Thousands of airmen have relocated to Rapid City, South Dakota, because Ellsworth Air Force Base is located there. Ironically, Joe Noble, PE, had already left active-duty service in the Air Force when he moved his family from Colorado to South Dakota in 2019, after accepting a job with AE2S.

South Dakota was familiar to Joe and Bethany, his wife of 10 years, because they regularly visited family there. Joe’s grandparents lived in Rapid City for decades, and he has family throughout the eastern side of South Dakota. That familiarity helped them quickly feel at home when the couple moved with their seven-year-old daughter Catherine and four-year-old son Russell, plus dogs Daisy and Bonnie, and a cat named Tiberius to Rapid City. “We are very thankful to live here, in South Dakota,” says Joe.

Joe lived in seven different states before college, but he completed high school and college in Colorado Springs. The path of Joe’s career would likely surprise the younger version of himself, who did not have “become an engineer” on his to-do list when he entered college. “I went to college intending to become a pilot. When it came time to choose a major during my sophomore year, my guidance counselor had an Environmental Engineering degree and he nudged me to pursue the same.” Ultimately, Joe earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Joe was recently promoted from Project Manager to Operations Manager of the Rapid City office. His focus at AE2S is somewhat unique when one considers the firm is known for water engineering. “I typically focus on civil engineering projects, dealing with a mix of municipal and private development civil designs,” says Joe. Although his expertise may be different, his passion for helping people is something Joe shares with his fellow Employee-Owners. “I love the relationships we get to develop with clients and coworkers. Being able to help our clients accomplish their goals is the most rewarding aspect of being an engineer.”

One of Joe’s favorite projects is the Elm Street Water Main Replacement project for Black Hawk Water User District. “That project had it all – a great client, challenging design, a need for constant communication, and it contained its fair share of underground ‘surprises.’ I knew it was going to be an interesting project when the contractor discovered an unmarked septic field line in the County right of way,” Joe says with a laugh.

Currently, he is excited to work on the Deer Mountain Sanitary District System Wide Improvements project. It includes the complete replacement of an existing water system, including a new treatment facility with wet well, booster station, distribution mains, 110,000-gallon storage tank, and new service lines. “In addition to replacing the existing system, the District is working with a new development, Deer Mountain Village, to provide the system with water. AE2S has been fortunate to also be the design engineer for the developer while we work to maximize efficiencies for both parties,” explains Joe.     

Outside of project work, Joe stays active in the industry through participation in the National Society of Professional Engineers. He is the current President of the Black Hills Chapter. “There are incredible opportunities that AE2S creates and supports,” he says. “Whether that is the internal AE2S training program called Leadership Matters or being active in a professional organization, there are opportunities to become a better version of yourself each day.”

When he’s not at work, Joe enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, hunting, and watching sports – especially the Denver Broncos. Lucky for Joe, his adopted State of South Dakota doesn’t have an NFL team, so he doesn’t have to feel guilty about cheering for his home State team during football season.

The Noble family.