Congratulations to Hannah Delos Reyes … the Section’s August Spotlight Member. While Hannah has been a member of the Association for a brief time, she has made an impact. She has been active in the Student Affairs Committee, serving as event coordinator for the Student Filter Competition. And, she was an active participant in the Section’s first ICE Challenge for team ICE ICE Baby. Hannah works full time at Natural Systems Utilities (NSU) and continues her education at Rutgers University pursuing her Master’s in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering.
Why did you decide to go into the field of water/wastewater?
I was first exposed to water when I worked as a research assistant in an environmental engineering lab at Rutgers after my freshman year. You can say that’s when I got my feet wet in this field.
Everyone knows that there are environmental problems but working in the lab opened my eyes to the severity of it and how I can be part of the solution. I wanted to work in a field where I could make a real difference. Passion about water and our environment grew within - it was an easy decision to make.
How did you become a volunteer for AWWA? What motivates you to be active in the Section?
I was a member of the Rutgers student chapter and when the opportunity arose, I wanted to continue to be involved as a professional. I am motivated to volunteer and be active in the Section as I want this amazing community of professionals to continue growing. Given how paramount water is to our lives, we all have a responsibility to continue to learn as well as help guide those who are new to the industry.
How long have you been an AWWA member and what have you gotten from your membership?
I have been a member of AWWA since 2016 and really enjoy being a part of such a valuable organization. My membership provides me a direct way to stay up to date with the latest industry news and advances in technology. I enjoy AWWA’s exceptional networking events and have greatly benefited from meeting others within the industry. I met my “Buddy”, Andrea at my first NJ Annual Conference in 2017. She helped me navigate my way around the conference and introduced me to other members I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Hobbies and outside interests?
I wish I could say I like traveling and working out but in reality, I like watching shows on Netflix. I also like eating and cooking.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Whether it is failing infrastructure, unpredictable weather patterns, increases in population, or even energy extraction techniques, we are in an extreme water crisis and it is serious. Water is both essential to life and the continued health of our planet. Having the opportunity to work toward overcoming this crisis and creating actual solutions is not only what drives me, but it also encourages me. Our future will remain uncertain as long as sustainable systems are not employed. Fearing this, I chose to work for a company that is creating solutions today. At NSU, I have the opportunity to design water reuse and wastewater systems. It is so rewarding to know that I am helping our clients achieve true water security through my work with these onsite systems. I hope that future generations will follow our lead and carry the baton forward until everyone has access to clean water.