Kenneth S. Price

Heritage Environmental Services LLC
BSCE ’64, MSCE ’66, PhD ’68

In recognition of his many accomplishments in civil engineering, particularly in creating solutions for environmental sustainability

Ken Price can’t describe any one thing that led him to engineering, but his father probably had something to do with it. “He was a tradesman, a tool and die maker, and an amateur carpenter and mason,” Price recalls. “We built our own house. And he was always describing how he made things at Allison’s aircraft engine plant in Indianapolis.”

Price chose civil engineering upon the advice of his cousin, also a Purdue engineer, who told him it would offer a variety of opportunities. Price went on to prove his cousin correct, working in several positions, including as a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In 1980, Price went to work for Heritage Environmental Services Inc., for which he is currently chairman. Heritage, the largest privately held environmental solutions company in North America, is committed to researching innovative methods focused on sustainability, dedicating its research to the reuse and recycling of hazardous and non-hazardous by-products.

Since Price’s arrival in 1980, the company has helped enhance sustainability for clients in the printed circuit board industry, the parts washer service industry, consumer products, road building, integrated steel, and mini-mill steel recycling, creating several new companies in the process.

“About 10 years ago, we spun out a separate company that is essentially a consultant on how to maximize the reuse and recycling of by-products from our customers’ manufacturing plants,” Price says. “We like to sign enterprise-wide contracts that cover all of a customer’s plants throughout North America. Once we identify what should be done, we implement the solutions by directly providing or buying the needed goods and services from the vendor on behalf of the customer. And finally, we wrap that all up in a database that documents our customer’s sustainability progress for the important by-product segment.”

A respected researcher, Price has published a number of technical articles in professional journals. He and his team have developed myriad patents, including one for a process that manufactures three products from electric arc furnace dust, the largest listed hazardous waste in the United States. Price named the process PIZO, referring to the two primary products, pig iron and zinc oxide. The process is cost effective for the waste generator and also recovers these valuable commodities in a more pure form using a single-step method with a reduced carbon footprint. The first plant utilizing this technology was built in a joint venture with Nucor in 2009 and serves two Nucor steel mills in Blytheville, Arkansas.

Continuing his father’s legacy, Price now has his own stories about making things. “I have always enjoyed the creative part of engineering the most,” Price says. “Whether it is thinking of a new approach to solve a technical problem, or a new business model for delivering an engineering service, or the best way to solidify a business relationship, I get the most satisfaction from creating something new.”

Career Highlights

Current Chairman, Heritage Environmental Services LLC
2003–2006 President, Chairman, CEO, Heritage Environmental Services LLC
2001–2003 Chairman, Heritage Environmental Services LLC
1980–2001 President, Heritage Environmental Services LLC
1973–1980 Executive Vice President, Clark Dietz Engineers Inc.
1970–1973 Research Engineer, Union Carbide Corporation, Chemicals and Plastics Division, South Charleston Technical Center
1968–1970 Sanitary Engineer, U.S. Army Medical Service Corp.
1968 PhD, Purdue University
1966 MSCE, Purdue University
1964 BSCE, Purdue University