Alumni Profile: Ransford Addei (Q3)

Interviewed by: Sophia Wu (Q18)

Ransford Addei, Cohort 3

1)      Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Ghana, West Africa. I migrated to the United States in 1992 at the age of 15 to be with my parents and also pursue my education. I graduated from High Point High School, Beltsville, MD in 1996. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering (2001) and a Master of Engineering Degree in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering (2011), both from the University of Maryland at College Park. I work full-time at KCI Technologies, Inc. as a Project Manager within the Geotechnical Engineering Practice. I have worked on numerous civil engineering projects in Maryland. Some of my projects include the University of Maryland Football Practice Fields, MD 355 Bridge at Montrose Road (Rockville), MD-I70 Welcome Center (Frederick) and University of Maryland New Prince Frederick Hall. In addition, I work part-time as a US Army Reservist with the US Army Corps of Engineers. I am married to my beautiful wife, Linda and we have two children, Joshua and Joseph (4 and 2 years old, respectively). I enjoy playing soccer, ping-pong, basketball and watching sports on TV. My family and I currently live in the City of Laurel, Prince George’s County, MD.


2)  I understand that you are currently serving in Afghanistan as a part of the US Army Reserve. How has being a part of the QUEST Program helped you prepare for this career path?

One of the key skills I learned as a QUEST student is teamwork. I remember for my class capstone project, my QUEST team was tasked to work for a company called ARINC located in Annapolis, MD. The company manufactures airplane modification kits. Our task was to examine the company’s manufacturing process from the receipt of work order from the client to the acquisition of bill of materials to the manufacturing and final inspections of the parts, and provide recommendations to improve efficiency. This required teamwork and my QUEST team worked hard as a team to accomplish the task successfully. As the officer-in-charge of a team of soldiers and airmen, I rely heavily on the teamwork skills I developed as a QUEST student to accomplish my mission. My team is tasked to advise and train Afghanistan National Army Engineers to operate, maintain and sustain the facilities at their bases.  This mission requires working as a team with the Afghans to be successful.


3)    If you were to go back in time and retake a QUEST class, which one would it be and why?

I would retake “Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Quality”. This was an interesting class. My work in Afghanistan involves working with NATO (Coalition) forces from different countries. A refresher course on cross-cultural perspectives on quality would enhance my working relationship with Coalition forces.


4)      What is your favorite QUEST memory? 

My favorite QUEST memory is the horseback ride at Camp Horizons in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  It was my first horseback ride and I will never forget that.


5)      What advice would you give current QUEST students?

My advice to current QUEST students is first of all, to put God first in everything. Second, don’t be afraid to take risks. Third, set goals and work hard to achieve those goals. When you fail at something, it is not the end of the world. Learn from your mistakes and keep trying until you get it right. Remember, engineers and businessmen and businesswomen for that matter, are not paid to say “I don’t know”. Work on your problem-solving skills. You will be surprised how much you know. GO QUEST!


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