Luke’s Innovation: A Brief Interview with Excellence

December 16, 2016

After he won an employee recognition award for bringing an innovative technology to SEH, we caught up with Luke Pederson, a wastewater technician based in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

At SEH, we recognize employees through our Act of Excellence program. In it, employees can be nominated for excellence in one of three categories: Accomplishment, Character and Innovation. Luke won an Act of Excellence award for Innovation for bringing a cutting edge technology, a 3D scanner, to SEH.

1. When a child asks you what you do for a living, what do you tell them?
I design buildings that make dirty water clean. Or, if the child is older: I design water and wastewater treatment plants.

2. The word "innovation" to me, means ________. (Finish in fewer than five words)
Adaption of new technologies.

3. What do you love most about your job?
I love being a generalist. Some professionals get very specific in their expertise, but I’m able to be a part of the whole process, and see a project through from beginning to end. I’m there designing layouts and then I get to be there the first day when, for example, they turn on the valve to see if water flows throughout the plant as it was designed to.

4. What famous person—living or dead— would you like to have dinner with and why?
As a kid, I was always into aviation. I even got my pilot’s license. Though that passion didn’t develop into a career, and it’s too expensive as a hobby, I still love it. So, for dinner, I’d pick Amelia Earhardt. As a courageous woman in a male-dominated field, she went through a lot of adversity. My question to her would be, “Did you make it around the world? What happened?”

5. What advice would you give to yourself when you first started in the industry?
Be organized. Start your timesheet on Monday. In this industry, on any given week, you may be working on five projects, sometimes three a day, and doing many different tasks.  If you wait until Friday to create your timesheet, you’re going to spend a lot of time getting everything in there accurately. Start on Monday and update it throughout the week.

Watch this video to join Luke for a virtual tour of SEH's 3D scanner.

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