Employee Spotlight – Shep McArthur
Shep McArthur has been a part of the Nexus PMG team as Senior Project Engineer since October 2018. After graduating from Clemson University with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2004, he kicked off his career with industrial manufacturer Milliken in a role focused on production process improvement. He then joined Jacobs, a large multi-discipline design engineering company, where he spent 12 years gaining valuable experience working as a design process engineer for a mix of specialty chemical and pulp and paper projects. In 2018, Shep decided to take all the varied engineering and project execution knowledge he had gained in his career and join Nexus PMG where he could help bring exciting ideas to life as part of our Project Development Services Line of Business. We’re glad to have his 16 years of experience as a part of our Greenville team.
So far, Shep’s favorite thing about working at Nexus PMG is working with the cutting-edge technologies in the projects our clients bring to us. He says “at Nexus, I have seen many examples of first-of-a-kind technologies.”
Read on to learn about his favorite Nexus PMG project to date and some fun facts about his life and career.
What was your very first job?
I started working at a hunting preserve when I was about 14 years old. I worked more on the clay target shooting side than the hunting side. We had a skeet field, a 5-stand, and multiple sporting clays courses. The machines used to throw the clay targets are called traps. The machines on the skeet field and 5-stand were automatic, but in those days, the sporting clays courses had manual traps. My job was as a “trapper”, operating those machines to throw the clay targets.
Do you have any pets?
We have three cats; Boris, Joy (Piggie), and Blue. We also have two dogs, Kimber and Barrett. My wife and I have had cats our entire adult lives, and both had dogs when we were kids, but not as adults. We have had Kimber and Barrett for a year now, and it has been a lifestyle change for sure! We would not trade them for the world though. They have been a lot of company during the quarantine.
What is your favorite hobby or indoor/outdoor activity? Would you say this hobby has been helpful in your career as well?
I grew up shooting clay targets with my dad (which is how I landed my first job mentioned above). I was very fortunate to have a dad that tried countless different activities with me until we found one that clicked. We tried golf, but I cared more about driving the golf cart than chasing golf balls. We tried fishing, but I cared more about driving the boat than catching fish. But the first time I shot sporting clays, I was hooked. My dad and I shot competitively for about twenty years! It took us all over the state, and to a couple of regional events in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. In my years of shooting, I learned a lot of discipline, which I do think helped me through my college years, as well as in my career.
What advice would you give to an entry-level project engineer?
Listen to people. Everyone you meet can teach you something.
Can you tell me about a favorite project you’ve worked on? What made it special?
A 3500 TPA pectin production facility project. The project took spent orange peels from a juice processing facility and extracted several high-value products from the spent peel. That was the first project that the Nexus PDS group in the Greenville office worked on. The office was just getting started, so everyone had to wear a lot of different hats. On top of creating the typical Process Engineering deliverables, I got to sit in on several County Council meetings, participate in a Town Hall meeting with the project team and local residents, and work with the USDA setting up a pilot-scale facility. I created many P&IDs in previous roles, but I never would have imagined working with a county Economic Development group!
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? Why?
Travis Pastrana, the adventure sports and adrenaline junky. It looks like he enjoys life A LOT. He once jumped out of an airplane with no parachute. I’d like to know what it feels like to be truly fearless for a day! I look both ways twice before crossing a one-way street.