4 Minutes with…John Forcier, President, Forcier Consulting Engineers (LEC Member)

February 13, 2018 |

Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

In the past several years, we have been specializing in anaerobic digestion, renewable energy, biogas, organics to energy and waste to energy. We have been involved in studies, designs and construction of over 40 related projects throughout eastern USA. These projects range from 100 kW to 3 MW, with organic inputs up to 90,000 tons/year.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

In the next 12 months, I intend to continue pursuing renewable energy projects that provide the best value to my clients while being sustainable and protecting the environment. These projects will be in agricultural, municipal wastewater and commercial sectors. With my unique background in all of these sectors, I take pride in applying technologies from each sector to the other sectors to optimize the resulting outcomes.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?   

Getting investors to diversify in a larger range of renewable energy projects (especially anaerobic digestion).

Getting more organics diverted from landfills (like VT, MA, CT, RI & CA have mandated)

Getting permit authorities to provide reasonable permit requirements and quick processing.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

Reluctance of investors, who need to change to allow diverse sustainable renewable energy solutions.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?   

I think that it crucial to replace fossil fuels with cost-effective renewable energy solutions that also protect the environment.

Where are you from?

I was born in Newport, Vermont, where I had a paper route and later worked in a department store. Summers during college, I worked in construction and learned practical applications of engineering.

What was your subject focus (e.g. major) in university (undergraduate and/or graduate, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?  

I received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont. I chose that University because it has an excellent engineering program and was only 90 minutes from my hometown. I chose Civil Engineering because of the influence of one of my brothers.

First, my parents were my mentors with their incredible work ethic, excellent values and wonderful support.

In college, two of my professors (Dr. Jim Olson and Chuck Dunham) helped me to apply myself and become passionate about engineering.

After graduation, my first boss was Angelo Pizzagalli, who is an amazing businessman and helped me to balance his “shooting from the hip” style with my calculating twice engineering style.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?   

As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Also, in tough times you find out who your true friends are and how they are truly there for you.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?   

I have been involved with music since I was a young child. I have sung in several different groups and currently direct a church choir. In my H.S. yearbook, I selected the quote, “Music washes away the dust of everyday life.”

What books or articles (excluding The Digest) are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?   

“The Vermont Way” A Republican Governor Leads America’s Most Liberal State – by Jim Douglas (former Governor of Vermont)

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?  

We have visited San Diego twice and we really love it there.

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Category: Million Minds

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