Protecting our environment through permitting and compliance

Robin Patrick, Director of Environmental Risk

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Specializing in air permitting and compliance, Robin is Director of Environmental Risk for RPS North America.

QHow did you get into your industry?

I sort of stumbled into it.  I’ve always had an interest in environmental issues and took an elective course in college that focused on air pollution, which I enjoyed. When it came time to graduate and choose a job, I needed to stay in Texas to support my family so I ended up taking a position at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It turned out to be a fantastic learning experience and I discovered that I really enjoyed doing that type of work. 

Quick Q&A

What job did you want when you were growing up?

I had no idea. When I was really young I wanted to be a house painter, then a veterinarian, and by the time I applied to colleges I thought I might want to be a pharmacist.  I was always given the freedom to pursue any job I wanted.

QWhat advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be intimidated by seasoned professionals.  The vast majority of them truly do want to help you to learn and grow. Remember that they were all at your level at one point too. 

QWhat was the best/most useful thing you did to further your career?

Getting my Professional Engineer (PE) license. 

QThis year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Break the bias’, aiming for women’s equality and celebrating inclusivity. However, there don’t seem to be barriers for women entering consulting, ecology and similar roles. Why is this – what is this industry getting right? (And what else could it do?)

I felt it has to do with women generally being more collaborative and drawn to careers that help others and society as a whole. Helping to protect the environment is one way to contribute to that goal. 

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