Atkins senior engineer Youvrani Thimmegowda MCIWEM C.WEM became a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager earlier this year.
Below we learn more about Thimmegowda's career, what CIWEM Chartership means to them and their advice to anyone considering applying.
Fifteen years in wastewater, stormwater and rainwater systems design
BEng in Environmental Engineering, Visvesvaraya Technological University
What's your day to day job role?
I am a Senior Engineer and lead the WelshWater Storm Overflow Assessment Framework (SOAF) from India. My day-to-day activities include providing technical support, evaluating root cause analysis of overflow, reviewing, and providing technical solutions to overflow issues whilst keeping track of project budgets. I also spend time interacting with my team to find creative solutions to projects I am working on.
I lend my support in preparing effort estimates for mini-bids. As the team is growing and setting goals for the upcoming year it becomes imperative to recruit more staff. I am involved in the recruitment process to cater for the growing resource demand on the team.
Wellbeing of my teammates is as important to me as project deliverables. During the pandemic, since we have been working from home, it is harder to notice if someone is struggling. I conduct wellbeing sessions, which is a space for everyone to share and talk about their concerns.
What inspired you towards a career in this sector?
My passion for water and the environment grew during my childhood. My dad worked as chief officer in the Municipal Office and occasionally he took me to water treatment plants. I was mesmerised with all of the processes. I always wanted to make the world a better place to live, and this is the sector I believe which aligns with my passion. Aristotle says "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work".
During my early career I worked on water resource management and solid waste management. Interacting with local communities, students and farmers I realised that I could do wonders with incorporating sustainable solutions like rainwater harvesting and bioreactors. And, as I moved to the corporate world, I gained a wider perspective of water and the environment.
What is the most exciting part of your career?
My career brings together two things which I love to do: making the world a better place to live and interacting with people.
As an environmental engineer, I work on projects which get to the root cause and mitigate issues like flooding and storm overflows. The challenge is deciding on the most sustainable and cost beneficial option. Another major challenge is incorporating climate change into our work, whilst reducing carbon emissions and improving ecosystem and public health.
I love interacting with people and support junior staff with career development. I enjoy identifying their strengths and helping them to maximise their potential.
What is the greatest challenge the sector is facing?
Firstly, innovation. The water and wastewater industry needs more innovation, whether that is to treat wastewater or to find smart solutions to flooding.
Secondly, sustainability. Providing sustainable solutions not only improves the climate, but helps to reduce carbon footprints and improves human wellbeing and biodiversity.
Why did you apply for Chartership and how will it support you in your career?
When I started my career with Atkins there were many institutions to choose from but there was no scheme that aligned with my experience. I then found out about CIWEM and introduced the CIWEM scheme to Atkins, India with the help of my mentor Gurucharan Singh.
The CIWEM scheme helped a lot of aspirants in Atkins, India. And, after becoming Chartered I felt accomplished and saw a tangible difference in myself.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting out on the application process for Chartered member?
Find the right mentor for yourself. Mentoring plays a vital role, a mentor will give you honest feedback to help you succeed.
Working towards Chartership gives you a different perspective and let's you see the bigger picture. You also get to know the gaps in your career. The Chartership process boosted my self-esteem, self-confidence and peer recognition.
And, most importantly, you get to network with professionals and have a greater influence in your organisation.
To learn more about all CIWEM membership grades, including chartership, visit our dedicated membership page.
The next application deadline is 03 February 2022. Here you can find the rest of our 2022 application deadlines.
Becoming chartered with us demonstrates that you are a leader in the water and environment profession. Showcase your experience and skills to the sector with this gold standard qualification, which will set you above your peers.Find out more
Want tips and advice about becoming a CIWEM member?
Our free membership webinars are a great resource to ensure you have all the information you need for a successful membership application, and they contribute to your CPD.