Harpreet Rai

Process Engineer, Project Manager
"As an engineer, my first instinct is to see if and how I can maximize the use of existing assets before thinking of new construction. I like to see that what we are proposing is absolutely needed and utilized efficiently. I strongly feel that sustainability should be at the heart of everything we do."
Harpreet Rai


Growing up with professors as parents, Harpreet has inherited the role of an educator in both work and life. He was first inspired to bring a sustainable focus to the wastewater industry as an undergraduate civil engineering student. After earning his Master’s degree and Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering at the Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology in Patiala, India, Harpreet went on to assume the mantle of professor himself, developing postgraduate education, research, and consulting programs. While teaching engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in India, Harpreet established a research and consulting centre with government funding and developed technologies for industrial wastewater treatment, which were eventually adopted by the provincial government and are still in use today in the food processing industry. The culmination of these achievements eventually earned Harpreet a place on a national shortlist of Top 10 Young Engineers in India before he was 35 years old.

Since joining RVA in 2009, Harpreet’s leadership has been associated with several complex and award-winning projects in the firm’s history. With his wide-ranging experience in wastewater treatment, biosolids processing, and operation optimization, Harpreet provides technical leadership for multidisciplinary wastewater treatment projects of all scopes and scales. From interfacing with clients, to business development, and project management, Harpreet has been an integral part of seeing many of our firm’s challenging wastewater projects through from start to finish.

Throughout his expansive 30+ year career, Harpreet’s passion for sustainability has led him to effect real change in the water industry through cost-effective, restorative, and high-performance designs. As a process engineer and project manager, he is particularly motivated by efficient, innovative approaches in the design and operation of the wastewater facilities – those that allow municipalities to maximize their asset value and bring sustainability to their operations. 

In his role as a wastewater process lead, Harpreet takes a strategic, long-term view on succession planning, focusing on outreach and mentoring to accelerate professional growth both within the company and the industry at large. This inspired him to develop RVA’s Wastewater Process Design and Optimization training program, the first of its kind to be offered to plant operators in Ontario. A thought leader in sustainable wastewater treatment, Harpreet has contributed to and led numerous seminars and technical sessions at conferences, and is currently an associate member of the Wastewater Treatment & Technology (WT&T) Committee of the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO).

In his life outside the office, Harpreet spends his spare time on oil painting, playing racket sports, reading, meditating, and practicing bhangra. He also embraces civic engagement with a focus on the greater good. He hopes to one day lend his skills in water sanitation and treatment to vulnerable communities around the world, helping them develop the resources and infrastructure they need to thrive.