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Behind the List with Robert C. Grubic

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Robert C. Grubic is president and CEO of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc., a Dauphin County-based civil engineering firm. Photo/Amy Spangler
Robert C. Grubic is president and CEO of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc., a Dauphin County-based civil engineering firm. Photo/Amy Spangler

president and CEO of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc.

Q: What does an environmental and energy consultant do?

A: We solve environmental and energy problems for clients. We try to take a proactive approach to problem identification and resolution. So if a municipality has a wastewater problem, we have the experience to resolve that.

In the environmental remediation side, we do projects of all types and sizes — from soil remediation and brownfields work to preparing or rehabilitating sites that have been contaminated over the years.

On the energy side, we have a list of energy-producing clients related primarily to the oil and gas industry in the northern and western tier of Pennsylvania, in Ohio and West Virginia. That work relates to all phases of design and construction — from design of drill pad sites through monitoring of construction and design and layout of pipeline work and end-user work.

Environmental and energy consulting is only part of your work as a full-service engineering firm. How much of your staff works in this area?

We have more than 200 employees in seven regional offices. About a third of our staff works either in environmental consulting or is involved in the Marcellus Shale industry.

What local projects have you done?

We have done water and wastewater projects for local municipalities and authorities such as the Harrisburg Authority, Lower Swatara Authority, the Borough of Steelton, Royalton Borough and Littlestown. We have a $50 million project under construction for the Milton Regional Authority and a major one for the University Area Joint Authority in State College.

The company has also upgraded the City of Lancaster's Conestoga and Susquehanna water treatment plants and is working with the Yellow Breeches Watershed Association to complete a watershed assessment and river conservation plan.

What are you most proud of?

We have been fortunate enough to serve and retain a number of clients over the years and solve problems by working with them and our staff.

How has the field changed over the years?

Many years ago, it was primarily a design project. Now it's a more technical and multidisciplined process that requires a lot of engineering and geologic and other types of professionals. Regulations are driving what we can and can't do in design or remediation projects.

What are some of the challenges your industry has been facing recently?

Certainly the economy the past five or six years has affected the ability of some of our clients to do some of the projects they want to do. There are significantly more regulations than there have ever been. They continue to be rolled out almost on a weekly basis, so one of our major jobs is to make sure we keep current with those to see how they are going to affect our clients and their projects.

What do you see for the future of your business in terms of environmental and energy consulting?

We have a significant number of repeat clients we have worked with over many years, and we continue to attract new clients in this area. We're very optimistic that this is a strong component of our business model and strategic plan.

About Robert C. Grubic

Title: President and CEO, Herbert Rowland & Grubic Inc.

Time with the company: 40 years

Education: Bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Villanova University; master's degree in administration from Penn State University; licensed professional engineer in four states

Professional involvement: He is a member of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities' real estate advisory board; chairman of the board of Mid Penn Bank; and a member of the board of directors of Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts

Family: One daughter; three grandchildren

Hobbies: Grubic is an avid runner, fisherman and boater. He enjoys reading.

Little-known fact: Grubic has a wide range of preferences in music, from classics to country. He also is pretty good at recalling the title and artist of songs written during the past 50 years.

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