Drinking Water Expert Dr. Andrea R.H. Cheng Joins CDM Smith

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Drinking Water Expert Dr. Andrea R.H. Cheng Joins CDM Smith
May 10, 2024

CHICAGO — CDM Smith is excited to welcome Andrea R.H. Cheng, Ph.D., PE, as a principal and management specialist. Joining with 22 years of industry experience, Cheng is an expert in drinking water, special­iz­ing in water quality, lead corrosion and lead service line replacement (LSLR), activated carbon adsorption, water meters and water and sewer utility management with a focus on the digi­ti­za­tion of business processes. In her new role, Cheng will help our clients address the gener­a­tional challenge of lead in drinking water.  

Cheng joins the firm after serving the City of Chicago as the Commis­sioner for the Department of Water Management (DWM). In that role, Cheng managed two of the world’s largest conven­tional water purifi­ca­tion plants, 2,100 MGD combined, and was responsible for over 4,300 miles of water main and the faucets of 5.3 million people in Chicago. Cheng managed the development of Chicago’s extensive lead sampling program, the largest voluntary lead sampling program in the U.S. with 110,000 sampling kits mailed since 2016. Of the multiple lead service line replacement (LSLR) programs developed, the Equity LSLR program was Cheng’s proudest accom­plish­ment. The program required extensive resident outreach, focused entirely on low-income homeowners with priority given to those with young children and used Community Development Block Grant funding, a relatively unusual funding source for LSLR work. 

Cheng has a bachelor’s in civil (envi­ron­men­tal) engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana−Champaign and both a master’s and a PhD in civil (envi­ron­men­tal) engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2022, Cheng was recognized by the University of Texas at Austin Department of Civil, Archi­tec­tural, and Envi­ron­men­tal Engineering by becoming a member of their Academy of Distin­guished Alumni.

“I love a good challenge," said Cheng, "and CDM Smith will allow me to continue to focus on solving 'impossible' water challenges.”

CDM Smith is a privately owned engineering and construc­tion firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, trans­porta­tion, energy, and facilities. Passionate about our work and invested in each other, we are inspired to think and driven to solve the world’s envi­ron­men­tal and infra­struc­ture challenges.


Portrait of Andrea Cheng Portrait of Andrea Cheng
I love a good challenge and CDM Smith will allow me to continue to focus on solving “impossible” water challenges.