Celebration of Life | Brian S. Miller | 1970 – 2020

Words can hardly account for the deep hole in our collective hearts. The loss of someone like Brian Miller exceeds the capacity of any language, really, to describe the void.

We owe it to not only Brian but to his family and anyone who knew him, to try, anyway. After all, the man Brian was and the life he lived are worth celebrating.

Because, while Brian’s death leaves us unmoored, the memory of his spirit — his love for life, family, community and constant personal improvement — carries us forward with inspiration on how to live a meaningful, impactful life. Maybe, just maybe, we can reach the standard he set for all of us.

Words can do that justice.

Words can certainly showcase Brian’s impeccable character. His impact on those around him was unmistakable. An infectious positivity. An almost impossible level of integrity. Together, these qualities lit the spaces that people shared with him while also acting as his North Star.

Brian loved his community because he loved his family. To Brian, the two were part and parcel; not mutually exclusive even in the slightest. One’s family is the most intimate iteration of community, and therefore, well, community is family. That is to say, Brian exemplified a rarefied communitarianism, with seemingly endless ambition to do as much good as he could.

He saw in the people whose lives he impacted through his community involvement and professional work, his mother, father, daughter and two brothers who survive him today.

Brian exuded every aspect of our core values. From the beginning of his time with CEM nearly five years ago, we knew Brian embodied our beliefs, and we were thrilled that he wanted to join our team.

In 2015, he joined the CEM family as a senior engineer, focusing his talents on stream restoration and stabilization projects within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Embracing CEM’s culture of environmental stewardship, he provided great insight and perspective, ensuring valuable practical solutions to a great number of projects.

Brian served as the vanguard of many of our most important and celebrated environmental management projects designed to safeguard the community he loved. He believed in the power of his projects to produce a real impact on people’s lives.

Exemplifying this, he spearheaded a grant-funded water quality improvement project at a high school in Cecil County, Maryland, that restored two lengths of streams, ultimately earning the project an Award of Merit for the County Engineers Association of Maryland.

He played a leading role in our Moores Branch Stream Restoration Design in Green Spring, Maryland. The project restored 4,500 linear feet of degraded stream channel from more than 100 years of operations at the former Green Spring Quarry. This impressive project improved downstream fish habitat, eliminated stream blockages, restored flooding of adjacent properties and reduced sediment loads to the stream.

Brian made our work better. His contributions to our team and to the communities we serve were invaluable, elevated all of us at CEM to new heights and made us better scientists, engineers and, more importantly, better people.

Perhaps Brian’s greatest gift in the workplace was his ability to mentor young engineers. By sharing his lessons learned in a straightforward, patient, and often humorous way, he was able to teach complex concepts to junior staff and help them further develop their talents. Brian took great joy in seeing the growth of these young professionals, enjoying a level of parental pride as they began realizing their own successes.

In other words, Brian’s legacy will live on. Both the tangible and intangible work he loved so much and in which he took so much pride has left positive, indelible marks across Maryland and beyond.

Brian’s commitment to service extended to the defense of this great country. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy, with wartime duty during the first Gulf War. Serving on a ship in the Mediterranean, he recalled many challenging days, including those spent looking for enemy mines. Brian’s selfless commitment to causes larger than himself, reinforced during his military years, was on display constantly throughout his life.

Natural curiosity and problem-solving expertise served him well during his career in civil engineering. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he frequently assumed a senior technical role on large projects for various firms including HDR, URS and AECOM. These included the Hoover Dam Bypass in Nevada, drainage design projects for DelDOT in Middletown, Delaware, and the stabilization and restoration of miles of streams for WSSC in the Anacostia Watershed in Montgomery County, Maryland.

His ability to find great joy in simple activities speaks to the nature of his soul. Growing up in central Pennsylvania, Brian was naturally fond of all things outdoors. He enjoyed hunting with his family, spending time at his parent’s seasonal campsite, hiking challenging trails like Spike Buck near Little Pine Creek, or kayaking with friends along the placid waters of Codorus State Park. If there was a sunny day and some free time, you could certainly find him somewhere outside enjoying the beauty and wonders of nature.

