Dennis Hu

Dennis J. Hu

Director, EHS & Systems Safety Engineering
Ball Aerospace
Why did you join NAEM?
I joined NAEM to engage with a community of EHS and Sustainability (EHSS) professionals and to look for opportunities to collaborate across industries. The available research, data and learning and information sharing events offered by NAEM is valuable to me as an EHSS professional.

What are currently working on?
The top three things we are working on currently are improving our emergency response and business continuity programs, reinvigorating our sustainability and employee engagement efforts, and implementing new pollution prevention programs.

What do you like about your job?
I love helping others solve problems. From an EHS perspective, it's fun looking for ways to help business units achieve their goals while also addressing EHS concerns or requirements. Collaborating with others is what I enjoy most.  Working on neat projects like sending our satellites and instruments into space, to comets and asteroids, or to Pluto or Mars, isn't too bad either.

Has your environmental program received any awards or recognition? If so, what?
Yes, we are a Gold and Charter member of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE, the governing environmental regulatory agency for the state) Environmental Leadership Program. This is a prestigious award for companies in Colorado.

What is your biggest challenge in your current role?
Managing workload versus resources versus expectations.

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of building successful teams, tackling a tough problem together, and I take a lot of pride in developing others and helping them to achieve their career objectives as well. In addition, I am very proud of how the EHS teams I have worked with have been successful in developing strong relationships with both external agencies as well as with internal customers. Collaboration is vital for success.

What advice would you have for someone entering the field today?
Don't ignore working on your communication and collaboration skills. In today's world, your success is heavily dependent on your ability to clearly communicate your message as well as your ability to work with others. Nothing is done in a vacuum and, with technology advances, the world is "smaller" than ever before.

What are the three words your spouse/colleagues/best friends would use to describe you?
Adaptable, collaborative, approachable.

What aspect to the natural world/environment impresses you the most? Why?

Scale! Besides the inherent beauty found in the natural world, I am fascinated by the scale of nature. Not just the large scale, but the small scale as well. I could spend as much time enjoying a mountain range or river valley as I could exploring the minutia of a small insect or details in a leaf or a rock.

What do you like to do during your free time?
I enjoy a few simple things — doing anything with my wife and 2-year old daughter, golf, and enjoying time with friends.

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