Jennifer Fan - Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
July Member Spotlight – Jennifer Fan (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)
CI: Tell us a little about yourself, and what you do.
I majored in both Biology and Electrical Engineering at UCLA and then got a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Stanford (long story of why I ended up with these different majors). I have a PE in Civil Engineering. After graduation I worked for a private environmental engineering consulting firm. I then switched to working for a public agency, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where I am now a senior engineer on the Treatment Plant Design Team. I got into chlorine feed system design about 10 years ago when I joined the agency because water treatment plants use chlorine for disinfection, algae control, and quagga mussel control. I am the engineering representative for chlorine systems and work closely with our operations and safety and regulatory staff to make sure we have safe, reliable, redundant, flexible, maintainable, and secure systems.
CI: When did you first become involved at CI? What activities have you been involved in at CI?
I attended my first CI conference in 2013 and have attended every year except the 2 years of the pandemic. I have been on the Hose Investigation Task Group, Pamphlet 49 Task Group, and Pamphlet 165 Task Group.
CI: What is something interesting about you that few would know or guess?
I had never broken a bone before 2019 and then within 2 years I broke my right pinky toe twice and sprained it once all running into objects inside my house. Luckily, I worked from home full-time and mostly stayed at home during the pandemic so that I didn’t have to use crutches for the last two injuries.
CI: Tell us about your favorite CI memory or success story.
At the 2022 CI conference, I finally met staff who work for a neighboring water treatment plant that also uses chlorine. We both joked that we had to travel 2,000 miles to a conference to meet our neighbor who is 30 miles away. Since then, we both ended up volunteering for a task group and I’ve emailed him questions about whether he had any experience with proposed equipment I am considering. That’s the great thing about the CI conference – I can meet chlor-alkali professionals located from 30 miles to 6,000 miles away.
CI: What do you value most from your CI membership?
I most value the networking opportunities since chlor-alkali is a niche industry and I don’t know anyone outside of people I’ve met at CI who work in this industry. It’s great to meet people at the conferences and to be able to email other members to ask for advice, their experience with equipment, design and specification considerations, and best practices.
CI: What advice do you have for early career professionals in the chlor-alkali industry?
I am aware that knowledge transfer and succession planning is an issue in most industries. I recommend that early career professionals try to absorb, shadow, and get mentoring from seasoned professionals as soon as possible. Engineers should also regularly talk to operations staff to get feedback on their designs from end users.
Do you know an actively engaged CI member who would make a great Member Spotlight? Send their name and company to Cindy Kuranchie at Cindy@CL2.com.