Meet the BSK Staff: Omar Khan, Project Professional II

Get ready to meet Omar, a multi-talented member of the BSK Associates team with a fascinating background! Omar’s journey is as diverse as it is impressive. Join us as we uncover Omar’s story, from his early days in Lodi, California, to his adventures in geology and project management. Discover Omar’s favorite on-the-job moments and learn about his passions outside of work. Join us in celebrating Omar’s unique perspective and invaluable contributions to our team!

Interviewer: Hi Omar! Can you tell me a little about where you are from. Where is your hometown and where did you go to school?

Omar: I was born in a somewhat small village – Barazai – in the northern part of Punjab Province, Pakistan, prior to moving to Lodi, California in 1985 or 1986 (cannot recall exact year as I was less than 10). My mom was born in Lodi before she went overseas to spend some time in Pakistan, where her father was originally from, while her mom was originally from New York with roots going back to Italy. My extended family has roots in Barazai and Lodi (working in agriculture back in the day).

Very few relatives are left over there.  I have been in Lodi since moving to California. With little English that I knew, I was thrown into the lion’s den in elementary school, which was 3rd grade. Probably because I was in that age range. Just imagine someone my age in 1st or 2nd grade 😝. I did have the privilege of leaving class from time to time to attend ESL program, which was fun. After graduating Tokay High School, attended University of the Pacific in Stockton, graduating in 2004 with two BS degrees (one was geology). Mind you, I did not think too much about college after high school nor did I know which direction to go once I got accepted.

Interviewer: How long have you worked for BSK and what do you do for the organization?

Omar: I have been with BSK since the end of September 2018. I started in this industry back in 2005 (feel like an old timer) doing various task. Currently, I consider myself a project manager/proposal gunslinger (as recently titled and probably trademarked)/geologist/ARSO/etc.

Interviewer: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Omar: Definitely do not enjoy the stress that usually comes with this job. Some clients can be very difficult to deal with/demanding, but the feeling of completing a project is a great feeling/sigh of relief. The most joy comes from the everyday interaction with my colleagues (not always about work work work) and perhaps traveling between Tracy, Livermore, and Sacramento offices. It’s a livelier crowd than my previous work environment.

Interviewer: Can you tell us your favorite on the job story?

Omar: A favorite story would be difficult to select since I started working in 2005. I know I can recall plenty of negative stories and the times I have encountered underground utilities. Never fun encountering any utilities, especially pressurized sewer lines. I suppose as a geologist, it was very exciting to finally get to see an actual, active fault zone in an excavation some years ago. I had seen various landslide planes, but never a fault zone. I have been involved in various fault trenches near or along the Hayward Fault (always a grueling task), but never found a fault (great for the Client). I was working on a project just west of Fairfield among the hills. A landslide had occurred, encroaching on a major gas line that ran parallel with Interstate 680 along the hills. Also parallel along this ridge is the active Green Valley Fault Zone. Besides investigating the landslide via continuous borings and trenching for relocating the gas line within the landslide zone, the Client wanted to investigate the overall impact the fault would have on the line. Who would install a major pipeline parallel with and crossing a major fault? After excavating a few trenches at various locations, we got lucky with one that indicated a clear and present danger. It left me amazed and speechless. Only a fellow geologist would understand.

There was another time in San Pablo where we were investigating why the floor was buckling inside a supermarket along San Pablo Dam Road. We ended up excavating a trench behind the store along the toe of the slope. The area originally was hilly and underwent mass grading to create the shopping center and the residential unit atop the slope. The original consultant had mapped a massive slide in the area and during grading had assumed they had repaired the slide, including removing the slide plane. Unfortunately, that was not the case. We found the old slide plane just beneath their drain blanket. They had missed it by a foot or so. As we were pulling out the hydraulic shores, majority of the trench immediately collapsed creating this BOOM sound effect. Left one in shock with increase heartbeat. We backfilled the trench and informed the Client that here are our findings. Good luck going after the previous consultant/contractor. Not much we can do. The liability is too great for such a massive landslide.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for answering all these questions today. Can we leave off by you relaying some fun facts about yourself?

Omar: I tend to not talk too much about myself. People say I’m too humble at times. Perhaps because I’m usually quiet and calm. I enjoy hanging out with friends, dealing with my crazy nieces and nephews (not easy being the only favorite uncle), I’m probably considered a nerd since I love Star Trek (TNG and DS9 over the rest for my fellow Trekkie), go on hikes when possible, keeping up with my landscaping (plenty of roses) and gardening.

Meet the Staff