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Rising Water Star Jihyon Im Receives NEWWA Volunteer of the Year Award

December 22, 2017

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — CDM Smith is pleased to announce that drinking water engineer Jihyon (Ji) Im has recently been named Volunteer of the Year by the New England Water Works Association (NEWWA). The award, which recognizes a NEWWA member who has demonstrated outstanding service that goes above and beyond the expectations of the association and its committees, was presented at the NEWWA monthly meeting on December 21, 2017.

Im says her passion for environmental engineering began at the University of New Hampshire, where she gained hands-on research and project experience with both the fundamental and practical aspects of the field. From performing water treatment research in the lab to working on a project that brought clean water to an elementary school of 1,200 students in the Dominican Republic, Im learned the value of water and the important role that engineers play in protecting public health. Her professional experience at CDM Smith has continued to provide lasting service to communities grappling with groundwater contamination and water treatment optimization. 

“I was lucky enough to have learned early in my academic career that the core of environmental engineering is helping people. When you imagine a job that “helps people,” it is easy to think of a doctor, a teacher, or a social worker. Not many people think of engineers, but that’s what we do every day,” says Im. “I get to help clients deliver safe water to their customers, solve water quality issues, and plan for the future of their communities, all while collaborating with some of the brightest engineers in the field.” 

In addition to her work in the drinking water sector, Im is an active volunteer in several industry organizations. For the past several years, Im has been selected to serve on the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Young Professionals Committee, where she advocates for active engagement among young professionals and students within local and national AWWA chapters. And as founder and chair of NEWWA’s University Outreach Committee, Im helps college students make meaningful professional connections and forge careers in the water industry—a mission she says has helped her become a better engineer and more effective leader. In the future, she hopes to build success and sustainability for the committees she currently serves.

“Young professionals bring so much to the table as volunteers: energy, fresh perspectives, creative ideas, initiative, and passion,” says Im. “My committee work started from me wanting to help other students get to know the water industry the way I did. I followed my passion of helping others and am privileged to be able to give back to an industry that has such a large impact on the everyday lives of people all over the world.”

NEWWA is a nonprofit, independent, member-driven organization dedicated to serving the region’s water works professionals and the public interest. It is the oldest and most active regional water works association in the United States. For more than a century, NEWWA has worked to improve and sustain public water supplies, protect public health and safety, and advance the water supply profession.

CDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service engineering and construction firm, we deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.