Initially an international affairs major in college, Nathan Campeau switched to environmental engineering early on because of his interest in improving the environment and in issues of sustainability.
“I preferred the technical more than the policy side of environmental issues,” said Nathan. “I also like seeing what I design being constructed.”
He joined Barr to work on floodplain modeling projects, but quickly found himself also working on mining and wind turbine projects. In recent years, his worked has shifted to the emerging fields of green infrastructure and low-impact development, where he has also contributed water quality and volume control recommendations to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s stormwater management standard -- Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) -- which is currently in development.
“At Barr, I’ve been exposed to challenging issues that I didn’t even know existed,” said Nathan, “and projects I never thought I’d ever be involved in.”
One of those involved installing flood storage detention cells under six blocks of roadway in a North Minneapolis neighborhood to reduce flooding. The roadway on three blocks was then replaced by a greenway for pedestrian and bike traffic while two blocks were narrowed to one-way streets.
“I worked more on this project than any other project so far in my time at Barr. I was involved early on in the public process, meeting with residents and city officials,” said Nathan. “The greenway really transformed the neighborhood. It’s satisfying seeing the positive impact it’s had on the community and how they use this public space.”
When he isn’t checking on current and past project sites, Nathan trains for marathons, participating in 10 to 15 running and ski races each year. In August 2012, he placed first in the Minnesota State Fair’s annual Milk Run 5K.
“In terms of the number of runners, it’s the biggest race I’ve won so far,” said Nathan. “I also sit on the board of a local non-profit running organization and coach other marathoners.”
He also completed a 12-hour, 81-mile bicycling challenge that involved riding a 50-pound bicycle from one Minnesota Nice Ride station to another. Nathan was one of only three people to visit all 145 stations in the Nice Ride system.
In his down time, Nathan is an avid reader and also enjoys traveling.