Alumni News

October 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Notable Alumni | Geology Alum Smiles as Daughter Follows Footsteps

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences launches the Notable Alumni Awards, honoring 37 Notable Alumni in 2017 for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Mitchell Brourman ’94 M.S. Geology

Seven years ago, Ohio University alum Mitchell Brourman was asked to join an Alumni Advisory Board to support the Geological Sciences Department, and he has been returning to campus regularly and networking with students.

Most recently, he notes, “My daughter, Hanna Brourman, accepted an invitation to pursue her M.S. in the same program I completed. I smile just thinking about it.”

Brourman is Executive Principal at Field Environmental Instruments Inc., a company he co-founded in 1995.

Brourman earned an M.S. in Geology from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1994. His thesis was titled “Three Dimensional Computer Simulation of Groundwater Contaminate Flow and Transport of the Town of Wyndam Landfill, Wyndam Connecticut.” He also earned a  B.S. in Geology from Edinboro University.

Mitchell Brourman

Mitchell Brourman

Favorite OHIO Memories

“During my time at OHIO, I was extremely fortunate to find something I was passionate about—and the tools and training to fully pursue it. I was exposed to problem solving, critical thinking, and a can-do approach,” he says.

“The three professors from my thesis committee were the foundation of my experience, and they remain part of my inspiration today. Dr. Damian Nance, think big and broad, Dr. Geoff Smith, attention to details and presentation count, and Dr. Moid Amad, you just get it done. I’ve had a soft spot for OHIO ever since.”

Career Highlights

From 1991 until 2012, Brourman was employed with Beazer East Inc. (formerly known as Koppers Co.). He served in various capacities throughout a 21-year career and managed a portfolio of environmental liabilities associated with the domestic operations of the company:

  • 2006-12: Director of Operations, Maintenance and Monitoring & Senior Environmental Manager
  • 2003-06: Senior Environmental Manager
  • 1997-02: Environmental Manager
  • 1991-96: Remedial Project Manager

Brourman was the principal technical lead and direct manager for the development and implementation of comprehensive and cost-effective strategies for ground water remediation. The facilities within Brourman’s portfolio included a diverse range of numerous coke by-product, coal-tar distillation, wood preserving and chemical production facilities.

In this capacity, Brourman directed a group of internal site managers and select strategic partners in the implementation of a presumptive approach for groundwater remediation. This approach relied on passive containment strategies with focused source removal and recovery techniques. Deployment of the strategy eliminated the construction of, or changes to over 20 groundwater pre-treatment plants and systems.

As a direct result of Brourman’s technical initiative, Beazer was able to reduce its environmental legacy exposure by over $400 million.

Brourman was the technical lead in the procurement of a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive, portfolio-wide insurance and financial insurance policy. This policy securitized the long-term monetary commitment to the portfolio’s environmental liabilities at over 100 legacy sites and eliminated over $900M from the company’s bottom-line liabilities provisions.

An informational database developed during the product’s procurement process was integrated as an iterative active management tool, which forms the basis for all current and future environmental cost projections and financial controls for the portfolio.

Brourman participated as the lead technical resource in an internal management initiative that focuses on utilizing site (property) re-development as a mechanism to both reduce overall site environmental expenditures and maximizes site asset value.

In this role, Brourman coordinated efforts with various local governmental agencies, prospective developers, real estate and environmental professionals in developing best “overall” site end use strategies. This initiative led to over $10 million in direct revenue generated as well as a $10 million reduction in the company’s environmental legal exposure.

As the lead technical negotiator with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania representatives, Brourman negotiated the largest (monetary) environmental buy-out and settlement in the state’s superfund program to date.

The settlement capped the financial exposure at a fixed value, eliminated the risk of additional regulatory exposure, settled numerous lawsuits including matters with other PRPs, established specific work to be completed for final release, and provided funds for the construction of a municipal water supply over five townships that expedited relief to effective residents.

In addition, Brourman was the site manager for as many as 12 active sites within various stages of the CERCLA, RCRA and or state regulatory programs. In this role Brourman assumed the day-to-day responsibilities and overall direction for site administration, regulatory negotiations, community relations, legal liaison, financial management and strategic planning.

Annual expenditures for these sites are approximately $4-6 million, with total projected expenditures in excess of $40 million.

As the director of Operations, Maintenance and Monitoring, Brourman was responsible for all aspects of on-going operations at 17 operating facilities and 49 sampling locations. Brourman also was directly responsible for the developing a strategic relationship with a competitively selected vendor that utilizes an incentive based contract to reward yearly savings within the operations.

For six consecutive years, the cost of these operations decreased by an average of 3 percent per year, resulting in the projected long-term savings in excess of $20 million.

Professional Community Service

2002-2006: Council Representative/Council President (Edgewood Borough, Pa.)

Brourman was elected to serve a 4-year term as councilman in the Borough of Edgewood. During his term, Brourman was elected as the Chair of the Public Works Committee, a member of the Community Development and Public Safety Committees and the local representative to the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Project. Because of his commitment to his duties, Brourman was elected to serve as Council President for the final two years of his term.

2006-12: Member of Ohio River Basin Regional Water Resources Committee

Brourman’s further ventures include being appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to serve as a member of the Ohio River Basin Regional Water Resources Committee. He served as an enthusiastic committee member and during his time was integral to the committee’s assistance in the implementation of Pennsylvania’s State Water Plan or Act 220. Over the duration of Brourman’s membership, he was involved with compiling the State Water Plan’s “Principles Document,” as well as helping to publish the “Pennsylvania Water Atlas.” Similarly, he has served as the Vice Chair of the Ohio River Basin Regional Committee.

2010-Current: Alumni Advisory Board Member, Ohio University Department of Geological Sciences

As an active member of the Board, Brourman was instrumental in the organization in two Alumni Symposiums (2013 and 2015), and served as the moderator for these and the 2017 event. Brourman has also worked on restarting a field methods hydrology program with the department. In addition, he participated in multiple career day forums with students, and he personally assists with student placement efforts.

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