An avid scuba diver and successful businessman, Joseph Heaney ’85 draws comparisons between his two passions. Both start, he says, with a plan. Founder and principal of Walden Associates, Oyster Bay, N.Y., an environmental consulting firm, he has designed soil and groundwater remediation systems, water and wastewater treatment systems, and corrective action for failed storage tanks.
Heaney shares his knowledge and experience with the next generation of engineers. He has hosted up to three Lafayette externs each year since he graduated and regularly hires summer interns at Walden, including about 10 from Lafayette over the years.
“My externship at Walden was during my first winter in the United States,” says Yue “Luna” Yuan ’12, a mechanical engineering and policy studies major from China, “but it has continued to influence me. It opened my eyes to the world of engineering and the workplace, and I became more aware of the impact of industrial activities on the environment, which led to my strong interests in sustainability.”
Heaney mentors students because he says it is important to serve as a resource and he values learning from others.
“I interview or bring in young people who have the same educational degrees and goals that I have, and tell them the only difference between us is that I have experience,” he says. “I advise them to get that experience by choosing the best places to work and the best people to work for.”
A civil engineering graduate, Heaney benefited from a strong faculty, including mentors Ed Wetzel ’74 and Ray Ferrara, and a “rigorous” curriculum that prepared him well. He holds a master’s degree in engineering from Manhattan College.