CEC-Oklahoma City staff consultant Nick Shepherd earns Ph.D.

August 3, 2022

Some call him Dr. Shepherd, but most just call him Nick.

Nick Shepherd of Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.’s Oklahoma City office has earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He’s among the 18 CEC team members with a doctorate currently on staff.

He is a staff consultant who also holds a M.S. in Civil Engineering and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from OU. “I never left school,” Shepherd says with a smile. He joined CEC in September 2020.

The title of his dissertation is “Development of Ecological Engineering Solutions to Mine Water Biogeochemistry and Hydrology Challenges.”

Nick Shepherd earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering
from the University of Oklahoma.

Shepherd’s past and present research revolves around mine drainage at the Tar Creek Superfund Site. The work ranges from the physical and chemical characterization of mine drainage to the biological impacts on receiving aquatic ecosystems. He’s spent over a decade conducting research within the Tar Creek Superfund Site, beginning when he was in high school.

Shepherd was asked to join CEC in the middle of his Ph.D. research. He worked part time on abandoned mine work in Arkansas, which melded nicely into his Ph.D. efforts.

“There were a lot of similarities between my Ph.D. focus and CEC work,” he says.

CEC is contracted by the state of Arkansas as part of the abandoned mine land program, remediating coal mines. There were no standardized reclamation regulations pre-1977, resulting in unsafe mine closures throughout the state of Arkansas that are often situated on private lands. The land reclamation of the property comes at no cost to the landowner, thanks to dedicated funds provided to the state from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

 “We do full design and construction oversight from start to finish,” the 29-year-old Shepherd says.

He’s involved now with restoring 35 acres to functional land for an Arkansas farmer through the voluntary state program.

The EIT recently signed a contract with CEC and will start full time in a few weeks.

Dean Koleada, CEC Vice President and Oklahoma City Office Lead, is happy to have him aboard.

“Nick’s expertise will allow him to solve real-world environmental problems and meet the engineering needs of our clients and stakeholders. Nice work, Dr. Shepherd!“

About the Author


CEC Staff

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) provides comprehensive market-oriented consulting services to advance client strategic business objectives. CEC is recognized for delivering innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in air quality, civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, manufacturing infrastructure services, survey/geospatial, waste management, and water resources.

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