A lifelong love of rivers, lakes, and the ocean combined with a fascination with how those natural systems work and how the built environment impacts them led Zach Magdol, PE, to the engineering profession.
As the Operations Manager of the AE2S office in Bozeman, Montana, Zach oversees the daily office operations and a staff of 15 in one of the fastest growing cities in the country. “At AE2S, we get to work with really good people – not just technically good people, but genuinely good people who care about both the success of our company and our individual well-being. We genuinely care about each other,” he says.
Drought Planning, Flood Mitigation, Stormwater Planning & Wastewater Modeling
After growing up in West Hartford, Connecticut, Zach received his undergrad degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s in Civil/Environmental Engineering Water Resources Engineering from the University of Utah. His career is focused on all things related to water resources – flood and drought planning, drainage, stormwater infrastructure planning and design, stormwater treatment design, wastewater collection system modeling and planning.
“I get to work on drought issues in southern Utah, flooding issues in eastern North Dakota (some of the flattest areas in our country), future water supply planning in rapidly booming Montana mountain communities, and urban stormwater management across many states,” says Zach.
When pressed to name his favorite project of all time, Zach says, “That’s a tough one, I’ve worked on some cool stuff. I really enjoy projects where I get to work with understanding natural river systems.” However, he says a modeling and floodplain mapping project for Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota is a highlight, along with working with the City of Kalispell, Montana on stormwater needs. In fact, he’s looking forward to seeing the Kalispell stormwater treatment project be constructed. “We’ll be installing three treatment units into current urban stormwater collection systems that drain to an impaired creek running through Kalispell,” he explains.
Extreme Client Service Mixed with Extreme Endurance
Zach is a member of the Montana Chapters of Water Environment Association (WEA) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). In his spare time, he loves to ski, bike, and run. “Running keeps me sane in this sometimes chaotic and stressful world. I’m fascinated by human endurance and pushing physical limits – running and biking long distances help me scratch that itch,” says Zach.
He and his wife, Sarah, moved west from New Hampshire in 2010 to ski and they haven’t looked back since. “I love backcountry skiing. If we didn’t have any bills, we’d still be ski bums,” he says with a laugh. Sarah is also an engineer who works on environmental cleanup projects, such as contaminated groundwater and sediment, across the country. The couple’s love of skiing prevented them from moving to Hawaii when Sarah’s employer offered her a chance to relocate. Luckily for AE2S, the Magdols live near some of the best skiing in the country.