Danielle Forget Shield
Danielle Forget Shield
Vice President, Landfill Projects Group, SCC Americas
Houston, TX

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    I work with landfills to collect the landfill gas and utilize it as an alternative energy source. I am a project developer, which means my company identifies, finances and manages the projects. We oversee engineering and construction firms and ensure that the projects meet the regulatory requirements.
  • Why Engineering?
    Math and science were always easy and interesting for me. I initially chose engineering as a way to eventually pursue a medical degree. However, I learned along the way how much I love to solve problems and that is what engineers do. I wanted to work outside and be able to work on a variety of projects. Engineering offers a lot of flexibility.
  • School Days
    I attended Washington University in St. Louis for my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering with and Environmental minor. While I was working full time, I attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston for an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance.
  • My Day At Work
    My career has been very diverse - and proves that with an engineering degree you can do anything. In consulting I designed various things such as landfills, roads, waterways, sports complexes, etc. I wrote reports and a workbook and provided training on these. In industry I managed large projects. Day to day activities included hiring other engineers to provide services, overseeing construction activities, overseeing budgets and managing environmental relations with local, state and federal agencies. I have been involved in human resources activities, career consulting, and training initiatives. I was also very successful in a sales role as an account manager with the general goal of keeping the customer happy. I moved from that position to an operations role where I managed the day to day activities of a facility. From there I led the engineering and environmental compliance for a company. Now I am in a role that combines my sales experience with my high level engineering experience. Regardless of my title or position, my day at work has consistently been the same. I spend a lot of time on the phone and in meetings. I review data that others provide and make decisions about how to move forward or who to hire that can help us move forward. I have a lot of flexibility, but that comes with a lot of responsibility. I have to make the right decisions in a timely fashion. I have to be responsive to a variety of people. I spend a lot of time planning and strategizing about how to achieve success and executing our plan. Most importantly I have fun. I enjoy my co-workers and what I do.
  • Best Part
    Solving problems by creating and implementing systems that make life better for people.
  • Challenges
    The classes were so challenging, but the reward was knowing that I can do anything that I want to if I set my mind to it.
  • My Family
    I am the oldest of four children. My father is an engineer and my mother is a teacher. I have been married for 13 years to another engineer who became an attorney. We have two children - a boy and a girl.
  • Inspiration
    My parents have always played a large part in the choices I have made - not because they told me what to do, but because they shaped me into the person that I am.
  • Additional Thoughts
    The classes were so challenging, but the reward was knowing that I can do anything that I want to if I set my mind to it.
  • Hobbies
    I like home renovations, playing golf, and playing with my children. Being involved in the Society of Women Engineers has been an important part of my professional development. My favorite thing to do is lead workshops and provide training to help others enhance their professional development. Because of this, a friend and I own a training company, 825 Basics (www.825basics.com), that provides workshops and individual programs to help others succeed in their careers.
I like to think of myself as an innovative professional with broad engineering and management experience in the solid waste industry. I earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA in Finance from the University of St. Thomas. I am very active in volunteer and professional organizations. I am very involved in the Washington University Alumni Association. I have served as a member of the National Leadership Team and Co-Chair of the Houston Area Alumni Interviewing Committee, and currently serves as a member of the Houston Area Regional Cabinet and the Alumni Board of Governors. I have also held leadership positions in The Professional Group, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Girl Scouts, church, and the local Civic Club. I have been an active and dedicated supporter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) since 1989. While in college, I served as President, Vice President and Treasurer of my SWE student section and have served as President, Vice President, Section Representative and Secretary of the SWE-Houston Area Section (SWE-HA). I served as the Career Fair committee chair for the 1998 SWE National Convention and Student Conference and the Region C Student Coordinator. I built the Collegiate Leadership Coaching program within SWE and grew it to a corporate funded program reaching 350 universities. I was recruited to initiate and develop this program where I lead a team of women engineers and engineering students to provide leadership training to student sections. I have been recognized by SWE as a 2002 National Distinguished New Engineer, the highest honor bestowed by SWE upon a young engineer. I was named a Houston Area "Woman of Excellence" and the Washington University Engineering School Distinguished Young Alumni in 2006. Upon completion of my degree in1994, I joined RUST Environment and Infrastructure where I worked in all areas of civil engineering. While working on projects for Waste Management, I was recruited to become a Waste Management landfill site engineer. In this position, I managed engineering design and construction projects, maintained permits, and monitored environmental compliance at four landfills. I implemented engineering solutions and new engineering design techniques that saved the company time and money. My innovations were often highlighted in company technology newsletters and one of these techniques was documented in a technical paper that was presented at local, state, and national conferences. I left Waste Management in a merger and moved into consulting. While working as a consultant, I worked for Dannenbaum Environmental Corporation on many exciting projects, including authoring a workbook for rural communities to use in evaluating their solid waste systems. The workbook guides the user through a solid waste evaluation process including financial, regulatory, public relations, and logistical concerns. I helped develop and present training on the workbook at conferences and special engagements. During this time, I also worked for Drake, Beam, Morin as a Career Consultant. I facilitated workshops and developed materials to meet individual and group needs. I also worked one-on-one with clients primarily in the solid waste industry who were transitioning to new careers. I joined BFI Waste Systems as a Major Account Manager in 2000. In this role, I fully utilized my communication and management skills, as well as my engineering knowledge, to manage client accounts and assist them in compliance with federal and state regulations. This position rounded out my experiences in the solid waste industry and led me to a position with WCA Waste Corporation as a Site Manager and the Region Engineer. I managed the day-to-day activities of a landfill and managed the engineering, compliance and construction activities at 12 facilities. I quickly moved from this role to Director of Engineering and Environmental Compliance for the company. In this role I developed programs to enhance compliance and engineering activities. This role required a significant amount of travel and time away from my young children. So, I moved into a position that allows me to be home more. I am now the Vice President of the Landfill Projects Group for SCC Americas. I identify, negotiate, and manage the process of taking landfill gas and turning it into an alternative energy source. My husband, Christopher Shield, P.E., and I have been married for 13 years and have two young children. We have spent a lot of our free time renovating an old house and are now finally enjoying the results.
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Latest Questions
  • N

