2024 WaterWorld Young Pros

May 10, 2024
WaterWorld features four ambitious young professionals who have been hard at work in the water industry.

This year WaterWorld is celebrating young professionals alongside WasteWater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. These young pros are under 40 years old or have less than 10 years of experience in the water industry.

First up is Henry Croll. Having met Henry in person at WEFTEC 2023 where he presented research, he is, as his nominating colleague calls him, “passionate about water” and an adept public speaker.

Justin Honigman, although short within the bullet list for professional accomplishments, illustrates through his biography an often-overlooked part of the industry and demonstrates inspirational and dogged pursuit of career development in water, causing me to intervene on his behalf by bulleting that list with, “Being tenacious in answering the call of duty.”

Professor Gaurangkumar Sharma is a member of AWWA, an advocate of the environment, including water, the winner of several awards, and looked upon fondly by his nominator.

Zac Walter is the regional superintendent in North Carolina for Harper General Contractors and is a prime example of a person who started in another industry and has brought his leadership skills to the water industry.

I hope readers enjoy learning about this year’s  cohort and consider nominating themselves or someone they know for next year’s WaterWorld class of young professionals.

Henry Croll 

  • Innovation Engineer 
  • Stantec 
  • Des Moines, Iowa 


Croll is truly passionate about water and sustainably stewarding our global water resources. In his role as a process engineer, he regularly seeks out projects involving hard-to-treat contaminants, particularly PFAS, and novel process trains, and enjoys the learning that accompanies those types of projects. Croll is also preparing to defend in pursuit of a Ph.D. at Iowa State University, where his focus has been on evaluating machine learning for multi-objective optimization of activated sludge nutrient treatment. Outside of work and school, he has been involved in projects around the world helping to improve people’s access to clean water.

Professional accomplishments

Select List of Publication and Presentations: 
• Croll, H.C., Ikuma, K., Ong, S.K. and Sarkar, S. “Systematic Performance Evaluation of Reinforcement Learning Algorithms Applied to Wastewater Treatment Control Optimization”, Environmental Science and Technology, 2023. 
• Croll, H.C., Adelman, M.J., Chow, S.J., Schwab, K.J., Capelle, R., Oppenheimer, J. and Jacangelo, J.G. “Fundamental kinetic constants for breakthrough of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances at varying empty bed contact times: Theoretical analysis and pilot scale demonstration”, Chemical Engineering Journal, 2023. 
• Croll, H.C., Ikuma, K., Ong, S. K., & Sarkar, S. “Reinforcement learning applied to wastewater treatment process control optimization: Approaches, challenges, and path forward”, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 2023, pp.1-20. 
• Chow, S.J., Croll, H.C., Ojeda, N., Klamerus, J., Capelle, R., Oppenheimer, J., Jacangelo, J.G., Schwab, K.J. and Prasse, C. “Comparative investigation of PFAS adsorption onto activated carbon and anion exchange resins during long-term operation of a pilot treatment plant”, Water Research, 2022. 
• Croll, H.C., S. Chow, N. Ojeda, K. Schwab, C. Prasse, R. Capelle, J. Klamerus, J. Oppenheimer, and J. G. Jacangelo. “Adaptation of selected models for describing competitive per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances breakthrough curves in groundwater treated by granular activated carbon”, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2022. 
• Croll, H.C., A. Soroush, M. Pillsbury, and S. R.V. Castrillon. “Graphene oxide surface modification of polyamide reverse osmosis membranes for improved N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) removal”, Separation and Purification Technology, 2019, Volume 210: 973-980. 
• “Comprehensive Cost Analysis on Impacts of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) on the Clean Water Community”, WEFTEC, 2023. 
• “How do we get RIDD of Emerging Contaminants with Existing Treatment Barriers?”, WQTC, 2022. 
• “Modeling Competitive PFAS Breakthrough Curves in Groundwater Treated by Granular Activated Carbon and Ion Exchange Media (presented by Ryan Capelle)”, ACE22, 2022. 
• “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Landfill Leachate: Assessment, Forensics, Treatment and Management”, International Water Conference, 2021.

