2023 40 Under 40: Giselle Villar, EIT, 29
Automation Engineer, CDM Smith; BS, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Villar has five years of experience in water and wastewater treatment facility design and applications engineering services for SCADA systems. She is a registered engineer in training and she is working toward her professional engineering license this year. Villar has experience with various SCADA software applications and she is known for her ability to work well with clients and peers. She is the first point of contact for local clients whose SCADA systems she supports, thanks to her critical thinking skills and ability to propose effective solutions to complex problems. During her first year with CDM Smith, Villar recognized the need for early automation education and fundamentals. She took the initiative to develop a library of resources that could be used as coursework for CDM Smith University, a platform for professional development within the company. Villar then created the automation young professional group, a place for young automation professionals to discuss topics related to technical and professional development. Team members from 11 offices across the U.S. and India collaborate and network on a monthly call. Villar is also active in her industry outside of work. She has presented her work at conferences at the state and national levels. She is a member of the joint Virginia American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Virginia Water Environment Association Technology Services Committee. In this role, she has guided round table discussions on how local utilities can use big data and predictive analytics to improve operations. Additionally, she is the incoming chair for the national AWWA Operational Technology Committee and hopes to engage young professionals in various educational activities. Outside of work, Villar enjoys spending time boxing or weightlifting at the gym with her husband and friends.