Comments from Participants

 “In this program, I was able to learn many things that I have not yet learned in school."

Roberta Lau -- Undergraduate Student -- USC

"I’m really satisfied with my working experience in the Solid Waste and Wastewater Design Section. My supervisors and senior engineers handled my learning curve and the diversity of my tasks in a smooth and considerate manner. They encouraged me to visit different sites eagerly and to meet with different people. For example, I’m free to walk into the structural design department to discuss structural design concerns with structural engineers."

Yinan Pei -- Undergraduate Student -- UCLA

"As an Engineering Student Intern here at LACSD, I have been lucky enough to gain practical experience while working in the Operations and Maintenance Office at the San Jose Creek East WRP. I have been able to shadow a Senior Civil Engineer and witness first-hand the problem solving abilities of the engineers and operators when issues come up at the WRPs. On top of my in-field adventures my supervisor has given me many interesting projects including creating process schematics for the WRPs using PI ProcessBook and performing a RAS pipe condition assessment. I really like that this internship allows me to explore different aspects of environmental engineering. I have been given different types of projects and have been able to learn many new things that were not taught in the classroom."

Tyler Grossheim -- Graduate Student -- Stanford

"The projects varied from data collection and analysis in the office to field work visiting the water reclamation plants and speaking with the operators. Not only was I learning more about wastewater , but I learned how to work with other engineers.  I enjoy hearing from the engineers the ability to expand their knowledge and skill sets by being able to work in different departments within the Districts. The flexibility of being able to do so makes the Districts an even better work environment for engineers who are interested in being exposed to different fields."

Ada Chan -- Graduate Student -- Cal Poly SLO

 “Being a part of the Summer Student Engineer Program has shown me that environmental engineering is not only about doing calculations for wastewater or solid waste related projects all day, but rather improving our everyday life by providing necessary needs in the form of wastewater and solid waste management. Everyone was very friendly, welcoming and helpful throughout my time here. It further supported my knowledge and my passion in environmental engineering by seeing the work that is being done, as well as the future work that needs to be done.”

 Bryan Liu -- Graduate Student -- UC Davis

 “My experience at the Districts has been an accelerated course in wastewater treatment. I also learned a great deal of the technical side of the environmental engineering field, which I definitely would not be able to learn at school. My favorite aspect of the program had to be the student presentations. It was very interesting to see how the tasks I performed in my department interconnected with the tasks of other interns.”

 Javier Dennis -- Undergraduate Student -- Cal Poly Pomona

“My favorite aspect of the program is the interaction between student interns."

Cheng-Yao Tsai -- Graduate Student -- UC Irvine

"It’s incredible how the Districts provide services to such a large population and how much attention to detail is required. I also like how the Districts give incentives to do practices that promote sustainability.  I will be taking a wastewater treatment class in the fall and am excited to use the knowledge that I gained at the Districts to help me in the class. The tours were very informative and I learned a lot from them but I think I learned the most be just being in the office and being surrounded by experts and listening to them discuss their work.  It’s amazing how many little details you pick up just by being in the office and listening." 

Mackenzie Domann -- Undergraduate Student -- LMU

"My experience at LACSD improved my knowledge of environmental engineering through projects in my assigned department and more broadly through weekly tours and presentations. I learned about the regulatory process required to close a landfill and gained experience writing a request for proposals directed toward potential consultants. This project familiarized me with an area of environmental engineering that is now of great interest to me. I enjoyed the weekly tours where I was able to ask questions of experienced engineers. We were able to learn how the business actually works - something you can't get from a textbook. I also enjoyed the responsibilities I was given later in my experience at the Districts. I was able to work on the same type of tasks as other engineers in my department and was given freedom to plan my course of action on the project. Since working for the Sanitation Districts, I have gained a better understanding of the relationships between regulators, consultants, contractors and LACSD. I also did not previously understand that engineers at LACSD play an important role in informing regulatory bodies on the potential impacts of their decisions."

