April 20, 2014

Environment | Engineering

Trendsetters: Environment, Engineering

Mike Vogel | 9/1/2007


Stephen R. Miller in front of Clear Lake.
[Photo: Jeffrey Camp]

Stephen R. Miller
MSCW, President, CEO, Orlando
Clear Lake today: “It looks as nasty as it did then.”
Casting: “Fishing is what got me on the water in the first place and got me in the career I’m in.”
No time for Huck Finn: “Fishing is sort of like golfing. I have equipment and like to think about it.”
Challenge for the profession: Convincing kids to major in engineering

Big Fish

A native of upstate New York, where his family had farmed for six generations, Steve Miller came to Orlando in 1964 as a teenager with his family to get his father, a disabled Marine veteran of World War II, out of the cold.

“It was a Huck Finn kind of a thing,” he says of his salad days. He would walk barefoot to Clear Lake to launch his johnboat and fish. But in 1968, drainage improvements and development pushed nutrients and turbid water into the lake.

The degradation inspired him to become an engineer with an interest in environmental matters. After graduating from Auburn University and working for others for a few years, he co-founded what’s now MSCW in 1977. “I thought if I ever got to 18 or 20 employees, I would be a huge success, he says. The 140-employee design firm came in 20th on CE News’ 2006 list of the 25 best civil engineering firms for which to work. MSCW includes civil engineers, economists, environmental scientists, community and urban planners, transportation planners and engineers and landscape architects. Consulting credits include Baldwin Park in Orlando and The Villages.

“We realize how important collaboration is to us,” says Miller, 58. “We’re at the table with all our pieces. We’re creating very unique solutions for our clients.”

Tags: Trendsetters, North Central, Environment, Housing/Construction

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