Private versus Public Wastewater Career Options: A Webinar to Help You Make an Informed Decision - Live Webinar

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What is a career like at a private wastewater consulting firm? What is a career like at a public wastewater utility? What is it like to switch between the two? If you have asked yourself any of these questions or other related questions recently then this webinar is for YOU! 

CWEA’s Students and Young Professional’s committee proudly presents a lunchtime webinar featuring three speakers who have all made the leap between private industry and public utilities. During this webinar you will learn about these two career paths and what factors to consider when making your own career decisions. Feel free to bring your own questions for an open Q&A with the speakers at the end of the webinar. 

Sami Hunkler (Moderator)

Project Engineer

Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

Sami Hunkler is a Project Engineer for Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. She has been in the Wastewater and Solid Waste Design section for two years. Sami has a B.S. and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the Chair of the Students and Young Professionals Committee for CWEA.

Vidal Cortes, PE

Civil Engineer

Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

Vidal Cortes is a Civil Engineer in the Civil & Mechanical Design Section at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD). He is currently working on the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP) Replacement of Cryogenic Oxygen Plants No. 1 and 2 project to upgrade the JWPCP’s secondary treatment facilities with newer, energy efficient Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) units. In his previous role in the Wastewater Planning Section, he worked with regulators to support recycled water use as part of the San Gabriel River Watershed Project to Reduce River Discharge in Support of Increased Recycled Water Reuse.

Prior to joining the public sector, Vidal was a leader at CH2M where he led environmentally driven projects for a wide range of clients, including the USEPA, Boeing, and Exxon. He also started the Junior and Mid-Level Professional Mentorship Program for the Environmental Division at CH2M’s Southern California Office. Vidal received his MS in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and his BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of California-Irvine. He has been protecting the environment and serving our communities ever since.

Sam Hawkinson

Engineering Consultant

Brown and Caldwell

Sam Hawkinson is an engineering consultant with Brown and Caldwell, serving clients throughout the Bay Area. His role within Brown and Caldwell is both as a design engineer, working on wastewater treatment plant upgrades and rehabilitation, and as an Owner’s Advisor for his clients as they move into the construction phase of their projects. Prior to working at Brown and Caldwell, he was a Civil Engineer with the City of Gresham, Oregon. At the Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sam oversaw multiple construction projects and managed multiple programs, including the Fats Oils and Grease Hauler program – where local waste haulers brought restaurant waste to the plant to be used as biofuel for the City’s cogeneration system – making it a net-zero energy plant.  

Bryan Trussell, P.E., BCEE

Trussell Technologies, Inc.

Bryan Trussell has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Trussell is a registered Civil Engineer in the State of California with more than 18 years of work experience. Bryan worked for 9 years with the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation, before joining Trussell Technologies in 2012. His past work includes bench and pilot testing for the advanced oxidation process at Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant, pilot testing advanced wastewater treatment processes at the Donald C Tillman Water Reclamation Facility and Metropolitan Water District’s Regional Recycled Water program, providing permitting support for several indirect potable reuse projects, and wastewater treatment process optimization at various facilities throughout the Southern California area. 

Mr. Trussell is a member of the Water Environment Federation and is serving as the past chair for the Engineering and Research Committee of the California Water Environment Association.


Private versus Public Wastewater Career Options: A Webinar to Help You Make an Informed Decision
11/09/2021 at 12:00 PM (PST)   |  60 minutes
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