Julie Beauséjour, P.Eng., PhD
Vice President, International | Montreal, Quebec
Ever since she was conducting research on wastewater treatment for her Master’s degree in civil engineering in Mexico, Julie Beauséjour has loved working around the world. She loved it so much, she flew all the way to Vietnam to work on her PhD thesis in environmental planning and design, which focused on low-cost sanitary drainage solutions for developing countries.
Her passion for international projects stems from the ability to create.
“Here in Quebec, we often end up repairing small segments within water treatment plants, or we add segments to the plant for it to reach new residential areas,” explains Julie. “However, whenever our team is contracted to do work abroad, we are given the freedom to build an entirely new system from scratch. It allows for all kinds of possibilities.”
In Dalat, Vietnam, her team is overseeing and managing the construction of a main sewer being connected to the wastewater treatment plant. It will serve the main commercial and residential areas of the city.
Julie points out that the design should provide infrastructure that is sustainable and low-cost in order to be adapted to the local context.
“In developed countries like Canada, we haven’t built entire sewer systems in over 50 years. Here, in Vietnam, most of the towns have never had a sewer system to begin with. Now we can finally create sustainable wastewater systems to improve their quality of life. “This project has seen the immediate improvement of the environmental conditions in the city, from flooding reduction to converting sewers into clean water ways. I think it’s incredible how these changes can bring a wave of fresh air to Dalat and its people.”
Julie is building a solid foundation for the future. She currently has 12 active projects in water and urban infrastructure in Vietnam, all financed by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, while attempting to expand the international market directly through international funding development agencies.
“I’ll definitely have my hands full for years to come, that’s for sure!” laughs Julie. “I’m excited to assist with these projects and be part of Vietnam’s continuous development. Most of all, we are looking at expanding our expertise to support other developing countries in Asia and Africa, where the need for basic infrastructure is also huge.”