Member Spotlight: Environmental Engineer Becky Svatos

SWE Senior Life Member, Becky Svatos of Stanley Consultants, has been recognized as the Senior Engineer of the Year by Quad City Engineering and Science Council (QCESC).
Member Spotlight: Environmental Engineer Becky Svatos

Congratulations to SWE Senior Life Member, Becky Svatos!

Becky Svatos headshot
Becky Svatos, environmental engineer & SWE member

Becky Svatos—Vice President, Senior Project Manager and Principal Environmental Engineer for Stanley Consultants and SWE Member since 1982—has been recognized as Senior Engineer of the Year by Quad City Engineering and Science Council (QCESC). Read Corridor Business Journal's article here.

Becky Svatos received her bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Iowa—where she first joined SWE—in 1982, and her master’s of environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. She became an environmental engineer because she wanted to make the world better, entering the profession in 1982—a year when just four percent of engineers were women. For 33 years she has been helping clients “clean up their act” by providing regulatory compliance, spill prevention, assessment and cleanup services. She has also been the driving force behind the expansion of Stanley Consultants’ environmental services.

Becky has nearly 40 years of environmental engineering experience, with an emphasis in regulatory compliance, permitting, contamination assessment and remediation. As a manager at Stanley Consultants, she increased staff from 12 to 25 and expanded environmental services to offices in Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago, West Palm Beach and Las Vegas. Elected a vice president in 2016, Becky manages a wide range of large and small environmental projects across the country for energy, industrial and government clients.

Becky Svatos and other SWE members speak at a high school conference in 2017.
Becky Svatos (second from right) and other SWE members speak at a high school conference in 2017.

An active community member and seasoned speaker, Svatos is frequently asked by organizations and associations, schools and universities to speak on engineering, environmental issues and being a female engineer. She also regularly hosts high school and college students for job shadow experiences in the Stanley Consultants office. She has been a mentor to a variety of students and young professionals on both a formal and informal basis. Currently, she is mentoring an entry-level engineer in the Stanley Consultants’ Denver office through the firm’s Young Professionals Group, providing guidance on an engineering career as well as how to succeed as a female engineer in a predominantly male profession.

Becky is always ready to lend a helping hand in her community.  She has participated in a wide range of volunteer activities including Ralston Creek cleanups in Iowa City, serving meals at homeless shelters, spending time with residents in nursing homes, helping with food drives, starring as Max from Where the Wild Things Are at the One Book Two Book Festival in Iowa City, and raising money for worthy causes. She has been active in both Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs, leading activities to help scouts learn about and earn badges in environmental and engineering areas.

Below is an impressive list of Becky’s notable titles, activities and accomplishments:

Professional Affiliations and Activities

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Senior Life Member

  • 2001 – present:  Member East Central Iowa Section
  • 1999 – 2001:  Helped charter East Central Iowa Section
  • 1994 – 1997:  Member-at-Large, Region D Representative
  • 1990:  Florida Section Representative
  • 1987 – 1989:  President of Florida Section. Assisted Central Florida and Palm Beach subsections to obtain section charters
  • 1984 – 1986:  Member of Southwest Texas Section
  • 1983 – 1984:  Organizer and first President of the Eastern Nebraska Section
  • 1978 – 1982:  University of Iowa Student Section

Point Source Committee for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Becky Svatos sampling water from the Mississippi River
Becky Svatos sampling water from the Mississippi River

 

  • Assisted with developing this approach to reduce Iowa’s nutrient discharges to the Mississippi River which contribute to the ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico, member 2011 to present.

Iowa Association of Business and Industry

  • Environment Committee member 2007 to present

University of Iowa Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board

  • Assisted with curriculum changes, ABET accreditation and performed exit interviews with graduating students to obtain feedback on civil/environmental engineering program. Chair 2002-2004.  Member 2000-2005.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

  • Selected in 2013 to serve on a 7-member Governor’s stakeholder group that proposed changes to Iowa law to prevent the Jordan Aquifer from being depleted; the law was changed in accordance with the group’s recommendations.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

Becky Svatos with Rotary International
Becky (top left) in El Salvador

 

  • Charter member of the Iowa Chapter, serving as Vice President when it was organized in 2008.
  • President since 2017.
  • Traveled to El Salvador in 2017 and 2018 to work on a project to provide safe drinking water to a small community on the Pacific Ocean that currently must bring drinking water in by boat because their well is experiencing saltwater intrusion.

Air and Waste Management Association

  • Member
  • President of the Iowa Chapter, 2003 – 2004

National Groundwater Association

  • Member

Iowa Groundwater Association

  • Member

Patents, Publications or Teaching Accomplishments

Since she was an engineering student, Becky Svatos has regularly made presentations to elementary, high school and college students about engineering and environmental careers. She has also conducted training workshops for industrial and governmental clients on a variety of environmental topics.  Recent examples are provided below.

  • “Environmental Engineering," Fourth through Seventh Grade Classes, Career Day, Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy, Chicago, Illinois, 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • “How to Implement Stormwater Pollution Preventions Plans," The Bottom Line on Industrial Stormwater Training Workshop, Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership, Iowa, 2018, 2019.
  • "Environmental Engineering Career Path," Graduate Program on Sustainable Water Development in Resource Constrained Communities, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 2017 and 2018.
  • “Environmental Engineering," Environmental STEM Camp, Women in Science and Engineering, University of Iowa, 2017.
  • “Pollution Prevention," confidential soybean processing facility, Iowa, 2016, 2017, 2018.
  • "Environmental Engineering," Sixth Grade Science Classes at Sawyer Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois, 2016.
  • “Environmental Engineering at Stanley Consultants,” Texas A&M University, 2016.
  • “Groundwater Remediation in the Desert," The University of Iowa Student Leadership Retreat, Muscatine, Iowa, 2010.
  • "From Iowa City to Las Vegas - Where an Iowa Engineering Degree Took Me," Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 2007.

Publications

  • “Federal Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations - Part II: Facility Response Plan Requirements," Oil Mill Gazetteer, December 2005.
  • “Federal Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations - Part I: Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Requirements," Oil Mill Gazetteer, November 2005.
  • “Midwest Ethanol Producer Solves Wastewater Problems," Industrial WaterWorld, March/April 2004.

Awards

  • Distinguished New Engineer, Society of Women Engineers, 1992.
  • Stanley Consultants Bronze Project Management Award managing $0.6 M to $1.2 M, 2004, 2005, 2006.
  • Leadership Stanley, 2005
  • University of Iowa featured Successful Alumni, 2017.