It’s Water Professionals Appreciation Week and the City of Livermore is celebrating by shining a spotlight on some of the hardworking staff who make sure our community has safe and reliable water, wastewater, and recycled water. Today’s spotlight is on Associate Civil Engineer Farnoush Levers.
Only one in ten civil engineers are women, but that statistic did not deter Farnoush Levers from being drawn to the field. After completing her civil engineering degree at UC Davis, Levers began her professional career in land development. However, she quickly transitioned into the water/wastewater industry after encouragement from a colleague already employed in the field. “Utilities are fascinating and complex. When you work in utilities, you can do a little bit of everything and you get to see your projects go from paper to reality. That was a major motivator for me to switch over to this field,” Levers explained.
After 10 years in private construction, Levers moved into the public sector and eventually joined the City of Livermore as an Associate Civil Engineer in 2019. Today, she works under the Capital Improvements Section, where she leads projects throughout Livermore from the feasibility/design phase all the way through construction completion.
After transitioning to the public sector, Levers found career satisfaction in being able to help individual residents and establish personal relationships with them. In 2018 while Levers was working for the City of Thousand Oaks, the Woolsey and Hills Fires swept through the area, destroying more than 1,500 structures. In the aftermath of the fires, residents turned to their local public agencies for support. “Helping Thousand Oaks residents recover after the fire was one of the most rewarding projects of my career. I worked closely with homeowners to help rebuild their damaged or destroyed homes, and by the end I could say that I had made 50 close friends,” Levers explained.
Levers hopes that younger generations will be introduced to the engineering field as early as possible through hands-on internships, job shadowing, and wastewater treatment plant tours. This is especially important now because 30% of water and wastewater workers in the United States expected to retire in the next ten years. If you want to learn more about opportunities in the water and wastewater field, visit cawaterjobs.org for details on career paths, job openings, and scholarship opportunities.