RS&H, one of the largest engineering, architecture and consulting firms based in Florida, has hired Clara Sidan, PE, to lead Miami-based water resources projects.
A graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Sidan has 23 years of civil engineering design experience with several state agencies, municipalities, and private sector clients in South Florida. Before joining RS&H, she worked as the assistant district drainage engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 6 and as a senior drainage engineer with another design and consulting firm, where she worked on multiple minor to complex projects, such as the I-4 Ultimate project.
Sidan has been the drainage engineer on several projects for FDOT's District 4 and District 6. She has also served as project manager and senior drainage engineer for districtwide drainage plans review and design for both districts.
“Clara has been a part of so many projects across the state, and she brings so much experience and understanding of the unique hydrology and geology of South Florida,” said Aylin Costa, a senior transportation engineer for RS&H. “She has worked for over a decade on adaptation action projects in South Florida and can really help think more about resiliency and how it needs to be incorporated into every project.”
Resiliency has become a focal point in Southeast Florida in particular, where sea level rise is projected to be 10 to 17 inches by 2040 and 21 to 54 inches by 2070, according to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact’s Unified Sea Level Rise Projection, and coastal flooding due to more frequent, more severe storms is happening more often.
At FDOT, Sidan contributed to the application of new resiliency standards and uniform procedures for drainage design, plans review, and resolution of flooding complaints and drainage deficiencies. The practices and guidelines developed by FDOT District 6 helped shape the criteria on the FDOT Drainage Design Manual and Standards.
“FDOT District 6 started looking at resiliency with projects in Miami Beach and the Florida Keys several years ago, before the state had determined specific requirements or guidance,” Sidan said. “The Districts in South Florida needed an approach to consider sea level rise and higher groundwater elevations, how to design pump stations, and how to approach combined state and municipal systems. Now, you see a lot of that guidance making its way across FDOT.”
Sidan has managed projects, developed stormwater management master plans, led drainage design and permitting, and provided construction support for projects throughout South Florida. Her experience also includes consultant management, technical reviews and interagency coordination. She can be reached at Clara.Sidan@rsandh.com.
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