Being Part of a Technical Community at Golder

by Chris Coggans, Global Industrials Market Leader, SIRTN Technical Community Lead

I joined Golder at the end of 2018 and haven’t looked back; what grabbed my attention right away was Golder’s technology culture. I don't mean that it was because this was where the strong technical folks were – every good consulting firm has those – but rather it was Golder's approach to investing in technical innovation and bringing those solutions to market that set it apart.

Let me tell you a little about how Golder’s technical communities and funded innovation program drive technical excellence within the organization.

Technical Communities
Golder uses the term "technical community" to describe a group of people who regularly share and capture knowledge based on a common technical discipline or service they provide, similar to a Community of Practice.

Specific disciplines—like Data Science, Rock Engineering, Environmental Health and Safety, etc.—are at the core of each Golder technical community, allowing members to focus collaboration on shared interests and expertise. Golder's technical communities connect Golder practitioners worldwide and allow them to share, store, retrieve and reuse knowledge. They also offer a venue for building standard protocols and best practices, creating consistent approaches to client problems, making efficient use of global resources and repurposing existing skills to address emerging market needs.

For me, joining a technical community has helped me:

  • Be more valuable to my clients – to be seen as a trusted advisor
  • Connect to fellow practitioners worldwide
  • Mentor others in my field of practice
  • Improve my efficiency by using existing technical resources
  • Grow technically through access to training opportunities

And, after years of being an active participant, I am proud to say that I now lead Golder’s Site Investigation and Remediation technical community where we work together to continue developing solutions that address our client's biggest unmet needs in this discipline.

Innovation Program
To dovetail with our focus on technical knowledge sharing, Golder's Innovation Program is aimed at supporting innovation in all its forms, from breakthrough technologies to improvement of the services we provide. With a strong business case, innovation projects can be developed within Golder, as well as through partnerships with industry, academia, and our clients.

Golder has recently funded innovation projects related to the treatment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in soil and in water – technologies that the EPA has independently short-listed as the most promising options - and water sampling using aerial drones, among others.

The welcoming and collaborative culture of Golder let me jump right in when I joined, and in no time, I found myself part of teams made up of both Golder and client technical subject matter experts. I have been developing remedial strategies and technical solutions that addressed market-wide issues – my favorite sandbox to play in!

I‘ve been in the consulting world long enough to recognize how special Golder’s technology culture is and what it has to offer for overall business growth and personal career development. Every day I am excited to network with people around the world while they develop new skills, and then see what new ways we develop to help our clients thrive.

Chris Coggans, based in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, is focused on client programs within the Industrials Sector at Golder. He is a technical leader with more than three decades of experience and for several years taught a post-graduate course on the fate and transport of contaminants in the subsurface. Chris holds a M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo and is a P.Geo (Ontario).

Chris Coggans Member Name

Vice President, North America Manufacturing Sector Leader