Recognizing an “exemplary entrepreneur, visionary, advocate.”
Celena Shepherd, Communications
June 08, 2023
Olsson’s Chidambaram Gnanasambanthan, who goes by CG, enjoys his morning routine. He walks around the office to greet everyone, chat, and laugh for a few minutes before starting work.
When CG opened his own engineering firm in 1995, he strived to cultivate a people-first, family-like work environment. Nearly three decades later he’s still doing his “morning ritual” and sees it as an important part of maintaining the workplace culture he envisioned. In 2021, Olsson acquired the firm CG created, Premier Engineering Corporation in Chandler, Arizona.
CG has built an impressive career, advocates for engineering initiatives, and gives back to his community. CG’s alma mater, Arizona State University (ASU), has described him as an “exemplary entrepreneur,” a “visionary,” and an “advocate.”
Recently, ASU inducted CG and four others into the School of Sustainable Engineering and The Built Environment’s (SSEBE) Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Inductees are selected for their commitment to service, their profession, their communities, and the next generation. Check out what CG had to say about his ASU induction and his passion for engineering:
Q: How do you feel being a part of ASU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni?
It was a pleasant surprise. I never expected this recognition but will always cherish this award. When I was told I was one of the year’s distinguished alumni for the SSEBE, I was speechless at first. After the news sunk in, I felt humbled, honored, and happy all at the same time.
Q: What does workplace culture mean to you?
I believe that regular personal and professional interactions between colleagues result in a trustworthy, supportive, and positive work experience. I enjoy my morning ritual of going around the office to greet everyone, chat and laugh with them for a few minutes before I start my work. It is equally important to have an unwavering commitment to top-notch quality services to our clients. I am truly impressed by the way Olsson has grown so rapidly and successfully maintains a people-first culture.
Q: What types of community involvement do you enjoy?
I enjoy advocating for the engineering community through my involvement with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Arizona. Through ACEC, I get to work with the local and state governments to promote engineering initiatives that support our communities, which is very rewarding. For 10 years, I taught entrepreneurship to professional engineers through an ACEC program to help them develop as leaders, which was very fun. I also enjoy volunteering at student outreach events and guest lectures to engineering students.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring engineers?
My advice to aspiring engineers is to dream big! Engineering is a field that can take you down so many exciting paths once you’ve discovered your passion. I recommend reaching out to mentors who can help you both professionally and personally. As you start your career, take pride in your work, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Professor Ram Pendyala (left), director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at ASU, presents the accolade to Olsson's Chidambaram Gnanasambanthan. Photo courtesy of ASU.