Paul C. Larsen, PE leads the Indianapolis and Cincinnati regional teams in civil engineering design and construction including geotechnical, environmental, construction and facilities engineering. As Regional Vice President, his primary area of technical expertise is related to geotechnical engineering services for underground infrastructure, transportation, institutional facilities, industrial manufacturing, energy utilities and commercial projects. Paul has 37 years of project experience throughout the Midwest. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, and holds a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University.

Paul loves the people side of the consulting business, which is rare for most engineers, and enjoys interacting, collaborating and working with all staff throughout an entire organization, along with his clients. From Paul’s perspective, people interaction is a valuable opportunity for co-workers and external clients to develop long lasting personal and professional relationships – those types of relationships are one of the factors that brought Paul back to SME after being gone for more than 20 years. He takes great pride in seeing others accomplish things they never thought possible and loves knowing that his finger prints are all over that person. His personal mission statement states “My legacy will be that I made a difference in other people’s lives by helping them achieve their true potential.” He is seen by many as a servant leader who truly cares about others. Paul’s favorite leadership quote is: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” - Lao Tzu.

Paul enjoys being part of a cohesive team where everyone wants to get things done. Paul is generally known for being a stabilizing force during difficult challenges - the guy who says, let’s not panic! He learned early in his career that by focusing on the technical aspects of a particular problem or challenge, that you can effectively deal with the political or emotional aspects of a tense situation. Paul feels that throughout his career he has been blessed to be a valued and contributing member of some amazing teams and when that happens, anything can be accomplished or overcome.

Paul has been involved with many professional organizations over the years, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Cleveland Engineering Society (CES). For the past 21 years, he has been actively involved with Leadership Indianapolis (formerly Lacy Leadership). In 2008, as part of the 100-year celebration for the College of Engineering at MSU, Paul was featured in a special edition of the MSU Engineering Magazine for working on the Breslin Center project. For Paul this was very humbling and an amazing professional accomplishment, as it was the first project he worked on from beginning to end. Since it was at his Alma mater, it continues to be one of his career favorites.

Family is and always will be a BIG part of Paul’s life and includes his high school sweetheart and wife of nearly 41 years, a daughter and a son and their spouses, and five amazing grandchildren. Paul loves his current role as “Papa” and looks for every possible opportunity to be involved with his grandchildren through their school, sports, music, dance, gymnastics or other family activities. Being a Detroit boy, Paul loves cars - all of them. But he has a special passion for muscle cars from the late 60s or early 70s, with his all-time favorite car being the Corvette Z06. As a drummer and rock music aficionado, Paul says that “a good day always starts with Van Halen."

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National Engineers Week Spotlight: Paul C. Larsen, PE

What inspired you to become an engineer? My grandfather, Al Koval. He was a self-taught Engineer with Excello Corporation in Detroit and was…