New IWA Young Water Professionals Chapter in the USA

As part of IWA’s mission to empower Young Water Professionals to contribute to sustainable water management, a new IWA Young Water Professionals (IWA YWP) chapter was officially established in the USA in May 2023. This IWA YWP chapter will be the country’s go-to network boosting connections for YWPs and a platform to support equal opportunities and quality career development. As a voluntary network, the USA chapter is open to all water professionals aged 35 or below who are enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about water-related issues. Here, the YWP USA Chapter, presents some key points about the chapter.


Q: What was the motivation for setting up an IWA YWP Chapter in the USA?

With climate change on the rise, sustainability along with water and wastewater management will be even more fundamental in the water sector. In this context, a new YWP Chapter has been recently established in the USA to bring together the broad technological know-how of USA YWPs to efficiently tackle the pressing issues posed by the environment and society. The YWP USA Chapter (IWA YWP USA), open to all water professionals below 35 years old, will be a unique opportunity to bring young water enthusiasts from different fields together within IWA. The motivation for forming the new IWA YWP USA chapter was to create a platform for emerging water leaders to come together, find opportunities for success and build career-long relationships with peers and actively engage in IWA activities.


Q: How will the chapter contribute to the empowerment of YWPs to contribute to national water issues?

In many cases, YWPs do not know the source of opportunities where they can play a critical role in advancing the water sector. This chapter will grow those opportunities through knowledge sharing activities, educational engagements, and networking. This will build YWPs’ confidence and competence to tackle challenges in the water industry where new ideas, innovations, and best practices are invaluable.


Q: What are your aims and objectives for your chapter, and what activities do you plan to do?

The aim for forming the new IWA YWP USA chapter is to contribute to the professional development of the emerging water leaders while building career-long relationships with peers and actively engage in IWA activities. IWA YWP USA chapter’s objective is to create a platform where YWPs can find their mentorship opportunities and how to find opportunities through sponsorship for success in water sector. As an IWA Community, we plan to highlight IWA initiatives and contributions in water community and encourage active participation among group members. This platform can provide support for continual development of YWPs for their career development, networking, and interests in solving water problems. IWA YWP USA will organize monthly meetings for member activity and engagement, webinars, and networking events as well as joint events with other organizations in the country. As a Chapter, we will update our activities, development, and highlights in a yearly newsletter. You can connect with us on our social media pages: LinkedIn, IWA Connect Plus.


Meet the founding committee of the IWA YWP USA Chapter


Mahmudul Hasan, Chair

Mahmudul is the Biosolids Manager at the Baltimore City Department of Public Works. His specialization includes biosolids treatment and resource recovery from wastewater in support of a circular economy and emerging contaminants removal for water reuse applications. He received his Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from George Washington University. Mahmudul believes that, in an era of climate change, knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst water professionals can advance the effort to overcome the existing challenges in the water environment. Mahmudul is also passionate about teaching and mentoring students to build their careers in the water sector.


Arifur Rahman, Vice-Chair

Arifur is a Wastewater Technologist at Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.  and located in Dallas, TX. His work focuses on functional design of numerous water resource recovery facilities across the USA. His technical interests include high-rate activated sludge systems, energy recovery, nutrient removal and recovery systems, pilot-scale reactor design and operation, and process modeling. He has also expertise on wet-weather flow management for climate change adaptation and mitigation. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He also obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering from The George Washington University.


Heather Stewart, Secretary

Heather is a wastewater process engineer based in Philadelphia, PA with Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. Her work focuses on evaluation, design, and optimization of water resource recovery facilities around the USA and abroad. She enjoys modeling of secondary treatment systems and teaching. She received a B.S. in Astrophysics from Villanova University, a M.S.E. in Environmental Engineering and Ph.D. in Physics from the Catholic University of America.


Mohan Qin, Treasurer

Mohan is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She received her B.S. from Shandong University, M.S. from Peking University, Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, and postdoctoral training from Yale University, all in Environmental Engineering. Her research interests include the development of novel approaches for resource recovery from wastewater and selective ion recovery using membrane technology.


Nicole Forney, Events Coordinator

Nicole is a water and wastewater engineer based in Washington, DC with Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. She has MS degree in Environmental Engineering from George Washington University, where she focused on optimization of nitrogen removal from wastewater using anammox process. She currently works on water and wastewater design projects in the Washington metro area.


Priyanka Ali, Network Growth/Social Media Officer

Priyanka is a PhD student at Rice University studying Environmental Engineering. Her research work focuses on advancing and optimizing next-generation biofilm-based wastewater treatment technologies (MBBR, MABR), as well as improving their resiliency to combat extreme weather events due to climate change. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from George Washington University.


Tri Le, Technology Training Coordinator

Tri currently works as a wastewater process engineer at Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., and his daily work routine heavily involves wastewater process modeling. Tri received his Ph.D. degree in Civil & Environmental engineering from the Catholic University of America in association with the DC Water research program. His doctoral research focused on mainstream deammonification and partial denitrification-anammox process. Tri is also interested in learning and practicing emerging digital twin technologies such as hybrid modeling, smart controls, soft-sensors, and advanced data analytics.


Hannah Stohr, USANC Governing Member Liaison

Hannah is a PhD student at Virginia Tech studying Civil Engineering. Her current research is on the removal of contaminants of emerging concern in biologically active carbon filtration. She is passionate about carbon based advanced water treatment for indirect potable reuse.


Alexandria Gagnon, Founding Lead for the Chapter

Alexandria ‘Ali’ Gagnon is a Treatment Process Engineer at Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD). She was the main lead to form this chapter. She has a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research is focusing on optimization and automation of wastewater treatment process in WRRF using data driven methods.


For further information about what the IWA YWP community does, please email Dr Isabela Espindola, IWA Membership Engagement Senior Officer, at For membership queries contact: