Tomorrow could be the day that a light bulb goes off that changes our way of thinking of water and wastewater engineering.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Personally, I’m most proud of earning my Professional Engineering license. This would not have been possible if it were not for my years of experience working with intelligent and kind people at Donohue. Generally, I’m proud of the quality of work that is provided to our clients. It’s satisfying to provide a design that was the end product of great teamwork.

What advice would you give to the next generation of engineers?

Ask as many questions as possible. Stay curious. There is always room to grow. I found that one of the best attributes a young engineer can have is the courage to ask questions. It’s important to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and to rely on others to help along the way. Treat constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow and not as a personal attack on your ability as an engineer.

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