Awarded Latin American engineer offers insights on the mining industry

Carmen Bernedo, a senior civil engineer with MWH, a global leader of the wet infrastructure sector, was recently honoured with two industry awards– one for outstanding Colorado woman in engineering by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and the other for earning a diplomate, water resources engineer certificate (D.WRE) from the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE).  She is one of only 600 engineers worldwide who has qualified for the D.WRE credential.

But the road to success has been paved with challenges.

“Many people see mining and engineering as a man’s field so it was especially challenging for a Latin American woman to enter this field. However, my hard work is paying off, and I’m overjoyed that my work and dedication is being recognized,” says Bernedo, who has worked in the past 16 years as a civil engineer managing large water-related projects and studies around the world, including in the U.S., South and Central America, Australia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

Bernedo sees a big global increase in the demand for natural resources due to population growth, especially driven by emerging economies such as China and India, which the industry will continue to be challenged by.

“As consultants to the mining industry, we know our clients will need a support for permitting and finding solutions for water related issues,” she warns.

Bernedo’s work – in diverse environments from the high-altitude terrain of the Rockies and Andes to the Florida tropics – includes surface-water management plans, hydraulic structures and dam design, reservoir sizing and flood routing and water containment. She shares her best practices with co-workers and industry peers to help find solutions for clients and communities facing water challenges – whether scarcity, environmental concerns or access.

Today, Bernedo is a go-to technical leader in the hydrologic/hydraulic field, notably in the mining, dams and hydro, oil and gas and water resources industries.

Born and educated in Lima, she received her master’s degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University, with a specialization in hydrology and water resources.

Groundbreaking work 

Currently, the expert is working on building a world class Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) in South America.  She is setting up the hydrologic design criteria for new storm events that are very different from the ones recorded in the past.

Bernedo’s next mining project is focused on competition for water resources, helping her client to identify reliable water supplies to operate a mine.

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