Stephen McCord

Alumni Spotlight: Stephen McCord, '95, '99

Stephen McCord received his M.S and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis. He says the educational experience he received from UC Davis gave him a clearer understanding of what he didn’t know, the humility to accept that he will never know everything, an appreciation for the variety of technical expertise that can tackle environmental problems synergistically and the value of collaboration.

“I learned so much fascinating knowledge about water quality that it remains my professional passion today. As an engineer, I loved taking science courses, and then ‘making it real’ in my engineering classes. Because that’s what engineers do—apply science to solve problems,” said McCord. “What I was learning was relevant everywhere and transportable. And that was wonderful, because I sure like traveling.”

McCord is now the president of McCord Environmental, Inc. and was named a Certified Lake Professional by the North American Lake Management Society. He has led the design and management of technically challenging water projects in rivers, lakes, wetlands, deltas and bays, including mercury bioaccumulation, eutrophication and drinking water quality throughout California, the United States, and internationally, including Australia, Canada, Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa.

McCord’s advice to other engineering students and to other young alumni is to “strive to create beauty in everything you do; do what you have to do, when you have to do it, the best you can do it, every time; and never give up.”

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