2018 Women in Real Estate and Construction Services: Dorina Aliu, Hydro Tech Environmental Engineering and Geology, DPC

March 20, 2018 - Spotlights

Name: Dorina Aliu

Title: Project Manager (Environmental Engineer)

Company Name: Hydro Tech Environmental Engineering and Geology, DPC              

Years in your current field: 6

What professional organizations or associations are you a member of? PWC, New York Building Congress

What was your most notable project 2017?

One of the projects I am currently working on is the redevelopment of a 12-acre waterfront property under the Whitestone Bridge. The site is a former brownfield that is currently being remediated as part of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. To date, over 40,000 tons of contaminated material has been removed from the site to allow for future development of a high end waterfront residential community. This project is one of the largest high-end residential developments in the borough and will serve to bring Whitestone to the heights of the current development boom which is already underway in LIC and Astoria.

What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017? 

2017 was a year of accelerated learning motivated by professional challenges. While very passionately engaged in bringing on new business in both the public and private sectors (including a multi-year on-call contract with NYCEDC), I was also actively managing over 20 projects ranging from $500,000 to over $ 100 million in construction cost. I worked with a multitude of diverse clients, from architects to developers to religious and educational institutions, with each project having its own set of challenges and particulars. The net gain from these experiences was that I became confidently ensconced in my role as a “seller-doer” and became more of an asset to my immediate team and organization at large. I learned immensely from each challenge I encountered and I gained confidence not only in my role as a technical engineer but also in my role as a consultant that my clients can trust.   

If you have had a mentor in your career, who was it and what did they teach you? 

I have been fortunate to have had multiple employers who have served as invaluable mentors in my career, one of them being Tarek Khouri, my current boss and CEO of Hydro Tech Environmental. Leading by example, Tarek has taught me the value of reserving judgment when approaching professional relationships. He truly lives by the famous quote from the Great Gatsby, “Reserving judgment is a matter of infinite hope.” Never failing to focus on people’s strengths, show empathy, give recognition, and not micromanage. By reserving judgment and recognizing the best in people, he is able to truly get the best out of them. 

What trends are you seeing so far this year in your field? 

In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on sustainability and sustainable design as it pertains to development. This trend has impacted every phase of development from procurement to design to project closeout. As an example, on projects that involve environmental regulators such as NYSDEC and NYCDEP, sustainable design and property management strategies have even been incorporated into templates for reporting requirements. Both at the granular/micro-scale and on a macro-scale, sustainability is now a critical thought process and is integral to development. 

When I am not working I am…

When I am not working, I am thinking about next steps namely, my P.E. exam. I’m sure that sounds like a terribly grim and boring answer. The truth is however that I am fortunate to have found a profession that is concurrently a personal passion, mission, and vocation. It allows me to interact with extremely intelligent and driven people, travel the world, and make a positive impact in humble yet by no means “small” ways. That being said, work does not feel like “work.” I am living out my purpose and I am lucky enough to get paid doing it. 

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