Chrissy talks about creating solutions for air compliance, building strong client relationships, and the unexpected upside of working remotely – increased communication and collaboration

 Christine (Chrissy) Schaub is an engineer intern (EI) and has more than ten years’ experience in the field of air quality, including air dispersion modeling, air quality permitting, regulatory applicability, and emissions estimates calculations. Her role on ECT’s Air Quality team is to provide expertise on air emissions, permit evaluations and exemptions, and to create air dispersion models for larger projects, including prevention of significant deterioration. Chrissy works with clients to make sure they are compliant with their permits and federal regulations. She has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from the University of Florida.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The client relationships. I enjoy working with our clients to come up with solutions for compliance, permitting or modeling questions. We work together, solve problems, and complete the project. It’s like fitting the pieces together to complete a puzzle.

How did you build your relationship with CSX Transportation, Inc.?

Bill Karl made the introduction. We provide air environmental consultant services for CSX Transportation, Inc. and CSX Intermodal Terminals (CSXI), including maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local air regulatory requirements for all CSXT and CSXI facilities and operations through the 23-state system. I took over as project manager and developed a strong working relationship with my CSX counterpart Meaghan Atkinson over the past six years. Together we manage their compliance with the Clean Air Act.

How did you get started in the air quality field?

I took a job with a professor at a startup company after college. We researched activated carbon in coal fire power plants for mercury removal in flue gas.  I was intrigued and wanted to continue to learn more about stack sampling and work on power and air projects.

A lot has changed in the past four months. What has been your biggest learning moment/opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Since I was already working remotely, COVID-19 did not have a major impact on my day-to-day work life; however, there were some benefits in having everyone within (and outside) the company also working remotely. ECT’s collaborative virtual work tools enabled me to talk to and engage with more people than in the past.

What do you think will be your team’s biggest challenge in 2020?

With social distancing, we could have less opportunity to get in front of a client, which could have an impact on trying to build new relationships with future clients.

What do you think will be your client’s biggest challenge in 2020?

Like most working parents, my client’s challenges are working remotely with young kids at home, more financial restrictions, as well as unexpected or unplanned delays to work and projects.

How will your team adapt to meet these challenges?

The Air Quality team has been communicating regularly and working to use this downtime effectively. This time has given us greater flexibility to engage and work other service lines to help foster and develop further relationships with existing clients.

How have you been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Has it been a challenge to juggle your personal and family life?

Since I was already working remotely, there was not a big change or challenge to overcome. Both kids are still too young for school, so the biggest struggle was trying to schedule and arrange for daily care of them.

What is something that might surprise your ECT colleagues?

I can tell you three things. First, I am a certified scuba diver.  I worked as a veterinary technician prior to graduating college and I was a pet therapy handler at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I love spending time with my family. I have two kids – a 4-year old daughter, Lily, and a 6-month old son, Sammy, and a golden retriever, Artie. We love to go to the beach, the park, and to go swimming. I enjoy staying active through yoga and working out.  I also love to travel; one of my favorite trips was to Rome, Italy.