The recent issue of California Poly Engineering Advantage, featured MWDG’s Ben Nielsen for his recent success as a river engineer.
The article was fueled by the burgeoning, trending, blossoming, and blooming popularity of river surfing, made increasingly possible by MWDG’s engineers, support by our management team at Merrick & Company and visionary clients who believe in us.
We are exploring is ‘doing more with less,’ and we are absolutely stoked to see the attraction by both experts and curious beginners. This photo was taken at River Run Park just four days after Opening Day: thirty surfers were in line to try it out! We cannot wait until next year…
From the attention we have see this year, it seems we are hitting a sweet spot, addressing a need and doing so with performance that is well beyond what the public has seen before.
A little more about Ben. Cal Poly’s motto is ‘Learn by Doing’ and he reports that other than school, “surfing consumed almost all my free time while at school.” According to Ben’s college roommate Gabe Prusak, “Ben never let surfing interfere with school. He is a low-key Type A. We always had wetsuits hanging up and surf boards hanging around. Surfing was 20-30 minutes away, so Ben was up and out early a few mornings each week, and …was always on time for class. He graduated in the top five.”
As Ben reflects on the path he has taken at this point in his career, “I knew I wanted to do water type engineering but had no idea I could combine surfing with engineering until Rick hired me. When I was still in elementary school, Rick was already designing and researching hydraulic wave design that is still innovative today – his work has and continues to define river wave design. He was insightful enough to send me up to Jackson in 2009 to surf the Lunch Counter wave on the Snake River, and the rest is history.”
Gabe reflects further, “If there was ever a perfect job for Ben, it is this one. He is not going to stop until surfing one’s hometown wave is a recreational option for every community with a river running through it. It’s going to be his legacy.” We are excited that Ben is continuing to learn by doing!