Carla Coveart receives 2024 Engineering Young Alumni Award

Western Engineering is proud to recognize Carla Coveart, BESc’13, as the recipient of the 2024 Engineering Young Alumni Award. This prestigious award celebrates alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and communities. Carla’s remarkable career and unwavering commitment to improving water and wastewater infrastructure make her an exemplary choice for this honour. 

"I feel privileged to be the third recipient of this award, recognizing the achievements of young alumni,” said Coveart. “I am thankful to Western for recognizing my commitment to engineering and my contributions to the community. This award inspires me to persist in my efforts to enhance water and wastewater infrastructure," she added reflecting on her achievement. 

Carla-insCoveart is a Professional Engineer and project manager with a decade of experience supporting municipalities throughout Ontario with their infrastructure. With a technical background as a project designer modelling wastewater infrastructure, she has provided inflow and infiltration investigations, condition assessments, asset rehabilitation programs, linear and vertical inspection and contract administration. Her expertise and attention to detail have earned her recognition within the industry, demonstrated through project awards, committee nominations and international conference presentations. 

Her career has been driven by a sense of responsibility to apply her engineering skills towards environmental stewardship of water resources backed by continuous learning and innovation in her work. 

With ten years of experience working at a private municipal consulting firm, where she held the position of project manager, asset management and project designer, Coveart now works for the public sector at the Ontario Clean Water Agency as a Water & Wastewater Engineer for the Project Planning and Delivery Group. The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) is a provincial crown agency established in 1993 that reports through the Ministry of the Environment Conservation & Parks and is a trusted leader in water for more than 300 communities across Ontario. 

Coveart has been instrumental in a range of significant projects, including: 

MacLeod Mine, High Density Sludge Wastewater Treatment Plant

Coveart was the project manager for developing an Asset Management Plan and Capital Plan for the Ministry of Mines and Northern Development.  This included documenting the asset inventory of a Wastewater Treatment Plant, determining current asset performance, and planning future maintenance activities with associated timing, cost, and indicators for asset performance and thresholds for replacement. 

Queens Royal Beach Storm Sewer Outfall, Beneficial Use Impairment Re-Designation for the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan

As the project manager, Coveart developed and implemented an investigation and infrastructure rehabilitation program to improve the water quality of a storm sewer network. This pioneering program received the 2020 Consulting Engineers of Ontario Award and has been showcased at technical conferences worldwide. 

Phosphorus Reduction Strategy for Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks

Coveart was the engineer to develop a financial analysis of cost recovery mechanisms and funding options for associated capital and operating costs of a treatment facility to ultimately reduce phosphorus levels in a lake. 

In 2023, she was the keynote speaker at the Water Environment Federation Stormwater Summit, where she discussed infrastructure resilience and environmental impacts on storm sewers. 

Looking to the future, Coveart aims to enhance her engineering expertise in water and wastewater treatment facilities, stay ahead of technological advancements including artificial intelligence and broaden her experience to assist indigenous communities. 

She has also made substantial contributions to her community, serving as the Chair of the Drainage Superintendents Association of Ontario (Chapter 5) for four years, was the first woman voted onto the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers Land Drainage Committee and is a member of the Halton-Hamilton Source Water Protection Committee for the past five years. 

The Coveart family’s association with Western University spans over 80 years, beginning with Arthur Coveart, who trained at Western as a radar specialist for the Canadian Navy in the late 1930s. This legacy continued with Lynn (Coveart) Franklin (Nursing, BScN’71) and husband and wife Jim Coveart (BESc’78, Chemical Engineering) and Antonet Svircev (BSc’79 and PhD’84, Plant Science). Carla proudly carries on this tradition, contributing to Western's rich history of excellence and community engagement. 

Beyond her professional achievements, she was a member of the Varsity Figure Skating Team. Following her graduation from Civil Engineering and while working as a full-time consultant, she was a member of the Team Canada synchronized skating team and won her second World Championship gold medal in 2015. In 2016, she was inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame. 

More recently, she was the guest speaker at the 2023 Women in Engineering Annual Brunch and is a member of the Alumni Engagement Strategic Planning Implementation Committee. 

When asked what advice she would give to young engineers, especially women, entering the field, Coveart shared:"Find a mentor at your workplace. A good mentor will shield you, direct you, advise you and can assist you to rapidly move up and advance your career within the company. Additionally, promote your skills and the quality of your work; no one else will sell you but you and keep challenging yourself to broaden your knowledge base. Have a mindset of continuous improvement and avoid stagnation of learning." 

Western Engineering congratulates Carla Coveart on her outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of engineering and her community. Her dedication and leadership serve as an inspiration to current and future engineers.