Architecture & Engineering
2022 Engineer of the Year Nominees

he theme for Engineers Week in 2023 is “Creating the Future.” It’s not an exaggeration: whether one envisions flying cars, 100 percent renewable energy, space or subsea exploration, or a reality that’s mostly virtual, it all takes engineering. As part of Engineers Week, the local Anchorage chapter names an Engineer of the Year. Criteria include recent significant engineering contributions, publications and patents, active participation in engineering and other professional organizations, community service and involvement, and education and certificates. The 2022 nominees are below, and the winner will be announced at the 2023 E-Week Banquet on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

Nola R. Zwarich headshot
Nola R. Zwarich
ConocoPhillips Alaska
Nola R. Zwarich is a principal completions engineer at ConocoPhillips Alaska. She has more than twenty years of experience at ConocoPhillips in drilling and completions engineering and has held various positions in Canada, China, Norway, Alaska, and at the Houston Global Science and Technology Center.

Zwarich specializes in acid stimulation of carbonates and well inflow design; she also has expertise in advanced tubular design and subsea completions. She has authored many Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) papers on completions and was awarded Alaska SPE Engineer of the Year in 2021 for her work on laminated sandstone stimulation and recognized for mentoring fellow engineers at ConocoPhillips. Her current role is leading the completion design for a new major project and discovery in Alaska.

Zwarich holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in petroleum engineering from the University of Calgary and is a registered engineer in Alberta. She is also a member of the World Oil Editorial Advisory board.

Zwarich spends her free time on her bicycle and on skis. She was awarded Best All Around Female Cyclist in Alberta in 2004 and was a Canadian National team rower in 1995 and 1998.

Aaron Lewis headshot
Aaron Lewis
Enterprise Engineering, Inc.
Aaron Lewis, department manager at Enterprise Engineering, Inc. (EEI), obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from University of Idaho. During his tenure there he was elected president of the school’s American Society of Civil Engineers chapter and founded the Engineers Without Borders chapter at U of I, volunteering as its first president. During this time, from 2004 to 2010, he also served the Washington state Air National Guard as a staff sergeant in the aircraft maintenance squadron of the 141st Air Refueling Wing.

After graduation, Lewis was hired by Bechtel to work in Gladstone, Australia on the construction of a $6 billion greenfield liquid natural gas processing plant. Since then, he has worked for PND Engineers in Anchorage as a senior engineer, managed the Missoula, Montana office for STRATA, and now at EEI he works primarily with military clients.

Lewis continues to volunteer with the Society of American Military Engineers and Engineers Without Borders. He also mentors young engineers at EEI and strives to instill the belief of community involvement in those around him.

Outside of work he loves spending time with his wife and two children, accompanying them on adventures across Alaska.

Nichole Rehm headshot
Nichole Rehm
Professional and Technical Services
Nichole Rehm manages the design and construction of road and utility projects for the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) and marine and upland infrastructure for the Port of Alaska.

Born and raised in Anchorage, she graduated cum laude from UAA in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Her career began in 2001 as an intern at CH2M Hill (now Jacobs), where she gained experience evaluating design alternatives for a major highway, realigning a rail undercrossing, designing sound barriers, and performing environmental field work.

In 2005, Rehm joined Professional and Technical Services, a small private firm in Anchorage, where she still works today. For several years she provided design for numerous street, sewer, water, and drainage projects in the Anchorage area. She designed new infrastructure for residential development and rehabilitated many roads and utilities for public agencies.

Rehm served on the MOA Urban Design Commission since 2014 and became chair in 2018. She has also assisted the Institute of Transportation Engineering with the student scholarship program since 2017. Outside of her professional contributions, Rehm enjoys inspiring others to work hard physically and has been a fitness and cycling instructor for nine years.

Doug P. Simon headshot
Doug P. Simon
HDL Engineering Consultants
Doug P. Simon serves a team of engineers and technicians as the Geotechnical Services Manager at HDL Engineering Consultants. His technical background includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geological engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He spent the first part of his career kicking dirt in the Midwest before adventure brought him and his family to Alaska more than a decade ago.

Simon enjoys giving back through volunteering and mentoring. He has been an officer of the Anchorage Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a church council member. He currently serves as the vice president of the Alaska Section of ASCE. He is also active as a board fellow for Northaven Senior Living and volunteers at the Food Bank of Alaska. Simon has led the ASCE Anchorage Branch’s Community Engineering Corps activities for several years, working on projects such as designing a new playground for the Salvation Army’s McKinnell House.

Outside of work, Simon is a lifelong learner and is pursuing an MBA degree through the University of Washington. He also enjoys bow hunting, canoeing, and traveling with his family.

Andrea Hulman-Watsjold headshot
Andrea Hulman-Watsjold
Pacific Dataport
Andrea Hulman-Watsjold has seven years of experience as an RF (radio frequency) and electrical engineer and currently works at Pacific Dataport. Born and raised in Anchorage, she holds bachelor degrees in physics from Scripps College and in electrical engineering from UAA.

Hulman-Watsjold began her career at GCI in 2015, joining the RF engineering team in Network Services, where she maintained satellite infrastructure. One of her major projects was to migrate services statewide from one satellite to another while simultaneously upgrading aging infrastructure. She joined Pacific Dataport in 2021 and is currently finalizing preparations for the launch of the Aurora 4A satellite, designing hub infrastructure and the smaller terminals placed at customer locations.

Hulman-Watsjold helped revive the defunct student chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at UAA and served as president for two years. She holds the position of outreach chair for SWE Greatland and is active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Hulman-Watsjold enjoys reading and tabletop gaming with friends. She has performed with the Anchorage Concert Chorus for eleven seasons, including during their recent performance at Carnegie Hall.

Rebecca Venot headshot
Rebecca Venot
CRW Engineering Group
As a senior water and wastewater treatment engineer at CRW Engineering Group, Rebecca Venot provides clients and teams achievable solutions to a wide range of water treatment challenges and delivers leadership on construction, commissioning, and optimization of water and wastewater processes. With more than fifteen years of expertise in water treatment process selection, design, and construction administration, Venot currently is leading the design for replacement water treatment plants for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Girdwood, Emmonak, and Tuluksak. Her design for Sitka’s Critical Secondary Water Supply, a 6 million gallon per day membrane filtration plant, the largest in the state, recently finished startup and commissioning.

Venot earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Colorado State University. She started her career in Seattle, but after working on a project in Fairbanks she made Alaska her home.

Venot recently filled the role of president/chair of the Alaska Water and Wastewater Management Association. As vice chair of the American Water Works Association Coagulation and Filtration Technical and Education Committee, she is leading the rewrite of a chapter of the committee’s flagship manual on coagulation and filtration.