Interview with Pedram Zohrevand: CEO of CES4

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Interview with Pedram Zohrevand: CEO of CES4

Pedram Zohrevand is the CEO of CES4, a prominent engineering consultant based in Los Angeles and Miami. Zohrevand has research interests in the advanced use of concrete products for large-scale projects. He has 20 years of experience in the engineering industry and is a 2012 graduate of Florida International University with a Ph.D. in the discipline.

Zohrevand built his consulting firm around the principles of creative engineering and inventive problem-solving through an innovative use of resources. He is dedicated to solving his clients’ problems in new and exciting ways. He splits his time between Los Angeles and Miami.

Hello Pedram, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Pedram Zohrevand. I am the CEO of CES4, an engineering consulting firm with locations in Miami and Los Angeles. My company holds contracts with many large firms and government agencies. We are dedicated to providing a quality service to our clients and to ensuring the best possible results for their projects.

I started consulting just after graduating from college, and I went back to school for my Ph.D. at Florida International University in 2012. I have been a research assistant professor as well.

What are your focus areas and why?

My personal specialty is structural engineering and concrete. I find that concrete is one of the most versatile, yet overlooked materials in the construction world. My research and publications have been focused on the advanced use of concrete in today’s commercial and industrial building designs.

How would you describe “CES4” in a few words?

The concept of CES4 is easily explained. The acronym stands for Creative Engineering, Smart Solutions, and Sustainable Systems. These are three pillars of our business. When we approach a new project, these are the qualities we want to bring to our work.

Where did your passion for engineering come from?

My passion for engineering started at a young age. When I was still in high school, I became interested in how engineering worked. I studied as much math and physical science as I could to help prepare me for my college major. My love of engineering has continued to grow through the present day as I discover new aspects of the field. My view is that we are never done learning and that we have to bring our best to our work every day.

What sparked your interest in consulting?

I had an idea for a consulting business while I was still in college. I knew that I had a great deal of knowledge to share with business owners and builders, as well as architects. Consulting appealed to me because problem-solving is one of my favorite ways to exercise my mind. I truly enjoy getting my hands on a new problem and working with my staff to find the best possible solution. Consulting means that I am never bored.

What has been the greatest challenge you have had to overcome?

Our business had a few difficult years when we were first starting out. At first, it was just me, but then I hired a few more helpers. We had a financially difficult year toward the beginning of our business, and I almost had to lay off some of my valued staff. Fortunately, we got a large contract which enabled us to stay in one piece.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned?

The greatest lesson I have learned is that everyone is fighting their own battle. When you are in consulting, it pays to be able to step back and look at a situation in a different light. Perhaps the person you are working with is not purely being obstinate; perhaps they are working with some extenuating circumstances that you have not been aware of. It is important to keep the human dimension in a business, even a data-driven occupation like engineering.

What has been your greatest success story?

My greatest success story is coming up from nothing and building a successful consulting business. I am a self-made man, and I did not have very many resources when I first started out. I was able to build CES4 from the ground up based on carefully drawn-up principles. CES4 has taken on a life of its own, but I am still intimately involved in its management as well as the day-to-day business of working with our clients. I am proud of all of my business accomplishments.

What is your favorite city or location to work in?

It’s hard to say. I love both Miami and Los Angeles. They are very different cities with different attitudes toward life. Miami has a certain sense of connection with nature that I feel is missing in Los Angeles.

The beach is the soul of Miami. People’s ingenuity is the soul of Los Angeles. The whole city comes together to celebrate creative work like the arts. There is also a significant dedication to engineering as a profession. There are many large engineering firms in LA and it is exciting to be part of their community.

What do you do when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I like to read and relax. I love to go to new restaurants and spend time unwinding with my friends. I also feel that it is important to stay in shape. I have a workout routine.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I would like the engineering community to associate my name with success. I would also like to encourage all young students to consider studying engineering. It has been portrayed as a boring profession in the media, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are always new challenges, and it can be exciting to learn and to apply your knowledge to a problem. Students should study plenty of STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and be prepared for a rigorous college career.