Posted: August 2016

August 16, 2016

Q&A with Mike Sutton, PE – Senior Engineer & Project Manager

Photo of Mike Sutton

Mike was born into the water and wastewater business in South Carolina. His father was a contractor who built water and wastewater plants and after an initial history degree, he decided to follow in dad’s footsteps working as a contractor in the water business. Mike went back to school, earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and began his career with process design of different water treatment projects, including groundwater, municipal and industrial wastewater, and drinking water. Due to his construction experience, he got involved in design-build projects and has completed several across the Southeast, one of which was the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Facility for Hilton Head Island. The project provided a new source of drinking water for the town and won an ACEC national award for Design Excellence.

What issues are engineers facing in the water sector and what have you worked on that approached these issues?

Clean water, especially drinking water, is a precious commodity and one that is under continuously increasing stress due to a number of factors. Supplies are limited and populations are increasing, especially here in South Carolina where we have some of the fastest growing towns and cities in the nation.

I have been fortunate enough to have designed treatment plants using some of the best technology available, whether that is Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) plants that can produce almost drinking water quality effluent from wastewater or Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants that turn brackish saltwater into fresh drinking water, which was a project completed for Hilton Head Island that had lost numerous drinking water wells due to saltwater intrusion.

What current Davis & Floyd project are you most excited to dig into and why?

Part of my task here is to grow the water treatment business in the Lowcountry, so meeting clients and pursuing water and wastewater projects is something that is very exciting. But I am also working on the next phase of the City of Charleston Drainage Project, which will improve a major flooding problem that has plagued the city for ages.

How do you see Davis & Floyd’s expertise at work outside of your 9-5 hours?

Water is essential, which is why I enjoy the process treatment projects that we work on here at Davis & Floyd, but water can be life-threatening also – flooding is a prime example. Getting familiar with the exceptional design work that has been done here by our Water Resources Group on the City of Charleston Drainage Projects is among the best engineering solutions I have seen anywhere in my 20+ years of engineering experience. It is a real pleasure to be part of the Davis & Floyd team.