#007 – San Francisco Wastewater Project Manager at AECOM – Vi Lam, P.Eng., PMP

Published On November 29, 2015 | Artist, Chemical Eng, Environmental Eng

Vi Lam is a professionally licensed engineer and project manager. She has a bachelors of Chemical and Environmental engineering from the university of Toronto in Canada as well as a certificate in Management, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. For the past six years, Vi has been working at AECOM, a Fortune 500 global provider of professional technical and management support services. For the past two years, she has been working out of the San Francisco office, in the Wastewater devision as a Project Manager, where she is involved with the San Francisco Sewer System Improvement Program. Vi is also a formally trained graphic designer and visual artist.

Vi shares with us:

  • why she studied Chemical and Environmental engineering.
  • her passion for art and graphic design.
  • the importance of wastewater management.
  • the pros of working in a large company.
  • teamwork tips.
  • her involvement with the the San Francisco sewer improvement program (SSIP).
  • the value of effective communication.
  • And much more…

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Discussion timestamps:

5:15 – Why Vi studied chemical and environmental engineering.
6:21 – Early community involvement teaching painting and cartooning to kids.
7:26 – Combining art and engineering.
9:09 – Landing her first internship as a forensic engineer.
12:57 – Tips for internship hunting.
13:55 – Why Vi pursued a certificate in Management, Technology, and Entrepreneurship.
15:29 – AECOM.
16:30 – How Vi landed her job at AECOM.
18:47 – Early air quality projects that Vi worked on.
20:19 – Challenges of communicating with the public.
21:36 – Advantages of starting your career with a large organization.
22:43 – The Canadian professional engineering certification.
24:12 – The Project Management Professional certification.
27:10 – Why Vi is passionate about waste water management.
28:45 – The San Francisco sewer system improvement program.
30:18 – Organizing human resources to work on the sewer improvement.
32:08 – No such a thing as a typical work week.
33:34 – Making a good team great.
34:52 – Good graphic design.
35:39 – Using graphic design to communicate technical information.
37:33 – John Snow and the London cholera breakout.
39:22 – Marrying the tech world with the public sector.
40:26 – Final words to future engineers.

Selected Links from the Show:

  • AECOM homepage.
  • AECOM wikipedia page.
  • Project Management Institute wikipedia page.
  • The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) from Amazon.

Reach out to Vi Lam via LinkedIn.

Episode related content:

John Snow and the London cholera outbreak:

Engineer Joseph Bazalgette and the London sewer system – from 7 Wonders of the Industrial World:

The San Francisco Sewer System:

London Real interview with James Altucher:

Stream the episode here: