Article by ASCE-PGH Awards Committee
Robert J. Christian, P.E., BCEE is the 2014 ASCE-Pittsburgh Government Civil Engineer of the Year. Mr. Christian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a Master’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) as recognized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers specializing in Water Supply and Wastewater.
Mr. Christian was previously employed by USFilter/Veolia Water performing industrial wastewater treatment service. He later joined Arizona American Water as an Engineering Project Manager, where he was responsible for capital projects for Arizona’s Agua Fria Water District. In 2008, he was promoted to the position of the Operations Support Manager.
Mr. Christian joined the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) in 2013, where he is currently the Director of Engineering and Construction. He has twenty years of experience in the water/wastewater industry, both in consulting and utility management. His most notable accomplishments include:
- “UNSUNG HERO” Award recipient for outstanding performance as project engineer while with USFilter, for a project involving chemical recovery and industrial wastewater treatment.
- Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) implementation while with Arizona American Water. Arizona was the first State within the American Water Family to complete the implementation of the CMMS program for all water/wastewater districts.
- Finalist for the Arizona Furnace Accelerator Program pitching for venture capital to establish the company “Ultratrace.” Ultratrace was a startup concept licensing technology from the Arizona State University to commercialize a product that provides in-situ continuous groundwater sampling.
- Member of Senior Management Team implementing change at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.
Mr. Christian resides in Squirrel Hill with his wife Paula and their children Amber, Lauren, Grace, and little Bob. He also is an active member of the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society, which he originally joined as a teenager. Returning to Western Pennsylvania, Mr. Christian once again enjoys rooting for the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, plus the great local fishing, boating, and hunting.