Women in Water: Farnoush Levers, City of Livermore

Members in the News, Wastewater News, Women in Water

Farnoush Levers, City of LivermoreName: Farnoush Levers
Title/Agency: Associate Civil Engineer, City of Livermore
Certifications: Professional Engineer (PE), Construction General Permit Qualified Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Practitioner/ Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSP/QSD)

Only one in ten civil engineers are women, but that statistic did not deter Farnoush Levers from being drawn to the field. After completing her civil engineering degree at UC Davis, Levers began her professional career in land development. However, she quickly transitioned into the water/wastewater industry after encouragement from a colleague already employed in the field. “Utilities are fascinating and complex. When you work in utilities, you can do a little bit of everything and you get to see your projects go from paper to reality. That was a major motivator for me to switch over to this field,” Levers explained.

After 10 years in private construction, Levers moved into the public sector and eventually joined the City of Livermore as an Associate Civil Engineer in 2019. Today, she works under the Capital Improvements Section, where she leads projects throughout Livermore from the feasibility/design phase all the way through construction completion.

After transitioning to the public sector, Levers found career satisfaction in being able to help individual residents and establish personal relationships with them. In 2018 while Levers was working for the City of Thousand Oaks, the Woolsey and Hills Fires swept through the area, destroying more than 1,500 structures. In the aftermath of the fires, residents turned to their local public agencies for support.

“Helping Thousand Oaks residents recover after the fire was one of the most rewarding projects of my career. I worked closely with homeowners to help rebuild their damaged or destroyed homes, and by the end I could say that I had made 50 close friends,” Levers explained.

Levers hopes that younger generations will be introduced to the engineering field as early as possible through hands-on internships, job shadowing, and wastewater treatment plant tours.

“The construction and engineering industries have become much more welcoming to women now than they were a few decades ago. However, we still have work to do. There are still glass ceilings and stereotypes that need to be broken through. I’m confident that if we expose students to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) fields as early as middle school, more women will be drawn to this field and we will eventually have equal representation in the industry.”