Mike Ayers, CEO of Watershed Geo, has created something unusual in business—the perfect combination of innovative products, industry leaders and obsessive client support. Watershed has been nationally recognized by a variety of industries for their technologically-superior innovative products.  But much of the success can be attributed to Ayers’s push to assemble and attract the best in each field in order to perfect, promote and support company innovations, and ultimately achieve industry-wide acceptance.  With his recent hire, Dr. Ming Zhu, Mike lived up to his mantra of being the ultimate resource for the client.

“Our products are very innovative and solve problems in a way that has never been done,” said Ayers.  “Our clients rightly expect us to be experts in geotechnical and environmental disciplines and support them through the entire project development. They are often surprised by the level of expertise and value we add throughout the process from regulatory approval to design and installation.  We provide engineering designs, modeling and technical product support at no cost to the client. We need team members who have extensive experience at working through project challenges, and that are going to strengthen our clients’ project team.  All of this is to accomplish the simply-stated mission of making the client look good to all stake holders while solving their biggest challenges. That’s what we’ve built here at Watershed, a solid team capable of just that.”

Dr. Zhu is a well-recognized leader in the geotechnical and environmental field.  His most recent position was Principal with Geosyntec Consultants, although his work spans from many years of study, research and project experience.  His expertise includes landfill design, contaminated sediment remediation, coal combustion residuals (CCR) impoundment closure, earth retaining structures, geotechnical instrumentation and numerical modeling.   Even more impressive, Dr. Zhu is the author and co-author of more than 30 technical papers.  Most of his written work, ranging from landfill design to geoenvironmental practices, shares project experiences that highlight innovation and practical benefits that many have went on to apply to their own designs.

So what made Zhu venture from the world of designing and consulting to supporting a product line?  He saw first-hand how Watershed’s products and team are making a difference for clients.  “I’ve worked with many of Watershed’s team members over the years.  The culture of innovation is contagious.  They are smart, innovative and the opportunities are endless.  It’s been exciting to watch them solve long plaguing issues in landfill management by applying innovative, engineered solutions.  Personally, I want a challenge in my career and in my personal growth, and that’s why I am here.”

He’s also impressed with the value clients are getting.  “Clients can bring just about any geotechnical challenge to the table and this team will find an innovative, cost-effective solution.  The technical resources available are quite impressive and there is no end to the creative engineering and problem-solving support.”

Zhu will join a group of hydrologists and geotechnical and civil engineers at Watershed who collectively have over 100 years of landfill experience, 100 years of geosynthetic experience and 100 individual landfill sites managed through closure and post-closure.  In addition to product support, this team provides free technical assistance to their clients in specification, design, installation and maintenance of landfill closures, and revetment of levees, dams, channels, slopes and shorelines.

“Our team is strong,” said Zhu. ” I look forward to helping us keep the momentum with innovative solutions that improve our client’s operations and reduce their costs.  This industry presents a lot of challenges but with Watershed, we see them as opportunities.”

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