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    SWD Environmental PM Cerio attributes farm life for instilled environmental stewardship values

    SWD Environmental PM Cerio attributes farm life for instilled environmental stewardship values

    Photo By Edward Rivera | Frank Cerio, a Southwestern Division Environmental Program Manager shares highlights...... read more read more



    Story by Edward Rivera 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Southwestern Division

    Nowadays superheroes are everywhere, part of today’s pop culture. Many focused on keeping the planet safe from destruction either from a villain or other force. For Frank Cerio, a Southwestern Division Environmental Program Manager, inspiration came from the early 1990’s environmental superhero, Captain Planet.

    The elemental warrior was summoned by the combined powers of a diverse team of “Planeteers” to defend earth from pollution.

    “I wanted to be Captain Planet. Obviously without the green hair, blue skin and red spandex,” said the Canastota, N.Y. native. “All joking aside, growing up on a farm really instilled a sense of environmental stewardship through conservation, sustainability and restoration in me.”
    According to Cerio, the small rural community of Canastota is known for three things, “the International Boxing Hall of Fame, snow and onions.”
    And like most kids, to escape chores, he found sports and clubs, ranging from football to chess club to participate in.

    While earning his Bachelor of Science Degrees in Biochemistry and Polymer Chemistry from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2010, Cerio entered the workforce in pharmaceuticals, mainly the development of anti-viral compounds. Shortly after completing his undergraduate degrees, he transitioned into environmental remediation of hazardous chemicals.

    Later he would work for a private company as their director of research and development. While at the company Cerio would earn his Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University.

    “While working for this company I attended graduate school full-time and produced a master’s thesis and dissertation titled, ‘Mercury as a Global Pollutant: Sources, Pathways, and Effects,’ published in Science & Technology in 2013,” said Cerio.

    Cerio explained the compounds and products they developed were eco-friendly water treatment compounds, cleaning agents, industrial surfactants and adhesives. In May 2018 he received a patent (U.S. # 9957174) for “Methods and Compositions for Removing Phosphates from Water.”

    In 2016 Cerio would begin his Federal career as a civil engineer intern with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District. He worked on civil works, National Environmental Policy Act and dredging, Base Realignment and Closure, Superfund and Formerly Used Defense Site projects.

    “I was able to participate in an Engineer Research and Development Center University developmental assignment in 2018 researching Per and Poly Fluorinated Alkylated Substances emerging contaminants and harmful algal blooms,” he said

    According to Cerio, after the developmental assignment he worked solely on environmental program projects with majority of the focus directed at the FUDS program on projects in the Carolinas. “I was the lead project engineer/technical manager for subsurface remediation for complex groundwater sites in the Carolinas at Charlotte Army Missile Plant and Donaldson Air Force Base.”

    In 2019, Cerio transferred to the Savannah District becoming the FUDS Project Manager for projects in Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition to FUDs he was the Regional Program Manager for AEC-PFAS work being conducted at the 19 Installations in the USACE South Atlantic Division. But his desire to return to his previous types of work beckoned and brought him to SWD.

    “I wanted to get back to managing superfund, BRAC and Interagency and International Services projects, so my current position was a fantastic opportunity to fulfill all of my professional desires and contribute to the ever growing USACE Environmental Program.”

    Cerio says he’s fortunate in his professional career in both Federal and the private sector to be surrounded by highly skilled, extremely intelligent peers, mentors and team-members who did not mind teaching him. “I have been very fortunate to be able to learn from SWD’s highly knowledgeable professionals.”

    Outside of work Cerio enjoys time with his wife, children and dogs. “I’ve come to realize it really doesn’t matter what the end point of the destination is, the journey to get to the end point is the best part. Any time I get to spend with my wife, children and dogs is time well spent.”



    Date Taken: 04.29.2021
    Date Posted: 04.29.2021 13:07
    Story ID: 395147
    Location: DALLAS, TX, US 
    Hometown: CANASTOTA, NY, US
    Hometown: SYRACUSE, NY, US

    Web Views: 165
    Downloads: 0