WSC is proud to announce that Susan Schlangen, P.E. has been named the Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional by Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA). The award recognizes PNCWA members who have made significant contributions to PNCWA and the wastewater collection and treatment industry.

Susan joined WSC’s Portland, OR office in 2018 as a Professional Engineer specializing in drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and recycled water projects. Since joining the WSC team, Susan has become a driving force in leading the wastewater industry within the Pacific Northwest. About the award she said, “I’m so grateful for my team at WSC who consistently encourage and support my varied interests, as well as to PNCWA for creating this opportunity to acknowledge young professionals and elevate our work across the association.”

“As one of the most conscientious people I have ever met, Susan is dedicated to our industry and to making the world a better place,” said WSC Vice President Scott Duren, P.E.

The Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional award process is a competitive one. Susan stood out among many worthy nominees for her commitment, passion, leadership, and contributions to the improvement of Oregon’s water/wastewater and resource recovery challenges.

Arguably Susan’s most impressive contributions have come within her role as the Outreach Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Section of WateReuse. In her role, she has completed the following activities:

  • Outreach to Oregon Recycled Water Users. Susan developed an outreach campaign to all recycled water permit holders to gather data on their programs and challenges. The results were provided to DEQ with recommendations for how barriers to developing uses for recycled wastewater could be removed or mitigated within the state.
  • State-Specific Workshops. Susan worked with WSC’s strategic communications team to develop a state-specific workshops to gather information on recycled water projects and needs within Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
  • Webinar Presentations. Susan co-presented with Jared Kinnear from Clean Water Services to share findings and lessons-learned from developing a recycled water roadmap for the agency.
  • Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies Biosolids and Recycled Water Committee. Susan is an active member of the ORACWA and participates in committee activities to identify opportunities for shaping recycled water legislation in Oregon.

Examples of Susan’s additional contributions to the industry include:

  • Advancing water projects for public agencies in Oregon and California.
  • Actively leading within WSC, including serving as Vice Chair on the WSC Catalyst Team, a select team of nominated leaders that drive strategic initiatives.
  • Acting as a strong leader who has taken on the highest levels of professional organization leadership including serving as a board member on the Pacific Northwest WateReuse Association (PNW WR) and active contributor to multiple committees.
  • Serving as a model for other young professionals in the way she goes about her work and demonstrates attention to detail, professionalism, and a positive action-focused spirit.

Personal Volunteer Work

Outside of industry organizations and WSC roles, Susan also finds time to volunteer in elementary and secondary school classrooms to promote the career of water and wastewater engineering to students. Susan has developed engaging and interactive activities for young students, including building small pumping systems out of commonly found household items.

Susan will be recognized at an awards banquet during the annual PNCWA conference in September.