John Abrera: Engineer Has Put Technology in Context for Water Plant Operators

As the Smart Utility Applications leader for Brown and Caldwell, John Abrera recognizes that water reuse is becoming more widespread and starting to be adopted throughout the country. But instead of assuming he knows how he can improve the operations of such plants, he’s studying to become an operator of a water reuse plant.

“I want to understand it tolerably to be ready to apply different solutions,” says Abrera, who started his career in engineering and operations when water and wastewater plant operations were largely managed manually. He is also a water treatment operator and a set system operator.

Today he focuses on the way to use data and technology, including sensors and predictive analytics, to digitize the operations of water and wastewater plants and collect information.

“He’s always been an innovative thinker; he’s ready to take technical-type advances and put them into operational context,” says Correggio Peagler Sr., vice chairman , mid-south area leader for Brown and Caldwell. Peagler also lauds Abrera for his ability to assist clients economize and reduce risks through pilot or test programs. “Often technologists will enter and make projects that are about the technology itself and not the outcomes. That’s not what John does.”

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