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Kasia Wiatraks work at AECOM positively impacts communities

Kasia Wiatrak's work at AECOM positively impacts communities

 January 25, 2024

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At prime employer for women, AECOM, their environmental services help industrial and public sector clients around the world balance growth with resiliency — achieving compliance and reducing, or eliminating, risks while protecting our natural environment. A great mission indeed!

Meet AECOM's Kasia Wiatrak. She's a talented Project Manager who works within the company's Environment business line in Europe and India.

For the past four years, Kasia has worked with the Aviano Air Base in Italy to develop management plans that will make the base safer and more sustainable.

Here, Kasia provides an insight into her inspiration and career with AECOM.

Working on environmental projects across Europe

AECOM Project Manager, Europe & India

Kasia graduated from the University of Warsaw with a Master’s Degree in Geology, followed by a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano).

She joined AECOM’s Milan office in 2019 supporting the National Governments team, first as a project engineer and then as a project manager, working on environment projects in Italy and other European countries.

While studying geology at the University of Warsaw, Kasia developed an interest in environment and sustainability topics, so much so that she pursued a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering at Politecnico di Milano.

"Following graduation, I joined AECOM’s Milan office where I worked on environmental and national government projects in Italy and other European countries. It was very stimulating to put my interests and education into practice, and AECOM turned out to be the place to do it," explains Kasia.

"Right from the start, I really enjoyed working on the wide range of projects that came with working for the United States Department of Defense, which never let you get bored! The people I work with — highly qualified colleagues, not only from Italy but from across Europe and the U.S. — constantly inspire me to grow. The opportunity to share my expertise and work collaboratively to deliver successful projects helps me thrive here at AECOM."

Enjoys providing environmental services

Kasia explains that she is quite attached to one of the very first projects she was involved with at AECOM. It is the Aviano Air Base in Italy, and she has worked on this project over four years providing various environmental services.

"Initially, I was involved in on-site activities related to groundwater and stormwater sampling, air emission studies and hazardous waste compliance for the base. During the last two years, together with a small team, including colleagues from the U.S., we have provided additional environmental services to further support air emission inventories, hazardous materials programs and the development of various management plans," explains Kasia.

"Being involved in this project for all these years has allowed me to understand the base, its people, the different dynamics, and its challenges, all of which help me come better prepared with the most appropriate, effective, and efficient solution to benefit the client and the base."

Importance of working with diverse people

For Kasia, Aviano Air Base project has taught her the importance of building good relationships with the diverse people involved, actively listening to their needs, and discussing them to come up with the best solutions while working with AECOM.

"It makes working on this project very enjoyable and I love to go back on-site whenever there is an opportunity," says Kasia.

"This project is also a great opportunity to collaborate with professionals from other AECOM offices across the world to gain new technical skills and provide support."

Positively impacting the community

AECOM positive community impact

In several of the projects that Kasia works on, she is actively helping to make the military bases, where the communities live and work, environmentally better and safer. By helping the military personnel comply with applicable environmental standards, every project has a positive impact.

"At the Aviano Air Base for example, I am deeply engaged in developing or updating management plans, which also guide the military base personnel on how to carry out their everyday work in a way that reduces environmental impact. This can cover topics such as spill prevention and response, natural resources, stormwater, hazardous materials management, and preparing plans to conserve water and prevent pollution," says Kasia.

"Being on-site to carry out compliance visits related to hazardous materials management at various facilities allows me to assist the personnel in resolving any issues if they arise. "

AECOM positive environmental impact

Salient career advice

In today’s interconnected world, the ability to work as part of a team and communicate effectively is the key to learning, growing and unlocking new opportunities. A project’s success often depends on the ability to collaborate between departments, technical disciplines, clients, supply chains and subcontractors.

As such, Kasia's career advice is to always be a team player and realize the benefits of effective communication.

"Be an active participant, share ideas, listen actively, propose solutions, discuss, question, see the opportunity to learn from others. Notice different perspectives but also understand the requirements and needs. Create an environment where other team members feel comfortable doing the same and it will lead to not just professional growth, but also more efficient and productive project outcomes," suggests Kasia.

AECOM Project Manager career

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