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Employee-Owner Spotlight: Ryan Drury, Senior Engineer, Bloomington, MN

We recently met with Ryan Drury, a senior engineer out of our Bloomington, Minnesota office to discuss his expertise in deep foundations and what it means to him to be an employee owner.

Tell us a little bit about your background.
I started as a co-op in 2007 working out of Bloomington doing concrete and soils testing. Once I got hired on full-time, I headed to our Milwaukee office. I was mainly doing special inspections work with Walmart.

After a few years, I moved to the St. Paul, MN office and became a project manager and started working on the geotechnical side of things.

For the last six years I’ve been focused on deep foundations. Now I’m back working out of the Bloomington office and I’ve started working with Matt Glisson in deep foundations and geotechnical design, which is just an overall more technical route than my previous work.

What can you tell us about your expertise in deep foundations?
Locally, we are very heavy in driven pile testing. I have extensive Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) testing and static load testing knowledge. I run countless PDAs, optimize pile design, and a lot of the up-front work before construction. I do the geotechnical reports, lateral analysis, the whole driven pile gamut. I also have experience with analysis and design of drilled shafts, auger cast piles, micropiles and helical piles, as well as construction testing with all those foundation types.

What are your favorite projects to work on?
My favorite projects have been investigations of existing foundations. You never know where it’s going to go. Every project is unique! What’s supposed to be there is sometimes not there, so we get that figured out. It requires a lot of communication and relaying information. I’ve enjoyed deep foundations as a whole – the projects are always big. Whether its light rails or big buildings downtown, not much of the work is cookie cutter.

As someone with so much knowledge to share, how do you approach mentorship of your teammates on the job?
I go meet the technicians and find out what’s unique about the job. Essentially, we train starting from zero on every job because of this. I’ll print all the forms and background documents, explain what is going into the specific jobsite, run through geology we’ll encounter, then work with them on logging correctly. Every job has its own quirk, they’re never the same. There’s always some level of mentoring involved.

How does safety factor into your day-to-day work?
Safety is the first thing that I think of every day. With deep foundation projects, there are more opportunities for unsafe circumstances. We deal with cranes, tight areas, and just have other factors that could be potentially dangerous. We really need to know our surroundings, so safety is top of mind.

What does it mean to you to be an employee-owner?
Being an employee-owner gives you a level of pride in your work. You’re always considering the greater good. If the company is succeeding, you’re succeeding. We all encourage each other to do good work and keep our client relationships a priority.