Meet Our People: GAI Water Management Professional Greg Kolb

Greg Kolb, PE is one of hundreds of skilled GAI professionals who help clients create better communities, transportation infrastructure, energy generation and delivery, and more from our office locations throughout the United States. Today we’ll find out a little about what makes Greg tick—the background, motivation, and methods that he brings to the table every day for GAI and GAI’s clients.

Slide Name: Greg Kolb
GAI Office Location: Orlando, FL
Hometown: Miami, FL
Education: BS and MS in Civil Engineering, Georgia Tech Professional Licenses: Professional Engineer in FL
Joined GAI in April 2022 Hobbies/pastimes: Saltwater fishing, photography, travel, hiking, and our Aussie Cattle Dog mix Lorelei greg kolb

Q: Please tell us a little about how you arrived at your area of specialization.

Greg Kolb: I began my career during my undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech (go Jackets!) through their cooperative education program. I had the opportunity to work with several environmental consulting and program management firms in the metro Atlanta area, and finally for a heavy civil general contractor working on a large greenfield wastewater treatment plant project during the summer before I earned my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2000.

I was initially drawn to engineering due to my problem-solving nature and my interest in math, science, and the outdoors. Today, I would describe myself as a generalist within the municipal drinking water and wastewater market, having served as engineer-of-record and project manager for a wide range of master planning, design, permitting, and construction projects.

I have also been fortunate enough to see many of my projects through from inception and planning to construction, commissioning start-up and continued operation and maintenance under traditional design-bid-build, progressive design-build, self-perform design-build, design criteria professional, and program management delivery models.

Q: What role do you play at GAI, and what sorts of projects do you typically contribute to?

Greg: As a Senior Project Manager with GAI’s Florida Water Division, I am responsible for managing the scope/budget, technical quality, and on-schedule delivery of Florida water/wastewater client projects. This requires collaborative teamwork with GAI professional staff and effective communication with client project management and leadership. So far with GAI, I have been involved with water and wastewater master planning, pipeline and pump station design/permitting, coordination with regulatory agencies, horizontal directional drilling pipeline design, booster pump stations, as well as utility management/CIP implementation efforts. I look forward to getting back into projects involving treatment plant improvements and unit process design in the near future.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

Greg: Since joining GAI, I can honestly say that *most* Sunday evenings I am excited about the week ahead. I feel that I have been empowered to develop creative solutions, grow relationships with clients, solve problems both independently and collaboratively, and I have had ample opportunities to mentor and help develop up-and-coming engineers and technical staff. And as a bonus, many of the GAI projects that I am involved with have a positive impact on the communities where we live and work.

I have been empowered to develop creative solutions, grow relationships with clients, solve problems both independently and collaboratively, and I have had ample opportunities to mentor and help develop up-and-coming engineers and technical staff.

Q: Why do you feel GAI is a good place to put your skills to work?

Greg: What initially drew me to GAI was their reputation for creative thinking, professional resources in a diverse range of market sectors, and for being involved in projects that have a real impact on their community. Since joining, I have found a high-energy, collaborative workplace where GAI leadership fosters a supportive environment and dedicates company resources (administrative, HR and recruiting, IT, marketing and communications, and accounting) to grow maturing lines of services and enter new markets.

Q: How do you measure your success?

Greg: Feedback of all kinds is important in this business, and establishing relationships based on openness and mutual respect is key to productive feedback within the dynamic project teams that we are often a part of.

Subtle forms of client feedback, such as being told about other upcoming projects that they have coming down the pike, receiving a call from a client to pick your brain, or their willingness to meet you for a lunch or early breakfast before work can be a measure of success. More direct forms of client feedback are welcome, too, including unsolicited positive client feedback about the team’s progress on a specific project, being short-listed or selected by a client in a qualifications-based selection process, letters of reference/referrals from clients for other agencies, positive direct client satisfaction surveys, and of course follow-on and repeat work.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that people may not know or will be surprised to hear.

Greg: My family and I lived in an Airstream trailer parked in our driveway my junior year of high school after Hurricane Andrew’s eye crossed through south Miami in 1992 and brought about 3 feet of storm surge through our neighborhood. There were debris dunes surrounding houses, crabs living in one of our closets, and a live barracuda was swimming in our neighbor’s backyard pool after the water receded.  The experience gave me a new respect for Mother Nature, and it certainly accelerated my interest in engineering. It was a life-changing event, including many lessons learned, a lot of hard work, and some silver linings.

Q: What inspires you—what are you passionate about?

Greg: I must admit that I don’t often use the words “inspire” or “passionate” in my daily conversations, but I can share about some volunteer efforts I have been involved with that were very rewarding to me professionally and personally.

greg kolbMy sister was in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic working on a novel rapid assessment technique as part of her master’s thesis in environmental public health. She recruited her “nerdy engineer brother” to travel down to assist her team for 2 weeks with the field data collection effort involving water sampling, E. coli testing, and GPS mapping. A few years later, I returned to the Dominican Republic as a professional mentor for the University of South Florida Engineers Without Borders student chapter and advised the student-led team on the development, construction, and flow testing of a new groundwater well and water distribution system for public use in Miches, on the northern shore of the country.

Both experiences were challenging, required multidiscipline teamwork, and were highly visible within the communities we were working in.  Each project resulted in immediate and long-lasting public health improvements to the stakeholders—and it was humbling to me to become aware of what we take for granted here in the United States and to experience the grace and generosity of the communities that we worked with.

Q: How do you feel that the job you do at GAI benefits the community and the world?

Greg: What drew me to civil/environmental engineering originally was the pursuit of balance between human society (the built environment) and nature (the natural environment). It’s difficult to argue that a well-planned residential community with unique character, a range of housing options, schools, parks, and opportunity for jobs/business growth isn’t good for our world. And often these communities develop around and rely upon our most valued natural resources, which we also respect and sometimes revere as individuals. These communities are part of an ever-more connected world that requires regional, national, and international infrastructure networks in order to thrive. The work my colleagues and I do here at GAI carries this pursuit forward to protect our water resources and ecosystems while at the same time creating new communities and infrastructure that will nurture, enable, and inspire our future generations.

Contact Greg Kolb, PE, 321.319.3044, for more information about GAI’s water management services—message GAI online and start the conversation about how our multidiscipline professionals can meet your unique project needs.  

Greg Kolb takes on engineer-of-record and project management responsibilities for a wide range of unique and challenging water and wastewater projects. He manages projects in water supply, treatment, and distribution; wastewater collection, treatment, and effluent disposal; and reclaimed water management.




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