Kayla Hadley, a 2015 graduate of UNH’s environmental engineering program, was one five honored with the 2021 Environmental Business Council of New England, Inc’s Ascending Leader Award. The award recognizes young professionals in the energy and environmental sectors demonstrating exceptional leadership and industry involvement early in their careers.
“I am honored to receive this award,” says Hadley, a licensed engineer at Woodward and Curran Inc. since 2016. “It affirms that all my hard work has me on a path that I have always imagined for myself. I appreciate the recognition as well as making my mentors, colleagues and family proud.”
Hadley says the rigorous coursework and exceptional mentors at UNH helped build a solid foundation to launch her career. As a student, Hadley secured multiple research experiences, including wastewater research with the “MalleyCAT” research group under professor Jim Malley, and publishing two papers on engineering education with professor Bob Henry.
Hadley was immersed in other extra-curricular activities on campus, was a member of Tau Beta Pi and was the first president of the UNH Chapter of Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI). Hadley says she has many fond memories of UNH and has recently moved back to the area.
“When I toured campus in high school, the girl leading the tour just emanated this happiness, couth and confidence that I knew I wanted for my future,” says Hadley. “There is a lot to love about UNH, but I think the best part was the friendships I made that have lasted long after graduation.”
Hadley, who specializes in hazardous waste remediation design and implementation, has remained active in professional organizations, including as a member and scholar of the Society of American Military Professional Engineers (SAME) – both the Boston and Piscataqua posts. She has also been credited with leading the way her company manages and presents data and is an active volunteer in engineering outreach to aspiring engineers.
Hadley’s advice to those seeking a career in engineering is to focus on networking and pursuing internship opportunities.
“You will set yourself apart from your peers dramatically by attending events or webinars put on by these organizations,” says Hadley. “Internships will help you get a sense for what the industry is like and confirm you are where you want to be.”