The Nitty Gritty

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Seven Questions for Duane Bents, P.E.

Duane Bents, P.E.
Duane Bents, P.E.

Duane Bents, P.E. was recently hired by Uretek Mid-Atlantic as Senior Engineer/Technical Sales Representative for southern North Carolina and South Carolina. In his new role, Bents will function as a liaison between Uretek clients and staff, disseminating information about the company’s services and developing lasting, collaborative relationships.

Bents brings nearly 15 years of experience as a Geotechnical Project Engineer and Manager to the sales department. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering and his M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Here are seven questions for the new addition to Team Uretek.

You spent 12 years at S&ME with your primary focus being Geotechnical Consulting and now you’re transitioning into business development at Uretek Mid-Atlantic. What made you shift gears into selling geotechnical contracting services for Uretek?

As a consultant, I’ve always preached “value.”  Understand what your client views as valuable and execute with that virtue being paramount.  The services currently offered and those that will be offered by Uretek Mid-Atlantic are tremendously valuable to our clients.  I am excited to bring this technical value to existing and new relationships with owners, designers, consultants, construction managers, and general contractors

If any, what challenges do you foresee in your new role?

Uretek Mid-Atlantic has grown tremendously over the past 4 years, previously focused on the Uretek High-Density Polyurethane Resin and now offering several other geotechnical foundation/earth retention solutions.  Service growth is usually challenged by demonstrating technical excellence in those growth areas while staying focused on those services/solutions that made you successful.  After working with our designers and operations staff, this “challenge” is perception and not reality.  Our staff is extremely capable and does great work!

Is there any aspect of your new position that you are particularly excited about undertaking?

I am excited about growing with Uretek Mid-Atlantic, and demonstrating that we are a technically excellent geotechnical contractor that offers unique solutions and values relationships.

What do you think your past experience will bring to your new role as Technical Sales Representative?

I had great success during my time at S&ME, and owe that success to building great relationships, always focusing on understanding/bringing value to my clients, and surrounding myself with great people.  This recipe brings success wherever you may be.  I also believe my technical background and experience building service lines will closely align with facing those “challenges” and promoting growth.

What skills do you believe are most important in developing valuable business relationships? Do these skills vary when considering different markets?

Trust and understanding what “value” means to your client.  Value may be responsiveness, technical excellence, or even price.  While I have no doubt that the definition of value varies across markets, just as it does across clients or even individual projects, those skills/virtues are constant.

What are your personal hobbies or interests? Do any influence your perspective on your job?

Kids.  Is there time for hobbies with kids?  Both of my children are extremely involved in soccer, with my daughter playing year round.  I enjoy watching both of them develop on and off the field.  I still play as well, playing competitively with a few others in the industry every week.  During the summers, we relax a bit by spending most of our time on Lake Wylie.

I do continue to stay active with ASCE (currently serving as the NC Section Past President), a recently formed Geotechnical Group in Charlotte, and assist a University colleague currently teaching at UNC Charlotte with research.  Leadership skills and industry connections that come with these organizations are critical to professional development.

What do you hope to accomplish while working at Uretek?

Growth… business and professional.  I believe that Uretek Mid Atlantic will be a full service geotechnical contractor offering existing and new foundation, earth retention, and ground improvement technologies that is focused on great technical service and relationships.

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