Historic Woman-owned engineering firm wins award managing Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) PSIP projects
Nova Consulting President Maria Molina’s engineering firm was not only the recipient of the largest contract awarded to a female-owned company by Miami-Dade County to oversee the project management of WASD’s Pump Station Improvement Program (PSIP) projects ($17.6 million), but she was recently recognized by the Florida Engineering Society (FES) as the recipient of the 2015 FES Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement for the accomplishments already achieved in the short time the program has been in effect.
“The progress already accomplished under Ms. Molina’s management has not only produced many positive contributions for the good of the public, but the professionalism employed throughout the process has resulted in unique, innovative solutions that will benefit WASD and its service delivery for decades to come,” said WASD Director Lester Sola.
“The fact that today is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month is just another example that Maria is utilizing her skills and talents as a significant role model for the next generation of female engineers so that one day, it will not have to be noteworthy, but rather the norm that female-owned businesses are routinely awarded projects in both the public and private sector.”
Ms. Molina takes her position as one of the few female-owned engineering/architecture firms in the area very seriously.
“It’s still a very male-dominated profession,” she said. “I feel I have an enormous responsibility to provide opportunities to other female engineers. I have to do my part because it goes beyond being the owner of a company.”
She definitely lets her actions speak louder than her words. She annually provides grants and tuition to female students pursuing engineering studies and she also ensures there are many learning opportunities for local engineering students by pairing engineering interns with seasoned professionals throughout the PSIP projects so they can gain field experience and apply classroom knowledge with practical applications.
Some of the PSIP achievements to date include:
• Being ahead of schedule with 138 projects out of a total of 215 without incurring an increase to program costs.
• $24 million in construction has been awarded to date.
• 80 percent of PSIP team members are made up of Small Business Enterprise firms and 100 percent are local firms, ensuring that local dollars remain in the community and continue to provide an economic stimulus throughout Miami-Dade County.
• All established Environmental Protection Agency deadlines have been met on or prior to deadline, thus preventing the assessment of fines.
Overseeing the PSIP has special meaning for Ms. Molina.
“I am so grateful to Miami-Dade County and WASD in general,” she said. “When I moved to Miami, working on a WASD project as a sub-contractor was my first job and I have worked on jobs continuously for the last 21 years. They are so much more than a client.”
The PSIP consists of managing the upgrades to the MDWASD Wastewater Collection and Transmission System (WCTS) that includes sanitary sewer collection system, pump stations and force mains upgrades. As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), all pump stations need to meet an established nominal operating time of less or equal to 10 hours per day as well as other established criteria. Pump stations are used to lift or raise wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation or to discharge the wastewater from the property directly into a force main. The force mains will then transfer the wastewater to other larger pump stations or directly to the treatment plants.
It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. For additional information about Department services and programs, click here.