Innovation can feel like a buzzword — anyone can claim to be innovative, but without context or direction, the word loses significance. When we at Woodard & Curran claim innovation as a differentiator, we mean something specific. We believe that innovation is developing an idea into a solution for a specific challenge that is valued by our clients. We call our approach “Innovation With Purpose,” a concept embedded in our culture and one of the founding principles of Woodard & Curran. We apply deliberate thinking about problem-solving and enable open collaboration across business units to foster creativity, provide value and improve outcomes for our clients.
Innovation With Purpose draws heavily on Woodard & Curran’s breadth of expertise and deep bench of professionals who are leaders in their fields. Our capability to integrate the proficiencies of our environmental team with the knowledge resources of our expansive national water and wastewater practice provides unique perspective and allows us to deliver better solutions to our clients.
Our companywide innovation culture emphasizes knowledge-sharing with the goal to encourage fresh ideas and different expertise to be readily accessible and easily shared among our staff. This business structure enables our staff to apply multidisciplinary knowledge, expertise, and proven techniques to solve clients’ problems in atypical ways, which often result in unique, best-fit solutions.
Solutions Based in Science
Our company’s knowledge base continually grows as our experts engage in professional development and ongoing education. The result is a company comprised of people on the leading edge of technology and effective solutions — a team that solves problems and addresses unmet needs through collaboration and harnessing existing research and industry success. This dedication to innovating on behalf of our clients is apparent in several recent projects and initiatives:
At a New England Superfund Site, our experts applied remote telemetry to decrease health and safety risks associated with personnel working in remote areas, optimize remedy monitoring, and reduce costs. Telemetry units installed at the project site transmit groundwater and surface water monitoring data for tracking real-time conditions, reducing the number of required site visits, and minimizing manual data management, ultimately saving the client approximately $50,000 per year.
On another recent project, the enhancement of the conceptual site model through additional soil and sediment assessment enabled a more refined approach to remediating the site. The optimized remedy allowed our client to meet their obligations and goals while reducing the amount of excavation required and preserving more of the existing vegetation. The result was a more cost-effective and sustainable solution.
GIS Improves Logistics
Multiple applications of GIS products and data management software helped to expedite testing for lead at more than 3,500 indoor and outdoor drinking water fountains for New York City Parks and Recreation Department (NYC Parks). Our GIS and data management team integrated NYC Parks GIS data and leveraged it in the field through mobile technology to map and group testing locations for efficiency to complete this large, logistically complex project with an aggressive schedule. Analytical results were processed on a rolling basis through an environmental database and input to a GIS dashboard. This technology, paired with NYC Parks’ data management system, allowed for automatic updates to project team members, the client, and stakeholders. The immediacy of reporting enabled the client to maintain a public website to keep users of the park system up to date on the testing progress and results.
Drones for Data Collection
The use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform combined with remote sensing technologies including a camera and a gamma detection sensor allowed us to capture high-resolution aerial imagery and elevation data over approximately 12,000 acres of a former uranium mine. These data are vital for inputs used for the near and long-term remedial investigation. The UAV gamma ray survey results will assist in defining the horizontal extent of analytes of interest within soil and sediment. It is anticipated the high-resolution imagery data will support future erosion assessments, stormwater modeling, volumetric analyses of waste rock piles, and assess vegetation coverage and health. This novel approach is expected to save our client tens of thousands of dollars in field sampling and analytical costs associated with traditional characterization methods for a site this large. UAV technology enabled the project team to collect data in otherwise inaccessible areas, such as steep slopes and canyon walls. This application enables previously impractical data collection due to increased site safety and decreased collection costs.
Finding better solutions for our clients drives value for both of us. Woodard & Curran is committed to the continual pursuit of technical excellence and efficiency while applying creativity and tenacity to uniquely solve our clients’ engineering and operations challenges.