Heather Himmelberger, director of the Southwest Environmental Finance Center at The University of New Mexico, was recently highlighted by the American Water Works Association Rocky Mountain Section in a feature on Engineers Week.

She was recognized for providing many key contributions to the water industry, including developing is a comprehensive guide for asset management for small systems called AM KAN Work! The manual includes over 200 video clips of operators and managers describing asset management principles and practices. This guidance was developed at a time when asset management was considered out of reach for small systems.

“Heather is an incredible problem-solver. Her contributions have molded water and wastewater management training not only in New Mexico but nationwide,” said her long-term co-worker Matt Ziegler. “We have Heather to thank for developing the EPA Region 6 Operator Certification Program in the early 2000s, and she has helped train hundreds of operators since then.”

The Southwest Environmental Finance Center, a part of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, offers a variety of services that promote self-reliance through innovative training. Himmelberger is leading a variety of high-profile, high-impact projects, including a $3.7 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) project to provide training and technical assistance to small drinking water and wastewater systems serving mostly small communities throughout the United States and its territories. She is also leading a $4 million EPA project that will provide training and technical assistance to small, rural and Tribal wastewater systems.