Mayuko Mizutani, EIT

Environmental Engineer

A trip to Japan to visit her grandfather set the course for a career in environmental engineering for Mayuko Mizutani. Seeing her blind grandfather take the time to separate the trash before carrying it to the local recycling center, inspired her to do as much as she could to protect the environment. This influence would eventually lead her to the Atlanta office where she began her career as an intern before becoming a part of the stormwater team.

What kind of projects do you typically work on?

I do a lot of erosion control and stormwater reviews for municipalities. I also do rise analysis for construction projects near floodplains and some watershed studies. Anything stormwater related — I’ve usually been involved with if it came across the Atlanta team. Working in infrastructure is important to me because it’s going to be around long after I stop being an engineer. As civil engineers, we have a lot of impact on everything around us.

What drew you to engineering?

I wanted to do as much as I can for the environment because my grandfather made it seem like there was no excuse because he made no excuses. I went into environmental engineering and realized it was less hippie science and more resource management.

Tell us about your internship at Freese and Nichols.

I interned in 2018 with the Atlanta office. When I was an Intern, I was working on permitting and utilities design but also worked with stormwater modeling and design. The first exposure I had to stormwater was while I was doing my internship. Afterward, I went back to school and took more stormwater classes. So that is how I got into the stormwater side of engineering. I think it’s important that interns aren’t afraid to ask questions. A lot of time engineering students are afraid to ask questions because they are afraid they might look dumb, but it’s that ability to ask the questions that is the most impressive thing about someone. After graduation, when I was offered a full-time position, I requested to work in the Atlanta office because I really liked working with the people here.

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m very artistic. When I’m not doing engineering, I am doing something artistic. I’ve been taking a pottery class and have been looking into a 3D design class just for fun. I really like to do anything creative, and I also enjoy cooking.