Women in the Industry – Dr. Sonia Samir

Category: Engineering

Written By: The SWANA Blog

Date: March 17, 2020

Women in the Industry – Dr. Sonia Samir cover image

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, SWANA is highlighting women in the industry who have shown their dedication and hard work. In this male-dominated industry, each woman has had her own unique experience. 

Dr. Sonia Samir is a Civil Engineer in Parkhill’s Environmental Practice. She is a licensed professional in the state of Texas. Her experience includes landfill design, landfill permitting, permit modifications, cell construction and design, landfill slope stability, leachate collection system design, annual volume calculations, landfill emissions, permit by rule, some air permitting, and GHG emissions reporting. She also has solid waste research experience in municipal solid waste (MSW) characteristics, bioreactor landfill design and operation, resistivity imaging for moisture distribution within the landfill, evapotranspiration (ET)/water balance (WB) final cover systems, landfill gas to energy, methane emissions modeling, and landfill mining. 

Dr. Samir is committed to developing industry young professionals (YP). She has been active in ensuring university students are connected to SWANA, so they choose the solid waste industry. She has helped host the TxSWANA webinar and other networking and engagement events for TxSWANA annual conferences, as part of the TxSWANA YP leadership team. Dr. Samir has been serving as Region 3 YP Representative for SWANA since 2018, acting as a liaison between SWANA YP leadership and Region 3 SWANA YP Chapter leaders. She recently joined the SWANA YP Steering Committee, the leadership team for SWANA YPs. 

[SWANA] talked to Dr. Samir to learn more about her perspective and experience in the industry. 

What is it like being a woman in this industry? 

SS: Being a woman in any industry is challenging and Solid Waste is no different, but women can be as successful as men in every industry. 

What challenges did you have to overcome? 

SS: I have to struggle most with people’s perception. Young woman engineers in the construction site are not very common. One of the things I frequently heard while being out in a landfill construction site is that people think of an “engineer” as an old MAN! 

What accomplishments are you most proud of? 

SS: My proudest accomplishment is my daughter who is inspired to be an Engineer like mommy! 

Read Full Q&A Here