College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CCEE alum receives Young Engineer of the Year award

Cyclone Engineer Rebekkah Sandt (’06 civil engr) was recently awarded the Young Engineer of the Year for the Texas American Public Works Association (APWA), Southeast Branch.

Sandt works as a project manager for HR Green’s Water business line located in Houston, Texas. Her career is focused on working with small communities to improve their wastewater collection systems and water distribution systems.

Sandt is a member of the Texas APWA chapter Southeast Branch where she currently serves as secretary. Chapter board members submitted a nomination for Sandt for this year’s award.

“It was humbling to receive the award and a surprise,” Sandt said. “I was very honored to receive it as I’ve really enjoyed volunteering with Texas APWA, and their mission of outreach, learning and development of professionals and staff within public works.”

Sandt graduated from Iowa State in 2006 majoring in civil engineering with an environmental emphasis and a minor in design studies. After graduation, she worked for Black & Veatch in their global water department, SKA Consulting, an environmental consultant, and Weston Solutions in their wastewater group before she started as a project engineer at HR Green. She has been with the company for five years and has emerged as a leader, going from project engineer to project manager and team leader.

“I am managing not only projects and clients, but also I’m the leader of a team of five other engineers and engineering technicians,” Sandt said. “Most of my projects are focused on improving existing wastewater systems to address infiltration and inflow or water projects to improve overall system capacity and pressures.”

Sandt has been a professional engineer in Texas for 10 years. She has had experience designing wastewater collection lines, treatment processes, portable water lines, ground storage tanks and booster pumps, assists municipalities with securing grants and loans, and completes asset management projects. Additionally, she was the project manager for one of six selected projects for the Texas Water Development Board Asset Management Program for Small Systems Pilot Initiative.

During her time at HR Green, Sandt became a co-founder of a women’s organization within the company called HeR Green. The initiative is focused on helping women to connect, exchange ideas, build their confidence and find encouragement in one another. Sandt encourages women to stay in this field and to not be afraid to ask for changes within your career to suit what you need for your stage of life.

When asked what advice she would give to the next generation of civil engineers Sandt said, “Take pride in what you do, as you’re not just doing for the job, but with civil engineering, our work touches lives. Most of my projects are underground and not anything that will be seen, but I like knowing that my projects improve the overall environment for the communities I work with.”

Rebekkah Sandt (pictured) is a recipient for the 2020 Young Engineer of the Year award.