Young Professionals News – 2024 Quarter 1

Welcome to 2024! As the start of the year often is a time for resolutions and planning, we wanted to take a moment to look at what’s ahead for the IUVA YP Committee. There are a lot of great opportunities coming up this year, so if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get involved – this is it!

First, let us introduce our new team. You’re probably familiar with our co-chairs, Damnei Chen (University of Toronto) and Milad Raeiszadeh (Acuva Technologies), by now. They’re back again and ready to take on another year leading the YP Committee. Another familiar face is Jaser Lara de Larrea (Dalhousie University), who is switching roles into the Conference Coordinator. Isobel DeMont (Dalhousie University) will be taking over Jaser’s position as the Technical Communications Coordinator in her first role on the YP Committee. Joining Isobel as a new face to the committee, but certainly not the IUVA, is Bryan Liu (University of Colorado Boulder). Bryan will be managing our social media as the Communications and Engagement Coordinator (P.S. follow us on Instagram – @iuva_young_professionals). Emma Payne (University of Colorado Boulder) rounds out our team as the Strategic Growth Coordinator. If you’d like to become more involved or you’re just interested in expanding your network, come join our team! Anyone less than 35 years of age or with fewer than five years of experience in the industry is welcome. You can sign up on our website ( or by getting in touch with us at

This upcoming year is set to be a very exciting one for the IUVA YP network. We are working on awesome podcasts for you with some high-profile people in the industry. These are episodes you won’t want to miss, so check us out on Spotify, Apple or Amazon Podcasts under “Wavelength” by iuvayp. We’re also planning fun events for the 2024 IUVA Americas Conference, scheduled for May 20-22 in Orlando, Florida. Stay tuned for information on our “Ask Me Anything” session and Trivia Night! They’re always a blast and a great opportunity to network with other YPs and industry professionals (and a great way to make connections – as recommended by Jennifer below!)

Advice from Our Past and Future Presidents

We also wanted to give you a bit of extra motivation to kick-start your goals in 2024. We spoke with our outgoing and incoming Presidents, Jennifer Osgood and Ted Mao, about what inspires them and how they’ve navigated their careers in UV thus far.

Q: How and when did you know working in UV was the right industry for you?
J: My first exposure to UV was a wastewater application for a small town in New Hampshire about 25 years ago. I was fortunate to be mentored by other UV experts and became passionate about the technology through the consulting project work I was engaged in, providing disinfection solutions for municipalities all over the globe.

T: I started my career at Trojan Technologies in 1998. I knew it was the right industry after I learned that UV was an eco-friendly new technology with broad applications which could improve public health and the environment.

Q: What inspires you?
J: I’m inspired by our future, and the future of generations after us with the intelligence, passion and commitment of many professionals working together today to solve the world’s water crisis, public health and environmental challenges.

T: A group of ordinary people working together to achieve extraordinary things; for example, UV technology adoption making a big impact.

Q: What strategies do you use to handle setbacks without being discouraged?
J: First, a good, long walk and a reminder that a setback is part of the journey and a natural part of our human experience. Next, I focus on an action plan and expect that research is a part of that process. At times, pivoting along the path, getting advice from others and understanding the options are all part of my strategy.

T: The setbacks are valuable learning and teaching moments, which allow you to become a better version of yourself. One approach is to think that if you don’t have setbacks, it means that you have not pushed yourself hard enough!

Q: What small habits would you suggest to YPs to have long, sustainable careers in the UV industry?
J: Keep up with UV technology changes; keep up with changing UV regulations, guidelines and standards; and keep up with UV research!

T: Reach out for help, advice or just a sounding board. IUVA is a fantastic platform for networking and getting professional community support. Just reach out and ask!

Q: What is one thing you wish someone told you when you were starting your careers as YPs?
J: Make connections! Make connections that matter! Make deep and strong connections!

T: Think big and act small.