Kathy Crowson Named Leader of Water and Wastewater Practice in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia

July 13, 2021

We are pleased to share that as of July 2021, Kathy Crowson, PE (MN), now leads the water and wastewater practice in SEH’s central region. 

Kathy is known for creating a strong team environment and empowering those around her. She is a technical expert and a natural leader, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress and direction of her team as they continue expanding our expertise across the central region and beyond.

As a leader in the wastewater field for 33 years, including the past five years with SEH, Kathy is active in the industry and well-recognized for her client service. She will bring her vast wastewater operations experience to clients and SEH employee-owners as she heads the water and wastewater practice in the central region. 

Get to know Kathy: 

What are you looking forward to most about your new role? 

I’m excited about working with the amazing people in the water and wastewater practice to provide the best service to our clients, to continue building on SEH’s teamwork culture and to plan for the growth of our practice.  

How does your background in wastewater operations position you well for this role? 

Being a leader in wastewater operations requires prioritizing sound practices and approaches, strong internal and external communications, and integrity. These same skills apply to providing engineering services. 

Why engineering? And what would you be doing if you hadn’t chosen engineering? 

I enjoyed math and physics in high school and college, and these subjects ultimately led me to engineering. Yet, I began my college career at a liberal arts school with a pre-med intention and supported myself through college working as a nursing assistant in nursing homes and in private settings. By the end of my second year in college, I decided engineering with a focus on water quality was the direction I wanted to take. 

What stands out as a top accomplishment in your career? 

While employed at Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) in the City of Duluth, Minnesota, I really enjoyed being involved with the start-up and operation of its thermophilic digesters and centrifuges. It was gratifying to work with my WLSSD coworkers and a variety of industry experts to hone the operation to get the best volatile solids reduction, minimize odors and prevent pathogen regrowth/reactivation. 

Describe some noteworthy projects you have led. 

A current project comes to mind that has been really gratifying. We are working with a wastewater treatment client to develop a training program for operators. The training modules will cover every process at both their existing wastewater treatment plant and new systems coming online.  

We work closely with the client’s engineering and operations staff to identify and incorporate relevant and accurate background information that will help ensure the trainings are particularly helpful to the operations department.  

It’s been great to work with a cross-functional team within SEH – including graduate engineers, operations specialists and graphic designers – to create training material featuring animated graphics to enhance the learning experience.     

What project are you most proud of? Why? 

I have many experiences that I am proud of. One is the training project mentioned above. A second project that comes to mind: While I was with WLSSD, my operations team built a year-round biosolids land application program. There are many facets to a program beyond the treatment processes, including the logistics of transporting and spreading the biosolids, working closely with farmers and landowners, selecting suitable sites, and developing sustainable practices for applying the biosolids to enable farmers to maximize their crop production while protecting public health and the environment.  

I am proud of how well the program evolved, and proud of the people I worked with. 

What message would you like to send to our clients? 

I would ask for feedback. Please provide us feedback – we want to know where and how we can serve you better. We’d also like to hear from you about what we do best. This feedback will help us keep doing the things that are most important to you.   

What advice would you give to a young engineer just beginning in the field?  

Take charge of your success. Ask questions and seek out work. Maintain balance between work and home. 

What do you do for fun? 

My husband and I love to bicycle and cross-country ski together. I also love hanging out with my adult sons.    

Work with Kathy! 

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