Roya Yousefelahiyeh

First Place
 San Francisco Bay Section

Roya is an Engineering Manager at Black & Veatch. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering. She’s a water reuse enthusiast and since joining the industry in 2014, has worked on the planning, design, and construction of several wastewater and recycled water treatment plants. She was SF Bay Section’s Treasurer and Board Member from 2017 to 2022. Outside of work, she’s an executive member of SF Professionals Chapter of Engineers Without Borders and enjoys travelling, reading and yoga.


The Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S) is used by water environment associations (i.e., those working with sewage and sewage treatment) to honour those who have made a particular contribution to the industry.

Pennsylvania started the High Hat Society in 1937 and used the words "Sludge Shovelers Society" in its initiation ceremony. Later, this became known as the Ted Moses Sludge Shovelers Society. The second Chapter of the Five S Society was formed in Arizona in October 1940, the idea being conceived by A.W. "Dusty" Miller and F. Carlyle Roberts, Jr. There are chapters in many of the United States and in Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

5S chapters do not accept applications, but select potential members. Each inductee receives a badge in the form of a gold tie bar in the shape of a round-nosed shovel.

5S recognizes individuals active in protecting the water environment through participation in Local, State, and/or Federal sponsored activities. 

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