CWEA Member Profile: Alejandro (Alex) Lopez

Members in the News, Wastewater News

Don’t be surprised if Alejandro (Alex) Lopez becomes president of the California Water Environment Association someday.

Just a fifth-year senior at Cal Poly Pomona, Alex already has enough internships, scholarships, and projects in the water environment field to fill out an impressive resume. And it all began in sixth grade.

“I went on a camping trip,” he remembers. “And I became aware of climate change, the impact of CO2, and greenhouse gases. It stuck with me.”

Alex is a former president of the student chapter of CWEA at his college and current chair of the CWEA Los Angeles Basin Section (LABS) Student & Young Professionals Committee. But that’s only one of his interests.

While in college, he’s completed three internships associated with water and wastes; in class, he’s conducted a research project on UV radiation as an advanced oxidation technology and closed circuit reverse osmosis (CCRO).

Outside the classroom, his projects include fund raising for Water for People’s Los Angeles Committee, participation in Engineers Without Borders, creation of a beach cleanup at Santa Monica Beach for late August, facilitating volunteering events for his CWEA student chapter, along with his various projects he works on at his internships.

All his energy is directed toward a career in the water/environment field.

He’s impressed by “how amazing water is.

“In this country we have clean drinking water 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he says. “We need to do our part to help preserve that supply.”

He’s eager to share that enthusiasm with young people considering the field, and he believes the clean water profession is becoming more and more diverse.

The old cliché was that engineering was the domain of older, white people, Alex notes, then adds that’s not true anymore. “It’s definitely a thing of the past,” he says. “In the classes and workshops I’ve experienced, I see male and female, various cultures, and diverse backgrounds. The field is open to anyone interested in pursuing a career path in clean water.”

And that’s exactly where he’s headed. “I’ve made Engineering Day visits to the Hyperion treatment plant and I’d love doing something for LA Sanitation. I’m fascinated by green infrastructure–stormwater control, rain gardens, permeable surfaces.”

CWEA is helping him reach these goals. He says the student chapter provides students an excellent means to develop contacts, learn about the profession, and see the water environment industry in action. “Being associated with the CWEA increases networking opportunities for students, leadership opportunities and helps professional development,” he says.

And it’s been a special connection for him; he’s a recipient of the CWEA Kirk Brooks Memorial Water Environment scholarship.