Eric Tidquist, PE, Environmental Engineer, is serving as the new Chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Air Pollution Control Board. The Air Board works with the Shelby County Health Department to set fees, hear appeals related to enforcement action (e.g. fines for violations), and rule on requested variances from the air pollution control code. As chairman, Eric facilitates the meetings, helping the group arrive at decisions on matters brought before the Board.
He's in good company, and follows a line of great Air Board leaders, namely EnSafe’s co-founder, Phil Coop, who actually served on Air Board years ago.
Want a window into the world of one of our environmental engineers? Eric answered some of our questions in a “virtual” interview recently.
EnSafe: What drew you to environmental engineering?
Eric: I’ve always been interested in math and science, and I love the outdoors. With environmental engineering, I get to use my technical skills to help the environment and get outside once in a while.
EnSafe: You’re part of EnSafe’s compliance group, as an air quality subject matter expert. What appeals to you about helping clients with compliance?
Eric: As a fairly rule-oriented person, the compliance group at EnSafe is a good fit for me. Air regulations can be convoluted and counter-intuitive, but problem solving within this rigid regulatory framework, when it works like you hope, can be very rewarding.
EnSafe: Has there been a moment in your career so far that’s given you that “this is what I was meant to do” sort of feeling?
Eric: I’m involved with water quality monitoring work for the local airport, which means I’ve had a chance to sample the creeks upstream and downstream of the airport countless times, in both beautiful weather and during torrential downpours. No matter the weather, I enjoy being part of it. … For a while I installed and maintained remote monitoring equipment that continuously recorded water quality parameters and transmitted the data in real time to a collaboration website. Learning the equipment well enough to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues made me feel like a “real engineer.”
EnSafe: Sounds like you enjoy a little adventure and challenge.
Eric: Definitely. I once had the chance to go to an air base near Venice, Italy, to help prepare a management plan for storage tanks containing hazardous substance and petroleum products. Memorably, after heading back to the on-base hotel late one night, the Italian guards on duty informed me that my base access pass had an error and turned me away. Luckily, I managed to find a small room in the neighboring town, so I didn’t have to sleep in the rental car!
EnSafe: Can you tell us about your professional goals, passions?
Eric: I try to do the best I can each day with whatever is on my plate, and trust that I’m making a positive impact on my clients, coworkers, and the environment. I’m hoping the rest will take care of itself.
You’re certainly doing a fine job, Eric! You represent EnSafe well – and keep the vision of our founders going strong.