    Added Friday, January 6, 2017 at 10:59 PM

    Hi. I am a girl in my last year of high school. I am not a math genius, but I am good enough. Originally, I wanted to take environmental eng major in college, but my father opposed me. I live in a developing country where many people -but not all- are still not environmentally conscious, my father said that this major and job field is rather under appreciated in my country. I did some browsing and found out that other ways to become an environmental eng is to have a degree in civil eng or ...
    Answers 1
    Danielle Forget Shield, SCC Americas
    Answered Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 10:50 AM
    Most things in life worth achieving take extreme effort. If you are willing to make the effort, a Civil Engineering degree is very achievable. The key is to find something you are interested in learning about and then diving in with both feet. It sounds ...Read More
  • Aarya

    Added Friday, July 25, 2014 at 3:30 AM

    Hi, My name is Aarya. I am 15 years old. Next year I will be in year 11 and i am confused about my subject selection as I am hovering over two different engineering professions (civil and environmental). What subjects should I pick which will be in favor of both civil and environmental. How can I be an environmental engineer with a bachelors degree of civil engineering?
    Answers 1
    Danielle Forget Shield, SCC Americas
    Answered Friday, July 25, 2014 at 3:30 AM

    A lot of Environmental Engineers have a bachelors in Civil Engineering. Civil Engineering focuses on 3 major areas: structural, water resources, and soils. Both water resources and soils have major impacts on the environment. Environmental Engineering ...

    Read More
  • Lori , Tamarac, Florida

    Added Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Hello! My name is Lori, and I was always passionate about civil engineering and architecture. So much that I always wanted to do both, but I got discouraged during my first year of college. Now I am a civil engineering major, and I feel very uncertain about the path I chose. I feel like changing my major to architecture only because I am as creative as I love math. I would need some advice. How is the civil engineering field for women? Does it require creativity? I wouldn't want to be ...
    Answers 1
    Danielle Forget Shield, SCC Americas
    Answered Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Being a great civil engineer absolutely requires creativity. That’s one of the best attributes women bring to the profession. Deciding to become a civil engineer is a first step, with many career decisions ahead of you that will allow you to ...

    Read More
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