Lourdes, also known as Lulu by many of her friends and colleagues, is one of Calgary’s top engineers. Her work on Leachate won her the Environmental and Sustainability Award by The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta or APEGA (2016). Leachate, or “garbage juice,” is a highly toxic garbage by‐product that is many mes more polluted than regular waste water. Lulu’s work on treating leachate “showed that the quality of treated leachate not only met but exceeded the city’s standards.” (PEG magazine, Fall 2016).
Lulu’s other notable achievements: Chairperson, Water and Wastewater Technologies Conference (1999), Speaker at the Philippine International Wastewater Treatment Congress (1997) and Achievement Award from TFCC – The Filipino Champions of Canada (2015).
Before her engineering success in Canada, Lulu completed two engineering degrees in the Philippines – Civil and Environmental Engineering. It wasn’t an easy journey. Lulu is one of the few female students in a male dominated field. “There were only ten ladies in the engineering class,” said Lulu. “We didn’t have the internet back then, so I was always studying and doing research in the university library. While many students partied, I focused on my studies.”
After completing her degrees, Lulu went to Belguim to complete her masters in engineering. At the second year of her study, she became pregnant with her first child. “”I was due to give birth, so I requested to write my exams ahead of me. My program coordinator was so impressed. Even with my baby, I graduated second place in the entire class.”
In July 2000, Lulu and her family moved to Toronto. She could not land an engineering job because she lacked Canadian experience. “I worked as a food delivery aid in the Toronto East General Hospital,” said Lulu. “I also worked part‐time at the Future Shop as a customer service representative. I also tutored math on the side. But I wasn’t happy. I studied hard to earn a career, and I did not come to Canada just to waste this career.”
In August 2007, Lulu moved to Calgary and pursued her engineering career, working and studying at the same time. “I pursued until I got it. I didn’t give up.”
Lulu is now a Senior Process Engineer for the City of Calgary where she plays a vital role in keeping Calgary’s water system free of toxic pollutants.