A catastrophic flood in his hometown that made national headlines sparked Brian Gaddie, PE, to consider a career in water engineering. The historic Red River flood of 1997 damaged infrastructure and took out homes and businesses in the sister cities of Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN. The two towns are divided by the Red River, which overtopped its banks and spread more than two miles. The emergency also caused the evacuation of Brian’s hometown of East Grand Forks and three-quarters of the population of Grand Forks.
“Witnessing the awe-inspiring power of water during that flood definitely had a large influence on my career choice,” says Brian. “I love that engineers get to find solutions to water issues and have a positive impact on so many people’s day-to-day lives.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University, Brian’s career has focused on pipelines and stormwater ponds as well as site design for pump stations and treatment facilities. “One of my career highlights is being part of the Grand Forks Regional Water Treatment Plant team. That was a huge project for the area I grew up in, and being a part of that was a great experience. It truly brings a sense of pride,” Brian says.
He was based out of the Grand Forks AE2S headquarters for nine years before he had the opportunity to help open the firm’s Denver, Colorado office. Now, as Operations Manager of the Denver office, Brian splits his time between project work and his management duties. “We have amazing people at AE2S, and I believe our work ethic and responsiveness set us apart,” he says enthusiastically. “Because of this, we are able to compete and perform better or as well as any firm (national or otherwise) in the municipal water engineering world.”
Brian is currently working on an interesting project for Keystone Resort in Colorado. It includes a water transmission pipeline running up to a one-million-gallon storage tank located on a ski run. “It’s not often that you are running pipe up this kind of terrain, and we are using earthquake seismic fittings, which is definitely a unique design requirement due to some ground movement issues on the mountain,” says Brian.
When he’s not engineering ways to bring water up ski runs, he enjoys snowboarding. He also likes golf, hockey, hiking, camping, wood working, cooking, listening to music, making craft cocktails, and minor home remodeling projects. Brian and his wife Katina have been married almost 14 years and have lived in Minnesota, Texas, North Dakota, and Colorado during that time. The couple has 3 sons – Liam (12), Gavin (10), and Archie (6). The Gaddie family has found Colorado is a great place to enjoy all their outdoor interests.