Justin Honigman 

  • Senior P&C Underwriter 
  • Glatfelter Insurance Group 
  • Spring City, PA 


Honigman is a 2011 graduate of Temple University’s risk management and insurance program, where my focus was property and casualty insurance within the RMI major. Currently he works for Glatfelter Insurance Group in the public entities division (an AIG Company) as a senior property and casualty underwriter. Glatfelter Public Entities is one of the largest public entity insurance programs in the U.S. that specializes in program insurance for water/wastewater, municipalities, and schools. He has been with GIG for almost 10 years but started his career at Selective Insurance before quickly gravitating to the water and wastewater niche. Honigman’s territory was water business-heavy and forced him to learn quickly. He finished an MBA at West Chester University and concluded his final class in mid-March (2024). His next step after the MBA is to study and sit for the Pennsylvania drinking water and wastewater systems operator certification program as this will deepen his knowledge of water/wastewater operations and give him a more granular knowledge base. Armed with this knowledge, Honigman will better serve the industry and help tailor/design coverages within the water market.

Professional accomplishments

  • Being tenacious in answering the call of duty

Gaurangkumar Sharma 

  • Professor in Electrical and Renewable Energy 
  • B.V.M Engineering College 
  • Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India 


Professor Gaurangkumar Sharma is presently working as an assistant professor in the electrical engineering department of B.V.M Engineering College in India and has been there since 2006.

Sharma has worked to save water and energy for both the public and to preserve nature. He designed a user-friendly water softening machine and solar power plant design software. He also developed Innovative Eco Friendly — a new product for solving global hard water problems, deemed especially important in the United States where a large percentage of people suffer from hard water problems. This device converts hard water into soft water without any harmful chemicals or expensive softeners.

Professional accomplishments 

  • Winner of Spring 2022 Innovation Challenge as Mentor of Winning Project Urban Gardens: GetGrowing, Organized by Global STEM Alliance of New York Academy of Science. 
  • Winner of 10th Science and Technology Award-STA2021 as a “Best Researcher Award” 
  • Winner of Global R & D Award as an “Outstanding International Achievement as Edu-Preneur” 
  • Member of AWWA (American Water works Association ) 

Zac Walter 

  • Regional Superintendent 
  • Harper General Contractors 
  • Charlotte, South Carolina 


Zac Walter began his career in the concrete industry, serving water and wastewater clients in 2003, before moving to the general contracting side of the industry in 2010. He worked for a local contractor for almost five years before being recruited by Harper General Contractors in 2015. His proficiency and expertise in the industry led to his promotion as a superintendent in 2016. Walter’s hard work and leadership skills helped him become a regional superintendent, where he currently manages Harper’s environmental system field operations across the entire North Carolina region. He provides expert guidance, onsite supervision, and team leadership to ensure smooth and efficient operations.

Walter is a professional who delivers results in an authentic and committed manner. He upholds the highest standards of integrity and enjoys building connections with clients, trade partners, and teams. His interpersonal skills and reliability play a key role in his daily job, where he practices transparency and honesty throughout his work.

His attention to detail and thorough documentation allows him to effectively manage complex projects and ensure precision at every stage of construction. Walter has managed numerous water and wastewater treatment projects and consistently demonstrates exceptional knowledge and leadership in the field.

Professional accomplishments 

Walter’s communication skills are evident in his ability to mentor and train his fellow colleagues. He has trained many employees throughout his career at Harper and mentored each of these individuals. He takes enormous pride in his teachings and ensures that each employee has a solid foundation for their training. He holds various certifications, including OSHA 10-Hour, OSHA 30-Hour, fall protection equipment, crane operations, and rigging. Walter is also an active volunteer within the Charlotte, North Carolina region, and encourages other teammates to participate. Recently, he helped construct a handicap-accessible porch with United Way, cleaned up trash along an adopted stream, and packaged shoes to be sent overseas through Samaritan’s Feet. 

About the Author

Mandy Crispin

Mandy Crispin is the editor-in-chief of WaterWorld magazine and co-host of water industry podcast Talking Under Water. She can be reached at [email protected].  

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