Chris Moline -- Graduate Student -- University of Michigan

"I liked the weekly field trips, it allowed the interns to see different operations outside their own departments. Working at the landfill certainly helped me learn about Solid Waste management. Coming from Wastewater Operations and Field Engineering where the work is mostly concentrated on sewerage and treatment plants, Solid Waste is definitely a fresh experience."

Billy Chu -- Undergraduate Student -- Cal Poly Pomona

“This program provided me with a lot of insight on wastewater engineering from a research standpoint. One of the most important things I learned was that there is so much to learn about wastewater and solid waste engineering because they are such multi-disciplinary fields, and I've barely scratched the surface. However, by working with Wastewater Research, I now have a better understanding of how to approach a problem that hasn't been dealt with before and to think critically to find the best solution.  My favorite aspect of the program was the weekly tours. It was valuable to learn about the different areas of LACSD and to see the big picture as well as the details. I found it to be a great educational break from everyday work and it gave us an opportunity to share our daily experiences at LACSD with the other interns. I also feel very appreciative of the program coordinators for being extremely helpful all throughout the summer and making us feel like we matter to the District even though we'd only be here for a short time.”

Gloria Pak -- Graduate Student --Cal State Fullerton

"Prior to the program, my understanding of the role of the Districts was wastewater reclamation.  After experiencing the program, I see that the Districts is more comprehensive and involved than just wastewater reclamation.  LACSD is involved in farming, Waste-by-Rail, landfill development, in-house design, and new technological application."

Evan Rosca -- Undergraduate Student -- USC

“The program has given me a chance to learn and be stretched as a young engineer not only in air quality, but also in the other aspects of environmental engineering such as solid waste. Through the presentations and tours I was able to see and gain understanding of landfills and energy recovery facilities, which are topics that have been over looked in my undergrad studies. Typically, when I think of Environmental Engineering I think of all the different water related engineering e.g. waste water treatment, water supply, hydrology, hydraulics... As a result of this internship my view of disciplines has been broadened within this branch of engineering. The most valuable thing that I can take away from my experience with the summer program is a discipline to pursue a career in. Tours of facilities and conversations with the speakers has provided insight as to where my talents would best be utilized as well as where I would feel like I am using my strengths to help others.”

Kyle Bertolucci -- Undergraduate Student -- Cal Poly Pomona

“I began working at the Districts with the belief that the working environment would be an individualistic environment; however, that quickly changed after my first day on the job. I noticed that the Districts’ success relies on its team-oriented environment and have been able to see that through the collective effort that members put forth at all levels of the organization to treat LA County’s wastewater. I enjoy working in a team-oriented environment so LACSD fits in with the type of working environment that I enjoy.”

Arturo Gomez -- Graduate Student -- Cal State Long Beach

"My favorite aspect of the program was the friendly and kind atmosphere of the workers each day.  Although I listed as a student employee for the Air Quality Department, I can still have engaging conversations with workers in the wastewater research, planning, and structural design department.  All the invited speakers of the speaker/tour series were all friendly and very open to communicate, and chat even after the listed presentation dates.  I can also see professors from the university working and have conversations with them as well.  I am not limited to just one section in the workplace, but I am able to be diverse."

Kalvin Lam -- Undergraduate Student -- Cal Poly Pomona

“I learned and practically saw how biogas and recycled water is produced from sewage at the treatment plants.”

Mario Pereira -- Graduate Student -- Cal State Los Angeles

“My favorite aspect of the program was the wide range of projects that I worked on at the JWPCP and the fact that these projects had an impact on the plant and were actually meaningful.”

Uriel Cobian -- Undergraduate Student -- UCLA

“The tours help students make the connection between the theories learned at school and practices adopted in the industry. I really like that this program really emphasizes on students’ learning experience. During the internship, I learned more about the responsibilities shouldered by the Monitoring Section. Moreover, all seniors that I am learning under really make sure that I get some background information before I start on the project. This program has exposed me to aspects in environmental engineering that I never knew before. At school, I learned more about the design aspect of this field; however, in this internship, I had the chance to learn about the regulatory aspects of the field."

Anisa Cokro -- Undergraduate Student -- Cal Poly Pomona