Driven to optimize water quality across rural Minnesota, ISG Civil Engineer Mark Origer, PE, recently received the 2019 Rising Star Award from Civil + Structural Engineering magazine. Working closely with public agencies and private landowners alike, Mark has developed countless solutions for water quality improvement projects throughout the region. Despite being relatively young in his career, Mark has already established himself as an equally talented designer, project coordinator, and committed mentor to his fellow employee owners.
“Mark has become a leader on our Water Resources team; he takes on challenging projects and succeeds,” notes ISG Vice President Chuck Brandel, PE. “Mark’s knowledge of hydrologic and hydraulic modeling has made him a mentor to other engineers, and his passion for the work brings the best out of himself and those around him.”
A go-to technological resource at ISG, Mark doesn’t hesitate to help out employee owners across disciplines whenever his talents can be of assistance. His continued commitment to knowledge-sharing is not limited to ISG’s employee owners and partners but extends to the industry at large.
As an industry expert, Mark has led tours of projects at the International Drainage Symposium, is a frequent presenter at Drainage Authority meetings and hearings, and was a contributor to the University of Minnesota’s Fields to Streams: Managing Water in Rural Landscapes publication that was provided to every Soil and Water Conservation District in Minnesota. This guide is considered essential for Minnesota agencies, landowners, and water quality advocates.
Coordinating across disciplines with fellow civil engineers, designers, and environmental scientists at ISG, Mark’s leadership and design experience is built on many years of field technical work in water resources and wetland management, written report and permit preparation, staff supervision, and policy development and implementation. Able to communicate with regulators and landowners in a straightforward manner, Mark builds trust, identifies the best practices for client needs and budgets, and carefully considers land use priorities. Mark applies these skills to implementing regulatory programs and providing facilitation and conflict resolution services for complex and controversial environmental and land use conflicts.
In addition to providing his expertise on more than 100 projects in 2018 alone, Mark has served as a project manager for a wide variety of projects throughout the Midwest, including watersheds, drainage ditches, culverts, wetland banks, streets, bridges, and hydraulic and hydrological analyses.
Mark’s passion for the water extends outside of his professional work as a civil engineer. An enthusiastic water skier, he enjoys teaching others how to ski and volunteers his time in the summer as an adaptive water skiing instructor for the Mankato Area Adaptive Skiing Program. The program helps a range of participants with physical disabilities water ski, including those with vision impairments, spina bifida, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and more.