Secret No More: Top Young Professional, Derek Michel

February 6, 2018 5:31 pm

In January, Engineering News Record, a leading industry magazine announced its “Top 20 Under 40 List”. It’s a collection of some the South’s leading young professionals. C1S is honored and excited for our project manager and mechanical designer, Derek Michel, who was one of those honored with this prestigious award.

“Since Derek joined our team one year ago, he has proven he is willing to go above and beyond in helping us deliver exceptional projects to our clients,” said Julie Strong, CEO of C1S. “This award is a testament to his hard work, and confirms what we have known about him since day one.”

Ask Derek, however, and it’s not often he feels like a “young” professional. He’s worked in this industry since 2006, beginning this part of his career just days after being honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps. While working with his first engineering company, he developed an interest in mechanical design and began his design career a year later.

It wasn’t long before he began managing his own projects.

“I worked my tail off and thankfully, the opportunities followed,” said Derek. “I got to do a little bit of everything, working on large mixed use projects, senior living facilities, commercial properties, and even a chain of car repair stores. The experience prepared me well for life at C1S.”

In his short time at C1S, Derek has exhibited the qualities sought out by the panel of judges who select the region’s top young professionals for ENR Magazine.

When it comes to community involvement, Derek is an active member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, as well the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Away from the office, he has also volunteered completing small construction projects for families in low-income neighborhoods, and works with his son’s Boy Scouts troop, sharing his love of the outdoors.

Along with experience, which at C1S has included work with major clients including Frito Lay and Texas Instruments, a major part of the judging criteria is leadership.

Derek takes pride in working with younger team members at C1S, teaching them how to work with clients, manage projects, and to become better designers.

“When working with the new guys, I try to be as hands on as possible at first,” said Derek. “Ultimately, someone is going to have to build the things they design, so it’s important they learn to do things the right way.”

So what does the award mean to Derek?

“It’s humbling because I know there are so many people in this industry who put in the same long hours and are dedicated to their craft just like I am,” said Derek.

At C1S, celebrating awards happens frequently. In this case, it’s a little extra confirmation of our commitment to hiring the right people that truly make a difference at our company, in the community, and even in the region.