Meet Hannah Lancaster: Stormwater & Design Engineer
CDR would like to recognize Hannah Lancaster for her commitment to excellence and her commendable work as a Stormwater and Design Engineer. Handling anything and everything stormwater-related, Hannah takes on stormwater quality management plans, hydrology and hydraulic reports, and storm drain plans. She is very enthusiastic about her job, jumping at the opportunity to help with grading and site improvement plans, and reviewing plan sets before they are sent out for City review and approval. When she isn’t planning stormwater management strategies, she enjoys outdoor adventures, is an avid baker, and volunteers her time with her church youth group.
Since stepping into her current role in 2018, Hannah has worked on projects in over 45 cities and 10 different counties throughout California. Each project has different needs, and Hannah helps formulate an individualized approach that is unique for each client. Not one to back down from a challenge, Hannah said, “It’s a fun challenge that keeps me on my toes learning more with each one. There is no such a thing as a cookie-cutter project for stormwater management… which makes the job interesting!” With stormwater management proving increasingly significant in California, Hannah’s role is vital to the success of CDR and its clients. Planning how to handle stormwater runoff from project sites includes addressing water quality treatment and flow control management (hydromodification) requirements for the project-specific watershed and permitting.
“We are fortunate to have several women engineers on staff. Hannah is a true stormwater expert that not only understands the rules and regulations but also understands how to select the most cost-effective system based on the specific site requirements,” said Aaron M. Albertson, P.E., SCDP, Principal, CDR. “The market is flooded with a plethora of stormwater treatment devices and approaches. Not selecting the appropriate treatment devices and integrating an effective surface and underground collection system can unnecessarily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Hannah has been working with CDR since the summer of 2017. Prior to her current role, she was focused on creating precise grading and site improvement plans and coordinating plan check reviews with various cities and counties. Now that she has narrowed in on Stormwater Management, she has a hand in most of the projects that CDR works on as it is required for almost all land development projects (car dealerships, fast-food restaurants, custom homes, commercial shopping centers, theme parks, etc.). Stormwater management can be a small requirement to check off for a permit or a driving force in the project’s site design. Hannah enjoys getting to see and be involved with most projects that come through the office. She feels that this gives her insight to see the bigger picture and just how much the team is able to do together.
A major initiative Hannah has been facilitating is creating an in-house stormwater and hydrology department for CDR. Hannah said, “It has been a challenging yet rewarding process learning the ins and outs of stormwater management and receiving city and county approval of our designs.” She looks forward to continuing to grow the CDR stormwater department in the future.
Hannah lived on California’s central coast (with a summer in the Bay Area) while attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she earned a BS in Civil Engineering but moved back home after graduation to Orange where she was born and raised. She enjoys having easy access to the beach, mountains, and desert, and being closer to her family and goofball black Labrador Retriever, Luke. Here’s a fun fact about Hannah’s involvement with CDR: Having had success with a Cal Poly graduate the year prior, CDR specifically reached out to Hannah for an interview because of her alma mater. She reports that she is proud to live up to the Cal Poly expectation!
When asked what her favorite part of working at CDR is, she noted CDR’s balance of individual freedom and overall sense of teamwork. She welcomes the ability to start her workday later, which allows her to avoid traffic and get her HIIT workout in early. “I’ve appreciated the support and freedom to push myself and take on more responsibility, the freedom to challenge design strategies and suggest and implement new ones, and the freedom to set my own schedule. At the end of the day, CDR functions as a great team that wants everyone to succeed both personally and professionally.”
The company culture Hannah has experienced working at CDR fits right in with her personal hobbies. She is an adventurous woman, who tries to say “yes” to any new adventure when given the chance. She and her friends hike in the mountains at least once a month; she also loves camping and spending time (aka napping) at the beach. She talked about memorable team bonding trips with CDR, mentioning hiking Half Dome, and rafting through Class V (expert) rapids as two of her favorites! In addition to her interests outdoors, she’s been known to kick up her heels for some line dancing, but can also be found baking delicious treats, claiming she is currently “obsessed” with Erin McDowell’s The Book on Pie.
Hannah reflects, “Working at CDR has been quite an adventure (in the best way) – full of professional and personal growth, memorable team bonding trips, and rewarding and satisfying work accomplishments. I’m thankful to be part of the CDR team.”