Like many professionals, Robert C. Atwood enjoyed his work but had the desire to have his own business. “The company I was working for at the time wasn’t interested in pursuing the hazardous-waste world, so I started on my own,” he said.
Incorporated in 1986, Resource Control Associates Inc. is an environmental-and-engineering consulting company. Its staff offers many years of experience in environmental consulting, engineering design, remedial construction and brownfield redevelopment. It has performed a full range of environmental consulting and civil-engineering-design services for more than 50 municipalities and public authorities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as several hundred private clients.
“We think of ourselves as a land-development company,” said Atwood, 64, president and CEO of Resource Control. “We have a civil-engineering group and an environmental-assessment-remediation group. A third activity we’ve been involved in over the last few years is referred to as forensics engineering. Most of those focus on insurance-claim investigations,” he said. In many of those cases, Atwood provides expert testimony or can work with an insurance company to help sort out details in a dispute.
As with most companies in the state, Resource Control felt the pressure of the Great Recession. Much of its work is oriented to real estate development, which in the end is reflected by construction. When building and development is weak, the company’s prospects soften as well. “A lot of businesses have been fighting [to make it] over the last few years,” he said. In the end Resource Control survived the worst of times without having to lay off a single staff member. “We kept our staff the same without having to cut back, or cut salary and benefits,” he said with pride. “We weathered it pretty well.”
Ever-diligent, Atwood is always looking for new opportunities. “Right now we are focused on developing the forensics component of our business,” he said. Forensic engineering, according to the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, is the application of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the legal system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution. Engineers investigate and reconstruct failures in a variety of systems, often determining the cause and liability of an event as it moves toward, or into, the court.