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AECOMs Zuliana Mawani began her career as a process engineer

AECOM's Zuliana Mawani began her career as a process engineer

 June 05, 2024

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AECOM's People Spotlight series provides an inside look at the company's technical experts working around the world.

Meet AECOM Vice President & Operations Manager from AECOM's Water business in Canada, Zuliana Mawani.

Zuliana works on the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant to make Hamilton Harbour cleaner and safer for the community and wildlife.

Learn more about Zuliana's inspirations, career advice, and her role with AECOM.

AECOM Vice President & Operations Manager career

Focused on municipal wastewater treatment

Zuliana has over 20 years of consulting experience in the Canadian water sector. She began her career with AECOM as a process engineer in the wastewater treatment group, building a solid technical foundation and proficiency over a decade of work.

She mainly focuses on municipal wastewater treatment, honing her skills in process evaluation, optimisation, and plant modelling, as well as process and mechanical design. Recognized for her collaborative management approach and problem-solving skills, Zuliana has consistently delivered outstanding solutions to clients on major water projects across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ontario.

In 2023, Zuliana returned to AECOM to take her current position as Vice President and Operations Manager for the Water business in the GTA. Today, Zuliana provides day-to-day business leadership and direction, including staff management, project oversight, and client relations management to achieve quality and safety while meeting client goals.

She is passionate about the culture of the Water group and strives to create an atmosphere where people enjoy the work they’re doing while simultaneously growing the business.

Enjoys solving problems

AECOM Vice President career inspirations

Zuliana explains that she always knew that she wanted to be in a business that would have a lasting community impact.

"I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of engineering and had an affinity for maths and physics, so it was a natural fit for me," says Zuliana.

"I was drawn to the water sector because of its impact on people’s lives. Access to clean drinking water and sanitation can be a differentiator in the success of a community. I like the idea of solving problems and contributing to this fundamental service that we all need."

AECOM lasting community impact

Part of a legacy establishing team

When Zuliana was a younger engineer, one of the first projects she worked on was the Clarkson Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion in Canada. It was her first step into municipal engineering and the first project where she was given an opportunity to be heavily involved with the design development process.

"I had a chance to put a solid mark on this massive showpiece project, and begin to hone in my wastewater process engineering skills by working alongside our in-house experts. It’s now come full circle as we have recently started working with the plant for their next expansion. I was able to work with the team to win the project, and now we are delivering its next phase," explains Zuliana. "This project has been very symbolic – from first being on the front lines delivering the project, to being part of the team that is now establishing a legacy for Clarkson and for AECOM."

Improving the aquatic ecosystem and transforming the beach

Zuliana and her team are working on the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant, a landmark project for the city of Hamilton, Canada. The city and the province initiated the project with the goal of improving the condition and general health of Hamilton Harbour’s aquatic ecosystem and transforming the beach into a space that the community can utilize. "This project has been going on a very long time with several partners in the industry, and it has been very challenging as it’s the largest plant using disk filter technology and requires some of the highest levels of contaminant removals of any plant in the province," comments Zuliana. "AECOM is a key player in this project, and through years of work and efforts, we have put in higher treatment levels which will produce cleaner water than normally required for a sewage treatment plant. This level of water treatment has never been seen before at this scale in the province and probably across the country. We’re seeing positive tangible impact on the health of the Hamilton Harbour, making the water cleaner for swimming and aquatic habitat. The project has also been made into a place of learning, as we have incorporated a trail system behind the facility. The trails and walkways feature many interactive components and learning stations where the community can come and understand what each facility contributes to the water and wastewater plant and how it’s used and managed within the city. This project will be completed soon and will have a lasting impact on the city and people of Hamilton."

Positive career advice

AECOM Vice President career advice

Zuliana shares that she has always had an ambitious nature, accepting several opportunities that came her way.

"I have heard people say, 'No, you’re not ready for this,' 'This is not your time,' 'You’re not good enough for this,' and 'This is not your thing' – and sometimes, they were right! – But that wasn’t a reason to stop. I went back to regroup and think about what I needed to do. And then, I moved forward," says Zuliana. "My advice is to keep going. Don’t let someone else determine where things stop for you."

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