INTERA lost a dear friend, colleague, and one of our most accomplished Principal Engineers last week, and he will be missed by all of us. This summary of Steve Cook’s life and career was written in collaboration with Jeff Glaser, PE, and Gerry Grisak, PG, two of Steve’s closest friends and colleagues.

Steve Cook, PE, was an outstanding engineer and leader whose list of professional and personal accomplishments is long. Steve was a team builder and a positive thinker. He was a leader in our industry and throughout his career executed complex projects across Texas. Steve, together with Tom Joyce, established Cook-Joyce, Inc. (CJI) in 1983, and he made it a fun place to work with a family atmosphere. When it came to creating a family-friendly environment, Steve was ahead of his time. A former colleague at CJI put her career on pause to raise her family, and Steve welcomed her back several years later when she was ready to resume her engineering career.

Steve loved to celebrate! He always hosted CJI’s Thanksgiving lunches, Christmas lunches, company anniversary parties at the former office on 11th St, and summer picnics at great locations around the Austin area. Steve mentored many engineers and geologists throughout our careers and empowered us to take ownership of our projects. Many people owe their careers to Steve providing opportunities, mentoring, insight, and advice. Steve even generously gave some of his staff more than one opportunity to succeed.

Gerry referred to Steve as “the Austin environmental engineering constant”. Steve was a mentor to so many and a model of engineering excellence and integrity. Steve and Tom Joyce exhibited the absolute best of the technical and personal standards we all aspire to. Gerry met Steve in 1984 at a client meeting in Illinois, where he and John Pickens were providing a groundwater modeling presentation. It was clear that Steve was the client's Principal Technical Lead, to the extent that he was virtually indistinguishable as a consultant. Steve invited INTERA to join forces on the CJI landfill studies in the Gulf Coast, and INTERA found numerous opportunities over the years to combine their environmental engineering excellence with our quantitative flow and transport capabilities. Gerry has said time and again that much of his career is modeled on Steve's generous and inclusive nature and his extraordinary example of client-centric consulting service. Steve cut Gerry and so many INTERAns into numerous of his personal relationships, many of which Gerry and all of us retain today as clients and close friends.

We thank, honor, and salute Steve Cook, a remarkable and unique friend and colleague! We will all miss him for many years to come, and we will continue to try to live up to the high technical standards that Steve exemplified, and live with a kind and generous heart as he did so well!