Meet Emerging Leader Ibrahim Hafeez, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles 

Emerging Leaders, Wastewater News

“Professional approach with all assignments.  Excellent communication skills. Participation and excellence in leading edge and special assignments.  Creative thinker. Thorough and very high quality work. 

These are words his nominators used to describe Ibrahim Hafeez.  

“He uses technical knowledge and sound engineering to resolve complex issues,” says Mike Sarullo, principal civil/division engineer with the city’s Bureau of Engineering. 

“Of the nearly 40 employees I have supervised over the last 10 years, Ibrahim stands out as one of the brightest, organized, forward-thinking and pleasant engineers I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” Says Bureau project manager David Copp.  

“I try to work hard and keep a disciplined work ethic,” says Hafeez. “Hard work goes further than anything. That, and a passion for what you do. Every day, I’m doing something that benefits my generation and future generations to come.” 

Hafeez studied water resources and transportation at the University of California, Irvine and earned a Sustainability Certificate from Loyola Marymount University. 

He joined the Bureau of Engineering as an engineering associate, working in project management, construction, and design and is now a project manager at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, responsible for delivering multi-million dollar wastewater projects. 

He says he uses technology to help him stay on top of the range of activities—computer programs and software, laptop and cell phone. “I’m perpetually using technology,” he says. “You have to deal with schedules, scopes, and budgets of millions of dollars, as well as milestones, and all the politics and personalities—making sure all are in the loop.” 

Keeping his team involved is critical, in his view, as is innovation. “The City of LA is always trying to be in the forefront, always looking for new avenues of innovation,” he says.  

“Municipalities often look to us to see how we design and deliver projects, in view of climate change and sustainability. The more we can do to be sustainable, the more we can secure a better future for the City, and California as a whole.” 

He’s passionate about that, and it’s what he offers as advice to the next generation of engineers. “Find your passion and what makes you want to be an environmental engineer,” he says. “Once you find your passion, you’ll find your niche, and your work will invariably benefit your community and the world.”