Principal and Indiana-based Senior Project Manager
George Dreger is among EEA’s most well-traveled staff. A few years ago, following a series of weekend getaways to southern Indiana and the Greater Louisville area, he started to consider putting down some roots in the region when the timing was right.
This year, the timing was right. George, a partner at EEA, moved to Indiana and is expanding the firm’s reach into the state as a local on-the-ground resource for current and future projects.
During his 23 years at EEA, he has worn many hats, including the firm’s first technical director, and now, an Indiana-based Principal and senior project manager.
Why did you decide to make the move?
Our new home of Charlestown, IN is a beautiful area, with friendly people, and is a relatively easy drive to friends and relatives around Chicago, Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Dayton, Cincinnati, are all within a 115 radius- offering my wife and I a lot of opportunities for weekend travel.
What inspired you to choose Engineering as a career path?
I actually didn’t start my career in engineering. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in geology. I enjoyed how the subject examined how natural resources come together and what makes the earth work on a very large scale; however, by the time I graduated, the economy was tough, and there was a shortage of job opportunities in the field. I ended up going back to school and pursued a degree in civil engineering. Luckily for me, I was better suited as an engineer.
What is your role at EEA?
At heart, I am an engineer’s engineer. I gladly admit to being a “geek”, and still love to sink my teeth into a complicated design, problem or calculation. When the firm started growing about 15 years ago, I became the Technical Director. I maintained QA/QC, standardized our work, helped mentor our less experienced engineers. Our founder taught me the importance of mentoring our engineers to be well rounded site development consultants.
Eventually, I missed the regular contact with our clients, and returned to a project manager role.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love talking about our work. It is gratifying when our team can help answer tough project questions and be a trusted source. Also, hearing positive feedback from clients about our less experienced team members is very rewards.
On a more personal note, EEA’s push to grow markets and branch out geographically has allowed me to be a part of the firm’s momentum.
What is your favorite EEA project to date?
A few years ago, Stevenson High School received a LEED platinum certification for an existing facility. I went to the celebration at the school and took a tour of the building and site. During the tour, students described the LEED features and someone asked the student guide a LEED question they couldn’t answer. I chimed in to help answer the question, and at that moment it felt good to be a part of the team that helped the school complete the project.
What do you like to do outside of EEA? (hobbies, etc.).
I am known as a beer snob in the office, and I brew my own beer. My wife and I also enjoy traveling and going to Europe every other year.