Brian’s love of the outdoors often meshed with his love and concern for others, once embarking on a three-day bike ride to raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer research.

Brian is survived by his mother, Linda, father, John, his brothers Duane and Mike and his daughter, Liz. Please consider joining us in donating to the American Cancer Society (https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate/memorial-giving.html) in lieu of flowers.

CEM, along with Brian’s family, will hold a Celebration of Life to honor his life and legacy as soon as it is safe to do so. Details of Brian’s Celebration of Life will be forthcoming and announced via CEM social media and our website, www.cemscience.com. In the meantime, to help us remember Brian, we encourage you to send photos and stories you wish to share. Please email them to info@cemscience.com.

CEM earns honors from the County Engineering Association of Maryland

CEM is the the proud recipient of the Award of Merit for the North East High School Stormwater and Stream Restoration project. We thank the County Engineers Association of Maryland for giving us the opportunity to provide cost-effective solutions that demonstrate innovative engineering and construction in our local community.

“The CEM Way” street sign installed in downtown Bel Air

Placed in the heart of downtown Bel Air, “The CEM Way” street sign has been installed and is located by the Bel Air Branch of Harford County Public Library and Town Hall for the duration of 2019. CEM is honored to hold this place in our community as a way to benefit education programs within Harford County, and reflects our core values of clarity, integrity, community and opportunity.


In order to benefit the community, CEM shares its success through our charitable giving plan. By 2025, CEM will have shared $1 million with a variety of charities that work towards one common goal: improving humanity. The selected charities also have significance to CEM and our employees. The new decade started off strong – as of January 2020, we have reached 63% of our goal.

For more information on our charitable giving plan and CEM grant recipients, click here.

CEM Employee recognized by BARCS for her commitment to fostering animals

The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) recently featured CEM’s Environmental Scientist Erin Saul in their 2018 newsletter for her dedication to fostering homeless animals. Erin has served as a BARCS volunteer for six years, caring for older animals, or those with medical, physical or behavioral challenges before they find their forever homes.

CEM is proud of Erin’s compassion for her community and love for four-legged friends! Read the full article in the BARCS newsletter here

CEM named key partner in Deepwater Wind’s Skipjack Wind Farm development effort

(Image courtesy of Deepwater Wind)

Deepwater Wind, America’s leading offshore wind developer, recently selected CEM to help accelerate the development of the Skipjack Wind Farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. CEM will support permitting efforts locally and statewide, while also conducts cutting-edge coastal habitat surveys.

This initiative seeks to launch Maryland’s offshore wind industry while offering the area clean and cost-effective energy. To find out more about the project and CEM’s involvement, click here.

Employee Spotlight of the Week

Get to know Alicia Kenny in this week’s Employee Spotlight and join us in celebrating her five year anniversary with CEM!

Favorite part of working at CEM: “The people! The times I have come to the office or attended first aid training the other CEM employees have always been very friendly and inclusive.”

Best experience at CEM: “While working for CEM, I have had the opportunity to be involved in several really interesting projects, including work for several divisions within SHA as well as the Governor’s press events.”

Fun fact about Alicia: “In my free time I like to work with animals as a volunteer at the Maryland SPCA.”

Employee Spotlight of the Week

Get to know Dan Danko in this week’s Employee Spotlight and join us in celebrating his five year anniversary with CEM!

Favorite part of working at CEM: “My friendly coworkers and the work/life balance.”
Best experience at CEM: “Gaining invaluable experiences in my field.”
Fun fact about Dan: “I’m preparing for my first marathon (Baltimore Marathon) in October!”

Employee Spotlight of the Week

This week, get to know Jeffrey Holle!

First started at CEM: July 2017

Favorite part of working at CEM: The team atmosphere of everyone working together.
Best experience during his time at CEM: The best experience has been working with such helpful team members.


Join us in welcoming our newest GIS team member, Lucas Roy!

Service area: GIS

First started at CEM: July 2017

Favorite experience at CEM: “I’ve enjoyed getting invited to CEM First Fridays and various other social events”

Fun fact: “I am currently training for my first triathlon.”