Staff Spotlight: Chris Duncan

Eugene “Chris” Duncan, PLS

Survey Manager – MONROVIA

Chris Duncan Where did you attend college and what did you study?
I attended five years of survey courses at California State University, Los Angeles as a part of my apprenticeship. Prior to that, I majored in science at Citrus College and Pasadena City College.

What drew you to working for Civiltec?
I was once an owner and Vice President of Civiltec Engineering until a decision was made to separate the civil engineering and land surveying disciplines, which would allow Civiltec to offer ownership to new engineering associates and expand into the thriving venture it is today. Western States Survey, Inc. was the professional land surveying firm created from this division. I was President and a Principal land surveyor for the firm until we decided to shut down our corporation due to the retirement of my Associate and close friend, Mr. James T. Kevorkian, PLS, in June of this year.

Western States Surveying provided professional land surveying services to Civiltec, as well as several cities, general contractors, private homeowners, and other engineering and architectural firms until its close. When Civiltec learned that I was going to remain in practice, they graciously offered a position as survey manager, which I was pleased to accept.

What skills have you gained since joining the Civiltec team?
My new position at Civiltec allows me to broaden my skills simply by interacting with the number of excellent professional civil engineers and technicians that are on staff with the firm. The position will give me the ability to train individuals interested in land surveying in regard to the basic skills required to collect information, as well as the more complex decisions that must be made in boundary resolutions when the need arises.

What are some of your favorite types of projects to work on?
I was introduced into the field of land surveying in 1973 and found the work exciting. Later on, as part of my full time employment agreement, I was asked to join the Union of Operating Engineers and Land Surveyors in 1977. The position offered work in a number of venues, ranging from sandy beaches to mountain tops in California, which kept the job interesting for me.

The Union offered a five year apprenticeship program and classroom courses in land surveying; I became a journeyman upon completion. After running a survey crew for the next four years, I became a certified Chief of Parties.

I left the Union to work and study independently, and passed the California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Exams to be become a licensed surveyor in 2001. The land surveying profession offers me the opportunity to work inside the office on a variety of mapping tasks, and also outside in the field performing boundary surveys, or collecting data for new design work on a broad spectrum of engineering and architectural projects.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I enjoy traveling. I have been to Europe, Central and South America, as well as many places in the USA. My last trek was to Ireland.

I am a fan of science fiction and enjoy a good 1950s science fiction movie or novel. I also tinker with electronics and enjoy finding out how things work.

Is there a particular hobby, interest, or skill you have that other employees might not know about?
At home, I enjoy collecting antique pottery and share in my wife Janie’s hobby of rock and fossil collecting. It is a large and ever-expanding collection that includes a large dinosaur bone, dinosaur egg, and large ammonites, along with several mineral and gem examples. Our basement, located in our Craftsman style home built in 1913, is a museum for the collection, which has been shown to several hundreds of visitors of all ages over the years.

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